Boring habits are easy to break

Every time we’d visit my grandparents, they’d drag out the roller coaster toy from the closet.
We’d put it together, adjusting the scotch tape that kept two broken pieces together, and stuck in some batteries.
Slide the switch, and the chain would pull the little cars up the ramp and let them loose down a winding track.
And back up the ramp they went.
It took half an hour to assemble, and it was only interesting for maybe a minute.
I knew I’d grown up a bit when I stopped asking about the rollercoaster.
Boring habits are easy to break.

The old phone

How long have you had that phone?
We can look that up, you know.
Walk in to the store, your phone looks for WiFi, and we know you’re here.
We look up your name, your device information, your credit rating.
Your browser history, to see if you’re looking for a new phone.
And looking at our competition, of course.
Oh, and how often you have to charge your phone.
In case we can upsell you a battery pack or two.
Maybe a smart watch. And a tablet.
We do value your privacy.
As much as we can sell it for.

Sort

Early in life, Melvin showed a talent for sorting.
He sorted his socks, his papers, everything.
His parents would have him sort mixed salad and mixed vegetables at dinner parties.
The university gave him high marks in sorting, and the government hired him to sort things out.
There were protests about racism and sexism and all kinds of isms, but after a while, people realized that Melvin’s sorting actually made things better.
People got along better with people like themselves.
No wars, no crimes. Everyone was happy.
It’s hard to have a hate-crime when there’s nobody different around to hate.

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan woke up, identified as an elephant, and went to the bathroom.
It was a tight fit, being an elephant, but he managed to get in.
He crushed the toilet and broke the mirror.
His shower head was on a hose, but it didn’t quite reach all over his body.
He ended up filling the tub and using his trunk to hose himself down.
Drying off with five bath towels, he squeezed back out of the bathroom, checked his voicemail, and went back to bed.
The bed creaked with his weight, and his snores echoed off of the walls.

Weekly Challenge #789 – PICK TWO Address, Blundering buffoon, Bunny, View, Wizard, What’s that on the horizon?, Bark

Asleep

TOM

Sometimes it’s just the bunny and you

I had crossed the great part of the California. Pulled in a roadside gas
station, as if there are gas stations deep in the interior of the
California Hegemony. The old man at the pump turned a lazy eye toward a
blur on the western desert. “What’s that on the horizon?” I asked. “Coming
for you I reckon.” I flipped down my goggles, set the resolution to
10,000. “Oh fuck, him,” I cured. “The out man disappeared behind a steel
door. I reached into the car for the tow missile. When the bunny came into
range, I let the tow sing.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert and his parents sat around the small table with its variety of wines and cheeses. Mrs. Blanketmaker took out her tablet and brought up Google Maps. There were several red dots on the map of the U.S. “These are places we’ve lived.”
Exasperated, Billbert blurted, “I hate this. Can’t we just move to a new address in town?”
His father cleared his throat. “Now Billbert. Don’t bark at your mother. This isn’t her fault.”
His mother smiled sadly. “I know this is a major disappointment from your point of view, Billy. For our safety, it has to be done.”

SERENDIPIDY

I’ve been studying hypnotism.

I was inspired to give it a try when I saw a stage show where a hypnotist made a guy from the audience quack like a duck.

It seemed to me to be a useful skill to have, so I taught myself how to hypnotise.

I’m good at it.

I can make you bark like a dog, or hop like a bunny, quit smoking and overcome fear of flying.

But that’s boring.

And there’s far more interesting things I can make you do against your will.

And the best part?

Afterwards, you won’t remember a thing!

DUANE

Xard was a wizard, but he wasn’t a very good wizard. He boasted he had perfected alchemy. He gathered a crowd at the marketplace and produced a small box.

“I will turn this bronze coin into gold within this magical box.”

Slipping the coin into the box he held it up.

Pointing past the crowd he shouted, “What is that on the horizon?’, flipping the box over as the crowd turned to look.

“My bad.” He then opened the box to reveal a shiny gold piece.

Ten days in the stocks gave Xard time to think about his next trick.

JUSTIN

Phil was taught at Wizard school that wizards were elegant and orderly in their ways. Phil also caused several rules to be instated after his expulsion. No chewing gum while casting spells. No teleporting while wearing roller skates, and no practicing rituals while drunk.

When extradimensional vermin poured into reality it was Phil who sent them all back when he could cast the necessary spells under all sorts of strange circumstances. He would have said “I told you so” to his old professors, but proper wizards with orderly, organized magic were the first and easiest for the vermin to consume.

