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BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly

Helen 08 Aug 01 - 09:44 PM
Peter T. 08 Aug 01 - 09:53 PM
JenEllen 08 Aug 01 - 10:07 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Aug 01 - 10:11 PM
Amos 08 Aug 01 - 10:25 PM
SINSULL 08 Aug 01 - 10:31 PM
katlaughing 08 Aug 01 - 10:45 PM
Amos 08 Aug 01 - 10:46 PM
khandu 08 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM
Philibuster 08 Aug 01 - 11:16 PM
Max 08 Aug 01 - 11:22 PM
SINSULL 08 Aug 01 - 11:23 PM
katlaughing 08 Aug 01 - 11:54 PM
Ebbie 09 Aug 01 - 02:11 AM
Patrish(inactive) 09 Aug 01 - 07:09 AM
Peter T. 09 Aug 01 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Aimee Quinteux 09 Aug 01 - 09:13 AM
Goody2Shz 09 Aug 01 - 09:38 AM
KT 09 Aug 01 - 12:03 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 01 - 01:47 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 02:00 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 02:35 PM
Lonesome EJ 09 Aug 01 - 02:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Aug 01 - 02:45 PM
Lonesome EJ 09 Aug 01 - 02:48 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 02:53 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 04:18 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
Goody2Shz 09 Aug 01 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Aimee Quinteux 09 Aug 01 - 04:42 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM
Jeri 09 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 05:52 PM
katlaughing 09 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM
Jeri 09 Aug 01 - 06:55 PM
KT 09 Aug 01 - 07:27 PM
katlaughing 09 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM
Helen 09 Aug 01 - 10:36 PM
Amos 09 Aug 01 - 11:02 PM
Helen 09 Aug 01 - 11:30 PM
Jack the Sailor 10 Aug 01 - 12:55 AM
Amos 10 Aug 01 - 01:06 AM
Helen 10 Aug 01 - 08:30 PM
Justa Picker 10 Aug 01 - 08:56 PM
catspaw49 10 Aug 01 - 09:23 PM
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KT 11 Aug 01 - 04:35 AM
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Helen 11 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM
katlaughing 11 Aug 01 - 10:48 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Aug 01 - 12:28 AM
Helen 12 Aug 01 - 07:06 PM
irishajo 12 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM
Goody2Shz 12 Aug 01 - 08:20 PM
Helen 12 Aug 01 - 11:18 PM
Ebbie 13 Aug 01 - 01:42 AM
Helen 18 Aug 01 - 09:17 PM
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wysiwyg 19 Aug 01 - 03:13 AM
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Helen 19 Aug 01 - 08:43 PM
Mountain Dog 20 Aug 01 - 01:33 AM
wysiwyg 20 Aug 01 - 02:24 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 20 Aug 01 - 03:47 AM
Jack the Sailor 20 Aug 01 - 05:47 PM
Mountain Dog 21 Aug 01 - 07:24 PM
katlaughing 21 Aug 01 - 08:23 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 22 Aug 01 - 03:05 AM
Jack the Sailor 22 Aug 01 - 09:37 AM
GUEST 22 Aug 01 - 12:13 PM
CarolC 24 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM
Amos 24 Aug 01 - 10:07 AM
Lonesome EJ 24 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM
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Peg 26 Aug 01 - 10:15 AM
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JenEllen 28 Aug 01 - 02:09 AM
CarolC 28 Aug 01 - 02:22 AM
Helen 28 Aug 01 - 02:43 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 28 Aug 01 - 02:57 AM
Helen 28 Aug 01 - 07:21 PM
GUEST 29 Aug 01 - 07:35 AM
JenEllen 29 Aug 01 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,31337 29 Aug 01 - 03:47 PM
Helen 29 Aug 01 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,31337 30 Aug 01 - 12:34 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 30 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM
Helen 31 Aug 01 - 12:20 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 01 - 08:21 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 02 - 08:53 PM
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Amos 30 Jan 02 - 06:53 PM
Wincing Devil 31 Jan 02 - 01:08 AM
Rustic Rebel 31 Jan 02 - 02:32 AM
Helen 02 May 03 - 08:51 PM
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Ebbie 02 May 03 - 11:15 PM
khandu 02 May 03 - 11:44 PM
Doug_Remley 03 May 03 - 12:12 AM
Susanl 03 May 03 - 02:28 AM
Uncle_DaveO 03 May 03 - 05:49 PM
khandu 03 May 03 - 06:01 PM
Uncle_DaveO 03 May 03 - 06:42 PM
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Uncle_DaveO 03 May 03 - 07:49 PM
Amos 03 May 03 - 08:12 PM
khandu 03 May 03 - 09:03 PM
Helen 03 May 03 - 09:28 PM
katlaughing 03 May 03 - 11:59 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 04 May 03 - 12:13 AM
pict 04 May 03 - 04:26 AM
SINSULL 04 May 03 - 11:58 AM
Rustic Rebel 04 May 03 - 05:09 PM
Amos 04 May 03 - 05:18 PM
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GUEST, heric 04 May 03 - 06:42 PM
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khandu 04 May 03 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,guest Mary C 23 May 03 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 23 May 03 - 11:46 PM
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GUEST 24 May 03 - 12:59 AM
Helen 24 May 03 - 03:26 AM
GUEST,MaryC 24 May 03 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 24 May 03 - 08:06 AM
katlaughing 24 May 03 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 24 May 03 - 01:26 PM
Helen 24 May 03 - 09:12 PM
Helen 24 May 03 - 09:16 PM
GUEST 25 May 03 - 12:26 AM
Helen 25 May 03 - 07:04 AM
Helen 25 May 03 - 07:21 AM
Helen 25 May 03 - 07:34 AM
Rapparee 25 May 03 - 05:10 PM
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Ebbie 26 May 03 - 12:04 AM
GUEST 26 May 03 - 04:01 PM
katlaughing 26 May 03 - 05:40 PM
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GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River 05 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM
Helen 06 Jun 03 - 02:03 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 04 - 12:58 AM
Rustic Rebel 31 Aug 04 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,KT 31 Aug 04 - 01:59 AM
katlaughing 28 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM
dianavan 29 Nov 04 - 10:17 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 11:01 PM
Ebbie 17 Mar 05 - 02:03 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Mar 05 - 03:50 PM
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Pogo 18 Mar 05 - 03:37 PM
Helen 18 Mar 05 - 05:06 PM
Helen 18 Mar 05 - 05:10 PM
Ebbie 18 Mar 05 - 05:44 PM
CapriUni 16 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM
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Rustic Rebel 17 Apr 05 - 03:11 PM
CapriUni 22 Apr 05 - 12:50 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 05 - 08:16 AM
CapriUni 22 Apr 05 - 02:32 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 05 - 04:51 PM
CapriUni 22 Apr 05 - 05:14 PM
CapriUni 26 Jul 05 - 10:14 PM
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GUEST,noddy 29 Jul 05 - 04:12 AM
katlaughing 18 Jan 06 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 29 Oct 06 - 10:06 PM
katlaughing 29 Oct 06 - 10:27 PM
KT 30 Oct 06 - 12:52 AM
Lonesome EJ 30 Oct 06 - 05:53 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Oct 06 - 05:57 PM
Helen 30 Oct 06 - 10:12 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 06 - 10:54 PM
KT 30 Oct 06 - 11:07 PM
Helen 31 Oct 06 - 08:26 AM
katlaughing 31 Oct 06 - 05:15 PM
katlaughing 31 Oct 06 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Anonymous 31 Oct 06 - 09:53 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 06 - 07:12 PM
Helen 01 Nov 06 - 08:30 PM
bobad 01 Nov 06 - 10:51 PM
Elmer Fudd 02 Nov 06 - 10:21 AM
CapriUni 26 Sep 08 - 04:12 AM
katlaughing 26 Sep 08 - 10:38 AM
Amos 26 Sep 08 - 11:26 AM
CapriUni 26 Sep 08 - 04:37 PM
Donuel 26 Sep 08 - 05:34 PM
Helen 26 Sep 08 - 07:29 PM
CapriUni 26 Sep 08 - 08:16 PM
Bluegrassman 26 Sep 08 - 09:09 PM
Helen 27 Sep 08 - 12:07 AM
katlaughing 15 Nov 08 - 05:23 PM
Rustic Rebel 16 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM
katlaughing 16 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM
s&r 16 Nov 08 - 05:25 PM
CapriUni 22 Dec 08 - 02:43 PM
Ebbie 22 Dec 08 - 04:39 PM
katlaughing 22 Dec 08 - 11:35 PM
katlaughing 15 Nov 09 - 03:33 PM
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Ed T 15 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM
Ebbie 15 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 10 - 02:25 PM
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Helen 20 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM
Amos 20 Aug 10 - 04:11 PM
ClaireBear 20 Aug 10 - 11:29 PM
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katlaughing 21 Aug 10 - 01:17 AM
Ebbie 21 Aug 10 - 02:11 AM
Helen 21 Aug 10 - 08:46 PM
Ebbie 21 Aug 10 - 08:50 PM
Helen 21 Aug 10 - 09:28 PM
Ebbie 22 Aug 10 - 02:36 PM
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Lizzie Cornish 1 03 Sep 10 - 07:07 PM
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GUEST,Guest from Sanity 10 Apr 14 - 10:14 PM
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Jack the Sailor 12 Apr 14 - 09:39 PM

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Subject: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 09:44 PM

Okay, the next Mudcat Challenge is here.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to write a complete short story which is exactly 100 words long - no more and no less.

It has to be a proper story with everything you want to express in those 100 words.

When I was working in the library we had a book of these from a British Sunday Telegraph competition. I saw one of the stories as a short film on tv a few years later. Very clever. And very economical use of words to convey the complexity of the story.

(Note: the above paragraphs are exactly 100 words.)

Your mission starts.....NOW!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 09:53 PM

A Book Report on Peter Rabbit (1,2,3,4,5,6...)!!(song from "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown", exactly 100 word book report).

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: JenEllen
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:07 PM

Okay, a story for the stick in the mud then....*bg*

She did not know that walking into the ring that night would be her death sentence. Swaying to the music of the calliope, she danced. When the stranger held the treat for her, she took it into her mouth. The lit end of the cigar burned her most tender flesh. Inside, pale and soft, she was hurting. She grabbed the stranger in her trunk and threw him to the ground in her pained fury. She hardly remembered the incident, elephants are supposed to remember everything, as they fed her the cyanide laced carrots and took her for her last walk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:11 PM

Wow Jen Ellen. Thanks.

Is there any way the computer can count the words, or do we just have to keep checking?

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:25 PM

Wow, Jen!! Pachydermus Centilixicus Historium Magnificatus!!

Love,

A.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:31 PM

Truth is stranger than fiction. An elephant named Topsy at Dreamland Park in Coney Island did kill a spectator who fed her a lit cigarette. To boost ticket sales, her owners planned to hang her for murder but were stopped by an animal rights group. Instead they rigged up a metal plate with electrodes, chained her to it,and sold tickets to the poor animal's public electrocution. Her trainer stood by in tears refusing to help control Topsy when she would not climb on the plate. The elephant burned, as did the park not long afterwards. An elephant never forgets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:45 PM

(aside: Bastards! Poor Topsy!)

Silently, unbidden he joined her on the bed, brushing softly against her back, coming round to whisper in her ear, making promises. Promises of never parting; lying in a green meadow; soft winds lightly scented with roses; and the soothing splash of a rill. A summer's day spent together in eternity.

Turning, she stroked him, languidly, murmuring lovesongs in his ear. He gazed at her with sea green eyes. His low voice carressed her in return, filling her with warmth, contentment, undying love. As soon as he'd purred her to sleep he began his nightly bathing ritual: right paw first...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:46 PM

Awww, kat.... Loverly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: khandu
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM

A FEW DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING "You will not do this" Harvey shouted as he tried to wrestle the rifle from Ross.

"Oh,yes,and you will not stop me!" Harvey gave Ross a surprise punch to his throat and Ross went down. Harvey quickly picked up the rifle and smiled. "No,you will not do it. I will not allow it." Ross struggled for his breath as he looked up at Harvey. "Okay,you win. You have beaten me. I won't do it. . So go ahead. you do it. But, damn you, Oswald,if you miss, Lyndon's gonna be pissed!

khandu


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Philibuster
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 11:16 PM

Softly, she sleeps. Lying on the linoleum floor, lost in her near lifelessness. Soon, she is sezied by a man nearly twice her size. He strangles her neck and slams his hand into her stomach, she screams. He delights. Her screams twist into sounds she didn't know she could make, keeping time with the beat of his fist in her belly. He lays her down on the floor, and she returns to her lifelessness, to be silent and lost again and again, to only speak when beaten and choked. Such is the fate of my ancient nineteen hundred vintage Martin.

