JANUARY 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY T0 PETER V!

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Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
Mar 3, 2014

Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


All stories Copyright 2022 by their respective authors
who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here

The complete rules can be found at

Contest ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 23 January 2022

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 January 2022

We ask all entrants to do their best to vote when the time comes
but you do not have to submit a story in order to vote
as we encourage all Chrons members to take part in choosing the winning entry

The Magnificent Prize:

The Dignified Congratulations/Grovelling Admiration of Your Peers
and the challenge of choosing next month's theme and genre


The option of having your story published on the Chrons Podcast next month!





Please keep all comments to the

We invite (and indeed hope for) lively discussion and speculation about the stories as they are posted,
as long as it doesn't involve the author explaining the plot

** Please do not use the "Like" button in this thread! **
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Mr Reagan, sir.
One moment.
Yes dear, I do care about it
Yes dear.
Yes dear
Sir, we’re at DEFCON 1. We need the codes!
Yeah, just one sec.
Mhm. Yes dear.
Yes dear.
Sir, we have missiles incoming. We have to fire now!
Hold one…
Yes dear, but…
Yes dear.
Sir, please.
Ronald? Ronald? Hello? Did you hang up?
Hillary! Come here! Something’s wrong with the phone. It’s only static.
Forty Millimetres, Best Served Warm

Bill leant back on the deck chair. One man and his cooler on the side of a burning desert highway with only beer and a grenade launcher for company. The last of his redundancy cheque.

Through the heat-lines on the horizon, a self-driving truck approached, relentless and inhuman.

Bill swigged his can, then took aim. No more open road. No more truck stops. No more connections.

He pulled the trigger.
Today at 25:60
Overall, I would have to concur, there is undoubtedly a delineation between the old canonical novel and that of a bratwurst sausage.

If you take a bratwurst, and embed the erogenous DNA of a porpoise or similar Coryphaena, that would be a smart sausage indeed. Too smart.

I wonder what aforesaid sausage would think about it’s literary complement. You know, the one by George Orwell. Aw, well, I’m burning the link. This isn’t moral!
One Giant Leap

Commander Armstrong stopped.

Through his visor, he saw he'd left a red footprint in the dust. Blood, it appeared, filled the impression his boot made. Strangely, he could smell it. The ground was saturated with it.

And then a voice.

"Fear not... you CANNOT harm me... much"

"But we must try"

Armstrong signalled to his pilot and closed his eyes. The command module ignited with a blinding explosion.


"But MY eyes shall remain open... ALWAYS"
Not Yet Your Time

"You've been in a coma for three years," the doctor told me.

"It felt like minutes," I said, "and I swear I saw a woman."

"What did she look like?" he asked.

"Red hair, kind of short," I answered.

"A pearl necklace?"

"Yeah. Named Darla. Why?"

"A woman matching your description just passed this morning, one room down."

I couldn't believe it. I saw something.

On the whiteboard was a message: FEEL BETTER. LOVE, DARLA.
See No, Hear No, Speak No

“The procedure was a success. Her rerouted synaptic connections are showing normalized activity and she is awake.”

Strange new sensations flooded Helen’s overwhelmed mind like ice cold air from an opened door. Sound and sight stood in stark contrast to lifelong darkness and silence.

She saw a man in a grey lab coat. She’d heard his voice. Her body trembled; dry lips parted, releasing garbled sound.

The man smiled. “Welcome to your new world.”
Galluntium Badanticle Precision Engineering Company Ltd.

'Badanticle Engineering?'


'Is that Galluntium Badanticle?'


'I'm gonna come round there and burst the snot outta your head. Don't think I don't know you're a spaceman. Or that you've been kidnapping humans to stick in that stupid fiddlesticks Zoo up on Zetlank.'

'How'd you get this number?'

'Google, what's it to ya?'

'The listing's wrong -you're looking for Badanticle Engineering out in Ballysadare.'

'Sorry mate, my fault.'

'No problem, happens all the time.'
Babbitt Rabbit & Kazwallow Cat Obliterate the Universe

Judge Oxburger pointed his gavel at Kazwallow, “Explain your case to the jury.”

“Me and Babbitt were cleaning Zootopia Park. I found a string and pulled it. The park unraveled, a policeman arrested us, then while bringing the string here as evidence, the city began unraveling.”

Oxburger growled, “Preposterous!”

Babbitt stood up, “Your Honor, it’s true. Kazwallow, pull that string.”

“But, Babbitt.”

“Pull it!”


Reality’s fabric unfurled.

“Hey, BABBITT!!!”

Matter, time and space dissolved.
Little Match(maker) Girl

As the tube pulled into Finchley Road, Claire considered crossing platforms for the Metropolitan express service, but stayed, enjoying having the carriage to herself.

