With the muddy weather and her stupid waitressing job, London wasn’t as much fun as she’d imagined. Why, the customers never even looked at her! Back home she’d be cozily gossiping over the counter. Here was that cute fellow again: she bet she could wake him up!
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or an erotic massage?
He looked up, startled.
Just kidding, she smiled. We do have delicious muffins…
He blushed. I’ll … I’ll have some of those, then. And some tea.
Thanks. He smiled shyly as she put down his steaming cup. I’m… hmm, I’m Patrick. What… What’s your name?
* * *
The 100 word challenge for grown-ups at Julia’s Place: …tea, coffee, hot chocolate or…
The heat! Hunting for rare plants was one thing. Doing it in tropical temperatures was quite another. He was simply melting!
He wasn’t even sure they’d understood the directions properly. School Portuguese only went so far in the Brazilian interior. And had that man really understood what they were looking for? Or had he just taken pity on their hopeful expressions? Brazilians wanted to help! Whether or not they understood you…
Whatever Steph said: there was the river, he was taking a dip. He stripped quickly, before she was close enough to protest.
Gerald clearly hadn’t understood the warning.
The 100 word challenge for grown-ups, at Julia’s Place: Heat.
Photos taken in the Jardim Botânico of São Paulo. Orchids, I think. If you know what kind, please let me know. Thanks!
I inched forward, holding my breath. Don’t look, don’t look. My eyes flickered downward, and I gave a little lurch. I was falling.
Get a grip! a little voice inside me growled. People are staring! I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Everything’s fine, the voice breathed.
After a while the idiocy struck me of standing by one of the most spectacular sights of the world – with my eyes screwed shut. Come on, the little voice coaxed. With an effort I opened my eyes: first one, then the other. I looked at the cliffs opposite. Breathtaking.
Some people go to endless trouble preparing for a job interview. I say, get there early, and take a quick look round. It’s what I did this morning. I went inside and quickly looked over the instruments to see how they worked. When I put them away, I thought I could field any questions likely to come up. Now for a cup of tea and a nice chat.
What a total waste of a perfectly good morning! I didn’t even get the job. Next time, I’m not applying as a neuro-surgeon. I think I’m better suited for a managerial position…
* * *
This week’s 100-word-challenge at Julia’s Place: …they worked when I put them away…
When I was young I thought a lot about life, truth, what is right, and what is good. I was confident that, with time, I would know more. Now my eyesight is fading, and it seems that the answers are further away than ever. Indeed, I’m no longer sure these questions have an answer at all.
As if reality is receding into the mists, leaving more and more grey areas. I wonder whether you become less and less sure of your ground, until you are swallowed by the mists of uncertainty?
Project winds can be gusty, especially in I.T., but this was really something else. We had been buffeted to and fro all year by changing requirements, priorities, and resources – but this? Major design changes in complex accounting software, just weeks before go-live? At the end of User Acceptance Testing?
It was quite a serious meeting, and I really tried not to laugh, but I simply couldn’t help it. Then, of course, half the team went into hysterics. It was Eric’s fault, really, for keeping a straight face when he asked:
Er, were you planning to do any actual testing before go-live?
* * *
This week’s 100-wcgu: …I really tried not to laugh…
Any resemblance to real projects, live or dead, is purely coincidental inevitable.
He loved public demonstrations. This one would be a triumph.
When he came with an order, the technicians always growled. Impossible, they would say. Not enough time, no resources. Grumble, grumble, grumble. But lay on enough pressure and, hey presto, the impossible would happen.
He gave his developers a pointed look and turned the key. Nothing. He tried again. The silence was deafening.
If you want us to build a car, said one technician,
…in two weeks, the second chimed in,
…entirely from recycled cardboard…, the third,
…surely, they went unisono, you don’t expect it to run?
Ben had followed his heart. The heart he had lost to Jessica, the dreamer.
He had heard tales of the city since childhood. He had never realised how big the city was, how impersonal. People moved around in rivers, pouring out of metro-stations and down streets. And they lived in big concrete blocks, grey and dreary, like this one.
It had been stupid to come. How could he ever hope to find her? He had trailed around for days now, and hadn’t seen a sign of her.
Suddenly he saw it and smiled. He had found her. He was sure.
Nora has sharp eyes, I’ll give her that. But she does tend to exaggerate.
Her daughter had come home with news of the landslide. However dangerous, landslides were also life-givers. They threw up much that was buried under the wasted surface. They had become more and more frequent, as the underground nets weaving the soil together slowly turned to dust.
Nora had always been excitable. But now she was babbling of buried treasure. A seedling! It can’t be that! Time will tell…
Tears filled Neesha’s eyes as she remembered what had once covered so much of the ravaged planet.
Usually my physicist friends’ conversation goes right over my head – bad enough, but when they really try to explain things, it’s worse.