((So it's a little morbid...))


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Max
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 11:22 PM

"Well Max, now that you've changed the world, what would you say it was that brought you to this point?"

I would say that the cranberry is quite nice. Good for the mind, spirit and body.

My theory states that… that the human race, really has always been flying through space.

And the answers are flying there too, setting there, right in front of you.

Just like the Christians say, and the Buddhists and Hindus and the Muslims, an the Sufis and the Jewish folk too.

Or maybe they're all full of shit, Six Billion people just can't figure it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 11:23 PM

Not a true story. Not a true story. Nah Nah Nah Nah...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 11:54 PM

(You brat!**BG**)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:11 AM

Rick, if you have a pc and Windows, go to Tools on the menu bar and scroll down to Word Count...

Done whispering- please continue.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:09 AM

Did you ever see that polar bear, the one who paced. Backwards and forwards, forwards and back. A domestic engineer does it all the time, doing time……….backwards and forwards, forwards and back. Till even that becomes too predicable. At least playing patience you might win. Hours hang heavy, heavy leaden slow…….apathy – the thrill of the moment - passes., without being noticed. Nothing. And again, nothing. No one rang, no one called. Fantastic boredom – hysterical. Till you actually have to acknowledge it to yourself by speaking out loud, to no one in particular and say, "Oh GOD I'm so bored"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:43 AM

They say I have a hundred words, my beloved Maria, and only those: they stand waiting. They have hated all my words, and those of others, all who write the truth, because they know they cannot kill such words, such simple things that nevertheless move from mouth to mouth, whisper to whisper, and that will not be stilled. 38 words to go, and I have not said how much I have always loved you, from the first moment to the last, and how no words will ever be enough, beloved, O I am yours, and at the moment of death


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Aimee Quinteux
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:13 AM

Turning, I catch sight of the red wagon, paint flaking to reveal a dull grey metal skeleton. It lingers dusty in the garage, black handle crooked - skewed as a broken bone. Memories assail. Cracked concrete sidewalks. Crunching colorful leaves. Tracks through dewy grass. The warmth of the sun upon metal. Warmth seeping into small wriggling bodies at play. Laughing with abandon. Now I contemplate its demise. It is devoid of the muscle of play, the blood of life. It is a carcass bleached clean of flesh. Useful only in its ability to conjure vestiges of a once joyous existence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Goody2Shz
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:38 AM

Each day passes. Slowly and deliberately. I've lost track. What day is it? Sunday? Friday? Maybe Wednesday. I remember the accident. The crunching and twisting of the metal. The piercing pain. Then, the sweet bliss of nothingness. In an instant life as I knew it changed.

I am cloaked in darkness with the maddening constant whir of my brain as my sole companion. I can hear the sounds of the machinery helping me breath. Keeping my heart beating. I scream for release. But, only in my mind. I am in a coma. Only I can hear the misery I speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: KT
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 12:03 PM

Expansive gray stillness reigns from water to sky. Silence, save the occasional cry of a lone eagle, magnifies the solitude. Suddenly, a distant spout erupts. First one, then another.... another.....On it goes until the first dorsal fin appears, followed by the sleek, shiny back...... and the magnificent tail slipping gracefully below the surface. Five giant companions follow. Then again.... silence. One minute passes. Two. Two and a half. Suddenly, the tranquillity is broken by six massive heads emerging simultaneously, in a synchronized display of joy and power, enormous jaws wide open to reveal the prize....a mouthful of herring!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 12:38 PM

It was a dull , boring and lifeless thread of a day, devoid of any excitement until suddenly an anonymous guest posted. Virtually at once bright and scorching flames appeared, roaring fiercely, eating at the very timbers that supported the roadbed over the waters. Vicious and ugly, trolls lumbered past and over the bridge, clubs in hand as they sought out their defenseless prey. In the waters of the creek, quivering mudcats hid themselves amongst the shadows reliving past experiences. They knew this was reality and there would be no Billy goats Gruff to defeat or scare off the trolls.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:47 PM

Nice paper trail you left: the history of abuse, the testimony of isolation; horror stories you told me that you said I didn't know the half of. Time enough now to doubt them all, and even as you were coaxing "I love yous" from my lips, not once did 'betrayal' cross my mind as I pulled the trigger. Now that is true love. You deserve an Oscar, you were the best I ever will see. Have to go now - the exercise yard is open and I owe Spider a pack of smokes for the pen and paper to write this....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:00 PM

Huzzah! well done guest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM

Guest: a masterpiece! These are all so fine!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:35 PM

On our summer island, my father was often away. He strove in the world, I played, mindless. He lived a rhythm I could not hear. Long after he retired from Fortune, and spent longer on our island, I, full-grown, visited, and still wondered about how his mind turned. On the porch, reading his sophisticated journals, 79 years old, wincing (from a rib cracked by many martinis and a misplaced staircase) he swore at his patient spouse, blaming the place. "Don't know about you. But I am not coming back here!".

I remembered when we buried him that fall, crying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:43 PM

The Kid was seventeen, and the oversized Colt on his hip rode in new leather. Red was dealing Stud and down $25 in the game. Red stared at the pair of deuces and said "go on home". He sipped whiskey and looked at the Kid and thought "I was his age when I shot my first man. But I was scared. This one ain't." Red coughed and snapped his pistol out of the coat pocket. A scarlet dime-sized hole appeared in the Kid's chest as he fell. Red placed a gold coin on the tablecloth.

"Raise ya dollar" he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:45 PM

Nicholas was older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.
The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.
Once ever year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves' invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.
He envied Prometheus, and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher. Ho.
Ho.
Ho.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:48 PM

That's hilarious Clinton.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:53 PM

Bravo Clinton! Dark, very dark!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:18 PM

Wow, Clinton!! Ho.!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

No no no... dang... sorry to mislead folks...

That story isn't mine...

It's a Neil Gaiman X-mas card... I though I put that at the bottom...

I'm not creative enough to write anything half as good as what's in this thread!

Just wanted to share my favorite 100 word story with the group...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Goody2Shz
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:34 PM

My hat goes off to Helen for starting this thread. Lots of really good stuff here.

I can't decide which one I like best!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Aimee Quinteux
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:42 PM

Stiff spaghetti stuffed into a pot. Softened by boiling water into languid, tender ropes. Tomatoey, juicy red sauce simmered to a high heat. Bubbles rising to the surface explode and splatter. Crusty, chewy bread, slathered with a creamy butter. Sweet, smooth wine. Two pairs of lips – slurping and sucking. Nibbling. Draining the wine from full goblets – until the last, lingering sweetness is savored. The once clear glasses now smudged. Crisp napkins of snow white linen crumpled and stained with wine, sauce, and lipstick. Glistening plates now smeared with remnants of food devoured. Lips smacking. Soft sibilant sounds of sighing satisfaction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:51 PM

Hey -- ya wanna come over for dinner??? I'll buy, you cook. Jeez, I'm like drooling here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

Another town. Different people... same story. How many layers would be peeled back this time before being chased off? Again. Only as far as "Hi, how are you" "Not bad, and yourself"? Maybe, "Please come to the dance on Saturday... Melissa's the one to get to know. She'll get you hooked up with the right people".

Or maybe "Tell us about yourself. We want to know your deepest darkest most heartrending secrets. We won't tell anyone. We're troubled and bored and we need to hear about your misery. But you mustn't be happy. Because then we'll have to kill you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM

The moon lit the night green grass, and the trees made walls of dark secrets. I listened to joy-filled music. I watched as dancers twirled and skipped, their feet hardly seeming to leave tracks in the dew. Slowly moving apart, they joined hands and circled. Although there was no plan, no direction, every move seemed choreographed. I walked away before the sun rose, before the cool mystery of night turned to the clarity of day. I wanted to remember the magic, for magic was what it had seemed, and imagination thrives in the shadow-dark places of our hearts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:52 PM

Man, this is a first class crop, I'll say! Jeri, you been hiding your light under a bushel, huh? Pretending to be a geek? Huh?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM

I whirled, delighting in the freefall. It made no difference if I opened my eyes, darkness was everywhere and nowhere. Out of time, out of space. Slowly, then more rapidly, I felt myself breaking apart, in an orderly fashion, each component, each molecule dividing, parting company. Even after so many times, I still felt a slight lurch and a gripping in what a few seconds ago had been my solar plexus. Before the thought of fear had really taken shape, I gracefully and instantly coalesced back into my shape, back aboard the Enterprise. Beaming up was ever so much fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 06:55 PM

Amos, it may just be that the synapses are firing more rapidly because it's TOO DAMNED HOT HERE!!! (By the way, that was a true "story." It happened one night at the Fox Hollow Festival. I still remember it, because with the moonlight and the way people moved, it really could have been a faerie ring.)

I had an old Schwinn bycicle instead of a red wagon. I think I might have once lived in guest's "another town." These are all wonderful!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: KT
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:27 PM

These are fabulous!! I am in awe! KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM

Slight change: Before the thought of fear had really taken shape, should read Before the thought of fear had really taken hold...:-)

This is so much fun, really well done, everyone!! thanks, Helen.

KT, I'm there! Love it, just beautiful!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 10:36 PM

These stories are fantastic!!

All righty, you guys. I'm going to really start your synapses firing. Here's the link to my first-ever challenge - hope you didn't want to do anything else today, like work, or anything.


A challenge:a flea,an orange,a bicycle seat

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8671&messages=66

And
Philibuster, you're a sick puppy!!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:02 PM

She worked to keep up; Mother didn't notice. Outing to the Park!! This wasn't fun! Mother sailed on, graceful, facing the world as a queen might. Her shorter legs pumping to follow, she saw people notice, felt embarrassed. And she had to go!! The feeling in her insides!! She whimpered pitifully--her mother moved on, undeterred. She could not hold back . Desperate, dropping down, she squatted, let go. The grass tickled her ankles, her rear end. Full of life, she tore ahead, catching up to her sisters,. They reached the pond. She plunged in, first of all the goslings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:30 PM

Lying there, fantasising again, playing it out like a movie in my head. I had it planned to the finest detail, getting revenge on that bullying sociopath, my former boss.

Kidnap him, get him into the van and then to a disused warehouse. Tie him up and hang him by his ankles from the rafters.

Then - this bit always makes me smile - shoot him in the throat, because his voice is his weapon, and let the b*****d bleed to death. Slow and painful.

Aah, sweet revenge!

I woke to the sound of a rope, creaking on a rafter.

***** [Got you all worried now, haven't I?]

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 12:55 AM

I've decided to double up on this challenge. You will recognize the topic from Song Challenge 63.

Now, passing the stratosphere, I, Steve Bennett, am piloting the first English spacecraft in space

The Naysayers, with their foolish talk of wind tunnels, said I would blow up on launch. My home made hydrogen rocket ignited flawlessly and smoothly burned for the required twenty seconds. They call themselves Engineers!

I reach the top of my arc and experience a glorious moment of weightlessness.

I am out of oxygen.

I am not concerned.

Hurtling towards the Earth at four hundred miles an hour, I only need to hold out for a few seconds.

But how do I decelerate?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 01:06 AM

The chute!!! My god, I forgot the chute!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 08:30 PM

Jack the Sailor,

Reminds me of the Darwin awards - now that is a rich seam or ore to mine for these stories!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 08:56 PM

August 10, 2022.
I've seen him everyday for nearly 19 years at his little kiosk outside the subway entrance, selling everything from newspapers, magazines, candy, to chewing gum. Thin and lanky, he wears his life on his well-lined face and that grey suede cap pulled down practically over those peering, inquisitive eyes. Always scratching something down on a pad and making cellphone calls in between customers. Course years ago he'd just duck into the payphone next door. Finally a black Mercedes limo arrives just as he's closing and the driver says "All done then for the day, Mr. Milken?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 09:23 PM

Helen, I am always amazed at the consistently interesting topical games that you post. Your previous thread of several years ago which you linked above, "A Flea, An Orange, and a Bicycle Seat" brought about some fine responses and now this one promises to do even better!

