The dig foreman raced into the base camp, breathless and sweaty. “Señor Henderson, come quickly! We’ve found something!”
Despite the many disappointments he’d suffered over the years, Professor Henderson allowed his heart to light up. No one dug in the Sonoran Desert; it was a fool’s pursuit–so they’d all said. He felt differently.
They reached the dig site and the elderly archeologist descended into the latest test pit.
“What’ve you got, Manuel?”
“Ancient treasure, Señor! Look!”
Henderson took the garishly colored object from the digger’s trembling hands. He sighed. “It’s crap. Just more cheap, imported plastic crap. Keep digging!”
Author’s note: What will future archeologists seek within our own strata of history? I think they will all be disappointed and disheartened.
They say there are occasions in your life when time seems to stand still.
Unfortunately, that is my life.
I won’t go into detail, but I found this magical pocket watch: used it; broke it; time stopped. ‘Nuff said.
Sounds like a bad Twilight Zone episode.
I can move, but everyone else is frozen, so there’s no one to talk to. Time stopped at 1:29 a.m., so it’s always dark now and all TV stations are stuck on infomercials.
I found a magical watch repair shop in the Yellow Pages, but it won’t be open until tomorrow.
Oh, wait. Nevermind.
Author’s note: This is the downside to being able to freeze time, and what are the chances there’d be a magic watch repair shop in town…that will never open?
Simon pulled the swivel lamp forward, steadied his trembling fingers, and used tweezers to lift up the tiny creature. He examined it with a magnifying glass and was dumbfounded with joy. It was authentic.
It was given to him as a joke. He worked as a low-level clerk, and one of his nastier co-workers dropped it, alive and squiggling, into his soup during lunch. It was disgusting.
Simon now whispered a prayer of thanks, then took another look through the magnifying glass. Yes, it was the real thing: a thought-to-be-extinct, cancer-curing space beetle, valued at just under a million dollars.
Author’s note: I read about a rare postage stamp worth over a million dollars and imagined a collector, teased for being “nerdy”, stumbling onto that!
The judges unilaterally rejected Gemeel’s offering of mottle-brains, gouge tails and torp feathers, covered with adnoy tongue sauce. Sor-tan smirked as his gobcher feet dish took first prize. “Next time don’t make it so complicated,” he advised condescendingly “The more ingredients you use the more things there are that can go wrong. I used only plump gobcher feet with just the barest hint of morg saliva roux.” He smirked again. “There was really no question about who would win.”
“Next time!” Gemeel raged to himself. “Next time I’ll serve them your boiled head! It can’t get any simpler than that.”
Author’s note: When I first learned about these hundred word stories, I found the idea intriguing. In fact, I decided to do an entire book of drabbes, writing one every day for a year; then selecting those I thought were good enough to be published. Then my interest waned, other projects took my time, and I just quit in mid drab-
The clock ticked down to zero. The bomb didn’t detonate.
Oppenheimer, the Project Director, tore off his blast-goggles. “Crapola! Send some techs out there to investigate.”
Tilson and Jowolski’s jeep bounced across ten miles of rough Alamogordo desert and arrived at Ground Zero. They climbed the rickety suspension tower and opened an access panel on “the gadget.”
“Heck,” Jowolski said, “here’s your darned problem.”
He reached in and retracted a tiny, wriggling mouse.
“Cute little bugger,” Tilson said. He extended his own hand into the device. “Looks like he was chewing on this wi–”
The Atomic Age sprang forth.
Author’s note: I love “Secret Histories.”
I knew that I had died. My body was lying in a widening pool of rainwater and blood, the casualty of a hit and run. I hovered above the road and surrounding fields.
“So this is what death is. It’s actually pretty cool, but what now?”
Even though I no longer had eyes, I was able to blink out the scene. When I perceived it again, I saw a coastal city and a large swathe of ocean.
The blue-green orb of Earth looked just like a fortune-teller’s ball.
A trillion stars.
“Interesting! But what now? Where to?”
Author’s note: I banged my head hard once on something and momentarily was looking down on my own body.
Laramie was smart, but nobody liked him. Once a day somebody kicked or shoved him. “I must go away,” Laramie realized sadly. After months of toil, he invented a serum to let him fly like a balloon. When he tested it, he scraped the ceiling.
Outside, he prepared to drink a mug of serum and float far from home. The pink sun peeked from behind the mountains. “I can’t leave this beautiful place!” he sobbed. So instead, he poured the serum into the stream and watched everyone else drink up and fly away.
Alone and unmolested, Laramie enjoyed the sunset.
Author’s note: Bully Balloons is an homage to Shel Silverstein, whose poem Long-Haired Boy allows a bullied child to escape by flying.
Trouble followed Larissa. She visited the bank; it got robbed. Went out to dinner; the chef’s kitchen ignited. The Randall’s asked she babysit. She did not expect it would go well.
Little Trevor complied perfectly, until bedtime.
“Read,” Trevor begged. Just her luck, every book Larissa found was unreadable through crayon scribble. Trevor chanted, “Read, read!”
Linda snapped. “There once was a little boy who would not go to bed, so a dinosaur ate him.”
The window burst. She saw gargantuan jaws, heard chomp. Then it was gone.
So was Trevor.
Larissa knew she should not have taken this job.
Author’s note: I thought, what if someone was very unlucky, what with they do with it all. Here, Larissa means well, is doing well, until she pretty much wishes her own bad luck into existence.
She had missed her own wedding. Her mother had rushed into the dressing room with the news, startling her into painting a streak across her eyelid with the mascara. She still wore her bridal corset under sweatpants and a hoodie. The crowd parted and allowed her to approach her groom.
The zombie attack had left his arms and torso mangled. His eyes trembled open, and she was relieved to see that a dim spark remained.
“Susie,” he drawled, “we were going to be married…”
“Shut up, Dustin. I do.”
He grimaced, which she took for a smile. “I do, too.”
Author’s note: My first draft of this story involved a car accident. I rewrote it when I imagined how a different misfortune would complicate the couple’s wedding vows immensely.