The firemen backed out of the room, choking on the gut-churning scent. The old woman lay splayed across the floor, one purple foot twisted out from under the quilted bathrobe, the other in a pink slipper, the lamb’s wool gripping the foot it could no longer warm, by her side a bloated miniature dachshund and a cat curled and frozen on the cushion of the kitchen chair. A cockatoo danced back and forth on his perch, still calling to the woman on the floor, to the dog in whining vigil, to the three weeks of silence in the house.
From Guest Contributor Diane de Anda
I sat on the large stone in the middle of the picnic field. I had my notebook out and was busy scribbling away. There were couples and families and dogs and blankets. There was food and sport and laughter and a few tears. The more life unfurled around me, the faster my pencil lurched across the page.
This is the life of the poet. A life of watching. You might call me a mirror, or a tape recorder. I am an instrument.
But life is lived whether we laugh and love our way to death or record others doing it.
“Ugh, Dad you cannot send me to that school!” I squealed.
“Why Samantha? It looks lovely there.”
“It is on that terrible estate where children smoke drugs and lose their virginity at twelve years old.”
“You don’t even know the name of that estate, Sam,” my Dad challenged.
A wave of silence flooded the room. My Dad huffed, walked over to the bookshelf, picked up Hamlet and opened it to page twenty-six.
“Come here Sam and look at this page very closely, but don’t read the words. Read between the lines. What do you see?”
I hesitated. I saw nothing.
From Guest Contributor Joshua Wallis
Joshua is a home-school student from the United kingdom, who loathed reading literature until recently! He is looking forward to reading works of great novelists and insightful 100-word stories in the coming years.
“They’d both die for you, you know,” he said.
She watched as the man and the dog, floundering in the sand as though beached at low tide, laughed and barked in hoarse revelry.
“Does it scare you?” he asks.
“No. That I’d die for them, that scares me.”
He watches her watch the man and the dog.
“Feeling is more frightening than being felt for?”
“It’s more difficult to control,” she says, finally looking at her interrogator.
“Dying,” he says. “That’s the ultimate in losing control.”
“Not if you control how you die.”
Her pockets were already full of stones.
From Guest Contributor Peter Hynes
Peter’s stories have appeared in such publications as Flesh & Blood, The Malahat Review, Transversions, Dark Tales, Wicked Hollow, Rain Crow, Not One Of Us, Aiofe’s Kiss, Horror Library Vol 2, and On Spec.
My pager summons me to the Master Observation Analysis Lab (MOAL).
Based on the theory telescopes will see pollution in the atmosphere of planets which have, or had, industrial life as we might know it, MOAL is analysing photographic images of planetary atmospheres.
Initially we agreed upon three levels of pollution, Minimal, Moderate, High, which are yet to be calibrated into sub-levels.
“We’ve found the very first planet with measurable readings and in the High zone,” calls the Manager to me excitedly. “We need you to verify.”
“Wow! Fantastic! How many light years away?”
“It’s in our own solar system!”
From Guest Contributor Barry O’Farrell
Barry is an actor living in Brisbane, Australia. Barry’s other stories can be found on Cyclamens & Swords, 50 Word Stories and of course here at A Story In 100 Words.
by thegooddoctor in Uncategorized
The pale-eyed, reed-thin child had asked a question, timidly, adding a please.
“No, you can’t,” said a stern voice.
“But why?” inquired the child. Her feeble voice squeaked.
“You needn’t know why. When I said no, it means no,” replied the gruff tones of the elder.
Silence settled down as uncomfortably as the calm before an impending storm. Resentment rose like gushing steam from a kettle and condensed as tears in those little eyes, now shining with indignation.
A rebel was born.
She clenched the stone paperweight tightly in her fist.
The elder, blissfully ignorant, failed to imagine the aftermath.
From Guest Contributor Sayantika Mandal
An avid reader and an aspiring writer, Sayantika Mandal graduated with honors in English from Presidency College, Kolkata and pursued a post-graduate diploma in English Journalism. After a two-year stint as a copy editor in the national daily Hindustan Times, she left to pursue her dream of being a full-time author.
The lone imagineer of the radioactive sand cloud that froze Florida in death and time worked for Disney. Tourists, natives, gangsters, and gators were rendered untouchable beneath a toxic sheet of glass. The reflection burned up satellites and crisped drones mid-air, and it was agreed the whole place should be forgotten, for now. So they forgot the flamingos and the dancing girls and the cigar factories in Tampa where the son cubano played on. Nobody remembered to forget the island past Key West where an old man sold boat rides to Havana for five dollars and a bottle of rum.
From Guest Contributor Courtney Watson
The argument over the next-door cemetery was one of those that never ended, though nobody in the Miller family took it particularly seriously. None of them were actually frightened.
But after the third Miller boy died of an unusual accident on his 18th birthday, the rest of the Millers began to wonder. No family could be that unlucky, right?
It was Mr. Bodewin, the retired Sheriff, who told them they didn’t live on the edge of the cemetery, but smack dab in the middle. But he maintained the boys’ deaths were an accident still. Mr. Bodewin didn’t believe in hauntings.
She and I are married but not to each other, if you get my drift.
Seizing a window of opportunity, we are spending four nights in a five-star hotel on the coast complete with infinity pool. I swim, she wades.
She says, during my swim, a young girl approached her complaining a couple of boys mischievously removed the safety floaters to use for a game in the pool. The lass asked, “Can you tell your husband to make those boys put the floaters back?”
“Why don’t you?” I ask cheekily. “Grab your phone, make the call.”
We both laugh.
From Guest Contributor Barry O’Farrell
Barry’s stories can also be found on Cyclamens & Swords, 50-Words Stories and of course, here at A Story In 100 Words.
It started to rain as I got down from the ramshackle bus at the edge of the nondescript town. “Which way is the Nowhere Inn?” I asked the man hidden behind the newspaper. There was no response.
“Can you tell me which way…”
“Aren’t we all looking for the way…” the man had strangely glowing eyes. I noticed he had his paper open upside down. “I have an easier route for you…” He flicked out a knife.
Suddenly, a huge van with the legend NEW HOPE ASYLUM drew up.
It was time for me to return to my nightmarish home.
From Guest Contributor Sourya Chowdhury
Sourya is a sports journalist based in New Delhi