It is within that context that I wish to take this chance and execise my option just as Amos did on the other thread to consider my answer and post nothing for over two years and then crank out a winner. I will see you in two years, although this is one hundred.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 10:19 PM

The day had finally arrived!!

Gently removing the new uniform from its box, he checked one more time for all the pieces, and one by one, put them on. Proudly admiring his reflection in the full-length mirror, he saw a picture of power, confidence and strength.

At the field, he took his place on the bench... watching....waiting.....

First inning..... second..... third......

Seventh inning.... still waiting..... expectation dwindling into faint hope, he enthusiastically cheered his teammates on.

Then it was over. Pausing momentarily, he blinked hard, then rose from the bench, and strode out to congratulate his team. Maybe next time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 11:40 PM

Whooo ha! I was going to make some smart ass remark but not now!! This is amazing stuff! Wow! O Henry, eat your heart out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: KT
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 04:35 AM

His humble beginnings were not the stuff fame is made of. His modest log home was situated on the edge of a bog, where he spent every spare minute of his early years perfecting his swimming skills. He never made it as an Olympic swimmer. His career took him instead, to Hollywood.

Who'd have guessed the little fellow would achieve such fame?

What is it about him? Is it that he can sing? And dance? And play the banjo? Or is it that he makes us laugh? At him, and ourselves. Or cry. Almost makes one green with envy, y'know?

KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Calach
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 07:29 AM

The cold, silent, dampness glistened in the spiders webs on the low bushes, grass and heather. The air was deathly still; the wet yellow and red flags clinging limply to their bleached poles. Ghostly mist sank in the low ground, gathering like a fine grey liquid; awaiting their next victim. Thousands had died here.
Water, like seeping blood, pushed out of the ground around my shoes as I slowly walked the curving paths. The grey stones were dark and sombre; their single clan names remembering that April day. Then the bleak mass grave where no heather had ever grown; Culloden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Goody2Shz
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 02:23 PM

I've read all the postings, flames, and other assorted messages in this Mudcat forum. I must admit I enjoy them all – even the nasty ones. My favorite, though, has been this little challenge from Helen.

100 words? A complete story? No way, I thought. And then…well, then…I found myself coming up with more and more 100-word snippets. Pieces of my life. Other people's memories. Scores of them wanting to jump from my fingers to my keyboard.

So. Helen? Got another good challenge for us? Another mind tweaker?

By the way – this entire post is 100 words. No more. No less.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM

'Spaw, I've just come back from a trip 2 years into the future, just stepping out of the T.A.R.D.I.S. now, and I have to break it to you, as gently as possible, that your lack of *practice* at writing 100-word stories has severely damaged your final submitted story. In the parallel universe, where I also travelled to read your regularly and frequently written stories over the two years, I can tell you that the final story, after two years of practice, is truly sublime, a literary masterpiece which totally annihilated the competition.

Sad, really! Such a deplorable waste of potential.

[100 words, tee hee!]

[Just a reminder: the challenge is that it is a full and complete story, has a plot, a beginning, middle, and ...you guessed it...an end. So no vignettes unless they have a plot, please. But having said that, I'm really enjoying everything everyone has written......except 'Spaw of course, whose entry won't be received until 2003, approx 2 years after the competition has closed. Nyah, nyah-nie nyah nyah!]

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 10:48 PM

"It's always the same thing with you, isn't it? You never want to take your turn! Well, this time you're not getting out of it. Come stir and recite your lines or we will expell you!"

"But, I've told you! I have a real gig. No more boiling hot steam, no more raggedy black clothes. My name is gonna be in lights! I'll have it made. Holly Wood here I come!"

She gave a shrug and flounced off, valise in hand. In the background she could hear her sisters chanting, "Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 12:28 AM

Decided to try something different. Ten sentences of ten words describing true events. I believe all of the elements of a story are there. And it could be sung! Thanks to W. Guthrie and Billy Bragg for part of the inspiration.

One hundred words, I write to the world about you.
To tell them what I'm Feeling in this special time.
At first, with no real interest, I bought you a drink.
I watched you, having fun, just dancing with my friends.
Later as we talked, I started to respect your opinions.
I got nervous when you spoke about your checkered past.
I'm no prude and I respect the way you're living.
Then, then you spoke of God, plainly it was sincerely
When I asked you out, you said you'd love to.
The story that we will write is only now beginning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 07:06 PM

Jack-t-S,

Great idea, and lovely story.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: irishajo
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM

The day I left and the day I arrived were nearly identical. Once an outsider, now I became an outcast. Each time their words of supplication entreated me to stay. Each time dire warnings fell from their mouths, their lips astonishingly animated beneath their glazed eyes. And each time their hands were carefully cloistered beneath cloaks of coarse fabric. Contact with an outsider would require intensive purification rituals. Rituals I knew all too well. As one who had lived within their midst and managed to break free, however, I would require a different type of purification to gain complete release.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Goody2Shz
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 08:20 PM

Helen,

I'm curious. You posted a "reminder" as to what the challenge is. Did most of us miss the mark, so to speak? I'd like to know which ones you felt got it right, or at least came close.

Thnx...Goody


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 11:18 PM

Hi Goody,

OI don't think that any of the stories totally missed the mark, but I was just reminding everyone that it should be a complete story and not just a description of something. For instance, Aimee's story about food: I thought it would just be a description when I first started reading it but then I realised that it works neatly as anticipation, description of events and final satisfying end.

Anyway, the main point is to challenge yourself and have fun. Having a few limiters just adds to the challenge, and the fun, in my estimation.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:42 AM

I was listening dreamily to my favorite music when I jerked awake.
"It 's squeezing me! A huge hand has hold of me!"
"Fight, brother, fight! Fight- it'll stop if you fight back!"
It got worse.
I stretched and kicked and reached to find him but there was no doubt of it. My brother was gone. My brother, dear as my own heart's blood, was gone.
The giant fist returned. For me. My ears rang as I headed into the dark tunnel. There was no fighting this.
I squalled loudly, angrily, into the smiling teeth of the beings that awaited me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 09:17 PM

Help! I think I killed my own thread! This urge to create challenges and impose rules is verwhelming. Must be because I'm earning my living as a communications teacher this year. Next year, who knows what I will be doing for a living??

Anyway, if you want to write stories with only one rule, i.e. it has to have 100 words exactly, I'll stop imposing my limitations on you.

Go for it!

And 'Spaw, get in here and write, dammit!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:29 AM

(Good one, Ebbie. Are you a twin? My sisters would like that one.)

"Yes, I have mixed potions to help women in childbirth and ease others from a life of pain."

"Then, you shall die, wicked woman of the devil, whose hand we see upon thee, his marks all over your body!"

She heard the words even as they stacked straw around her feet and came with the burning brands. She knew she should be afraid; she was too young and could help so many.

There was no fear. Gazing at her tormentors, she fixed them all with her eyes, froze them in place and rode a swift broom safely out of town!

(Sorry, best I can do late at night:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:43 AM

Mimi

You were thirteen. Bad heart, the vet said. He was wrong. A wonderful heart guided the truest, wisest, most loving dog I have ever known. I promised you during each panicked attack that I would not fail you.

The day came when I could no longer rationalize delay. With you as usual stretched alongside my leg, we drove to the clinic.

Inside, they told me I could hold you as you went to sleep. As they inserted the needle, your warm, damp tongue gave my hand a swift lick. Whether in thanks or with forgiveness I will never know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:13 AM

She was so excited about seeing the ocean for the first time, she plunged in fully clothed and was carried out by a strong current. He raced after her and pulled her ashore. Both of them now wet and cold, they shared a small blanket, drawing it closely around one another in turn as each noticed the other's shivers. Ah yes, body heat— synergies of closeness, rediscovered, evoking the timeless response. Apparently, mere friendship was to be out of the question-- despite their differences, her anticipated departure, and the man back home she'd asked to wait for her, days before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Reynardine
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 08:35 PM

Damn. That wasn't formatted properly. It's *supposed* to have five words per line, with a line break where the alliteration is broken. Here it is again, with a 'pre' HTML tag added. Hope it works. Sorry for posting such self-indulgent nonsense twice.

  Silver sliver sailing skyward slowly.
Silence's sound; skylarks seeking slumber.
Wind whispered warm while we
winnowed, working wordlessly; when we
did diurnal dues.
Now night
tarries. Then, to the table
sharing soft steps, sibilant silence.
Standing, seeing summer slip south
leaving laughing, lifting leaf-lilt
we waited, wondering why, who.

Autumn's auburn absence all around.
Day drops distantly; down dusk
falls, frost-fast. Faraway fire
horizon-hovers; holt, heath hold
breath, burning
sky seems soft
to touch. Turn then towards
lamp-light, laughter. Lie, love,
be brave, bear barrenness boldly.
We'll weather winter's waste, watching
silver sliver sailing skyward slow.

Did it work?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 08:43 PM

Reynardine,

I use '<' 'br' & a '>' (if I write it as I use it will do the break rather than show you the code) at the end of each line. Put them together as the HTML command to insert the paragraph break.

Lovely stories. I'm saving this thread so that I can read them over and over.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 01:33 AM

The stranger's dark eyes were riveted to the tiny stage. He'd never seen anything like this kid!

Beads of sweat gleamed like diamonds on the guitarist's brow; the heavy green bottleneck just a glistening blur as he fanned a final, ringing lick.

"That's one that come to me just last night; sumpin' I call 'Crossroads'."

The stranger shook his head with a rueful smile.

"Damn! Don't I wish I could play like that!"

Then, with a curl of his lip and another of his tail, the man in red was gone, trailing the faintest whiff of brimstone in his wake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:24 AM

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 03:47 AM

He bit his lip to assuage the trembling fits he was having... So much had led up to this moment; The poker game, the wager, that woman... With half of a fifty dollar bill in his pocket, a long list of promices still fresh in his mind, and the whiskey still warm in his throat, he struggled with the harness. The wind slammed against his body through the open cockpit door, and as he pulled his way to it with great effort, he checked the cord ties one last time. Finally, he jumped, praying the bunjy chords would not snap...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:47 PM

Today I Am Born Again 5 by 20

Today I am born again.
Long tapes have been played.
My past has been returned.
My body is now young.
I am an American citizen.
What am I to do?
I miss my loving wife. My parents are long dead.
My child is dead too.
I am venerated again now.
My fame has not wavered.
Universities clamour for my time.
Young women want my sperm.
To doubters, my theories stand.
I no longer hate Germany.
I have forgiven my homeland.
I no longer feel guilt.
I don't regret the letter.
That is fifty years past.
I am Albert Einstein's clone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:24 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:23 PM

Reynardine, thanks. I fixed your second one, using your pre and adding line breaks where you had them. I think it looks right, now, but if not let me know, please. With your permission I will delete the one which is incorrect. Thanks.

Jack the Sailor - brill!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:05 AM

This story is 100% true.

It was the fourth of July. She had left me, ...some reason I couldn't know. I parked at the climber's bivouac without a permit, and put on my backpack. It was hot, sunny, fourish, and people were leaving. Two miles later, the treeline ended. Broken pumice sand, boulders of basalt, a three thousand foot climb. Hours passed. I changed my soaking shirt, the cold wind blew a steady fourty knots. At last, the summit. A plane, full throttled, banked inside the crater, swooping down over Spirt lake, and Harry Truman. I heard fireworks, faintly, as the sun began to set.

ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:37 AM

Thanks Kat, You are kind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 12:13 PM

"Did I tell you about my vacuum?" she said. The other one keeps sweeping. I'm looking for a baking dish, the last supper. She points in two directions. "Thought it was the bag."

I look into a mirror in housewares, trying to make myself small. The sweeper stops to respond.

"So what're you gonna do?"

"Guess I'll buy a new one." Three bucks plus tax.

Epitaph: 43; divorced; alcoholic; bereft of feeling, verve, imagination; dead-ended.

It seemed like the thing to do. Gas. The lasagna didn't turn out so well, either. If not for tedium, we'd all live forever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM

Moon shining silvery across the bay. Reflections sparking on little wavelets jumping and dancing under the milky-black midnight sky.

Boat rocking gently on the waves. Boy and girl leaning over the side, looking down into the inky blackness below.

Glowing faintly down below them, undulating luminescence; growing, and coming nearer.

Falling into the water, struggling for just a moment, the girl is lifted up. Up out of the waves. Flying amidst thousands of tiny drops of shimmering watery light.

