November / December 100 Word Anonymous Challenge

elvet

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This is the thread for the stories. You may enter as many stories as you like.
I (elvet) will be accepting entries until 11:59 GMT on Tuesday December 15. I will post a poll, and voting will will continue for at least 5 days. Please give your entry a title, otherwise it's quite complicated distinguishing between them when it comes to voting.
DO NOT POST YOUR OWN STORIES IN THIS THREAD.
Private message (also known as conversation) your entries to @elvet.

GENRE : HAUNTOLOGY
TOPIC : THE WORLD THAT NEVER WAS
The discussion thread is here .
 
A Spectre is Haunting Arizona

In the sparsely decorated Operations Room of the New White House, located a kilometer beneath the Sonoran desert, President Goldwater watched computerized simulations of flying missiles streak across a cartoon map of Europe. General Westmoreland stood close by his side.

"They'll never know what hit 'em, Mister President," he said.

"Good. This is no time for pussyfooting around, like that bleeding heart Johnson would have done. They struck first, so we've got to strike back twice as hard."

As tiny mushroom clouds bloomed on the screen, both men saluted the scarlet flag of the People's Republic of North America.
 
Jetpack

"As a child, I had a jetpack."

Hal grinned. "You could fly?"

I shook my head. "It was just a plastic toy."

"So, it didn't work?"

"It let me imagine flight," I explained, "imagine the future."

Hal persisted. "Was it a replica of a real jetpack?"

Father interrupted. "Back then, there were no jetpacks."

But Hal was stuck. "So, where'd your toy come from, without a prototype?"

"Sorry," I said, dropping Hal back into sleep mode. "Your grandson needs work."

"Sure," father said. "I don't recall you having a jetpack."

"Add it as a memory, dad."

Father's image smiled. "Added."
 
Revenge

I peered up at the towering colossus of steel. Three jointed legs supported a pod with a dark, glowering cowl.
A metal tendril rose, in its grasp was a heat-ray machine. The cowl turned, the heat-ray lifted and a bolt of brilliant, hissing fire leapt towards my house.
I scuttled backwards, scrabbling on the dust.
The alien machine stalked forward, the sun glinted on the bizarre splashes of blue and white and red that must have meant something to the monsters that built it, and I cringed as it’s war cry bellowed across the city.
“Take that you Martian bastards!”
 
Where Did I Park My Flying Car?

"What's Hauntology?" I asked.

"Futuristic music that doesn't sound futuristic," explained my youngest. Sparks flew from his project.

"Electronica that became a trope," said my oldest, eyes glued to his screen, scrolling through code.

"A haunting representation of futures that will never be," my youngest said.

"Explaining why you will never have a flying car" continued my oldest.

I sighed. "So, what to start with?"

We all looked at each other, grinning. "DEFENESTRATION!" we shouted.

I mashed the Big Red Button
 
Peace Bonus

We often feel the fruit of our labours in our souls rather than in our lives.

I sit watching the corpses float past me in the river. It looks as if you could walk to the other bank without wetting your shoes. You wouldn’t be able to breathe, though; the flies are too thick, a black fog which almost obscures the shattered buildings beyond. I always hated London, but this destruction is revolting.

Still - billions dead in a few short minutes. I designed those bombs and, believe me, this is satisfaction. This is the feeling of a job well done.
 
The Red Rift

Trec stepped from his border guard hut. The red car with the starred blue cross screeched to a stop in a cloud of dust and diesel.

Two young men stepped out, heavily armed. “RSA, RSA!”
Trec tapped his Kevlar. “Peashooters, boys!”

“How’s your soy burger, leftie?” teased one, quarterpounder in hand.
Trec grinned. “How’s your movie channel?”

A lone car whistled by on the transcontinental highway; near empty since the DSA east-to-west hyperloop opened.

Ten minutes later, burgers, beer, and insults depleted, the pair drove off.
That’s right.” Trec checked his watch. “Home in time for DTTV news.”
 
A Familiar Tune

In the bar that night a post pandemic crooner lovingly deconstructed punk rock classics I'd hummed in another life.

I drunkenly debunked her 'always already' renderings. We woke the next day at a local capsule hotel. We bonded over food truck food. We've been together ever since.

In time, she found fame.

I travel in her slipstream now, stealthing my way through the end times with a minimal temporal footprint.

I'm chasing the future I left, many years ago, a time of silver spaceships and colonisation.

It's my way home.

I do hope she comes with me this time.
 
The Haunting of the Holy Land

"Let me show you something," said the old ghost to the young ghost.

A circle of crystal edifices and lush vegetation surrounded them.

"This is the Holy Land that could've been, or could be."

"What happened to it?" asked the little one. The illusion disappeared.

"Men happened to it. Man's past aggressions have perpetuated this hell on earth.
The old haunts the new, words on a palimpsest. And the tragedy of it is, only we
dead can know."

The two ghosts stood now, watching the young Muslim boy and the old Jewish man
lying lifeless, being rained on by debris.
 
Visit Great Britain 2050!

‘Summer 2050?’ ‘Visit Britain’, said the poster.
‘Europe’s coolest summer!’ – it rained all month!
‘No forest fires!’ – because there’re no forests… and it rained all month!
‘The business capital of Europe’ – if you only count finance and tourism.
‘Spaceous transport’ – empty trains because no one lives there anymore.
‘Clean roads’ – no people = no cars.
‘Safe’ – no people = no terrorism & no crime (fraud excepted).
‘History’ – 50 quid a pop.
‘The heart of the British Empire’ – a bit like a heart in a jar on a shelf.
Britain – so vacuous, we’re considering the Republic States of America for 2051.
 
