The ghost ballet

The sun peeks over the mountains and shines on the solar arrays, bringing the theatre to life.
Diagnostics run, repair units scuttle over wires, calibrating laser arrays and fusing blown circuits.
Basement air compressors hum, smoke machines laying blankets of fog on the stage.
Hologram generators summon their ghosts, weaving ballerinas from light.
Memories of long dead beauty, standing guard over tattered curtains and rotted-away sets.
The music rises over the empty seats, and the dance begins.
A performance for the rats, the cockroaches, the worms.
The sun goes down, the theater goes silent, and the ghosts fade into night.

It will be ok

I don’t make wishes.
And I don’t pray.
What’s the point of that?
Why not just solve the problem?
Well, you can’t always do that.
Every now and then, I’ll say “Here’s hoping”, but that’s just a saying.
No prayer or wish intended.
Sometimes I say “It will be ok.”
That’s as close as I get to wishing or praying.
Because, usually, it will be okay.
Things aren’t as bad as they seem to be.
And if they turn out worse, well, at least you shut them up for a bit before the real shit happened and they started screaming.

Weekly Challenge #795 – Needle

Evil

LIZZIE

“Empty. Damn dopehead thief.”
Everyone made faces. The place stunk.
“Where to now? He has to be somewhere.”
Everyone looked at the deserted road.
“We should…”
“Yes, we should do something.”
Everyone looked at the elderly woman, standing at the back, knitting.
“This is no time to be knitting, lady.”
She smiled.
“I know where he is.”
“Where?!”
“At my home. I’m helping him. And no one, I mean no one, will touch him. He’s trying.”
“Well, why did you come along in the search party then?”
“Because I like to keep an eye on overly enthusiastic people, let’s say!”

RICHARD

Vaccine

“Just a little prick!” She said, rolling up my shirt sleeve.

“There’s no need to get personal!” I responded, giving her a mischievous wink.

The sour expression on her face told me that my not-so-subtle attempt at humour was not appreciated.

She slid the needle into my arm, depressed the plunger, withdrew and swabbed the spot. It was all over in seconds.

“All done” she exclaimed, and I stood up, pulled my jacket back on and walked towards the door.

As I stepped out into the corridor, she called out behind me…

“You’ve got a cute butt, though!”

DUANE

They say if you play Stairway to Heaven backwards it has Satanic messages. I tried it with my old stereo, but I didn’t hear anything. Same thing with Another One Bites the Dust. I played all the Beatles albums, Pink Floyd and Black Oak Arkansas. There was nothing recognizable.

Thinking my record needle might be getting old I taped a penny to the top of the arm. I went back through all the records again but still there were no hidden messages. I put on an old Rick Astley album and started turning it in reverse. My mind was blown.

SERENDIPITY

My trade is rather niche: I’m a specialist, one of a kind really, and those who need my services appreciate my eye for detail.

So, what exactly is it that I do?

I dispose of weapons. Weapons used in the course of criminal activity.

I don’t just dump them, I like my methods to have an ironic twist.

Like the piano wire garrotte that I fashioned into a necklace, for example.

My latest is my favourite – A hypodermic needle, used to poison a farmer…

So, how did I dispose of it?

I threw it into one of his haystacks!

NORVAL JOE

After stopping at the real estate agent to get the key, which Billbert thought looked like something George Washington probably used, they pulled up in front of the house.
“Here’s our new home,” Mr. Blanketmaker said with all the enthusiam of a game show host.
“New, Dad?” Billbert asked. “It looks haunted. How old is this place?”
“It was brand new in 1888,” his father laughed. “Come on, Son. It’s got character. Linoliamanda would love it.”
“Don’t needle your son, Hosmer,” his mother said.
Looking at the weatherworn house, Billbert thought his father probably was right. Linoliamanda would love it.

JARED

The Red Pill and the Truth
It’s amazing all the stuff ‘They’ don’t want us to know. But I know the Red Pill is available on YouTube. Take this Wuhan Flu and the so-called vaccines. I learned that the Chinese created the virus, and Bill Gates is using their 5G to make tracking chips small enough to fit through the vaccine needles to bring us all under their control. Now, I know people say they can’t get stuff that small, but let me tell you something, Mr. Smarty-pants: I’ve seen ‘Fantastic Voyage’. They shrunk a whole submarine and crew that small. And that was in 1966.