The dolphin's body arcs over the boat, twisting just so, as the girl slips safely down into the boat's gentle embrace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 10:07 AM

That is a puredee loverly image indeed, CC!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM

GUEST, author of the vacuum story...that was brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Reynardine
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:53 PM

kat,

That's it exactly (the second one). Delete away. Thanks.

Thanks, Reynardine, I've deleted it and a couple of the ones where we just talked about the formatting. BTW, did you know that it is free to join Mudcat and that you can send personal messages back and forth with other members if you do join? It was okay for us to work this out here, but if you'd been a member we could have sorted it out that way, too. Just so you know what is available. You can also track your favourite threads as a member. Another way to sort out html is to go ot the Help forum and post a request, in case one of us doesn't see it in the thread. :-)Thanks, again, kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:07 PM

Thanks Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 03:31 PM

In a dream, God told Deon to forsake family and friends and start a bowling trophy shop in Smoot, TN, pop. 617. There were no bowlers in Smoot. Despondent, Deon retired to a cold water flat. He turned the gas oven on and closed all the sooty windows. Waiting for death, he lit a cigarette....

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Deon lived, but a passerby died from flying debris. A court ruling landed Deon where they don't let him play with pencils, belts, or shoelaces. God doesn't say much these days, but the devil whispers suggestions in Deon's ear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM

LOL Guest. Pardon my presumption...

Smoot, TN, pop. 617, was located just off the route of the future interstate highway connecting two large cities. These cities hosted the annual 'Smoky Mountain Bowlerama and Fiddle Competition'. Each city hosted it in an alternate year. When the interstate was finished, it was decided to hold the competition in Smoot, since it was centrally located, and a hell of a lot prettier than either of the cities.

Deon's family salvaged what was left of the trophy business and made a small fortune. Deon's still not allowed to play with pencils and stuff, but he plays a mean fiddle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:39 PM

(wink)... by all means Ms. C - be my 'guest.' Presume away.

Nice addition too, I might add -


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CarolC
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:49 PM

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Reynardine
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 08:56 PM

kat,

I tried to join, but someone's already taken my name. Curses! An ague upon them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:43 PM

Well...add a lucky number to it, or a first initial or something? *smile*


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Peg
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:15 AM

I would comfort you with apples, if the fragrant fruit of trees could cool your feverish imaginings, could soothe the desperate words hanging from your lips. I would swath you in cloaks the silver of winter foxes, if animal warmth could melt your psyche's icy tirade or fire up the molten joy I know resides at your core. I would share with you the sibilant secrets of the wind, the eternal answers of the sky, the shining proverbs of laughing stars. I do not have the universe's elements to hand; only compassion and fear. I suggest a Guinness, to start.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM

Perfect!!! Peg, that is beaut!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: irishajo
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:56 AM

Peg! I loved it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:45 PM

As I gazed at my lusterous, shining, newly aquired, thrice inscribed bowling trophy I couldn't help pondering my last visit to Smoot Tennesee, Population 617. I wondered whether 617 was one word or, as six hundred and seventeen, four words. Usually a trivial distinction, it would matter in this game.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Milkdud22
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:25 AM

Dead. Gone. Emptiness. Nothing, absolutely nothing. Every muscle, every fiber, numb. I stand by the grave, looking into the bottomless pit. Black, on me and everyone. When can I go home, so I can cry? She wouldn't have wanted this. She was so full of laughter, happiness, light. She would want me to be happy, to smile and say "She's with God now". But I can't. There's a huge hole inside. I can't smile or laugh. "Good Bye" I whisper, as my hand reachs out and drops a yellow rose, her favorite, in her grave. I miss her so much.

-I loved the one about the rusted old wagon! All of the ones on this thread have been so great, I thought I just had to try one! I've counted twice, so hopefully there's a hundred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 09:35 AM

As I gazed at my lusterous, shining, newly aquired, thrice inscribed bowling trophy I couldn't help pondering my last visit to Smoot Tennesee, Population 617. I wondered whether 617 was one word or, as six hundred and seventeen, four words. Usually a trivial distinction, it would matter in this challenge.

What could I do? Consult my magic 8 ball?
"The outlook is bright."
Not much help. I'll post a story and get fellow mudcatters' reactions. I could just count the words in the previous posts which include numbers. I feel I will get the definative answer from some proud pedant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Peg
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:01 PM

you have already answered your question, haven't you? depends on how you write the number, doesn't it? In numeral form or in words. Or you could remove the population distinction altogether. unless of course it is crucial to your little story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:07 PM

Jack, subtle- and successful!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:24 PM

The originator of this thread, in her first post, used the 'word' 100 twice, although for the life of me I only count 99 words. My math may be a little suspect, although it was a favorite subject. Even if my count is correct, counting '100' as two words instead of one would make the count 101, or 102 if there were, in reality, 100 words. Either way, I get the impression that '100' was counted as one word, and depending upon your interpretation, this post will either have a one hundred or a one hundred and eleven word count.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:44 PM

We don't really need to know, I guess. The question had popped into my mind as I read the first Smoot Tennesee post. Writing exactly one hundred words is an arbitrary goal which can be easily accomplished by writing aproximately a hundred words then shorting the story through the use of contractions or lengthing it with adjectives as required. I just counted sixty words so now I have to add about forty more. That was fourteen, leaving twenty six. Now twenty. Eighteen more words, and the story will be done. Nine more. Another seven words and the job is done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:53 PM

It is odd, GUEST because I counter 99 words as well. Microsoft counts 100 words. I have no clue how. Maybe Helen has some insight?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: JenEllen
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:09 AM

Lovely stuff y'all....Refresh

I woke up to morning. Jumpin' Jack Flash was pounding out of the stereo speakers, her pink toenailed feet stomped out the rhythm on the floor as she stood at the ironing board, all faded denim jeans and white bra as she ironed her shirt, swiveling her hips and singing along with Mick. The early light filtered bright in the room, and I watched her through fuzzily squinted eyes. She looked radiant when framed in eyelash fringe. I have never been a morning person, but I sat speechless, watching her morning unfold before me. It's a gas, gas, gas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:22 AM

100 posts exactly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:43 AM

Guest & Jack-t-s, I used MsWord's Word Count function and it does count as 100 on that. I just - foolish, foolish me - trusted - how could I have even thunk it, to trust Micro$oft????? - I can't even finish the sentence I feel so naive. Oh dear!

Well I posted my paragraph in good faith, that's all I can say.

[grin]

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:57 AM

As she sat down at her computer again, this time with a cup of hot rose hip and peppermint carob tea, she reread the post. "Could it be him?" she said ever so competently. It does remind me of someone... He had left on that cold winter day with so much left to say... and she had so much to tell him then, ...all unsaid. As she brought up his old posts again, his smile dawned on her with that fateful day last April when they finally had her house to themselves. That splendid sunrise! Suddenly, she sipped her tea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 07:21 PM

Well, mystery solved. I divided my paragraph up into 10 word bits and did the word count. It's the "-". It's counted by MsWord as a word.

Nothing worse than machines trying to be intelligent and then totally mucking it up.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 07:35 AM

Not only do Bill Gates and his band of merry elves foist cumbersome software applications on unsuspecting users, they rewrite the English language and invent new words in the process. Is there no realm that exceeds their grasp?Time to consult OED to see what this new word "-" actually means ...

Thanks for clearing up the mystery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: JenEllen
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 11:41 AM

"The Ukraine?" I asked "Oh, please tell me you are joking.."
"No," he said "It's the only way. Medical schools get thousands of applications from middle class white guys, you have to have a hook."
"So you are joining a Ukranian circus? That's a helluva hook..."
"It's not forever, Jen. I just have to do 'something'. I'll miss you, but I'll be back in a year or two.."
The decision was made that quickly. I decided to do something too. That was the day I decided to learn how to juggle, in case I ever needed to join the circus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,31337
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 03:47 PM

He would not have to wait long for them to come; he had waited more than his share already. Now he was fully prepared to put his training into practice, to bring all his skill and poise to bear on the situation. Suddenly they were on top of him, insistent and demanding. He experienced a moment of panic but quickly regained his composure and turned a smiling face to them. Words were exchanged; he prepared for the worst. But they seemed to accept his authority without question. Brimming with confidence, he said to them, "Would you like fries with that?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 11:00 PM

GUEST,31337

I thought you were talking about the first time I confronted a very tall teenage boy who was misbehaving in class. If you had changed the pronouns from "he" to "him" and the last words to "Sit back down in your seat" it would be my experience exactly. Especially the part about being surprised that he accepted my authority without question.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,31337
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:34 PM

Last night it occurred to me that it would have been much better had there been one difference: he should have been the CEO of a dotcom!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM

31337, I found myself remembering the movie "American Beauty". Nice shorty!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 31 Aug 01 - 12:20 AM

I meant change the pronouns from "he" to "she". Brain-typo - many a slip from brain to keyboard.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 01 - 08:21 AM

I forget where: old pickup stopped, three on the tree. "I am the Second Coming," Jesus said. "I've seen the fabric of the Universe." He ground second. Admittedly, Sectioned 8. A pharmacopian doctor visit, then to Helena.

Jesus unknowingly sideswiped a parked car, said, "Born Italy, 1963. AntiChrist's name is Stephen..." something. Downtown, a hit dog. Eyes died curbside right there before me. Longnecks later, we pretended cowboys saying "pert near" and "right smartly." Truck bed slept us while Jesus got a room, woman.

Morning: "Hope you save us," we good-byed. Confused, unrecognizing, he smiled.

"I will," he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 08:53 PM

Got any more stories in ya


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 07:50 AM

Not at the moment; just revisions....


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 06:53 PM

He unstrung the old Martin carefully, laying it on a cloth, a fond duty he had postponed too long. His face was set, like an ironwood mask; dutiful motion. Each old string was wrapped as a spare, set aside, pegs inspected; then rare polish. Natural oil gleamed on fine wood, rubbed carefully everywhere.

Thinking of the sheer beauty, his heart skipped -- he polished everything once more, the old scratches and the beloved frets, Again the salt tears spoiled it, and the job began anew, Sisyphean. She would not write; he understood. But why did she keep thinking so much?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 01:08 AM

Bonding and the Bard

I miss Dad.

I remember a car trip to Ocean City. For the entire trip, my father told me the story of Richard III, I especially remember his recitation of the death of George Duke of Clarence:

O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 't were to buy a world of happy day,
So full of dismal terror was the time...

That trip awakened a lifetime love of the bard's work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 02:32 AM

Busting loose from the rigid formality of my existence,and for once proclaiming my freedom. I strung the lights of one-thousand bulbs, in the colours of the prism, to encircle a finite piece of the earth. A small plot for myself, for my sanity to remain. I lusted to feel life again, with all it's mystery and divine nature. Oh! To feel alive,robust uninhibited. Not to loathe my existence, but to revel in it. Can this be so? Can I really break the continuity of my bleakness, my barriers? I dance naked in my circle, with reckless abandon.

(note* all irony intended!) Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 02 May 03 - 08:51 PM

With deference to the


shortest joke thread

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=26714&messages=84

I am reviving/resuscitating (however you spell that) this thread. I offer the challenge once more, so please read the instructions at the beginning of this thread.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:40 PM

"Go!".

The surly bonds broke and he was elated with the surge of freedom. He tightened his grip and leaned into a long, slow swoop, and looking down, he made out the ground far below, yellows and greens and touches of orange.

He was one with the flow around him, supportive but fluid. He could sense the currents, the lifts and drops, before they reached him and adjust – it was like floating in open spaces, like gliding, the sun filtering down, the shadows dappling below.

A large nurse shark swam by. Elation evaporated. He fled for the boat, and safety.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:15 PM

"See if you can make a song out of this." Almost furtively, he thrust scraps of paper into my hand.

At home I blinked at the disparate phrases: "Evening shadows fall." " Fair maiden divine." "Empty broken heart." "In his arms she belongs."   I went to work. A week later I delivered a song to him I called "Twilight Waltz". His face was inscrutable but I didn't press him; his words had sufficiently revealed his treachery to his wife.

A year later surfing on the net, I found "A Maiden's Prayer", almost word for word the song I had written.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: khandu
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:44 PM

"The strings stretched taut from head to bridge. The hands caressed. The fingers plucked. The music played.

There was something magical, mystical in the music. A magic that swept away the misery of the day. A magic that carried him to another land..., a land of peace, of cool breezes 'neath a shady oak where the searing sun could not reach. A land where he belonged to no man, a land of freedom.