RICHARD

In any other circumstances, I’d have considered the view to be pretty spectacular; mile upon mile of glistening waves as far as the eye can see, tinted burnished gold by the setting sun.

Fantastic for photography, amazing for a holiday, wonderful for getting in touch with nature, but pretty rubbish if you happen to be stranded on a dessert island, beach strewn with the wreckage of your boat, desperately hoping for some sign of rescue.

Wait a minute, your eyes strain in the fading light… What’s that on the horizon?

Does it matter?

They won’t see you from there anyway!

KAYDEN

HARE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW
Frank was forced to leave the School of Wizardry after the unfortunate incident involving Dean Lapine. The Dean was irritatingly proud of his long, flowing curls and carried a mirror with him at all times to admire his impressive appearance. At the Friday Spell Spectacular, while the Dean hovered above, it was Frank’s turn to perform. However, Frank grew confused as he mouthed the incantation for the standard “pull a rabbit out of my hat” spell. When he reached in to grab the hare, instead he pulled out a handful of hair. Dean Lapine was never the same after that.

LIZZIE

She sat there and watched the horizon. The view was stunning. She closed her eyes and waited. She didn’t know what she was waiting for. She just knew she had to be there. And she sat for a long time.
A dog barked far away and she snapped out of her hypnotic state. The horizon was still there, the view still stunning.
And then she knew why she had to sit there, waiting.
She knew she had to learn that despite everything she was going through, she could still come back and sit down, quietly, peacefully, and be. Just be.

PLANET Z

The old wizard was up on stage, blundering through all of his old tricks.
He tried to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but ended up with an iguana.
Which barked.
Do iguanas bark?
I don’t know, but this one barked, and it wasn’t a bunny.
He poured milk into a newspaper cone, and it soaked the cone and spilled all over the floor.
It took him nineteen guesses to guess the card his volunteer pulled out of the deck.
Eventually, he threw some dust in the air to disappear.
Which the audience had already done long before then.

The topic of the next weekly challenge is TRADE

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.

Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is TRADE

Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Include the following:

  • The text of your story.
  • A topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.
  • A website where people can learn more about you and your writing, include the URL to that website.
  • A recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.

I put the episode together on Sunday morning. But, if you need more time, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

JAN 3 Fire
JAN 10 Why is mother crying?
JAN 17 Get a life!
JAN 24 How does that grab you?
JAN 31 Prowling, Canon, Everything, To/Too/Two, Risk, Delinquent, Spray Tan

FEB 7 Smalltalk
FEB 14 Pizza
FEB 21 Wine
FAN 28 Ruins, Cone, A toast!, Rebel, Dive, Name change, Glow

MAR 7 Tilting
MAR 14 Behind a bush
MAR 21 Unlimited
MAR 28 Remember only this…, Scope, Church, Melt, Fade, Bare

APR 4 River crossing
APR 11 Advanced
APR 18 Saint
APR 25 Fuming, Bean, When will it stop raining, Vaccine, Quarantine, Helmet, Tin

MAY 2 List
MAY 9 Stay safe
MAY 16 Don’t press the button!
MAY 23 Hand
MAY 30 Address, Blundering buffoon, Bunny, View, Wizard, What’s that on the horizon?, Bark

JUN 6 Trade
JUN 13 Riding shotgun
JUN 20 Prompt
JUN 27 Crystalline, Copper, Outbreak, Demure, Paper thin, Bonus, Bleach

JUL 4 So many questions
JUL 11 Needle
JUL 18 Letter
JUL 25 Can you help me?, Enough, Market, Trial, Bundle, The noise is driving me mad!, Inventory

AUG 1 Discard
AUG 8 Misnomer
AUG 15 If I had a nickel for every time
AUG 22 Where do I begin?
AUG 29 Full, Where did they go?, Barrel, Your call, Universally, Joint, Some might say…

SEP 5 Doubtful
SEP 12 Over to you…
SEP 19 The heat of the moment
SEP 26 Craft, Ceremoniously, Empty spaces, Clickbait, Disposal protocol, You saved my life, Level

OCT 3 Binge
OCT 10 After
OCT 17 Disintegration
OCT 24 …Since records began
OCT 31 Vase, Rub, Top, Spring fresh, Chime, The End, Crop

NOV 7 Unsure
NOV 14 Arson
NOV 21 What’s that on your face?
NOV 28 Square, Unexpected message, Formation, The door flew open, Fret, Prediction, Jelly fish

DEC 5 Bee
DEC 12 Store
DEC 19 Left
DEC 26 Don’t push me…, Animated, Compassion, Indifferent, Ally, Whale, A fork in the road

