November 2018 -- 85 Word Story Challenge -- READ FIRST POST! REALLY! READ IT!!

Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
12
Location
east of the Crooked House
#21
Fortunate One

Lightlike wormholes require little energy. The people of the crowded Earth built hundreds. They ported to the Kepler worlds where their descendants built thousands more. In a single century humanity's nine billion grew to seventy and lacking censure or limits they flew on.

Three centuries later, your kind number trillions. Yet there are still rich and poor among you. Many lack food, warmth, shelter, but not you. You will always have everything you need.

So please, lucky child, before your parents wake, eat your porridge?
 

Tywin

I always pay my debts.
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
1,675
Location
Parkville, Missouri, US of 'frickin A
#22
To Help With the Sorting Later

“It hurt a little, but I didn’t cry. Daniel was in the chair next to me and he cried like a girl when the guard gave him his.”

“That was very brave of you,” Papa said quietly. His eyes glistened at the sight of the tattoo that his little boy proudly displayed on his forearm.

“But, Papa, why do they need a number to know who I am? Can’t they just ask me my name?”

“Hush now, Asher, before the guard comes back.”
 

Pedro Del Mar

I am content
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1,169
Location
Darwen Tower
#23
The Curious Significance of 12:34

I'd often pondered the significance of 12:34. Curiously, I seemed to see that particular time again and again. On my watch, the bedside alarm clock, the cooker display, even the hospital clock when my eldest son was delivered. Eerily, always those same numbers.
Here I stand, unseen by close friends and family, all solemn looking down on the coffin engraved with my name. The first thrown handful of soil lands. I turn to see the dial on the church clock. The hands point to 12:34.
 

Perpetual Man

Tim James
Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
6,201
#24
Big Numbers

10000000011100 01000100 01100001 01100100 00101100 00100000 01001001 10000000011001 01101101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101101 01101001 01110011 01110011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100001 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01101100 01101111 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00111111 10000000011101 0001010 10000000011100 01001001 10000000011001 01101101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110010 01110011 01110100 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110110 01100101 01101100 00100000 01110010 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01100001 01100011 01110010 01101111 01110011 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100111 01100001 01101100 01100001 01111000 01111001 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100001 01110100 10000000011001 01110011 00100000 00110001 00110000 00110000 00101100 00110000 00110000 00110000 00100000 01101100 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01111001 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110011 00100001 0001010 10000000011100 00110101 00111000 00110111 00101100 00111000 00110110 00110010 00101100 00110101 00110011 00110111 00101100 00110011 00110001 00111000 00101100 00110011 00110000 00110000 00101100 00110000 00110000 00110000 00100000 01101101 01101001 01101100 01100101 01110011 00100001 00100000 01000001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110110 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110010 00100000 01100001 01110100 00100000 00110111 00110000 00100000 01101101 01110000 01101000 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110101 01101100 01100100 00100000 01110100 01100001 01101011 01100101 00100000 00111000 00101100 00110011 00111001 00111000 00101100 00110000 00110011 00110110 00101100 00110010 00110100 00110111 00101100 00110100 00110000 00110100 00101100 00110010 00111000 00110101 00100000 01101000 01101111 01110101 01110010 01110011 00100000 10000000010011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 10000000011001 01110011 00100000 00110011 00110100 00111001 00101100 00111001 00110001 00111000 00101100 00110001 00110111 00110110 00101100 00111001 00110111 00110101 00101100 00110001 00110111 00111000 00100000 01101111 01110010 00100000 00111001 00110101 00111000 00101100 00110110 00110111 00111001 00101100 00111001 00110011 00110110 00101100 00111001 00110001 00111000 00100000 01111001 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110011 00100001 10000000011101 0001010 10000000011100 01000100 01100001 01100100 00101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 10000000011001 01110100 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101100 01101111 01101110 01100111 00100001 10000000011101 0001010 10000000011100 01010111 01100101 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110101 01110011 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110111 00100000 01010001 01110101 01100001 01101110 01110100 01110101 01101101 00100000 01010011 01101100 01101001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01100100 01110010 01101001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110100 01100001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01111001 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110110 01101001 01100100 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101101 00100000 01100010 01111001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100100 01100101 01110100 01101111 01101110 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110000 01100001 01100011 01101001 01110100 01111001 00101100 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101001 01100011 01101000 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 00110000 00101110 00110000 00110000 00111000 00110101 00101110 10000000011100 0001010 10000000011100 01010101 01101101 01101101 01101101 00101100 00100000 00110111 00110101 00111111 10000000011101 0001010 10000000011100 01010011 01101001 01100111 01101000 00101100 00100000 01001110 01101111 00100000 01000010 01101001 01101100 01101100 01111001 00101100 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101001 01101101 01100101 00101110 10000000011101 0001010
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
24
Location
Cornwall, England
#25
Just Stop Counting

“I don’t have time for this! Need to get back to my reality”

The disembodied voice came again, booming around him, through him. It was everywhere, yet...nowhere.