The magic was his music, the music was his heart.

The strings stretched taut from head to bridge. His hands caressed. His fingers plucked. His music played."


khandu


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 03 May 03 - 12:12 AM

One hundred word haikus, how peasant in spring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Susanl
Date: 03 May 03 - 02:28 AM

The domestic draft in this club had a strange potency and tasted slightly mossy. She ordered a third. There were two sets to go. The stranger who showed up late asked her if she knew "Seasons in the Sun."
"No." she replied, lighting another cigarette.
"Gordon Lightfoot?"
"No. I'm sorry," she said.
"How about Cat Stevens?" His gaze was unwavering. Hers was shaky.
"No. Sorry. I don't know much," she said taking her beer and cigarette with her as she headed back to play.
"Can I buy you a drink?" asked the stranger.
"Maybe," she thought, picking up her guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 May 03 - 05:49 PM

This post is not an entry, so don't count the words.

Kat said, in part: "Holly Wood here I come".    Cheat! cheat! Hollywood would have to be one word. "Holly Wood", if there is indeed such a place, would not be significant to the rest of the story.

The figures "100" are read as "one hundred", not "hundred". So it seems to me it has to be read as two words.

Lest anyone think I'm trying to avoid my responsibilities in this thread, I'm plotting what my actual entry will be.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: khandu
Date: 03 May 03 - 06:01 PM

Hey Uncle Dave! Is "anal-retentive" one word or two? ;-)

k


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 May 03 - 06:42 PM

Uncle DaveO eagerly entered Paltalk, called up the list of categories, chose Music. Among numerous rooms he finally found a Live Room, entered. To the long list of raised hands, he added his, then greeted his friends. Wonderful music, but it was waiting nevertheless. After interminable waiting he picked up his guitar and sang, then raised his hand again. Another long impatient wait, (though loving what he heard), he and his guitar, joyous, performed again. Again a fretful wait; another song. Bedtime now, too soon; reluctantly he exited. Neglected in the corner, his poor, disconsolate, jealous banjo wept bitterly. Another Paltalk evening.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 May 03 - 07:22 PM

Uncle DaveO, I count 102 words! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 May 03 - 07:49 PM

I counted INNUMERABLE times before posting, and again just now.

Now I get one hundred and two also. Durn!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 03 - 08:12 PM

Word counts are based on text, Dave. "100" is one word, but "one hundred" is two. Sorry.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: khandu
Date: 03 May 03 - 09:03 PM

Yeah! What Amos said!

k


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 03 May 03 - 09:28 PM

You guys are gluttons for punishment. It would only have taken two words to tell me to "nick off"!

I love these writings!

But, just a reminder for everyone, in case you need one, which you probably don't: it does have to be a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, and there has to be a plot.

I'll have to get creative again and write another one, won't I? Not really fair for me to inflict this obsession on others without experiencing it myself.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 03 - 11:59 PM

O'Uncle Dave O - witches in Shakespeare..."Holly Wood," o'pedant, was a pun meant to denote some medieval equivalent of the one worded variety fof Tinsel Town, holly being a sacred wood and all.**bg**

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!**bg**


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 May 03 - 12:13 AM

Toni's socks were bright yellow with pink and purple daisies on them. She had obtained them by taking a time machine to 1967 and visiting Mary Quant's boutique in London - a rather unorthodox way to get a new pair of socks, but one that was perfectly typical of Toni's way of doing things.   I was so impressed by Toni's new socks that I immediately began to write a song about them. Unfortunately, I was fast approaching the agreed upon limit of one hundred words and all that I was able to write before running out of words was, "Toni's socks....."

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: pict
Date: 04 May 03 - 04:26 AM

The Mad tyrant sat in his bunker."They won't get me."he whispered.A knock came on his door,"Enter!","It's time sir."said the somewhat obsequious man who entered .The tyrant gathered some belongings into a bag and turned to the servile man"Is everything ready?""Yes sir."The tyrant swept by the servile man who held the door open for him,the tyrant stopped as he heard a click,moments later an Arabic accented command rang out"Bush come out with your hands up!"The mad tyrant banged his fists against the locked bunker door"Rumsfeld you bastard".


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 May 03 - 11:58 AM

My son is in jail again. This time in Texas. He says he is facing five years for driving without a license. I don't believe him. He needs $3500 for a lawyer who will get him out-of-state parole. If I will let him rent a room from me, he can come to Maine and do landscaping, housecleaning, anything. Anything...in the past that included dealing drugs and giving the keys to my home to anyone owed him money. The phone rings. "This is a collect call from an inmate..." In tears I hang up the receiver. No more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 04 May 03 - 05:09 PM

Helen, this was one of the first threads I found at the Cafe, that made me love this place, thanks for reviving it. I will have to add another...

"I have to go home now. I really hate to leave the party, but I need to go."
"You can't go, I haven't showed you my latest painting yet," he told her. "Come with me."
She followed him through a long corridor and entered a large white room with one painting hung on the wall. Upon closer inspection, she saw it was a painting of herself, looking at a painting in a large white room. The painting in the picture, was her looking at a painting in a large white room.
She turned to leave, but couldn't find a door.

Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 03 - 05:18 PM

RR -- that is most elegant!! Love it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 May 03 - 05:49 PM

Never written a story before. Voilà:

One was nothing. Zero, from nowhere into something. But the appearance itself created one. One was something, now.
One grew. Small became bigger, coalesced, spiraled (or should that be helixed?) out into everything there was. Development created something, something else.
Something was wrong. Something was left. Nothing was right, then, for one so developed. But still one developed, through the leaving and the wringing.
One had friends, people, and a home, hearth, family.
One was lonely. One found a place, an unreal place, a virtual place – full of people who weren't there. Unpeople, unlonely. One had a home. Vivent Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST, heric
Date: 04 May 03 - 06:42 PM

Nothing in his experience had suggested this moment. Ahead, forked lightning pierced the ground, soundlessly. Behind, the last sunset smoldered a deep orange hue, the color of dying embers. High above, cumulus clouds wearing a black armour, as if charred, invaded the vast expanse of a dark blue, glowing sky as it succumbed to the sure advance of darkness.

No tree, no plant, inhabited the visible world, from the distant eastern horizon to the dying sun in the west. This was the end of the world. This was the beginning of Time. The eternal moment of creation sparked, burned, chilled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 04 May 03 - 09:56 PM

He stared at her through half-closed eyes. "Help," he wheezed. His hand groped for hers.
        "I'm really screwed up this time, aren't I, Mom?" he whispered.
        "Yes, honey, you are. I love you, son," she answered. Her voice broke and tears slowly made their way down her face. She reached to smooth back his beautiful hair, what was left of it after the last few weeks of treatment. He'd cried when it began to fall out. So had she.
        "You know I love you too. Tell Grandma goodbye for me." He fought hard for breath. Then the room went silent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: khandu
Date: 04 May 03 - 09:57 PM

It was one hell of a predicament. The skinny kid had written some great songs but…damn! His voice…pitiful! Fingernails scratching on a blackboard sounded more pleasant. But the kid had spirit and drive. So the producer wanted to give him a chance.
"Okay, try this. Try to sing like Sinatra, not that you can but try. That may help."
The kid tried, lord he tried, but the results were worse.
"Okay, try to sing like someone who sings really badly. See if that helps."
He tried. It helped.
Amazed, the producer said, "Okay, Mr. Dylan, now we are getting somewhere.

k


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,guest Mary C
Date: 23 May 03 - 12:13 PM

The suspended violin twisted slowly round on the slim thread. Tattered music scores littered the pink linoleum; snatches of half remembered melodies hummed in his head.He lifted his heavily bandaged right hand stroking the ancient Guarnerius. "If not me, then no-one." he whispered striking the match. He watched as the final, charred embers fell into the open, waiting case. Then he snapped it shut; locked the attic behind him and pushed the key back into the room. His sister found him later at the foot of the stairs; a snake of knotted scarves linked him to the bannister rail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 03 - 11:46 PM

...saw a GREAT one in Utne Reader (but I think it's just called Utne now) a couple of issues back...if I can find it I'll reprint it here. It'll be well worth the wait, I promise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 03 - 12:40 AM

GUEST, if you find it, how about just a link to it? Then write us your own 100 word story!:-) That's what the thread is really all about...your words, our words, all Mudcatters and ready and willing listeners/readers. Let's hear YOUR voice, too.

Guest, MaryC, nicely done, thanks for sharing.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 03 - 12:59 AM

...you've heard my voice already. One tires quickly of one's own voice in one's own. Can't find a link ... it's worth a reprint, trust me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 24 May 03 - 03:26 AM

Guest, I tried to find some samples to show what the idea is for these 100 word stories, but I couldn't find any. So your example is a good idea, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,MaryC
Date: 24 May 03 - 06:56 AM

Ewan sat on the top stair surrounded by sparkles of dust floating in the ruby rays. The window seemed smaller. Ewan's growing years had been spent in this spot surveying the burgundy clad youth captured for ever in the richly coloured glass, imagining what thoughts were trapped within the glazed image. Music was the link. Ewan had been inspired by the perfect calmness of the features. He knew now. He
had been deceived. All the sacrificial years practising, wasted by
a driver's carelessness. Eventually Ewan decided. He leapt quickly towards the lute playing youth and into the space beyond him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 03 - 08:06 AM

He stood quietly watching the veterans paying their respects to fallen comrades. Memories flooding his mind, as they always did on this day. Fire, smoke, screams, memories flooding his mind as fresh as the days he lived them. Two veterans approached him and asked "what unit were you in buddy" He told them I was a Merchant Marine and served on the SS Badger State. They walked away without saying anything. He turned back to face the monument, as a lone piper started playing The Flowers Of The Forest. " I will remember you boys" he said, I will remember.


http://www.usmm.org/vietnam.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 03 - 12:52 PM

Excuse me, I stand corrected...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 03 - 01:26 PM

First, a correction: Hasty editing resulted in One tires quickly of one's own voice in one's own when I meant to say One tires quickly of one's own voice in one's own ear . Always pruufreed. Sorry.

Now, as promised: In response to a "flash fiction" contest to write a short story in 100 words or less, the following was selected as one of the best submissions and originally appeared in the Detroit Metro Times (date unknown). It was reprinted in the Nov-Dec 2002 issue of Utne, and that is where I came across it. It's called "The Night Before," and if my math is correct, it is exactly one hundred words.

"The Night Before," by Katie Chase


My sister's a virgin, and it's the night before her wedding. We go to the bar, just she and I. She lets men hit on her just so she can turn them away. I'm the second choice in the turtleneck sweater.

"Hi, sweetheart." One slides his hand up my skirt. I let him. My sister offers to throw her drink in his face.

"It's fine."

He buys me a shot.

In the back of the cab, I hold her hair as she vomits.

I overhear the driver: "Drunk sluts."

That's when she tells me she doesn't think she loves him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 24 May 03 - 09:12 PM

Thanks Guest, that was worth the wait. Without pushing too many rules onto these anarchistic folkie-types, I have been stressing that it has to be a proper story with a plot and it has to have a reason for being written. Although all of the stories here are well worth reading, and I have enjoyed every one of them, some of them are vignettes/short scenes from a longer story and some are beautiful descriptive pieces but the plot is a bit thin. That's the real challenge folks! To wwrite a *story* in 100 words.

The one I remember from the book, and which I also saw as a 10 minute filler on tv, was about a man who was totally obsessed with being prepared for nuclear war, and had built a fully equipped bunker in the back yard. The suspense was built up, and the key fact was that he only needed 10 minutes notice to get into the bunker and he could wait it out until the fallout decreased enough for him to emerge, safe and well - a survivor.

The last scene was that he was out shopping (or something) and the alarm went off notifying the nuclear attack, but he was 11 minutes away from home. (Boom, boom! Punch line. The best laid plans, etc etc)

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 24 May 03 - 09:16 PM

Guest who posted the SS Badger State story. As an Oz-Cat I had to look that one up, but now I get it. Good one!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 03 - 12:26 AM

..glad you liked "The Night Before" Helen. When I found it in Utne I immediately thought of this thread, but wasn't sure it was worth a refresh. Glad you took the initiative.

