2015-11-01 Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic. We’ve got stories by: Munsi Danny Jeffrey Charlie Richard Tom Lizzie Serendipity Anima Norval Joe Tura Brezoianu Planet Z MUNSI My Creed By Christopher Munroe What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. Now, it’s 2015, we want to be inclusive, so let me add: Crushing female/non-binary enemies and hearing male/non-binary lamentations is also best in life, in whatever combination is appropriate to your experience, both of your gender and that of whomever you count amongst your enemies. It’s not “What’s best in life, given a particular limited demographic?” after all. And if anyone claims otherwise, crush them, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of… …well, of whomever. DANNY I have a crush. I’ve had this crush for over 35 years, all on the same woman I left behind in my former life. She was never mine, she never even knew I existed. We talk on a regular basis now, yet I’m sure she still doesn’t know I exist. I’ve thrown away my life for her, well, not really. I’ve thrown away my life for my own selfish reasons. Yet I delude myself into believing life all has some purpose. It doesn’t, because in the end, life is just a fiction, and this crush, is nothing more than my imagination. JEFFREY Jenny by Jeffrey Fischer As a high school junior, I had an infatuation with Jenny. She sat in front of me in Spanish class. Rather than conjugating verbs, I spent my time daydreaming of conjugating Jenny, contemplating her long, dark hair, her impish smile, and, when possible, her rounded derriere. She had no interest in me. In fact, she probably didn’t know my name. Nonetheless, I learned why this feeling was aptly called a crush: when I saw her with her boyfriend, someone immeasurably cooler than I would ever be, my teenaged spirits were crushed. Orange Crushed by Jeffrey Fischer Rush hour on Metro’s Orange line is nicknamed the Orange Crush. At station after station, riders enter the cars, first taking the seats, then taking standing room, then taking socially acceptable personal space. People cram onto cars until the doors no longer close. Someone unable to get into a car invariably shouts: “Move to the middle of the car – there’s plenty of space!” as though being squeezed like a tube of toothpaste constituted “plenty of space.” Small wonder, then, that workers tend to arrive at their offices already in grumpy moods. It’s the perfect way to ensure service with a snarl. CHARLIE It was time to say goodbye to my truck. I was acquainted with the fellow running the junk yard, and he agreed that I could run the hydraulic press to euthanize my truck if I helped him drain the fluids and hazardous items from the truck before it went into the press. This included the gas tank, radiator, tires, battery, catalytic converter, air bag units, and mercury switches. I also had to remove the refrigerant from the A.C. It was a lot of dirty work, just to enjoy and videotape the few minutes it took to crush the remaining husk. Second I had a crush on Connie Sue Chambers. She sat one desk from the back of the room, one row over to my left. She wore her Girl Scout uniform, and her fleshy legs and her long blond hair would cause my eleven year old groin to buzz with passion. Sitting low in my seat, I could sneak a peek at her panties. Unless I was day dreaming I recall executing some maneuvers while Mr. Turner was at the front of the class. I varnished the night stick, while stealing glances of Connie Sue, sitting quietly and working math problems. RICHARD Recipe for disaster “I’m not sure about this cake”, said my wife, eyeing my creation cautiously. I could understand her reticence – I’d never baked a cake before in my life, and this was a complete departure from my usual trade – heavy engineering. But the fact was, I’d lost my job: This was my opportunity to build a new career… Why not pastry chef, I thought? My wife bit into my efforts and shrieked. One expensive dental bill later, and my baking days were over. How was I to know the crushed nuts in the recipe weren’t supposed to be mild steel? TOM Simple Joys Fall in the Wine Country is a tactile experience. Acres of leaves turning color, but the real pleasure driving down highway 29 is in the air. Its known simple as: The Crush. Dozens of wineries over about 30 miles are pressing tons of different grapes. So much liquid is being processed the air is charge with the smell of grapes. The strongest concentration is outside of Rutherford, were the wineries nearly outnumber the residents. I just roll down the window and drink in the Sauvignon Merlot Zinfandel Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc Riesling. The Crush in Gilroy is a bit more garlicy LIZZIE Leo’s favorite place was hanging from the old tree in the park. He hated school, despite his mother’s words of encouragement. All he cared for was that tree, but the city council decided to chop it down. Leo was crushed. He climbed as high up as possible and refused to come down. When the police decided to force him down, he jumped. To everyone’s amazement, it seemed the tree stretched and moved to soften Leo’s fall. The tree is still standing. No one had the heart to cut it down. And Leo is still hanging from that tree… after school. SERENDIPITY My first crush was James Madison: He was two years above me in school and something of a high achiever. All the girls had a thing for him. He could have had any of them. Secretly, I hoped he’d pick me. He didn’t, of course, he went for Sophie Tucker… She of the perfect skin, top grades, and an ability to wear a school uniform as if it was something out of Paris fashion week. Of course, I was gutted, but I soon got over it, especially after the ‘freak’ school bus accident… which – unfortunately – crushed them both to death. ANIMA Summer Lovin’ Whatcha doin’ Joey? Nothing much. Waiting for it to darken up enough for the lightnin’ bugs to come out. Got me a jar with holes punched in the lid all ready. Nearby, neighborhood kids laughed and played flashlight tag. The heat of the day radiated from the ground. Care if I sit here with you? That would be alright. Shouldn’t be much longer now. Hear them cicadas sing! Joey leaned over and invited me to share the rest of his orange soda. It wasn’t icy any more, but sure tasted good. He also held my grimy hand. My first Crush. NORVAL JOE This week Bartholomew had a crush on Brooke. Her hair was dark mahogany and fell in shimmering waves to the middle of her back. She sat in front of him in math class, next to Rachelle who Barty had fallen for a week earlier. They couldn’t be more different. Rachelle lacked anything which could be called a curve, had white-blonde hair, and a voice as deep as most boys. None of that mattered. If a girl made eye contact and smiled, Barty was in love. In fact, before Rachelle it was the Linda Ronstadt poster in his Grand Father’s attic. TURA Crush ——— Montepulciano is famed for its wines, but their finest are secrets known only to the few. The first pressing collects the juice released only by the grapes’ own weight. It makes the purest of all wines, reserved for the Pope and the cardinals. In the second pressing they are trodden by the feet of virgins. This wine graces the finest aristocratic dinner tables. The third is tramped by rude labourers, and goes to commerce. You will never see any higher grade than this. The fourth deploys mechanical presses. This produces rough wine for peasants, and foreigners who know no better. PLANET Z When I was growing up, there were only two flavors of Crush soda: orange and grape. Wikipedia shows a long list of flavors. I think I’ve seen strawberry, pineapple, and watermelon. The rest don’t look familiar at all. And some of them sound pretty damn gross. I mean, I’ve had Crush Pineapple, and it was really bad. But when I poured it down the sink, it unclogged the drain brilliantly. For a while, I used Crash Pineapple that way, but the EPA showed up one day and told me to stop. I was ruining the environment. I drink whiskey now.