The Border

I was fourth in line behind my pregnant wife, my small son by my side. The coyote had left us saying only, “Follow the flagged trail to the fence at the border.”

Lights criss-crossed us. Gunfire rattled behind. I pulled my son to my shoulder as our line scattered into the dark. Mines exploded. One beam settled upon me and my wife and I ran to draw it away. A dead body on the barbed wire, I climbed over. I looked left, right for my wife, finally spying her as a red coated soldier on horseback said, “Welcome to Canada.”
 
His Father’s Castle


He pushed open the wooden door and ran. The farmers and townspeople followed with torches and pitchforks and fear and anger.


His breath was rough in his throat. The stitches in his side began to tear loose and blood again stained his shirt. His shoulder ached, it did not fit well. He remembered running, but his legs did not.


Ahead on the road, lay a bridge over a small stream. He cowered underneath as the mob ran over top. Finally, he looked back at the castle of his father, where he was ‘born.’ The castle belonging to doctor Victor Frankenstein.
 
The Ritual

The seven tribes returned on the sacred day. The priests brought their charts of the movements of the stars.

“Today, we remember those who brought us. Today, we ask for their return and to shower us with their gifts. Today, we make our sincere request, as in years past,” spake the head priest.

The priests then entered the doorway of fire blackened and twisted metal. They proceeded to the untouched chamber within. The head priest keyed in their location data and pressed send.

The message went out across the light-years to a forgotten world with no one to hear it.
 
Battleship

Kaiser Wilhelm nodded as the vast battleship shuddered. Its bows rose, jutting up into the air. Thus it lifted from its mooring, its flanks gushing water, its gun barrels jutting out.

Wilhelm turned to Chief Engineer Strauss. “Congratulations.”

The battleship blotted out the sun. A steel mountain hovering above the dock.

Wilhelm said, “You requested more human specimens?”

“Yes sir. The lifting motors need a controlling brain to supervise the others, to channel the telekinetic energy.”

“I see. Well,” said Wilhelm, waving forward his guards, “who better to become a part of this ship than the man who designed it?”
 
Rough Justice

Street:

21:04 Citizen Scraggs assaults and robs Citizen Simons.

21:09 Ministry of Obedience auto-street-cleaner apprehends Scraggs.

21:11 Ministry of Citizen-Welfare auto-meat-wagon gathers Simons.


Ministry of Obedience:

21:34 Auto-Jury examines satellite video evidence.

21:35 Auto-Jury pronounces: ‘Scraggs. Male. Guilty. Execution.’


Ministry of Citizen-Welfare:

21:37 Auto-Medic examines Simons.

21:38 Auto-Medic pronounces: ‘Simons. Female. Unconscious. Brain damage. Unable to contribute further. Euthanasia.’


Department of Corrections:

22:04 Auto-Warden administers lethal injection. Scraggs: Expires.


Department of Disposals:

22:04 Auto-Nurse administers lethal injection. Simons: Expires.
 
Bread & Circuses

"It's not exactly Xanadu."
I smirked. "You're comparing a fast food app with a pioneering 20th century hypertext project?"
"You know I hate the web."
"Always have," I pointed out.
"I hate expanding menus, check boxes, radio buttons… and all hyperlinks should be bidirectional!"
"Okay, okay, but this isn't a collection of art monographs or research papers. We're just ordering pizza! You gonna choose something, so I can pay?"
"Why you insist on watching while I order?"
"I just wanna share a meal with my uncle, even if it's just virtual."
"To make sure I'm eating properly?"
"Absolutely," I replied.
 
Go on - guess!

So I can take some time off? Have a bit of a rest?

Yep. This new AI just writes the stuff for you.

For me? Personally?

Yep. It studies your previous stories then just goes ahead and writes something in your style.

So if, say, people were trying to guess who wrote a story they’d still think it was me?

Well, that depends how good they are at guessing.

But I still have to submit the thing?

No. It’ll do that as well. Elvet will never know. Now relax, have a holiday - it’s Christmas!

Okay. Let’s give it a try.
 
Years of hurt.
They zoomed in their speed pods from the 84 lane super highway.
They drifted down in their gracefully curved silver rockets.
They flitted from the elevator stalks in their gravity boots.
All with one destination and all hurrying to their assigned tiers overlooking the arena.
They watched their heroes stride out, after 44 years they might finally prevail, the calls rang out in support.
“Eng-er-land!”
“Eng-er-land!”
 
Senatus Populusque Romanus

Hail and welcome to this committee meeting for our glorious Empire's bimillenary celebrations.

First, a summary.

All provinces - from Aegyptus to Britannia; from Assyria to Lusitania - will be sending their finest legions for the triumphal processions.

At Tingis, the Imperial Navy will assemble its grandest vessels, to sail majestically along the Mauretanian coastline of the Mare Internum.

In Londinium, the Imperial Air Force will assemble 2000 aircraft for the provincial flyovers.

The air and sea fleets will rendezvous at Roma for the Grand Imperial Triumph. The celebrations will culminate with the greatest games ever held.

Now onto further business...
 
Mother of Invention

'Why so glum?" Eve said. "Thinking about Eden again?"

"No," Adam replied, lying through gritted teeth as he broke soil with calloused hands. Oh to return to the orchard.

Eve placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's time to move on."

He smiled before casting his eyes back to the dry clay in resignation.

"Wait." She snapped a forked branch from a withered tree. "Try it."

Adam raked it through the soil. "I can do triple the work with it!"

Eve giggled as she hugged him. "Finish soon. We must find a way to keep warm before the night comes."
 

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