TURA

Needle
———
Seattle’s still sore about them stealing the name, but what else could you call the mile-high obelisk that launches the hyperdrive ships? We send them to every promising exoplanet we’ve discovered. The robot ships will mine the planets, and build more ships and space needles to continue the panspermia.

But we still haven’t solved the problem of sending fragile humans through hyperspace. If we can’t survive on Earth either, the endgame will be a galactic network of hyperdrive ports, and empty halls waiting to be discovered by some alien race, to marvel at the glorious beings who did these things.

PLANET Z

Every few months, I get blood drawn for some condition or another.
The more blood, the bigger the bruise.
Sometimes, there’s not much of a bruise, and it goes away quickly.
But as I get older, the bruises stay for a week or more.
One day, I know the bruises won’t go away.
The scars. The scores.
The coughing and wheezing.
Blurry vision, bad hearing.
Stumbling around. Falling.
Waking up in a hospital bed with more needles and tubes and wires and bags of fluid and beeping things.
The only thing I’ll get from it all is bills.
And bruises.

The topic of the next weekly challenge is LETTER

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 LETTER

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
Heinz 57
Loop
Unleashed
Buttery
Tramlines
Vast
Unit
Trying
Painfully shy
Rats
Translation
Crack of dawn
Shine
Falling
Rotten egg
Some guy/girl I met online
Hopeless
Fog a mirror
Oblique
Exterior
Black hole
Videotape
Stakes
Double dip
Goth
Educator
Overheating
Metrics
Figure

An Awareness

Every person’s existence is based on a cosmically infinite set of circumstances and the longest odds.
Mine is a bit more TL;DR than most.
And to be this age in spite of it?
When so many had the misfortune to succumb to their own greater burdens?
I should be more grateful than I am.
I should be more forgiving than I am.
You only get so much time.
And to accept that when all is said and done, pick up your bags and get on the train.
But there’s always time for one last kiss on the station platform.

Britannic

The Britannic was the sister ship to the Titanic.
And, like her unsinkable sister ship, the unsinkable Britannic sank as well.
Oh, sure, their reinforced the Britannica’s hull. And added more life boats.
And the Britannic spent her life as a hospital ship in warmer waters than Titanic.
But where the Titanic’s spotters failed to spot an iceberg, the Britannic’s spotters failed to notice a mine.
Which is understandable, since mines are much smaller than icebergs.
And make for less interesting movies, I suppose.
The third sister ship, Olympic, was sold for scrap and demolished.
Even less interesting, I suppose.

When it rains, Bob

The old saying goes that when it rains it pours.
I guess that’s meant to be taken metaphorically, when a lot of things happen at once, because my friend Bob, the weather guy, he’s got all kinds of words to describe rain other than pouring.
Drizzling is the most amusing of the words he uses.
Although I’ve heard others say “gullywasher” which is even more amusing, but Bob doesn’t ever use that word.
He lives in a gully, and takes offense that it is somehow unclean.
“My gully is spotless,” says Bob. “Just say pouring and shut the fuck up.”

The pet forgetful rock

Most people have organizers or smartphones to remember things for them.
Appointments, shopping lists… that kind of thing.
I have a photographic memory.
I remember everything.
The hard thing for me to do is to forget things.
So, I got a pet rock, and it’s job is to forget things for me.
It just sits there, totally oblivious, unable to remember a thing.
I picked it up and threw it on the grass.
Will it remember that?
Of course not. It doesn’t remember anything.
So, why should I remember?
And, should I lose the stupid thing, will it forget itself?

Hunting isn’t fun

They say that hunting isn’t as fun when the rabbit has a gun.
But that’s assuming that the rabbit also has bullets for the gun.
Although a rabbit could try to pistol-whip you with the gun.
Or bash you over the head if it’s a rifle or a shotgun.
The rabbit could also bluff, pointing an empty gun at you before you have a chance to cock and aim yours.
They’re small and quiet and fast, so there’s no shame in a rabbit getting the drop on you.
Just hand over your wallet and all of your carrots slowly, sir.

Sakura

We arrive in Tokyo as the cherry blossoms bloomed.
“Sakura,” we say, arriving in the park.
The pink flowers are everywhere.
We breathe cherry blossom, bitter and sweet.
The crowds are thick, every tree had people under it.
After a while, we find an open spot.
We lay out a blanket, take off our shoes, and sit.
The trees are in bloom for only a few days.
Life is short, but it can be sweet and beautiful.
We stand up, put on our shoes, roll up the blanket, and head to our hotel.
And dream of pink flowers everywhere, forever.