March, 2012 Archives


A Little Something To Look Forward To

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Anyone who’d been to space knew the most terrifying moment came not at liftoff, but when the rockets detached near the limits of the atmosphere. This was the moment when most accidents occurred.

Of course Lincoln knew nothing about space travel, and was naturally frightened by the entire process. Then again, he’d known nothing about the future, but here he was in the year 2100. It wasn’t how he expected. He couldn’t even begin to put the experience into words and so it was best if he said nothing.

Though he did rather enjoy the snacks. They were a huge improvement.

The Daily Theme From Figment For March 22, 2012

In writing classes, we are often told to write what we know. But sometimes it’s more interesting to break the rules. So let’s turn this one inside out. For an interesting change, write what you DON’T know. Try to sound like a convincing expert on some topic that you know nothing about: the solar system, marriage, bread baking, the hiking trails of the Adirondacks. How convincing can you be?


A Minor Transformation That Would Later Be Cited As Evidence Of His Divinity

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

He woke up from what felt like an intensely deep sleep. His first instinct was to feel his wounds. They were still there, but something felt different. It may not have been a big change, the kind that people would notice, but he was definitely aware of it himself.

He realized it was dark, and he felt his way around and decided he must be in some sort of cave. That’s weird. He would have thought they’d have built some kind of tomb or something befitting his celebrity.

Ah, now he recognized what was different. He wasn’t dead anymore. Cool.

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 21, 2012

Literature is full of stories about people who wake to find themselves in extreme altered physical states–a man wakes up as a giant insect; a girl grows antlers in her sleep; a poor weaver discovers that his head has been replaced with that of a donkey. But what happens when a person wakes up only slightly transformed? Write a story about a person who wakes one morning with a small physical change–big enough to feel profound to him or her, but subtle enough that it’s not immediately apparent to others.


The Tough Minutes

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Gary watched the seconds tick away with an increasing sense of horror. He could not remember experiencing such excruciating tedium. He tried to distract himself with thoughts of more pleasant forms of torture, like being strapped to a gurney and having his eyelashes plucked out or listening to Yanni while getting a root canal.

The other people in line didn’t seem to mind. They were the world’s sheep, willing to waste away their lives at the mercy of others. Not Gary.

Finally his turn arrived.

“Sir, as we told you on the phone, the cable repairman will arrive this Thursday.”

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 20, 2012

In “The Busboy” episode of Seinfeld, George refers to moments like letting the car warm-up or waiting for your hair conditioner to work as “tough minutes.” Narrate a character’s thoughts in one of these “tough minutes.” What does he or she think about during those interminable seconds?


The Hamburger Joint At Closing Time

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Mr. Brand walked into the fast food joint just as it was closing. He could tell by the cashier’s defiant look they were going to exchange words.

“Why don’t you take your business elsewhere?”

Mr. Brand punched the cashier in the face, then pulled out his gun and pointed it at his eye. But rather than fear, the boy stared back at him with hatred.

“I guess you didn’t realize I’m your son.”

“I know who you fucking are. It’s says Tony Brand on that stupid name tag they make you wear. It’s a fucking disgrace to your grandfather’s name.”

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 19, 2012

On Friday, we gave you this theme:
A person walks into a restaurant, orders a meal, and has a fight with the server. Let the setting (time of day, kind of restaurant) guide your telling of the story.

For today, revisit that story, but now set it during a different time of day and in a different type of restaurant. How does the change in time and place affect your telling?


The Cannoli

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Mr. Brand walked into the Italian joint and ordered the cannoli. Tony the server gave Mr. Brand a look of disgust the likes of which he had not seen in twenty years.

“Do you know who I am?”

Tony was not intimidated. “Screw you. Make your own food.”

Mr. Brand looked out the front window at the setting sun. Then he turned back to Tony and shot him in the leg.

“Now get me my cannoli.”

Tony fell to the ground and started laughing uncontrollably.

“What’s so funny?”

“I’m your son.”

“Good. Then get me my fucking cannoli, you bastard.”

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 16, 2012

A person walks into a restaurant, orders a meal, and has a fight with the server. Let the setting (time of day, kind of restaurant) guide your telling of the story.


I Can’t Tell If Jason’s Being Sarcastic At The End

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

On the day you were born, Jason, you nearly died.

I know, Dad. You’ve told me a million times.

Sure. But did I tell you the part where you and your mother fell 30 stories?

Yes, just as the truck full of pillows drove by.

Right. Well, what about the earthquake?

Yeah, that too. I get it. I was super lucky to survive.

I’m sorry. Anyway, I wanted you to have this for your graduation. It’s the grenade that marine accidentally dropped into your baby basket. It was a dud.

Wow. I didn’t know that part of the story. Thanks, Dad.

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 8, 2012

Talisman transformation: Tell the story of how an ordinary object becomes a person’s lucky charm.



by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

General Stern chewed on his tobacco lustily, the last luxury he afforded himself. Once the surrender was completed, there’d be no more tobacco. No more anything, most likely, except a dark cell. They’d probably try him for war crimes. He probably deserved it, too. But if the Battle at the Ridge had played out differently, he’d be a hero rather than a criminal.

It was only after he had submitted to the enemy that the message came through.

Reinforcements are on their way.

The general spit out the nicotine-laced saliva with a bitter grin. It’s funny how things play out.

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 6, 2012

A letter, email, or text message is delivered to its recipient late enough to have dramatic and irrevocable consequences. If only it had arrived on time, everything would have been different.

In addition to showing us the ramifications of its tardiness, try to include the actual text of the delayed message in your theme.


A Heavenly Fire Rained Down

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Percival watched the meteor as it ripped a cataclysmic hole through the sky overhead. He was far enough away that he’d be unaffected by the impact, but even from this distance the noise was nearly deafening. He curled into a ball and awaited the inevitable.

The blast shook the very Earth beneath his feet. Everyone knew it would be the end of an age. The end of an era even. Today would be the last day for dinosaurs to walk the Earth.

Percival liked that just fine. As a zalambdalestes, he for one looked forward to the age of mammals.

The Daily Theme from Figment for March 5, 2012

When it rains…Write a story in which weather has a dramatically positive or negative effect on your character’s day.


Not So Rosy

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

The technology was overwhelming at first, but as with all revolutions, people adapted eventually. The rose-colored glasses, as they were called, physically altered your appearance to more closely correspond to how people perceive you. The ads all showed some variation of a wife looking at her husband and seeing an Olympic athlete.

But Malcolm never quite accepted the way the device changed him so ruthlessly, to the point he had completely lost control of his appearance. It was especially distasteful to find the dog staring up at him and knowing that it was seeing a giant slab of raw meat.

The Daily Theme from Figment for February 27, 2012

Scarlett letters. Dunce caps. Golden stars. Beauty queen sashes.

Describe the day in the life of a character who has been punished or honored with wearing a physical badge of how he or she is viewed by the world.