Chekhov’s story

Once upon a time, there was a shaggy dog named Maguffin.
He lived in a doghouse made of unobtanium with two other dogs named Jack and Doyle, whom I will never mention again.
In this doghouse, there was splotlight in each corner, so Maguffin cast four shadows on the walls.
His owner, who kept a loaded rifle by the door, fed him cans of red herring, which he enjoyed very much.
One night, a glowing object appeared in the sky.
Maguffin looked up at it and barked.
Then, the object disappeared, and Maguffin went back into his doghouse to sleep.

Weekly Challenge #780 – PICK TWO: Remember only this…, Scope, Church, Melt, Fade, Bare

Myst

LIZZIE

The vet’s schedule is imprinted on my brain. For many months, that was the most important schedule in my life. Mondays and Tuesdays, morning and afternoon. Wednesdays, afternoon and evening. Thursdays, night shift. Fridays, not there. There were other vets there, of course, but… It wasn’t the same thing. They hesitated, read the files ten times, messed up the meds. And I used to ask, not sure whom, please, please, don’t let him get really ill on a Friday. Or weekend. The vet’s schedule is still imprinted on my brain, but I don’t need it anymore. My kitty is gone.

RICHARD

Words of Wisdom

It was, I suppose, one of those formative moments in life.

In his last moments, as I sat at my dying father’s bedside, he beckoned me closer and breathed the words to me: “Son, if you make nothing more of your life, remember only this…”

The wisdom he then imparted meant little to me at the time, and over the years, consumed only with life’s purely material things, his words began to fade until, eventually forgotten.

And now, lying on my deathbed, desperate to impart a lasting gift of wisdom to my own son.

I simply cannot remember those words.

SERENDIPIDY

They always used to laugh at me.

They’d mock me and say that if ever I dared to set foot inside a church, I’d most likely melt into a sinful puddle of evil, unable to bear anything even remotely good or holy.

Maybe they were right, after a fashion: I’ve hardly been a model of decorum and decency. But nobody’s perfect.

Not even that bunch of holier- than- thou hypocrites!

So I burned down the church.

And all of them burned along with it.

Somewhat ironic, don’t you think that it was they, not me, who melted within its sanctuary?

DUANE

As time goes by the memory tends to fade and you might forget a few things. Important events get etched in your mind and stay fresh forever. Favorite movies and songs tend to stick. You never forget a great movie.

My favorite is Casablanca. It has that guy. You know who I mean. Classic story that imprints on your mind. I think the movie had the French and Nazis causing trouble in his bar and he had to run off.

Not only a great movie, but it has an unforgettable song. “Remember only this, your kiss is on my list…”

TOM

What You Willing TO DO?

Covid is killing churches. It’s sort of under the radar. Many were
actually just holding on by their spiritual finger tips. For years I was a
UU trustee, we had weathered major size reduction, based on the Secondary
Retirement Syndrome. You think that home in the country is your final
destination, forgive the ref, then illness settles in, bam, you’re back in
the bay area at some miscellaneous child’s back bedroom. But now the
covid has reduced membership to the single digits. People are just
drifting away; we are just fading away. Hard to watch something so hopeful
fade away.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert ran across the graass to Linoliamanda. She dropped the cat which yowled and melted away into the darkness. “Linoliamanda. What are you doing at our Air Bnb?”

She smiled. “Oh. Hi, Billbert.” She turned to his parents. “Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Blanketmaker. I was just looking for my cat. That’s my house across the street, next to the church.”

Mr. Withybottom stood on the front porch, his fists on his hips. “Linny. Get away from those people. If you remember only this one thing, you might live to graduate from high school, those crazy people are a bad influence.”

JARED

In the remnants of online society after the apocalyptic flame wars over food debates, the silence was broken by the call for peace: seek not for what is best or you will risk missing out on what is good.
This new online religious movement preaches a hedonism found in moderation, pleading with the remaining self-important and self-aggrandizing pedants to set aside their judgments. “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum,” they preach.
I am returned from that dark future time to forewarn you now. I plead with you to remember only this: Do not read the bottom half of the Internet.