“What is time but numbers, simple one?”

“Eh?”

“Just stop counting. Make time flow around you, not through you”

“I’m not counting!”

“But you are. You count every one of your seconds. Close your eyes, focus.”

“Huh! I feel it. Just stop counting?”

“Just stop…No, now you’ve done it. You're counting backwards.”

“Look! I’m getting younger!”
 

Eli Grey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
66
Location
Philadelphia, PA
#26
Morrow​


The open field, illuminated by the moon. Four arrows released, four loose grips. Did he want the lone peregrine to escape with his single darkest secret?

Two arrows left. Countless tears. Morrow was his friend for a decade but forsook the bird oath.

One heavy sigh. One choked, "I'm sorry".

The disconnect.

One arrow released. One long distant screech. A feathered silhouette rustled in grass.Two knees slammed the ground. One bow tightly gripped. One voice wailed.

Morrow the falcon. Keeper of Hidland Field. Betrayer.
 

reiver33

Only Forward
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
1,532
Location
Dumfries
#27
Mister Luck

They called it a working lunch, but to me it felt more like an interrogation with linen and fine china.

Dharma leaned forward. “As the sole survivor, you’ll appreciate we have a lot of questions.”

I sat back. “What can I say? We detected a repeating transmission – four, eight, fifteen, sixteen, twenty-three and forty-two. Then everything went crazy.”

“Power surges and explosions reduced SETI to so much electronic scrap. Everyone died - except you.”

“Except me. I’m sorry, but if explanation is a labyrinth, I’m lost.”
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
2,867
#28
The Numbers of the Beast

“9608000900003335550043020010446000900034560000120023000024560000000999"

“What you doing?” I asked.

“I’m counting every number from zero to Google,” he answered, “and now I have to restart. Thanks a lot.”

“Why in Hell, would you want to do that?”

“I chose this, rather than 100,000 years with a red hot poker where it hurts,” he said.

“Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t realise. Good luck with that.”

I left him; I had to rush to visit the next of my 4,456,873 victims. My task, stop them. I hadn’t fancied the poker either.
 

Matteo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
248
#29
Seven
Why a seven? I thought, about the red, dayglow mark on the foreheads of the Watchtower-clutching doorknockers who woke me last Sunday morning. But I had sleep, followed by a Babylon 5 binge on my mind so dismissed it.

On the bus next morning it was sixes, and everyone had one. Though I got a “weirdo” look when I asked.

It was five the next day, then four, three, and two. Yesterday it was one.

It’s awfully quiet today. Even for a Sunday…
 

johnnyjet

Western PA High Tech Country Boy
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
1,420
Location
Pennsylvania
#30
The Triskaidekaphobe and the Octogenarian

Hubert loved torturing his superstitious night nurse, Geraldine.

She was particularly fearful of the number thirteen. When he walked, he counted his steps, stopping at thirteen. He left thirteen peas on his dinner plate. He hummed thirteen notes and stopped.

One day he arranged to be moved to room 13, unused since its resident mysteriously disappeared years ago. That evening Geraldine would have to attend to him in that room.

That evening he rang for her and no one came.

No one ever came.
 

Rialto

New Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
1
#31
I've been working on this problem all my life. I've gone through an infinite number of combinations. One of the so-called advantages of being immortal. Threesomes, foursomes, fivesomes, you name it. They say you haven't lived till you try a millionsome! Although it can be messy and hard to remember everyone's name I have expanded my Christmas card list dramatically and I’m up to 3.5 billion friends on Facebook. All in a sad effort to avoid the obvious one.
 

LittleStar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
724
#32
Life Unlived

No. Course I don’t blame um. What kinda question is that?

Hundred an five was everythin’ Ma an Pa could afford. Din’t know when their time were guna be up back then; so they spent ‘stead of saved, like everyone does today.

Four, ten, even fifteen millennia some of um, nowdays. Numbers like that ain’t even real, ya know. Like time don’t mean nothin’. Jus’ wasted.

