He thinks too much.
Thoughts roll around in his head.
Over and over.
Always thinking, never doing.
Trapped in thought, frozen.
He calls them the echoes.
Thoughts echoing in his head.
Things that have happened.
Things that might happen.
Things that never happened. But should have.
He’s just sitting there, thinking.
What are you thinking about?
Why are you thinking about it?
What are you going to do about it?
Think some more.
And then some more.
Keep thinking about it.
Over and over.
When will you stop thinking about it so much?
When there’s something else to think about.

Cool to the touch

It’s three in the morning, and the baby won’t stop crying.
I put on my gloves, reach into the immersion tank, and pull the baby out of its liquid Nitrogen bath.
An odd fog follows the baby and rolls off of its skin.
I lay the baby on the insulated blanket on my shoulder and rock it gently to sleep.
Then, I put the baby back into the liquid Nitrogen.
The fog envelops the baby, as I take off the gloves and blanket, and lay them on the chair.
I check my skin for burns, and go back to bed.

The cabinet

In my room, there’s a cabinet.
The cabinet was my grandmother’s.
Or maybe my great-grandmother’s. I can’t remember.
The cabinet has glass doors and lights in the shelves.
I keep keepsakes and memories of friends long gone in there.
I keep the doors closed, but dust always seems to get in somehow.
So, I open it up and dust everything off again.
Every piece I pick up to dust off reminds me of someone. Or some time. Or place.
Sometimes, I can’t remember.
I should write these memories down, I guess.
I close the doors and turn out the lights.

Space cowboy

Yes, some people call me the Space Cowboy, the Gangster of Love, and Maurice, but my driver’s license says Melvin Kaminsky.
I keep a to do list in my smartphone:
Pick, grin, love, sin, play my music in the sun, joke, and smoke.
Oh, and a reminder to toke up at midnight.
Okay, so I usually don’t wait until midnight to toke.
And I play my music inside while I play Warcraft.
And grin. I grin a lot, too.
And eat Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes. And pizza.
At least when I order from Domino’s, I use the name Space Cowboy.

Sleepy phone

My iPhone wouldn’t wake up.
I pressed the home key, but it didn’t respond.
It didn’t respond when I pressed the lock key, either.
When I plugged the phone in, it didn’t respond.
I panicked.
Is the Apple Store open? Is it still under warranty? How much will this cost?
So, I Googled “iphone doesn’t respond” on my laptop.
The Apple website told me to press and hold the home and lock keys at the same time for ten seconds.
And I did that.
The Apple logo appeared on the screen, and thirty seconds later, thankfully, the home screen appeared.

What’s the harm?

What if that spot on your arm isn’t just a spot?
A patch of rough skin or a simple blemish?
It doesn’t hurt. It’s not growing… much.
It cleared up a little with the cream, right?
It’s nothing to worry about, really.
Maybe if you stopped scratching it. Or picking at it.
It’ll clear up eventually.
But what if… you should have it checked.
Just take a morning or afternoon off, see the doctor.
Have them look, maybe clip a sample off.
What’s the harm?
Better to know and do something now than wait, right?
What’s the harm in that?

Weekly Challenge #662 – Irritation

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

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Christopher’s general state of irritation annoyed everyone. The temple was supposed to bring inner piece. Yet, Christopher’s constant sarcastic remarks made the community wish they could do something about it.
“The statue. Pathetic. A feeble attempt at being modern.”
The members shrugged.
“That little stupid heart at the so-called feet of the statue. Idiotic.”
The others looked away.
“And the colors. Pink or something.”
It was purple.
So, the others grabbed Christopher and locked him in the catacombs.
He would join the other one they h



Bubble wrap: The single most ill-advised invention in history.

I know it’s great for packaging and protection; but like all plastics, when it’s thrown out, it’s an environmental nightmare.

But that’s not why I hate it.

I hate bubble wrap purely because of its therapeutic properties… That wonderful sense of satisfaction and well-being experienced by spending a pleasant half hour, popping all those little bubbles.

It’s a wonderful stress reliever and thoroughly relaxing…

For the person doing the popping.

But, if like me, you have to put up with the resident popper, it’s the greatest irritation known to man!


Irritation… That simple, but hugely effective technique for breaking down your adversary, with little outlay in terms of effort. 

Take the Chinese water torture: A single drip, repeated, time and time again – a small irritation that develops over time into an all-consuming, soul-destroying instrument of despair.

But I’m not going to go to such extremes.

I’m simply going to dial your number. Wait until you answer. Then hang up.

Time, and time again. 

It’s torture.

And you won’t dare let it ring, in case your wife answers the phone.

And I tell her all about your affair.




