It’s my second semester at college. When I started school, I really wanted to become a writer. But I always have trouble deciding what to write about.
So I’m flunking my Creative Writing class!
Today’s the final and it’s 60% of our grade. The instructor announces, “Write a very short story, with a protagonist, his/her background, his/her goal, an obstacle to that goal, ending with a little twist.”
I have trouble writing any story, let alone one with all those requirements!
Time is running out. So I just start writing:
“It’s my second semester at college. When I started school…”
From Guest Contributor Kent V. Anderson
When Kent isn’t writing stories, he is building robots.
It’s seven in the morning. I’m supposed to be at Songshan Church in Taipei teaching a small Sabbath-School group at nine. But I’m sitting in my kitchen hot boxing a cigarette. Mitigating the queasiness from last night’s escape: a single malt Speyside scotch accompanied by Mozart’s Requiem.
Blazing summer humid heat even at this hour. Should I shower? Will they smell the booze and tobacco on me?
A two-hour train ride later and I find myself up in front of all of the congregants. Ambushed into leading out in song service. The sweat oozes and I wonder if they know.
From Guest Contributor Robert Vogt
Robert worked as a custodian for a number of years until switching to EFL educator after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Changing from manual laborer to educator caused Vogt much regret though he has reaped manifold benefits from the career change. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Degenerate Literature, Horror, Sleaze and Trash, Outlaw Poetry, and Unlost Journal. Vogt is chief editor at White Liquor.
The detective smoked on the cigar as he watched the new client walk in. The person was evidently from the lower rungs. Quite distinct from his general clientele. He wondered where did she get the reference, money, and the confidence to approach his office.
“I’m a mistress of the owner of Exotic Chemicals. His daughter has gone missing. I’m here to represent the owner.”
As he put down the cigar on the ashtray, he recalled the magazine stories about the secretive billionaire. The conspiracy theories on film raced across his vision as the client opened her lips to speak again.
From Guest Contributor Debarun Sarkar
Debarun sleeps, eats, reads, smokes, drinks, labors, and occasionally writes stories and submits them. Recent works have appeared or are forthcoming in Visitant, Off the Coast, The Opiate, Aainanagar, Rat’s Ass Review, Tittynope, and here at A Story in 100 Words, among others. He can be reached at debarunsarkar.wordpress.com
Larry unloaded the wood from his pickup and hauled it into the workshop. Both facades, the truck and the shed, were as worn down as he was.
Larry did most of his thinking while he worked. It was always that way. He could look at a piece, even twenty years later, and remember what he’d been thinking while he built it.
Now he was thinking about his wife. There had been a time when he’d think about leaving her, but that was many years ago.
He was glad he staid. That’s what he was thinking as he built her coffin.
He struggled—obsessed was the right word really—with finding just the right word to describe his surroundings. The decor might have been chosen by a meth-addicted toddler who also happened to be a fan of early 80’s Madonna. The word kitsch came to mind, but while the neon atmosphere did have a tacky garishness one would associate with lava lamps or chia pets, there was also an aggressiveness to the design that implied a malevolence to the circumstances. He wasn’t here by accident and whoever brought him here wanted him to suffer. The pink flamingos were proof of that.
They’d played countless times, but never with so much at stake. Their matches began as flirtation, then morphed into courtship. They won in equal amounts until, as time passed, her victories became mostly afterthought.
Their styles contrasted perfectly. He was aggressive, careless even, looking to strike quickly at her most vulnerable spots. She played cautiously, guarding every pawn. Eventually, he’d wear down her defenses.
This was their final game. The winner would keep the house, the car, the dog. When she won, he couldn’t believe it.
“You were always awful at chess. I let you win because it was easier.”
He stuffed his victims, then mounted them on his wall. That’s why they referred to him as the Taxidermist. His arrest, and subsequent conviction, was thought to be the end. No juror would’ve signed off on an insanity plea. He was locked away and, by the time his appeals were exhausted and he finally met his fate, the story had become more legend than reality.
But he was more than just a serial killer. He wasn’t just preserving their skins, but also their souls. Now, with his death, those souls have been released. May God have mercy on us all.
There hangs the sword, the one handed down from father, to son, to me, the symbol of my family, the defender of our home, the weapon that has slain hundreds, that fought for our homeland in the long war, and struck fear into our enemies, the blade that was retired but never allowed to dull, that was laid to rest but never sheathed, that was put on display as a reminder to all future interlopers this house will forever be vigilant, there is the sword even now, still hanging there, as I slowly bleed out on the floor below it.
The cities were brought to a grinding halt by the death of the Great Leader. There was grief and tears, on personal media feeds, the walls, the screens, holograms, everywhere, even the real faces and eyes.
The psychologist-in-charge at the ground control station of the manned extra-solar expedition warned her supervisor not to intimate the traveling crew. She had warned, but the supervisor in his grief, blurted out the news to the Captain.
That was the last the world ever heard of the traveling space shuttle and of its crew. XT9 became a haze among the frequencies and disappeared forever.
From Guest Contributor Debarun Sarkar
Debarun sleeps, eats, reads, smokes, drinks, labors and occasionally writes stories and submits them. Recent works have appeared or are forthcoming in Visitant, Off the Coast, The Opiate, Aainanagar, Literary Orphans, Friday Flash Fiction and here at A Story in 100 Words, among others. He can be reached at debarunsarkar.wordpress.com
Shit! Here he comes.
“I’m running for cancer research on Sunday.”
“Oh, yeah?” I say looking at the gaunt face, an over-achiever in athletics as well as the office.
“Will you sponsor me? Most are pitching in a pound or two per mile.”
Christ, a fucking half-marathon.
I pledge a pound.
“Thanks, it’s a good cause.”
Monday morning. He’s late, he’s never late.
“Bad news,” says the boss. “Mike collapsed and died after the race.”
Thirteen quid saved, I think amidst the office tears.
“I suggest we all double our contributions to show respect,” says the boss.
God damn him!
From Guest Contributor Ian Fletcher
Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He has had short stories and poems published in Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Friday Flash Fiction, Dead Snakes, 1947 A Literary Journal, and in various anthologies. He is an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association.