This 100 word idea has been a great exercise for me to *tighten up* and pare down my prose to the barest essentials. In the process, a new writing style emerged for me that prodded my interest to explore and experiment more. You give great thread Helen. The best to you and yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 25 May 03 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for the compliment, Guest.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 25 May 03 - 07:21 AM

This is what I was trying to say before:

redwritinghood contest rules

   "3. Story must have no more than 100 words.
   4. Story must not be pornographic, racist, or violent. Acceptable genres are: romance, western, sci-fi/fantasy, mainstream, experimental, literary, drama, action, comedy...
   5. Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
   6. Main character should face a dilemma and solve a problem.
   7. The challenge in these short stories is using traditional elements of fiction all in a concise, tight, 100 words.
   8. Do not send me slice of lifes, character descriptions, or anything else that is not really a story. Ask yourself what is the action or conflict in your piece?"

There are a few sample stories here:

Red Writing Hood sample stories

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 25 May 03 - 07:34 AM

Look at this! This site claims that the 100 word stories are called drabbles, and that the first book published had famous SF authors including Terry Pratchett.

Drabble Project

Scroll down and see some samples from that book.

Helen

P.S. What this really means is I'm taking the training wheels off and you have to write the stories according to the guidelines. (Tee-hee!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 May 03 - 05:10 PM

Harry lay on the warm grass, an restless uneasiness growing ever stronger within him that the languid day did nothing to change.

A soft footstep near his head caused him to roll onto this back and look up. Up, drinking in the shapely leg, the curves only half hidden by the black robe, past the full, sensuous lips, to the shining, flame-red, hair cascading down her shoulders.

"Well, HELLo Ginny," breathed Harry.. "You really are all grown up, aren't you?"

"Oh, yes," she replied, smiling knowingly.
        
And with that – and some other mystical actions – Ginny enchanted the legendary Harry Potter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jeri
Date: 25 May 03 - 09:42 PM

He first started to hear echoes when he was only seventeen. When no one talked, the sounds would fill the quiet spaces in between. He was examined many times, but all the doctors said was that the echoes were just funny things only heard inside his head. He learned how he could live with them - he even thought of them as friends. But they say, "the rest is silence," and that's how my story ends. One morning he awoke to a strange and quiet dawn. He got dressed and walked outside to find every living thing but him was gone...

(I watched too much Twilight Zone as a kid.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 May 03 - 12:04 AM

The chairs are ready, grouped in a rough circle; small tables in the middle await coffee cups and beer. At one side is a Martin strapped into its neon-red guitar stand, its anticipation almost visible. Cookies are cooling on paper towels in the kitchen and their chocolate chip scent is heady. The teakettle is steaming, ready for the serving thermos and the coffee pot has just stopped burbling. Cups are heaped on a tray.

A car door slams, there is a bustle of movement, the stomp of feet.   The house door opens and a cheerful voice says, Hey, anybody home?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 03 - 04:01 PM

Ah....Friday......MUSIC night!

Anticipating the scent of gingersnaps, she steps into the old kitchen. Oh! Chocolate chip tonight!

From the other room, strains of "Whiskey Before Breakfast" beckon...There, a circle of friends, old and new, brought together by love of music, are bowing, picking, strumming, toe-tapping.

Setting her case on the floor, she takes a seat in the circle. A few faces look up, smiling their welcome. Others are intent on fingering, oblivious to anything other than keeping up.

One foot in the circle raises momentarily, a few more bars, then satisfied smiles all around. Ah....Friday night!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 May 03 - 05:40 PM

Jeri, me, too! I could hear Rod Sirling reading your story!**bg**

Blind Drunk in Blind River posted an example of bad writing over in Rick's thread on what constitutes good writing. I wrote this in response, thinking I had to make it 100 words, then realised I was thinking of this thread, so what the heck, I'll post it....not meant as a best, more of a cliche...**bg**

"It was a dark and stormy night in Blind River when a blind drunk came stumbling after me, stinking of cigs and gin gone bad. My dogs were crying out for soft slippers and a hot soak after slinging hash all night, so I ignored him and walked on against the rain. He stumbled after me until I turned around and yelled, "Leave me alone!" He flapped his arms at me. "What the hell do you want?" I asked. Then it hit me, he was a blind, drunk mime in Blind River on a dark and stormy night. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 05:58 PM

The wagon brimmed with petals from Mom's prized roses. Dad browsed for a switch, like a scholar contemplating his beloved tomes. He selected one from the oak in whose shadow I once stood in awe. Between lashes, Dad counselled nothing was safe from the absolute corruption of the human hand, not even God's pure beauty. I studied my scars and withdrew to hone my axe. When he came home late one night, drunk and waving his gun around, I remembered. Not even unconditional love could withstand the hardened years of my razor-sharp wrath. I cut that goddamned tree down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM

You gotta be flippin kidding Helen. Too many flippin rules eh! Waddya think I'm gonna sit down and count every flippin word I write and then what? Waht if it comes to 112 words? What do I do then? And besides, I might not of counted right so I mgight have to count it again. Adn again. I got a life here you know and it dont make sense to sit around coutning words all day! Geez.

You thinki I'nm going to go and count those word=s now? Dont'; flippin hold your breath eh?

Okay, I'm gonna write a story, but I aint' rpomising nothin.

I'm staring now.

REady?

Okay.


It was a dark and stormy night at the brewery. (that's 10 w9rds) Lewis was waiting to find out what was the meaning of his life. (that's 13...so that makes 23 words. The stuff in the brackets dont count eh?)

He didn't have a flippin clue why he was in the world but he figgered it had somthin to do with constumption, probably.

(Shit. How many now? Wait.) (Okay it's 46 now. Geez! Almost halfway there already! HOw can anyone do this?)

Lewis was ready though, cause he was cool. He was really cool. (58)

The next day Lewis lined up with the rest of the squad...all 24 of 'em. (74) He checked his helmet. On good and tight. (82)

But not tight enough, as it turned out. (90)

Cause when the trucker grabbed Lewis and popped his helmet it was all over in seconds. That guy could chug! (110)

(Shit!!! See...I told ya. Now I gotta go back and take out words.)

Lewis may only have been a bottle of beer, but he died bravely.

(I couldn't do it. I got 123 words. That's 23 too many. Wait...)

(I can't do it. This sucks. I am gonna have another drink instead. I hate yer flippin' contest!!!)

- BDiBR


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 02:03 AM

Yeah, but BDiBR, you made me laugh, so maybe you get the special encouragement award or something.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 12:58 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 01:45 AM

"So does life have to be so complicated that you forgot how to live it?", she asked. "No, it doesn't." was the simple reply. "It only has to be what you choose to make it." "What are you saying? I can not understand."
Are you telling me I can choose a life and make it all work as I plan it to be?".
He answered, "That is exactly what I mean, and that is all that needs to be said."
Take your life and be who you need to be. Take your life and see that you are.
Love Life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 01:59 AM

Nice, RR!   

Great thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:17 PM

They were looking for the hole in the wall. The waves were too high. They knew they had missed it. The engine stopped cold.

She held the wheel. He lifted the hatch and entered the engine room. Nothing. He could find nothing wrong. The boat was bobbing along like an old dead head at the mercy of the wind and the sea. The keys were on the floor. Good God! The wheel had caught the keychain and pulled the keys from the ignition.

Get out she yelled as she started the engine and turned the bow into the next wave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:01 PM

The Meatgrinder Detail

I hated special details. I knew where to find him. We had been warehoused together back in basic, after all.

His dress blues hung alone and neatly pressed in the closet. Dad's odd AWOL advice hearkened. "Keep one uniform. It looks like you meant to come back."

"Loverboy stepped out for cigarettes," he said. His outline spoke from the early evening shadows. "You know what they do to people like me in Leavenworth." I thought of meatgrinders.

"I'm glad it's your bullet that found me," he pleaded. I devised 'following protocol' as my alibi. Special details sometimes necessitated special favors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 02:03 PM

This subject is on my mind so I'm doing this as an exercise. Later I'll try to follow the guidelines...

""Not guilty." With those words in my ears I join the ranks of the damned. Mixed with the heady relief of reprieve is the knowledge that never again will I know a night of dreamless sleep and never a day that I can afford to ignore who is behind me.

"There are not many people in my club and none that I know personally. If I should meet them, what should I do? Wave gaily and move on? Or stop and compare stories? Discuss lawyers and juries and people long gone? Share my how-I-got-away-with-it story and ask them for theirs?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 03:50 PM

Rick Fielding asked in one of the early posts if there is any way a computer can count words. If you highlight a section in Microsoft Word, then click "Tools" and then "Word Count" you will get the number of words, the number of characters not counting spaces, the number of characters including spaces, the number of lines, and the number of paragraphs. If you click without making a selection first, you'll get the same information for the entire document. There are only a few odd characters that may "fool" the count. It nearly always gives accurate totals, I'm told.

Word's Tools Word Count says the above paragraph is 100 words. Probably one of my shortest posts.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:35 PM

Cleverly done, JohninKansas!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Pogo
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:37 PM

He began as a hopeful, nameless barbarian with dreams of being another Alexander or Hannibal. An elephant stepped on his head, ending the dreams.
As fate and reincarnation would have it, he next became aware of his crustaceous self in the lobster tank of Cap'n Dan's Seafood. Ever enthusiastic, even with eyes on stems, he followed his warrior's heart.
Ten minutes of carnage later, Bisque the Conqueror squealed as he was dropped in boiling water.
Unsure of what to do with him after that, the gods gave him the janitor position. He conquered the bathrooms and finally knew simple happiness.

(too much Terry Pratchett I know {O) Maybe I'll put up something serious too just to balance it out)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 05:06 PM

Aaaahhh!! My little challenge thread rises again! Such deep satisfaction I get seeing it raise its little head again. I especially like what someone once said in another thread, that the reason they joined Mudcat was because of this thread.

That's something to be happy about. If I never achieve anything more in my life, at least I know that I have provided something for people to mull over, invent, create, and share with other like-minded individuals. I think that the limitation of one hundred words adds to the creative experience. Limitations often push us forward more than opportunities.

(100 words)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 05:10 PM

This thread has been going since August 2001. Just thought you'd like to know that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 05:44 PM

Helen, just to make sure you know- a goodly number of us are charmed and inspired by this exercise. Thank you for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 11:07 PM

I wrote this yesterday, for something called The Art Garden (A Literary Magazine for the Stage). The theme we were given was "computers."


100 WORDS. EXACTLY (not including this title)

Computer chips are as large as planets, to electrons. Following my commands at near the speed of light, electrons race across those worlds, tracing patterns I recognize, and sending them through my phone line.

Somewhere else, someone else is commanding them, too. His words appear on my screen; my words appear on his.

Outside my window, it's a spring afternoon. Outside his window, it's an autumn morning. Others are here, too: some on lunch break, at supper, or restless, in the middle of the night. Yet we are together, in this moment –- in a room defined by our imaginations.

Wow.
---------
Helen: The link you posted to The Drabble Project (a couple of years ago) is now defunct.

Can you remember what some of the guidelines said? Did it give any more history of the drabble?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 09:42 AM

CU, I just found this site on google. It looks like an up-to-date one of the The Drabble Project.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 03:11 PM

Good story Pogo, I liked it.

Ahhh, the one hundred word story is revived, to much satisfaction! Let me see where my mind can wonder....


How am I going to ever get this done by tomorrow? I have to get all the ingredients together. Gathered, sorted, combined and defined in a day. I am usually more prepared to find the basics and go with them, but I was stopped short of progress, when a chattering bystander stopped and distracted me for endless hours.
Jeez! Will you let me do, what I have to do please? I have to gather and prepare for company.
I finally said, enough is enough. I bagged the squirrel and decided it will be an added ingredient to my nut soup.



Talk about weird random writing! (another thread)
Lovin' it still! Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 12:50 AM

Nobody Misses Him

For years, Harold had been pleased to mutter curses at the paper boy's bad aim. Today, however, his newspaper lay serenely in the center of his doormat. So Harold cursed the change in his routine. He should have known better, perhaps, But snatched the paper thoughtlessly.

There was a flash – and void.

"Where am I?"

No answer. Atoms in paper aren't used to questions, and meet them with stunned silence.
-----

They gave Stephan an 'F' on his science project: "The Intratomic Transfer Unit," and sent him to the psychiatrist for evaluation.

