Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

A quote: “My personal telephone book is a book of the dead now. I’m so old. Almost all of my friends have died, and I don’t have the guts to take their names out of the book.” ~~ Ray Bradbury

I’ll start with a story …

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What started out as a honeymoon cabin for a Civil War vet and his bride was added to by each generation; each with their own vision until it looked like something Escher had built.

While drunk.

Heck, after Sputnik, great-grandpa insisted on a bombshelter! Even crowded with family, summers were well-stocked and comfortable. We lived on the lake, fishing, boating and watching fireworks over the water on the 4th, barely paying attention to what our parents were up to with “house projects”.

I’m bringing the floatplane down to the lake, the last of family aboard, thinking …

We’re paying attention now.

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Now, it’s your turn.
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. featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license

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6 Comments
  • Sheila Garrett says:

    How was she supposed to know?

    She thought she’d been so clever when they’d sent a full company against her. They had guessed something bad had happened to the ones that came through the gate, but they still sent fifty men through it again. It was the last time they’d tried a military assault. Their settlement was doing nicely fifty miles west of her.

    Now she watched Mr. Hargrave taking the floatplane back to town, leaving one man in a suit standing on the dock. Bloody FBI.

    How was she supposed to know the Captain had a brother?

  • Navig8r says:

    It’s just a few cabins along the shore, but a close community. Everyone keeps plenty of supplies so we felt only mildly inconvenienced when the bridge on the road to town washed out. It’ll be fixed in a few days. We noticed the headlights leaving the doctor’s driveway around 10:30, but didn’t give it much thought. At 2:43 AM a tremendous boom rattled the windows. From the door I saw the smoke trail of a sky rocket. Expletive idiots! It’s nowhere near the 4th! Then I saw Margaret with the flare. It’s a girl, dear. The Smiths just became grandparents.

  • Fletch says:

    At midnight the monsters come. We stand the line. We man the guard. They refuse the light. They scurry back. They hide in shadows. As long as we hold the torch – they hide, they watch, they wait.

    They wait for that generation when men forget. When we tell ourselves the danger is past. When we say the old values can be abandoned and that the line doesn’t matter anymore. That’s when they come: hidden, creeping out – filled with hate, with lust, with violence – feeding on what we become.

    So… Hold the torch! Hold the line! Never forget!

  • Cameron says:

    They took away our business, our home and the money we’d saved up for years because it wasn’t “fair” that other people were going without.

    And then they found out about the lake house. We were two hours ahead of the army. I stood on the dock as they swarmed me but I paid them no heed. I waved the flare at the lake, invoking the Pact my family made long ago.

    The men gibbered in fear as the demons emerged. The first group devoured the souls and the second group took the bodies away. No one bothered us afterward.

  • Dupin says:

    They’re coming! Homeward bound! I’ve been waiting for days.

    My vision quest happened quicker than expected, more physically than they told me. The grizzly approached the first morning. We…communed.

    He slashed me—from collarbone to breast. I’m Bear Clan. The scars will show always, he thought to me. I’ll change the poultice again back home in Austin. With another poultice. The makings for them are in my backpack.

    They asked why I picked Alaska. I shrugged. I wrote a random lat/long program, and it said here.

    Then there were his baffling thoughts of greeting. ‘I’ve been expecting you.’

  • Leigh Kimmel says:

    As the years go by, I understand more and more the rationale behind Tolkien’s concept of the elves’ sea-longing. When I first discovered The Lord of the Rings, I was seventeen years old and I couldn’t imagine someone wanting to give up unending life.

    Two years later my number came up, and it was off to the army for me. But I was still that pencil-necked nerdy kid, no matter how hard the drill sergeants tried to bulk me up. So instead of being sent off to the jungles of Vietnam, I get packed off to some lab where they’re doing super secret experimental stuff. We’re soldiers, which means our lives belong to Uncle Sam, to spend as he sees fit.

    I still remember the drug they gave us. It was an electric blue, like it was glowing from its own inner light. We downed it on command, and I still remember how it was cold as ice and still managed to burn all the was down.

    Over the next five days I watched my buddies go through spectacular agonies. Two died outright, three suffered degenerative symptoms that robbed them of bodily function to the point death would have been kinder, and several others developed progressive mental deterioration. Watching them made me feel guilty for feeling disappointed that I experienced no benefit whatsoever.

    When it became obvious that only dumb luck had spared me, but they weren’t going to get whatever super-soldier they were after either, they ordered me to forget everything I’d experienced and shipped me off to Nam. I still wasn’t putting much meat on my frame, so I got stuck counting boxes of bullets in a supply dump for the next two years, but it got me my GI Bill benefits when I got out.

    You can bet I took advantage of those. I spent the next three years getting an engineering degree as fast as humanly possible, and hit the street just as the Carter era was getting going. So much for my plan to go back for another hitch, go for OTC and flying school. I ended up being an operating engineer at a chemical plant for the next twenty years.

    By then it was starting to get obvious something was up. I go back to my class reunion and everyone but me is getting gray hair, going bald, getting saggy around the middle. At work I’d been able to convince everyone it was just good genes and clean living, but we had enough turnover that nobody had my full career to look at.

    By then the kids were grown and had started drifting away. When a drunk driver took Janni, ii decided it was time for a fresh start. I sold the house and went back to school, did the doctorate I’d always wanted. Found a job in a college where the politics was minimal and spent another decade and a half teaching introductory lit classes and a senior-level course on Tolkien.

    By then, the chickens were coming home to roost on all those super-secret Cold War projects. Yeah, everyone had agreed they were ethically questionable when they were first revealed, but now public opinion was turning on those of us who’d been touched by them. All the standard blame the victim tropes, plus some new ones.

    My second wife left me and took the kids, said I was a bad influence on them. Pretty soon it was clear my days at the college were numbered, so I turned in my resignation, liquidated my assets, and bought some land on Lake of the Ozarks. Put a few cabins on it to bring in a little extra on the side, and when things started getting really bad for the likes of us, it wasn’t hard to start running a safe house for the Sharp Resistance.

    It’s not like I have a lot to lose. By the time you get to my age, it’s damn near impossible to make real friends, as opposed to acquaintances. My real friends are the ghosts that haunt my memories, the folks who’ve gone before me. If I catch a bullet, it just means I’m spared that much more endless lonely life stretching ahead of me.

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