THE REST OF THE TOPICS

Overexposed
Even
Pick one
Fight fire with fire
Velcro
Typo
Warren
A thin veneer
Age
Streak
I was very young
Brownie mix
Cliche
Feeble
Uncompromising
Flowering
Are we there yet?
Late
I’ll be there
Hair
Slippery slope
Too much to bear
Weather
Varnish
Explanation
Preventative Maintenance
Contact
Landing
Mice cream
Free
Mice
Chewy
Godzilla
The sweet smell of success
Proposal
Sentence
Trust
Twist
Thicket
Every good intention
Train
Spook
Thousands of years
Virtual reality
Prompt
Extremely flexible
Consensus
Major
Scoreboard
Anywhere
Blocker
Major
Koala
Bleak
Pool
USB socket
Gadget
Robot
Choke
Cross country
Pop
Where’s Ethel?
Toothpaste
Concertina
Pacing
Screaming Kids
Tie
Deal
Archimedes
Evidence
Water Torture
Own
Cassette tape
Remember
Remote
Everyone
Mimes
Contact lens
Crash
Clemency
Speediest
Thumbs up
Remote
What happens next?
Quit
Remastered
Heated
Record
The way we were
Millions
Arrow
January
Code
Offroad
Mouse trap
Base
Facts
Martian
Stamp
Waterproof
The wrong words
Bottomless pit
Safe
A word from an unknown language.
Irresistible
Anaheim
Speed
Put that thing down
Spycam
Pew
Evidence
March
Horror on the subway!
Thick
Exposed
Your honor
Diet
Point
Superhero
Host
Scroll
Style
Range
Together
Block
Cracked pavement
Shenanegans
Blinded
As far as the eye can see
Intake
Forward
Satisfied
Collection
Frozen in time
Recovery
Moisture
Stand
Canyon
Revewal
Old Videos
Riot of color
Split
Potato eyes
Photograph
It’s a dirty job
Fine
Overhead
Why should I?
Mass
Mustard yellow
Basic
Opportunity
Afford
Blue sky
Part
Rat stew
Points
Detail
Stolen
Bread
Brand awareness
Contact lens
Trailers
Eaten by lions
The lion that ate cherries
Aurora
Hard to believe
Contribution
Crew cut
Dealers
Dirty
Lot
Random
Envision
Dozen
Secretary
Vision
Fuel
It’s a pattern
Cheers
Refreshment
ABC
Thermostat
Diddums
Sponsor
Old Master
Rhymes with…
Grasp

Sceamer

Fred was born into a horrible family.
They tortured and tormented him constantly.
School was torture too.
Even when he went into the woods to be on his own, mosquitoes and chiggers ate him alive.
He lashed out, he got in fights, he stole things and ended up in juvenile detention.
Therapists worked on him day and night to rehabilitate him.
Primal screaming to release all of his frustrations and resentment.
“It worked,” said the doctors. “But it’s so damn annoying.”
Cured and released, Fred went back into society.
Constantly screaming.
He got a job at CNN as a commentator.

The twelve

Lawson invented the twelve.
Before Lawson invented the twelve, people went from eleven to thirteen without anything in between.
It never felt quite right, but nobody knew what to do about it.
They’d cough or wave their hands or stick a roast beef sandwich in there, but nothing quite fit.
Until Lawson came around, that is.
He spent weeks in his lab, testing all kinds of things, until one day, he came out of the lab shouting “I DID IT!”
And shared his new invention: the twelve.
Sure, it caused cancer and global warming, but fuck it: we need twelves.

Death be not

John Donne wrote Death, Be Not Proud.
But under that black robe, Death wears a rainbow shirt. A Pride shirt.
After work, he hangs out in his favorite bar, tips the bartender well.
Dances with his friends when it’s time to dance, and listens when it’s time to listen.
Sometimes, he goes home with a friend.
Wakes up early, makes coffee and breakfast, and then reaps their soul.
It’s not hate. It’s not discrimination.
Everyone dies in the end, you know.
He is Death, and he’s got a job to do.
At least he makes them coffee and breakfast, right?

Pride in accomplishment

June is Pride Month.
It’s a month to be proud.
What am I proud of?
Well, I lost a lot of weight. And I went vegan for my health.
That’s an accomplishment I’m proud of.
I’m proud of my work. I developed a tool that saves a lot of time and reduces errors.
I also proud of my neighbor’s kid. I helped coach her for a Spelling Bee.
She won her school contest and went on to the regionals and state.
But my race? My gender? My sexual preference?
I dodn’t accomplish any of those.
Why be proud of them?