Jane and I were identical twins. Our mother would dress us exactly the same, which annoyed us both, but when we were old enough, we could go shopping separately and find we’d bought the same things. Picking out clothes for the day, we’d have to arrange together who would wear what if we wanted to be different.
But the most irritating thing was that when we were out somewhere, elderly women would come and coo over us, “Are you twiiiins? How cuuuuute!”
Eventually we found the perfect answer. We would reply solemnly, “We were triplets, but one of us died.”


Mindless Unawareness


 Jon DeCles

There are a lot of things that irritate me in these times when I have to flush the toilet after humans, but the chief irritation is with humans who pile tableware, i.e., knives, forks, and spoons, interleaved with the ceramic items, thereby achieving chips and cracks and the frequent breakage of our plates and cups and saucers. I explain to them why theymust not do that and they ignore me and continue to do it on a daily basis, destroying things that other people have worked hard to provide.

I saw on a poster that Devo is still performing.



Jon DeCles

It was not the kind of mystery you solve, it was the kind of Mystery into which you are initiated, the kind that sometimes contains a sacrament, to which the Mystery provides a key of understanding, like the ritual cannibalism at the heart of the Catholic (most notably Roman) Mysteries.

But it led to the other kind of mystery when Detective Officer Alliente was called to discover exactly who the remains on the altar of the old church might be, and how and why the one kind of Mystery was being perverted into the other kind in the abandoned church.


In the last days of wonder                                                    

Sally in the time honored aspect of a kid sister was a complete irritation to her older sib Ann. She would materialize wherever Ann was meeting with her cadre. And much to her vexation none of her closest friend saw this as a problem. Some actually found the little brat enduring. Just as the whole matter was coming to a head, and quite suddenly Sally up and removes herself from Ann life. She fell into a life of deep study and contemplation. Try as she now did Ann could not get her sister attention. Be careful what you wish for.


I felt annoyed.

I was becoming impatient.

You could even say I was slightly angry. 
It was not something that I could place my finger on.

It was just something that was restlessly moving around in the back of my mind.
Sort of like the empty space where a tooth had been. 
The space the very tip of your tongue finds time after time.
You worry with it, slipping you tongue into it without thinking.
Yes, that annoyed, impatient, and angry feeling was keeping me awake at night.
The question is what am I going to do about this irritation.


Billbert’s father frowned. Was it disappointment, frustration, or irritation? “You have your powers already?” he asked.
“Well, yeah. When I wear a plastic grocery bag, I can fly. It’s no big deal, dad.”
“A plastic grocery bag?” his father asked but didn’t give him time to answer. “Eventually, you’ll probably be able to fly without it. It’s like training wheels.”
Billbert shrugged. “Okay.” The bag crinkled when he shifted.
His father’s eyes went wide. “You didn’t wear a bag to  Linoliumanda’s party, did you?”
Billbert swallowed.
His father gritted his teeth. “Please tell me. No one saw you fly. Right?”


Fred was an irritant.So much so, he was forced to wear one of those Fire Diamond symbols on his shirt.You know, those diamond-shaped symbols with numbers that represent health hazards of chemicals and stuff.His flammability index was a 1. But most people are, really.His instability index was also a 1. Once again, most people are.And his health index was a 1. Prolonged exposure caused severe irritation and health hazards.People asked him what the symbol on his shirt meant, and he’d gladly explain it to them at length.And make them regret ever asking him.

Thank goodness it was just Nazis

Elie Wiesel, the author and humanitarian, died recently.
His books are scary enough as is, but they’re even scarier when you substitute the word “cannibal clown” for “Nazi.”
Because, let’s face it… there’s some evil people in this world who love Nazis, or hate Jews, or both.
But everybody’s afraid of cannibal clowns, right?
Cannibal clowns down’t stop at Jews, Gypsies, cripples, gays, and political dissidents.
They eat everyone. And unlike the Nazis, no amount of appeasement by the Swiss will stop them.
Those cannibal clowns would rip those clock-making, chocolate-swilling mountaineers to bits.
Thank goodness it was just Nazis!

unclean ex

I have allergies, and I sneeze a lot.
But I don’t ever bother with Kleenex or other brands of facial tissues.
Instead, I buy paper towels.
Because every time I felt a sneeze coming on, I was in a different room from where I had the Kleenex box.
In the bathroom, I had the toilet paper. And I could quickly dispose of it.
In the kitchen, there were paper towels, right there and ready.
I keep a few in my pocket when I go out.
And when I forget them in the wash, they don’t shred apart like Kleenex does.

Follow the script

Back when I worked in a technical support call center, we had to follow a script.
This would walk the customer through identifying themselves, their equipment, and their problem.
The script rarely ended with a resolution to the problem, and the customer was usually left even angrier and more frustrated.
So, I offered to write a new script.
Ten days and six rewrites later, I was done.
And, boy, what a script it was!
The customers were in tears and gave me standing ovations at the end of it.
Only later, did they realize, I hadn’t solved their original problem.