But Stephan didn't do it for the grade, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 08:16 AM

Nice. Neat. Eloquent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 02:32 PM

Some say the hundred word story actually began in China,
long ago. But its modern life, under the name "drabble,"
began in 1987 at a science fiction convention, to raise
funds for a British charity. Due to these origins, and
the limitations of the form, the drabble is little known
outside fandom. Drabbling requires discipline, however, that "mainstream" writers would
do well to master.. Great drabblers weigh their words as
carefully as gold dust: choosing meaning, detail and force over
whatever "poetic" language the author's ego and fancy may conceive.
Therefore, I'll promote the drabble in whatever way I can.
---
(ten lines of ten words each)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 04:51 PM

Economy of words yields a certain eloquence of language, which, to some, is on par with poetry. Some forms of poetry strive to wrest the most meaning from the fewest words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Apr 05 - 05:14 PM

Indeed. The author of this webpage: "Drabbleology" defines a drabble as a "prose poem."

Like most drabble discussions, it's aimed at the members of a particular science fiction fandom (in this case, the television show Stargate: One). But the author's tips and pointers (scroll down a bit) are chock full of good advice for any writer.

Personally, I find writing drabbles a wonderful cure for writer's block. When I give my dreaded Inner Editor the job of counting every word, she stops fretting at me about "breaking the rules" of storytelling (i.e.: "You can't have your hero do that! What would your mother think, if she knew?!").


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 10:14 PM

WITCH APPLES


Gretchen had reread the letter until its news lost all meaning. Aunt Trudi was dead. She'd met her once, long ago, on a family visit.

Gretchen brought an apple as a present.

"Half green apples are poison apples," her aunt said, and told her how witches made them.

For ages afterward, Gretchen had nightmares. Now she was weeping – not from grief, but freedom. She was free from Aunt Trudi's disapproval, from her stifling veil of fear.

Gretchen wiped her eyes, and went to the kitchen. She knew what to bring to the wake: an apple pie – a brand new recipe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:41 AM

A mudcat challenge! A story exactly 100 words long. Sounds like fun to me. But what to write? I scan the list of previous stories, some are good, some are funny. Some have used my idea damn them, damn them all. I sit at the keyboard, my fingers hover, poised in anticiptaion. I rake my grey matter for some semblance of a theme but nothing happens. No buzz, no flashing light. It is so annoying, I used to be able to do this once upon a time. But not now. It appears all insperation has gone. Age takes its toll.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 04:12 AM

oh that was 100 just in case you did not realie. And this is not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Jan 06 - 06:30 PM

(Remembering what fun this was; trying to get up to speed, again, in the "creative muse" department. Enjoy!)

The sea washed over her with a lover's promise. Just a little while more and sweet release would be hers. "Ah, me," she thought, "a new life, all mine."

With a soft chuckle, she turned over and began to swim away; away from the soft sands on the edges of the great blue sea; away from all she'd known. Toward a new life. She swam and swam, each movement propelling her onward until she opened wide her arms and latched onto an old sunken ship. As her fingers-turned to suction cups, she stuck like glue in eight different spots!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 06 - 10:06 PM

The Listener

Today I'm Richard, brain damaged from an accident. Cindy needs to let me go. It's okay Mom, I say. She signs the papers and begins the healing.

Tomorrow someone else will unload. People whisper, and I assume their burdens. It's a gift and a curse. Even my therapist can't conceal his baggage. One word and suddenly I'm his dysfunctional wife. I'm awash in endless waves of human suffering. I have no recourse.

Regina unknowingly signs a solution. Her ears for my ears. We are each other's savior. It stops the inner voices, but I miss the music, especially the blues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 06 - 10:27 PM

Stunning, guest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: KT
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 12:52 AM

Wow, GUEST! Thanks for reviving this thread...it's a good one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 05:53 PM

"No, John, we need to turn right!" she said.
He pulled the SUV over, stepping hard on the brake. "You want to drive Grace?" He eased himself out of the driver's seat. "You take the wheel!"
She climbed out, flinching from hip pain. He grimaced as they passed before the hood.
"Backseat driver your whole life," he muttered. She eased back onto the road. He gazed at the maze of streets.

"That's where Sutton's Hardware was," he said, smiling now. She laid her hand on his knee. He wondered briefly why she was driving, then covered her hand with his.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 05:57 PM

I had forgotten what a great exercise in economic writing this thread was. Started with 135 words, trying to tell a story and create two characters in as brief a fashion as possible. First the adjectives went out the window. Then an unnecessary phrase or two, and finally bingo, 100 words.
And a better story for the paring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 10:12 PM

I love it when this thread pops up again. If you're not careful I might mention this thread again, but maybe better not.

;->

And Guest, 29 Oct 06 - 10:06 PM, have you read the book by John Crowley called Engine Summer?

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 10:54 PM

No Helen, GUEST 29 Oct 06 - 10:06PM has not read "Engine Summer." I am assuming that my plot line was purloined for that book? ;-)

Any resemblance is purely coincidental. My 100 word story was based on an incident with a coworker at work. Does it have some similarities to Crowley's book?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: KT
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 11:07 PM

Wonderful addition, EJ! Wonderful! I agree, it's an outstanding exercise!!
KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 08:26 AM

No, Guest, it wasn't purloined, but your enigmatic story reminded me of Engine Summer, which is possibly the most enigmatic novel I have ever read. I read it as an "experience" more than the "I wonder what happens next" kind of book. You may like it. Then again, you may not.

I think there is a... not a similarity ...but a connection to the premise of the book that you might like. You won't get the point of the connection until you read all the way through, though.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 05:15 PM

(For Halloween/Samhain)

She was dirt poor, worked so hard her fingers were only skeletons.
She found the graveyard to be a place of respite and peace. There was no fear for her, this All Hallow's Eve. The residents were quiet and respectful, unlike those she lived among.
"Do you come here, often," he said?
"No, I've not much time for dancing and men want more than bones to hold onto."
His fleshless jaw flapped with a teeth-clacking laugh. "Well I ain't most regular men, darlin'. Let's go dance on my grave and do the monster mash!"
Her eyes flashed with surprise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 09:37 PM

(The idea for this one, for Halloween, came from my Rog.)

He pulled on the skin-tight Levi's with the silver studs along each outer seam. They were tucked into pretty pink dyed alligator skin cowgirl boots with the oh-so-pointy toes he loved so much. Next he tucked in a fancy Western shirt with a frilly ruffle down the front. Then came the shiny six-shooters with pearl handles, buckled around his hips in shiny black leather holsters. He topped it all off with a bright pink cowgirl hat.

"Okay, Laur-aaa, Diiiick, Karrrl! Let's play Trick-or-Treat!" said George.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Anonymous
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 09:53 PM

The stranger burst into the tavern, a whirlwind of snow battering its way through the open door. Ptar peered up from his book, cloaked in shadow. A single snowflake drifted through the inn, settling upon Ptar's book. The stranger, swaddled in cloth, limped along the stone floor towards the blazing hearth. The stranger stopped; began to cough, violently and forcefully hacking up blood. Ptar rushed over to help, seizing the stranger by his shoulders. "Are you okay?" The stranger's agony ceased abruptly; receding unto nothingness, and he looked upwards. "Sir?" He spun desperately. "Sir!" There was naught there but shadows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 07:12 PM

Helen,

Thanks for the Engine Summer recommendation. I read an online synopsis of the book.

If you find "The Listener" enigmatic then perhaps I have failed this one hundred word challenge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 08:30 PM

No, Guest, it reminded me of the enigmatic premise of Engine Summer. You wouldn't get what I meant until you read the book, if you decide to read it. One of my favourite books, by the way. It haunts me by popping up in my brain at unexpected moments. (I read it originally about 15 years ago.) It's like Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game, in that way, because that novel is a part of my brain's architecture now, too.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: bobad
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 10:51 PM

I got pissed and failed my driving test today. Yeah, you heard me right. I'd had this driving test booked for five weeks now and had forgotten all about it. The office Christmas party got underway at noon and by three o'clock I was just beginning to get into that pleasantly delicious state of not giving a fuck about this miserable job and the colourless people I was forced to spend my days with when I remembered there was something I had to do today. The instructor wasn't amused when I hit the curb and nearly sideswiped that parked car.

With apologies to jacqui c.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 10:21 AM

200. Exactly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 04:12 AM

Recently, on my journal, I asked friends for some 100-word story prompts in the form of a name, a verb and an object.

These two are my favorites of the ones that emerged:



(Andy, Hug, Button)

Andy stood in the parlor, as tidy as Nanna left it, but for five years of dust, and winter's accumulated chill.

Something green on the table drew him. He picked it up: a button from his overalls when he was... Two?

Then, he saw the needle with green thread... and something in the knitting bag.

He carefully pulled it out.

A teddy bear, with "C" on its chest, and one blue button eye.

Five years ago, Christina had outgrown teddy bears, especially homemade and funky.

Now? Maybe...

Sitting down, Andy finished her work.

He smiled, and hugged it for Nanna.



Charlie, eats, Chicago)

Charlie paused in his foyer. Something was different. He straightened his tie -- nervous tick.

There was a clang from the kitchen.

Charlie hurried toward it, and stopped in the doorway. "Sam?!"

Sam turned, grinning. "Your father kept his spare key in the flowerpot, too – so alike."

Thirty years. Sam had hardly changed. "Still like spagghetti?" he asked.

"Yeah..."

Sam pulled a wallet photo from his pocket, dropped it on the table: Sam and Dad by a highway sign: "Chicago 237 mi."

"Found that," he said, turning back toward the pot. "It has a story and the story needs a meal."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 10:38 AM

*smile* great stories, CU. It's great to see this thread, again, too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 11:26 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 04:37 PM

Thanks, Kat!

I love "Drabbles" (as exactly-100-word-stories are called, in my neck of the Internet). I think the strict precision does just as much to sharpen the writing as the brevity.

Someday, I would love to see drabbles as a recognized genre of fiction in the mainstream, and to find drabble anthologies on the shelves of bookstore chains and libraries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 05:34 PM

Just as John McCain was about to reach across the aisle to the House Republicans, hundreds of cell phones began to ring, jingle, vibrate and play 'where the eagles soar'. With so many phones going off at once everyone made answering theirs a priority.
It was text , a link or a staffer telling them about the CNN tape being played on the air. It was Ossama bin Laden apparently on his death bed with an IV and monitors at his bedside. He said "I told you that America would be defeated by bankruptcy. Your businessmen did it for me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 07:29 PM

Capri Uni,

As I posted in my initial post to start off this challenge (which was 7 years one month and 19 days ago - Oz time. I love that this thread keeps re-surfacing at irregular intervals) I was first alerted to the existence of these 100 word stories by a book we had at the library where I worked. So at least one book has been published - and that was in the mid 1980's so there may be more now.

And I didn't know they were called Drabbles.

Helen
**********************************************************************
Subject: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 09:44

"Okay, the next Mudcat Challenge is here.

"Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to write a complete short story which is exactly 100 words long - no more and no less.

"It has to be a proper story with everything you want to express in those 100 words.

"When I was working in the library we had a book of these from a British Sunday Telegraph competition. I saw one of the stories as a short film on tv a few years later. Very clever. And very economical use of words to convey the complexity of the story.

"(Note: the above paragraphs are exactly 100 words.)

"Your mission starts.....NOW!

"Helen"


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 08:16 PM

Helen:

Here is a brief history of the Drabble; the first use of the term was in a Monty Python sketch.

Students in the Birmingham University Science Fiction Club adopted the name and devised the rules. Three anthologies of 100 drabbles have been published, in limited runs of 1000 copies, the first in 1988. The proceeds have gone to a charity for the blind, I believe so that libraries could buy book-reading machines.

The genre's origin is probably why it is almost unknown outside the geeky circles of sci fi and fantasty fandoms.


Yes. That explanation was a drabble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Bluegrassman
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 09:09 PM

A hot day in June 1986, when on holiday in India, a very young Dan met up with a young bull elephant who had a piece of wood stuck in its foot. With his knife Don carefully removed the piece of wood, the elephant trumpeted and walked away. 20 years later visiting Chicago Zoo, Don and his son saw the some elephants, and one walked over to Dan The elephant then stamped his foot three times and Dan remembered 1986. The elephant gently picked Don up and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly. Probably wasn't the same elephant!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 12:07 AM

**Oops, I did it again! I re-opened this thread. It appears above the line in Non-BS-Land but that is because it pre-dates the border-crossings of the BS-ers to and from BS-Land.

