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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Fight fire with fire
A thin veneer
I was very young
Are we there yet?
I’ll be there
Too much to bear
The sweet smell of success
Every good intention
Thousands of years
What happens next?
The way we were
The wrong words
A word from an unknown language.
Put that thing down
Horror on the subway!
As far as the eye can see
Frozen in time
Riot of color
It’s a dirty job
Why should I?
Eaten by lions
The lion that ate cherries
Hard to believe
It’s a pattern
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.
He got a job at CNN as a commentator.
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.
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?
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?