Elephants march, born of stone, trekking Mercury’s surface, clutching prayer that angry Sun would cease boring holes in hide.
All walk bleak parade, crumbling into dust heaps, but two elephants twine trunks, send hope on blazes of light. A youngster is born of their wish. Like others, made of stone, scalds in flame. But he burns back (serve return!).
With focus, the youngster stares into Sun’s eyes, and triumphs. His eyes speak fury their own. Heat close to thirst quenches the Sun.
Elephants march under heat of waned Sun, ever balmy. Youngster marches too, eyes clenched, awaiting Sun’s peek again.
Author’s Note: This is one of a series of stories sparked by reasoning, if there is life on other planets, why can’t they be animals, cousins of those on Earth? Here we have elephants of stone, durable yet breakable, striving to win their war with the sun.
The Giant girl knitting on the mountainside cast a shadow over the village church. With each row she knitted, a villager died. When a posse climbed up to beg her to stop, she just giggled.
A boy, inspired by his puppy, suggested they build a huge ball of clay and cover it with glass panes. Once the villagers had pushed the ball up the mountain, they let it roll down past the Giant. The giggling girl dropped her knitting and followed the shiny toy to the next valley.
Today the clever boy is mayor, and knitting is considered bad luck.
Author’s note: Folktale style works particularly well in very short form, I think, since such stories often strip life-altering adventure down to its most essential elements.
She was dating a vampire when she had an affair with a werewolf.
She abandoned the bloodsucker to live with a zombie.
When that relationship fell apart—about the same time the zombie did—she took up with a mad scientist.
But the scientist’s anger soon faded, as did his love for the woman.
Her next lover was the Invisible Man, though after a few months she could no longer see what about him had attracted her in the first place.
Eventually, she married a machete-wielding serial killer and they were happy together.
Until the first time she nagged him.
Author’s note: You’d think after having flings with a variety of nasty monsters, she’d avoid nagging the one lover who is never without a machete in his hand…
Everything Eddie Nelson knew, he’d learned in Kindergarten:
- The other kids are all wimps, and you can easily make them do what you want by intimidation.
- Only share your toys if you can steal something better in return.
- Naps are for sissies.
“And what is your recommended response to North Korea’s latest provocative action, General Nelson?”
Eddie’s mind snapped back to the Situation Room. The new President was just another wimp. He was limp prey, all the way.
“Nuke ’em,” Eddie said. “Now!”
He smiled as the President called for the “nuclear briefcase” to be brought in.
Author’s note: I’ve always wondered about who the real behind-the-scenes power wielders are. (And yes, Dr. Strangelove is indeed one of my favorite movies.)
He had a been science fiction fan his entire life and was always fascinated by cyborgs, robots, and androids, but never thought that years later, at the age of 82, he himself would end up only having contact with others through the use of a mechanical device.
He felt there was something innately ungodly about interacting through machines, but there wasn’t much choice if he wanted companionship. After his wife died last year, he was left alone and completely isolated out at their farmhouse.
He sighed unhappily, and once again, logged onto Chatzy, a social networking site for the elderly.
Author’s note: I had just declined an invitation to join a social networking site.
Recker, Kung fu and pistol master, was Jayne’s avatar in Reign of Goodness, which she played ten hours a day. In the game, Recker loved Demo, a dashing wizard.
The love felt real, and Jayne longed for a real-life meetup with whoever played as Demo. “Maybe he’s twelve,” she laughed, “or a fortyish man in Mama’s basement. Or a woman. It doesn’t matter. Demo’s player is my last chance for R.L. love.”
Jayne hacked the gaming company’s database to find her lover’s identity. No such avatar existed. Smiling, she sighed, “It’s proof that the game world is my true R.L.”
Author’s note: I thought it would be fun to condense the endless hours of this woman’s gaming into a hundred-word search for love.
Peter and Krista looked at each other, knowing it was almost over. There was no food left in the house. Their fields were barren, their animals were dead. A curse had blighted this land, poisoning the water, killing the trees. Most of their neighbors had died of starvation or the choking sickness—or simply despair.
The couple lay down, holding hands, and waited for Death and his merciful release.
He was not long in coming. Swiftly he took their lives as he had taken so many from this once thriving valley. Tears rolled down his cheeks.
Even Death can cry.
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-
Professor Rolfson invited his academic rival, Schmidt, to visit his estate, ostensibly to reveal a new discovery. They went into the garden, where Rolfson proudly displayed his novel rose hybrid.
“Very nice,” Schmidt said. “But I don’t understand why you persist in these mundane pursuits. With my new research, we can genetically create pigs that fly, cows that produce gasoline, sheep that excrete fine cloth. And you only cultivate roses.”
“Not so, my friend.” Rolfson pointed behind Schmidt.
The Venus Fly Trap was gigantic, and when it snatched him up, Schmidt realized just how much Rolfson had always hated him.
Author’s note: I am not an academician, but I suspect many of them have these kinds of wish-fulfillment daydreams.
Flipping coins was Blake’s job. Blake flipped for Bill Bamboozle, pleasing crowds with disappearing coins.
One day, his coin did vanish. Desperate, he searched the tent grounds for another. He was elated when he found one. Unusual with dragon head on one side, tail on other, but a coin was a coin.
On stage, Blake asked an old woman in the audience, “Heads or tails?”
“Tails,” she said. Blake flipped.
“Tails,” Blake confirmed.
The woman rose screaming, but not a yay-I-get-to-participate scream. From the seat of the woman’s trousers spouted three tails.
Mr. Bamboozle scrutinized Blake. Blake could only shrug.
Author’s Note: I was staring at a coin when I thought of this story, thinking what if answering heads or tails had serious consequences. I just had to set it in a circus, such a magical yet terrifying place.
Marla’s parents were human. She was a plant. “Some recessive gene,” they told her. Embarrassed, they put Marla in the back yard. Her roots took hold and she grew into a vibrant shrub. One day, without goodbyes, Marla’s family moved away.
Dreaming of the world beyond, Marla died and regrew before a new family moved in. Peter, their little boy, didn’t speak, but every day he sat by Marla and sang. He made up ballads about a plant girl who had adventures. Peter’s parents wept at his madness, but Marla knew she’d found the only person who’d ever understood her.
Author’s note: As autism becomes more an more prevalent, I find it valuable to consider how people on the spectrum have almost super-human perception in very specific situations.