A challenge:a flea,an orange,a bicycle seat



**Not sorry, really! ;->

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 05:23 PM

Seems there ought to be some good ones in these threads:

100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest for short fiction that will make us shiver, any genre: whimsy, allegory, mystery, romance, fable, humor, love, fantasy, even horror. Awards: $500, $200, $100 plus publication on Web site. Also 20 honorable mentions. All entrants will receive free checkmark evaluations of their submitted stories. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: extended to December 30, 2008. Info: www.100wordsorfewerwritingcontest.com.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM

Another contest, another chance to lift my aging pen and agile hand to paper.
I thought,"If only I could reestablish some brain patterns to make thought come alive once again".
My pen quivered with excitement when it began to touch the paper. It danced words that were actually tangable and the paper soaked up ink with glee.
Letters, words and thoughts poured from my hand with a recollection of poetry and prose of years gone by.
The nurse entered the room saying, "Here, take your meds" , and mumbled "She has got to stop all this scribbling on the walls".


Good morning all! I still love this thread!
Peace.
Rustic


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:43 AM

RR!! Great to *see* you!! I had an ex-mother-in-law who DID scribble on walls!*bg*


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: s&r
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 05:25 PM

Slowly down the central aisle you came
I did not turn around
I knew what I would find
I knew that you desired to share my name
You said you liked the sound
We were of common mind
The music I had chosen for this time
An old familiar tune
They all had heard before
It had no words there was no need for rhyme
No spoon no moon no June
For by the churchyard door
Lay flower on flower and on the casket lid
Of where you lay a rose and lily wed
As down the aisle you came


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:43 PM

I wrote this for the latest Art Garden (which is an oral-performance evening set up like a literary magazine). It had the theme "Shopping." I explained the rules of a "drabble" (100-word-exactly story), and said that hyphenated words were argued about, but that since this story was being told for the ear, I was counting the hyphened word as two words, instead of one.




BAH HUMBUG! ...On the Other Hand...

Visiting the mall during the Holiday Season has always been, for me, an exercise in gauntlet-running: maneuvering my wheelchair through overcrowded aisles, warding off the elves at the Santa Station (who seem convinced that I am five years old), and maintaining my sanity after hearing "White Christmas" for the hundredth time that week.

But still, there have always been things that manage to raise my spirits: The exuberance of the garlands and the lights, the notion that people are all buying gifts for other people, and realizing, looking at all the opulant window displays, that I want for nothing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:39 PM

Inspired by katlaughing and her 50,000 word Novel-in -30 -Days I am returning to a story I began several years ago. I stopped at a certain point because research was needed and I didn't have the time just then. Now, I do. I just reread the chapters I have completed and it's an interesting story, if I say so myself.

I was right; it will take research. Sigh. Luckily I enjoy the process and I always end up knowing more at the end than I knew at the beginning. Someday I will be a wise woman.   Tongue firmly in cheek.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 11:35 PM

(Beautiful, esp. that last revelation, CU! Goodonya, Ebbie! I just did another edit with your helpful eye! Love this thread!)



The model she chose was the latest in Heat-Seekers. Invariably, it turned toward any heat source. It didn't actually glow, but one could feel the emanations of heat soaked in. It might actually heat a small domicile unit. If one ran their hand along the ridge, there was a noticeable transference of glowing warmth. It even matched their new decor: sable brown with cream and hints of azure blue. There were also dual outputs for the patented Comfort Rumble and it was guaranteed to be a True Descendant of Bast. "Come, Kitty" she said, "Let's go home."



(Inspired by Kipling the Cat curled up in a chair above our heat register.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 03:33 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM

I walked the streets of the town on Friday night, looking at my reflection in the shop windows. I spotted him staring at me. He engaged me with his velvet voice. Such was my comfort we went to the pub for a drink and sat engrossed in conversation for hours. As we entered my luxury flat, his arm brushed mine erotically and I was eager with anticipation. We entered the bedroom where he gently stroked my eager body. Sadly I climbed into my bed alone knowing that I would never recover from this affliction of mine which they call schitzophrenia.
(c) Mike Hill


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ed T
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM

A true story:

Telephone rings. "Hello".

"This is the school. Your son initiated a racial incident, report to the principal's office, after school."

Concerned, we arrived , teacher, principal looking up, sternly.

"Your son refused to hold the hand of a black child in a class game today.

"Odd", we said. "We have always stressed racial respect."

"Can we hear what happened from him", we asked.

Our son arrived escorted. "Hi Mom, Dad", he nervously uttered.

The teacher asked, "why did you not hold Johnny's hand at game time today"?

"Because, I saw him picking his nose just before", he replied.

Meeting ends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM

When he was a whole month overdue she couldn't sleep. Her nights were spent staring into the back of her closed eyelids while her exhausted mind darted hither and thither, proposing, discarding. She had been fired from each job she had tried this last month; should she, could she, do what Suzanne so flippantly suggested? It was drastic, it was scandalous, but who would ever know? When Edwin came back - if he ever came back, she thought bitterly - she could handle him; he was so in love with her. And with that thought she knew she had decided.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 02:25 PM

Lift

My heart stopped on the thirteenth floor. She stood, framed in our history by the open doors.

"Chilly out," she said. "So . . . how are you?"

"Going . . . down?" I inquired.

"'One,' for me," she said.

Memories descended silently through successive floors. I'm leaving, she'd announced, washing dishes. I always dried. I wasn't sufficiently attentive to glassware rims where lips touch.

"I don't blame you," I said presently. "People excel at leaving. I'd leave me too, if . . . ." We stopped.

"Safe journey, then" she said airily, floating away. I pushed 'Door Close,' savoring the insular motionlessness momentarily before pressing my floor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 02:45 PM

I have three stories going on at the same time, very different from each other. One is a meaty saga following several generations. Another is a book length story of loads of money and an altruistic life style. Another is an adventure story, aimed at people between the ages of 10 and 20 years. I flip back and forth as though honing my multi-tasking abilities. One is now being edited and tightened.   Another has me jumping forward , fleshing out as yet un-encountered scenes. On the other, I am still plodding along. I do love the life of the mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM

Guest, 20 Aug 10 - 02:25 PM

I like your story. A lot.

Helen
(the initiator of this thread, 9 years & 13 days ago)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 04:11 PM

Helen:

It is delightful to know you are still here and guarding this excellent thread!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: ClaireBear
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 11:29 PM

Such a very little distance, from me to you and the life I led. And yet I do not think to regain either one.

It was hard when you brought me here and strode away, hard -- and you in my moccasins, and I barefoot. Harder still it was to see the smoke rising from your council fire, and to smell your judgment on the rising wind: clear, even from a mile away: yes, I am guilty indeed.

I survey the distance I may not cross and watch the approaching flames, sighing. It is a good day, I concede, to die.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 12:25 AM

ClaireBear and Guest, great new contributions!

Helen, I agree, it's nice to know you are still around. This is one of my all-time fav. threads.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:17 AM

(It needs so more work; it's been a long time since I wrote one of these!)


20 August 2010

All morning she was on the phone. He played the music keyboard, interspersing his own compositions with pre-programmed tunes.

"Oh, I love that one!" she said coming into the room. She smiled and held out her arms just as he came to meet her.

"I'll play it, again." He restarted the tune, turned and reached for her.

He waltzed her round, barely reaching to the top of her soft breasts. Taking another turn round and ending in a loving embrace, a magic moment of pure love distilled in her heart forever from her precious grandchild who loved her so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 02:11 AM

It is startling how different 100 words look when they are in different formats. First I checked the most recent entries- great stories; Guest's especially will make me ponder the what-ifs- and yep. 100 words. Then I rechecked mine - it looked so much bigger than the others - but yep, 100 words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 08:46 PM

Hi everyone,

I only drop into Mudcat every so often now, but I am surprised at how often I see either this thread or A Flea, An Orange & a Bicycle Seat on the list of current threads.

Maybe I should write another 100 word challenge story myself. I think Ihave contributed only one story to each of the threads, so I'm obviously not pulling my weight here.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 08:50 PM

Indeed, yes, Helen. We are highly incensed. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Helen
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 09:28 PM

All right, here it is. A true story, and the reason why I've been absent from Mudcat for over a year - knocking our old weatherboard house down and getting a new one built.


Dream house
-----------

I've had dreams about a house for thirty years. I go through dusty rooms which aren't used very much, parallel to the main rooms. The room at the top of the stairs is stacked with furniture, with things everywhere.

I've never recognised the house.

Morning. I walk downstairs in our newly built house. I look through into the formal dining and lounge rooms, the rooms we don't use very much. They are full of dusty timber waiting to be laid on the floors downstairs. The room at the top of the stairs is piled with downstairs furniture and stuff.

Revelation!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 02:36 PM

I too have frequent dreams about houses. Dreams that don't seem as significantly connected as yours, Helen. Actually, I like my dreams very much. One of my favorites is of a four story apartment building. Over the years I have lived in just about every unit. Different floor plans and different views and different floors; sometimes I have no idea that it's the same building until I step out into the hall and realize that two doors down is an apartment I previously lived in. I don't know what these dreams signify, if anything, but I enjoy them. 100 words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 06:02 PM

Quiet down and listen up, said the messenger. She is grieving, mourning her latest loss. She needs to know that you are all right. If you want to go, go now.

Then my lap was full of happy, laughing dogs all squirming to get closer to me, the closest one Meggie. her grin as wide as mine. My arms lifted as I hugged all five. Off the farthest was Mimi, her gentle soul reflected in her serene smile. She knew she was the one who would be closest to me through all time.

I cried. Through my tears I laughed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:07 PM

The old man sighed to himself, picking up his guitar with ancient arthriticy fingers.

Suddenly the soft swell of her hips was upon his legs once more. His chest nestling into her waist, one hand gently caressing her neck, the other reaching lower to the very place where his fingers could sense every musical vibration, deep within the warm, sensuous body that he knew so well.

Thousands of miles away an old woman stirred, sighing, sadly smiling, feeling the tender caress of the man she had never got to meet, knowing they would love one another from afar, into eternity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 10:54 PM

Texting Suga Santa

Sit on my lap, said Santa. Wat u want 4 Xmas? (Some1 who wants me just for me)
U r ez on the eyes (danglin' his bait) U been good? Bet u r

O i c. Droolin' benjamins 4 me. Don't want no sparkly things.
Need 2 make rent, pay my cell. Help a grl out?

Well now, we'll c wat we can do. The camera likes u in them fuk-me pumps. Got kids?
(got deep pockets? No, they got they own daddy - wouldn't want you 'round my kids neways)

Well, gtg (Maybe Macy's Santee got deep pockets)... Next.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 10:14 PM

100 words??..Yikes, what if I stutter???

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 07:43 AM

More poem than story, but all your interesting minds and words inspired me this a.m.:

brother crow, sister mockingbird holla
come for breakfast and love!
they don't mean me, but I go anyway
nautical dawn pajama walk and garden contest
nature does not bestow evenly
torn-apart, bedraggled trailer, you win! you sprawl hungover in a lawn of cool, smooth jade clover simmering with violets, bluets.
smarty-pants pretty little cottage, someone sheared your poor acre to stubbles of already-tired grass... and it's only April! Come again.
For long, the only windsounds were from objects being hurled at me. I don't remember how to trust the shushing, caressing sound I hear through newborn leaves.

Dani


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 08:14 PM

There wasn't anything out there, but it was too quiet.

Maybe that was just her nerves. She eased off the tension a bit, letting herself relax just a trifle. Not much, just enough to ease the pain in her back,

These nights are too dark and too long, she thought. Noise? No, probably just the wind.

Then the mortars hit and the fuel tanks lit up the area lit a flare – and then the flares came with their actinic light.

There were people out there who really wanted to hurt her. And now, for the first time, she knew fear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Ed T
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 08:48 PM

The room was hot. The bright flourescent lights created sharp, cold shadows.
There was a rumbling sound, from a motor somewhere afar.
The walls were painted a putrid yellow-green, reminicent of bargain paint bins.
There were many ink scribbles and poorly drawn images on the walls.
I read a few, and chuckled at the mildly funny, sex-themed poems.
So, why was I sitting here- for hours, pants down, in a public washroom?
Well, it was not just any cubicle. It has been my "home away from it all"
for the past three weeks.

Weird?
Maybe so.
But, true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat challenge: 100 word story exactly
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Apr 14 - 09:39 PM

"it all" must have been pretty bad.


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Mudcat time: 20 July 7:42 AM EDT

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