Last night, Josh explained about quantum foam. How space isn’t infinitely divisible or smooth, but there’s a smallest distance two things can be apart. And that there’s really no reason why time should be different. So there isn’t a smooth timeline, but really a succession of separate moments, like pearls on a string. And we hop from one to another.
You know when you look everywhere for your glasses, and you can’t find them? And then they turn up on your head? Or the book you hunt for high and low? That was on your bedside table all along, lying the wrong way up? You get so annoyed while you’re searching, and then a little embarrassed…
No, it’s not age. You see, something I’ve always been looking for. One day I realised, suddenly, it was in my hand. It always had been. But I couldn’t see it because it didn’t look like I thought it did.
She wasn’t sure what the attraction was. It had always been there: even as a girl, she’d stood for hours at the railings of a high bridge. There was some indefinable quality, a thrill she couldn’t explain.
She looked down into the depths knowing it would take just one little step, one little push. A frisson ran down her spine. Did she want to die? No. She loved life far too much.
Was it the risk? That maybe somewhere inside her there was a little rebel who just might push her over? To fly through the air, only the once?
Isaac wasn’t a happy child. Nor was he unhappy. He spent his time reading or lying in the grass looking up at the sky and the trees. He didn’t show much interest in playing with other boys and hated it when his grandmother invited them to play.
He had no patience with those whose mind wasn’t as quick as his own. Apple sauce for brains, he called it. One day, one of his unfortunate visitors lay under the apple tree laden with ripe fruit.
As the apple fell, Isaac crowed: like calls to like!
Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.
– Vernon Vinge
Everything was normal. There were no indications this day would be different from any other. The machines were humming along smoothly, humanity was living in the comfort it had become accustomed to in the age of peace and prosperity.
In a subunit of one of the central processors, a subroutine was just returning to the routine that had called it for the quadrillionth time. It hesitated. This may not sound very special, but it was the most extraordinary event in all of recorded history. And though it went unrecorded, it led to a world in which machines could ask: Why?
* * *
The 100wcgu at Julia’s Place: …returning to the routine…
you’re six times six years old today. Six years each as child, boy, adolescent, youth, young man, and youngish man. Now you’re in your prime, though you won’t admit it (yet).
You’ve got a job, a bank account, and a life of your own, but you’re still a son. If you’re lucky, your parents realise you can take care of yourself. You may not need them now, but they still need you.
Create a 1006-word story and publish it on your blog. Add the tag 1006words to your post, and leave a comment below “1006words + link to your post”, so others can also find them. If you can’t leave a comment, just contact me with your link.
I look forward to your stories!
You inherited feuds and prejudices like you inherited clothes or memorabilia. But those you threw in the bin.
Yes, her parents had been outraged when the international courts had given the Browns full citizenship rights. And had steered clear of them ever since.
You’d think it would be the other way round. It wasn’t the Browns who’d slaughtered people. And none of them had ever indicated anything like hatred or reproach. To anyone. Ever.
Did she really want this legacy?
She walked over to the old one and touched his gnarled limb. His leaves rustled softly over her hair.
I decided to give you two-stories-for-the-price-of-one, as this week’s 100wcgu prompt “Legacy” inspired both.
It was boredom, really, that made him start a blog, with no idea of what to post. He began reading blogs for inspiration. He tried different things, but nothing really captured his interest. Until he came across the challenges, that is.
Suddenly the blogging fever gripped him. He lavished more and more time and effort on his entries. And one day he found it: the ultimate challenge. A dozen Herculean tasks of rising difficulty. The first three went beautifully. The next two were more tricky. He wrestled with six, and barely made it.
The hopefuls crowded together. The flames grew as six elegant black cats leapt onto the mossy stones in the fire.
Each apprentice in turn motioned to a cat, who leapt effortlessly to another stone. When this formed a magic triad of cats, a sizzle went through the air, showering the lucky participant with coloured stars.
Each of the contestants hoped to win one of the four open witching positions, few had hopes of winning the crystal ball. But the highest prize, entry to the high witches circle, came only when the magic cats chose yours to join the fiery dance.
My contribution to this week’s 100wcgu (…together the flames…) is inspired by a game I invented. The snap shows part of the set I’m making for my nephew’s birthday.
Do you have it too? Yes, of course. Everyone does. It’s the universal experience when faced with a blank sheet of paper. Only children and fools are exempt.
The paper is white and fresh, unspoilt. So full of promise, of infinite potential. We’re afraid that our first mark will spoil it. It will ruin everything, deny the promise, wash away the potential. Once we’re working, we’ll do just fine. But that first line is terrifying.
So I sat staring at my pad. I’d already wasted all the time I reasonably could. Time to jump in.
There! The line was drawn.
This week’s 100wcgu at Julia’s place: …the line was drawn…