TURA

Church; bare
———
The church in the woods was not yet a ruin, but the interior was stripped bare. “Is this… safe?” I asked. “Oh, come on,” my girlfriend said scornfully, “they can’t watch everything. They probably don’t even know this is here.”

“Not much to see,” I said. “Where did they kill and eat their god?”

“It wasn’t like that.”

“Well, what was it like?”

“You’re too scared to want to know,” she snapped. “When are you going to get a backbone?”

Right now, I decided. When we got home I would report her as a religionist to the Ministry of Truth.

PLANET Z

Frederick’s head injury left him a vegetable.
The only memory left in his head was the church he was found in.
A cult’s sacrifice, rescued from death by the police, but caught in the crossfire.
Holding his bleeding head in his hands, Frederick tried to scream, but nothing came out.
His surroundings fading from view, seven surgeries later, kept alive, but for all intents and purposes, gone.
Staring out the window, if you sing a hymn or read scripture, he will smile.
Put a spoon or straw in his mouth, and he will swallow.
One cruel orderly feeds him roaches.

The topic of the next weekly challenge is River crossing

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

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

Hard hitting

Carlos Correa is a hard-hitting shortstop for the Houston Astros.
He also gets injured a lot. Spends a lot of time on the injured list.
But most importantly, he appears on local grocery store commercials with several other Astros.
At one point, all of the players appearing in the commercials were on the injured list.
I don’t think it’s a good sales pitch to have a bunch of injured athletes peddling ice cream and steaks and other unhealthy crap.
Instead, have them peddle ice packs and bandages and the pharmacy.
Oh, and curbside delivery to save them some heavy lifting.

History sleeps

People still find bits of bone in the field.
A button here. A bit of metal there.
From a belt? The lock of a rifle, the wood rotted away?
The grass grows on and on.
Over the low, rolling hills.
The living, the veterans, the survivors, with their medals and crutches, walk over them, remembering this, pointing here and there.
Telling their wives and children what had happened.
What they had done. And what had been done to them.
As the sun sets and the moon rises, and the wolves and ghosts come out.
History sleeps, and we grow forgetful.

Making plans

Sometimes I think about the people who had made plans for last night, but never got around to them because they died.
Or the ones who made plans for this morning, but died in their sleep.
You could conclude from these observations that you should make the most of what life has to offer, and that every day is precious.
Which I do. By not making any plans.
Because a whole lot of people who make plans appear to be dying, and I plan on living for a very long time.
Of course, that’s also a plan… oh well, I’m fucked.

Magic mushroom pizza

Back when I delivered pizza, people would prank call in the strangest orders.
Hold everything but the crust. Lots of crust.
Make it square so it will fit the box.
Use seven of those little plastic stands to keep the lid from sticking to the cheese.
That kind of thing.
“Your mushrooms,” asked a caller, “are they magic?”
Yes. Yes they are.
Sometimes, they spell out things, like LOUSY TIPPER or FAT FUCK.
Honestly, we just scatter them on the pizza before we put it in the oven.
Must be magic or something.
You fat fuck who gives lousy tips.

Polish death camps

The girl next door had some kind of immune disorder.
She was homeschooled and worked on her model train set.
I saw it once. I had to put on a surgical mask and gloves.
She showed me every detail… the town, the forest, the Polish death camp.
The boxcars full of the condemned.
“I like the History Channel,” she said, using a magnifying lens to show the detail on the barbed-wire fences.
After she died, her family gave the train set to the local Holocaust museum.
They put it out on display, but without Hitler’s speeches playing in a loop.

Psych ward

Emily’s patients loved her so much, they didn’t ever want to leave the hospital.
They’d hide from the orderlies with the wheelchairs and discharge papers.
Or, even worse, they’d hurt themselves just so they could stay.
Emily needed to clear the beds before the administration cracked down, so she brought in a tattoo artist.
“Every day you stay, we’re tattooing a Hello Kitty on your ass,” she said. “When we run out of ass, they go on your face.”
All of the patients checked out that day.
Except one. Who loved Hello Kitty.
She was moved to the psych ward.