Let um have thier immortality, cause ya know what? I’ve lived ten of thier lives in my hundred five.
 

scarpelius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
113
Location
Bucharest
#33
Thank God there are no vampires

Red eyes burning into the night.

One: you are going to go to room 435, the man inside is expecting you.
Two: you are going to have sex with him.
Three: when he's asleep, open his safe box and take everything you find inside.
Four: leave him and bring back the papers to me.
Five: you are going to wake up and don't remember anything.


–-

"How can I help you?"
"Excuse me Miss. You've lost this."
"Oh, thank you sir."
 

D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFF writer & reader
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
51
Location
Taipei, Taiwan
#34
Hanging between trinity and death

There was an integer between three and four.

Mingchung couldn't count it, but felt it, synesthesia curling up on his tongue like gritty residue of an old pear. He tasted its pungent sweetness, hiding behind the biting, searing death-hot of "four," sinister numeral, tetraphobia.

Mingchung pressed hard on the abacus bead, balancing it on this undefined integer, hanging between trinity and death. His finger seared, emanating sickly sweetness.

The abacus shuddered, exploded; beads floated in the air—spelling out an arcane code for awakening.
 

chrispenycate

resident pedantissimo
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
7,106
Location
West Sussex
#35
Re-Generation

Centipedes in tight formation, all the one-side legs together
Disciplined coordination, formic filing ranks endeavour
Cockroaches in subjugation battle squares from carpet sever

Mammals stare in consternation, study arthropod invasion,
Stripy zebatauroid kitten, poisoned, stung, perhaps flea-bitten,
Their inherent domination threatened by organisation
Insectile advantage written, numerological gains smitten,
Invading hosts express elation, exoskeletal abrasion.

Literature becomes addiction, words like bees extruding honey,
Arthropodal terms assemble, group biography in 'fiction',
Stylistic splits generate friction, writing seriously funny.
Implied frontier guidlines wither, similarity's eviction.

 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
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Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
612
#36
Longing

As a child he would try to count the stars.

Then, one day, he realised it wasn’t the number of stars, but the spaces between them - the singing emptiness - that drew him.

He began to long to reach that beckoning expanse with every fibre of his being.

Sitting in bed he found he could journey there in his mind’s eye, and bathe in the wondrous energy that inhabits those spaces and nourishes the stars themselves.

He knew it was real.

This helped a lot.
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
224
Location
Under the bed
#37
A Single Occurrence Upon A Time

Prince Charming stood and waited for silence.
"Members of the Faerie Council, someone has stolen the numbers from our tales. Amongst others, we're reduced to 'Snow White and Several Dwarves' and 'Goldilocks and Some Bears'."
Charming looked around. "The thief is in this room."

Everyone turned to the Big Bad Wolf.

"Not me, 'These Little Pigs' is a casualty too. What about Jack? No numbers in his."

"OK! I admit number envy! But I'll escape with this ending..."

And they all lived unhappily ever after.
 

SPoots

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
144
#38
Can't Lose

Wind tugged at my slip of paper. I hugged it tight and whispered my number, willing it to appear.

On stage, balls clattered and rolled. A woman in pink plucked one free and gave us all a glittering smile.

“And the winner is…”

The crowd held its breath.

“Forty-one!”

I let the paper drop from my numb fingers. Forty-three.

I tried not to watch as the winner climbed into the van. It would be a long time before I next won the chance to work.
 

Peter V

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
298
Location
London
#39
Not so Lucky Number

Angela drew thirteen, which ironically turned out lucky. Billy got six and we never saw him again. Knowing him, he probably didn’t go up.

I got three.

That was four long years ago and I still don’t know my fate. ”Seventeen” John’s been here a decade and tells me he’s never seen another three!

Last week they took the sevens’ down and I sometimes think that whatever happened to them would be better than this damned eternal waiting.

It’s not like they screamed for long.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
7,509
Location
Iowa
#40
The True Cost of Exploration

Ten seconds to wait.
...... Nine days acceleration.
.......... Eight crewmates strapped down.
.................... Seven years of training for one chance to go to Mars.
.................... Six crewmates left behind hoping desperately for a chance.
.................... Five plus decades of fierce political haggling to find funding.
.................... Four countries willing to share the expense and glory.
.......... Three months in weightlessness.
....... Two habitats awaiting.
One very proud son.

Neil read the words sent by his twelve-year-old son. The tears in his eyes at blastoff were not due to the G’s.
 
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