Well, she was alone when leaving Swiss Cottage. Now from nowhere, a little girl was sitting opposite.

“Where’s your mummy?” Claire asked, troubled.

“Here, but Daddy’s on that train.” The girl sobbed.

Instinctively, Claire took her hand and ran, just making the other train in time.

Smiling, the little girl vanished.

I regressed, under therapy. 2500 BC. Experiencing my three lives under Pharoah Neferkare's long reign.

Now it was 2042 and I was, for the first time, childless.

My life could end after 5000 years, during which I had lived through many reborn manifestations of myself, believing, wrongly, that each was the only one.

The in vitro was expensive and I gave the surrogate my estate to care for my continuation.

This life will go on.
Long Distance Message

When the Rebirth left the Solar system, it might have been able to power itself, but you don’t risk humanity on “might.” So Jon stayed behind, alone, sending batteries into space, hopefully fast enough to catch up to the ship. He hadn’t heard from the Rebirth in months, but kept working, and hoping they’d just forgotten him.

Jon’s screen turned on.

“....transmitter working. Thanks for the batteries. We miss you.”

Jon cried. His people remembered.

Jenny was an X23 pleasure bot. Despite its entry-level intelligence chipset, the X-series remained popular, with its eye-catching curves and excellent skin, genetically developed from real humans.

That night, when Jenny sat in the charging room, there was a flash and a bang and plenty of smoke.

“Oh Jenny,” said her bot sisters, “You’ve covered your plug and socket in moisturiser!”

“You told me it’s good for the connection.” replied Jenny.

“Complexion, Jenny, Complexion!

The scarlet angel and the violet mermaid dance through perfumed mist, the offspring of sea and air. Birds and fishes surround them, singing of the love that unites two realms.

Metaverse will shut down for routine maintenance

The lovers wake in their cubicle, deep within the underground city. The walls of their tiny room are blank.

"People used to live in reality all the time," says one.

The other shivers. "How did they stand it?"

Four of them sat around the table.
“And who abandoned you?” asked the young psychologist.
The android answered, “It was… my father.”
“Excellent!” interjected the teaching psychologist. “Deftly elicited, Fredericks. Come, we’ll review your technique.
“Ms. Karlsen, reprogram the android for bipolar disorder.”

Karlsen jacked her laptop into the android’s access port and typed. Its head turned towards her and she looked up into pained, welling eyes.
She finished reprogramming, hugged the android and left.
The eternal search

Two deities sipped their drinks.

“God, I’m so wasted.” Zeus tilted from orbit, tipping his cocktail onto the third rock from its sun.
“God, careful!” said Poseidon. “That’s carbon fizzpop!”
“Relaaax. What…you think intelligent life will grow and spend eternity searching to connect with its ‘creators’?”

The two Gods paused before laughter erupted.

“Whatever, let’s go to Andromeda,” said Zeus, “this place is pretty dead.”
“Let’s check back in a few billion years.”
Cosmic Fling

Connected in a dance defined by gravity, two celestial partners circle and spin. One is small and dense while the other active and bright. The dwarf drawing material like a vampire, feeding on the second till capacity is breached.

Taking millennia to form, disappears suddenly between tick and tock. Only a moment, just a flash, but oh what a blast. Chaos ensues for centuries after, calming down to continue their dance once again.
All The Moving Parts

The Engineer sipped tea and listened to the incessant click and clatter of life.

A distant bong of a bell sounded for a soul passed on, a tinkling chime for a baby born, the pops and whistles of lives lived, his machine powered it all.

Yet there was always work to do.

Boilers needed feeding and pistons oiling as the great machine chugged on and on.

But he still took time to finish his tea.
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Off The Rails

"Stationmaster, you assured me yesterday that rail connections ran from here like clockwork."

"Indeed they do."

"They're not like clockwork, they are clockwork. Halfway down the line we passengers had to alight and wind it back up."

"Beneficial for the environment..."

"But not my lumbago! I refuse to travel the same way today."

"You could take the Express?"

"I suppose that's clockwork too!?"

"Certainly not."

"Very well then."

"Wait there, I'll go saddle her up..."
Your World Zoo

“Warden, kid in area 9 with Tora the tiger.”

“Impossible,” he said, “ we’re the safest safari experience ever. Disable Tora’s neural link. Yank the little tyke out.”

“Warden, he’s shattered the assembler link.”


“The sim-kid, sir.”


“Warden, message from SLA e-chimps in area 51.”


“Symian Liberation Army, sir.”


“It says 'Don’t look up, sir.'”

“Very funny.”

They heard but never saw the screaming eagles.
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