Weekly Challenge #779 – Unlimited

Guard the fuck out of the bed

LIZZIE

The phone call was short. The woman spoke fast. The construction or something… The hall is too small…
She spoke too fast. The construction was fine. He checked. The hall was fine too.
The phone call was short. She blabbered a few words. And she hung up. The construction she said, the hall…?
What does she know? She heard stories about this and that and she had the gall to think she could replace him, yes, the gall.
The other phone call was also short. “How much?” The man also replied fast.
No one would ever take his place. Ever.

RICHARD

Ticket to ride

My thirteenth birthday, and I was thrilled to receive an unlimited day pass for a theme park I’d always wanted to visit. I insisted we went immediately, even though it was a national holiday.

The roads were insane, and the hundred mile trip took over four hours. Another two hours queuing to get in, and then a further hour waiting in line for the Devil’s Mountain Thunderbolt Experience -the greatest experience ever, according to the hype.

I’ve never vomited so much in my life.

After seven long hours, and one short ride.

All I wanted, was to go back home!

SERENDIPIDY

The judge recommended an unlimited term in custody.

It was, he explained, the only fitting sentence for an immortal being, whose crimes were as evil and inhuman as mine.

I appealed, of course.

And won.

I successfully argued an unlimited term of imprisonment was itself, inhuman, and therefore could not be rightfully handed down by a mere mortal judge… And besides, with immortality at my disposal, I had all the time in the world to become a reformed character.

It was, of course, a lie.

I’ll never reform, but who is going to live long enough to learn the truth?

TOM

Not quite right

When we say something is Unlimited is the usage correct? We tend to shoot
for the upper range. A striving, the place where the rising ape meets the
falling angle. Or a word destine for an affirmation poster. Wouldn’t it be
just as proper to dial down to zero. Take the term unloved, unread, or
even unsophisticated. Unlimitedly unloved, Unlimitedly unread, Unlimitedly
unsophisticated. Not a ring endorsement there, aye. Is it because we rail
against continent containment, so we are willing to walk right out of
Africa? Stuff that limed limed-y thing. Or is it just a catch phrase in
Wicked?

DUANE

A ten-year-old only needs a towel and a safety pin to be a superhero. Being a real superhero takes training, equipment, and an unlimited supply of cash. That’s why you only see billionaire self-made superheroes.

Luckily, we have the Internet. Anything can be learned on YouTube. With 3D printers you can create cool costumes and gadgets. If you need a name, you can’t go wrong asking for suggestions on social media. For the money, set up a simple go-fund-me page. Just remember to let everyone know that for the cost of a cup of coffee they can change the world.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert and his parents stood on the sidewalk scanning the dark bushes and trees along the Air Bnb. There were an unlimited number of places for a wily super villain to hide.
“Do you see her?” Billbert whispered to his mother.
“See who?” his mother asked.
“Nuclear Fission,” Billbert and his father said in unison.
“Oh. No. She’s not around. I would know if she was anywhere in the neighborhood. The only thing hiding in the bushes is a cat and a girl with blond hair.”
As if on command, Linoliamanda stepped from the bushes holding a large orange cat.

JARED

I met my wife at work. Sort of. We both worked for the same national supermarket chain: she, in Human Resources at a warehouse in California; I, in the corporate offices in Idaho.
We met over the phone. Our first phone call lasted several hours. It was fundamentally work related; we just kept getting distracted with side conversations.
We started talking at home on nights and weekends. I changed cell phone providers to the same as hers because they offered unlimited minutes between customers.
At the height of our courtship, our phone bills showed ‘unlimited minutes used’ in the thousands.

PLANET Z

Cellular and internet providers claim to offer unlimited plans.
But if you use a certain amount of data, they will reduce your speed.
“It’s still unlimited,” they say. “Just slower, you pig. That’s all.”
“But that’s still a limit,” you say.
Then they point out the contract and offer to sell you a new unlimited plan.
“There’s no speed limits on this one ever,” they say.
So, I find out where their executives live.
And when they drive to work, I get in front of them and slow down.
Swerving quickly to cut them off when they try to pass.