APRIL 2022 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO CHRISTINE WHEELWRIGHT!

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Getting worse one day at a time
Mar 22, 2012
Mercia, UK


  • 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
  • When writing your story, please remember this is a family-friendly forum
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 Rules for the Writing Challenges

  • Contest ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 23 April 2022
  • Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, 28 April 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 Chronscast podcast next month!


  • Pressure


  • Speculative fiction
Please keep all comments to the Discussion thread.

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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Humans colonized the giant water world Poseidon in structures able to withstand the immense weight of its massive ocean. Matter transformers the size of whales, each carrying the miniature sun of a fusion engine in its belly, changed seawater into the strongest building material ever created by human beings. Cities arose from the ocean floor like the birth of a new Atlantis. A few generations later, the inhabitants forgot the rest of the universe existed.
Only One Way to Cook in the Vacuum of Space

Justin was on the wait list for several months to use the starship’s hyperbaric oven; finally the day had come. He entered the galley with carefully procured ingredients and an old Earth recipe.

Flour, eggs, sugar and water mixed and poured into a pan with care and attention, then placed in the heated pressure chamber. The final creation emerged, exceeding his expectations.

He presented his gift, frosted and adorned with candles. “Happy birthday, Mom.”
Don’t Test Me

Pressure? What pressure?

I don’t have enough to measure.

I get a lot of time for leisure,

and I be chilling like ‘whatever’.

I’s easy. I’s breezy.

It doesn’t take a ton to please me.

My bank balance might be measly,

but I never let troubles squeeze me.

So, keep your pressure off o’ me or you will feel my knife.

Then, you’ll need pressure on your wound to save your worthless life.

Taking the stress out of torturing​

The cell felt warm and welcoming, just not for the strapped down elf.

“How does it work?” asked the Dark Lord.

The saleskobold, sporting a “Hi, I’m Brian” badge, chittered a gleeful explanation.

“Anyone can use it? Norman, if you please.”

Pushing a lever hard, the device amplified the troll’s strength through a clever combination of pulleys and cogs.

The cell became redder than before.

“I think Norman, that was a touch too much pressure.”
The Test Case

The robot hurried to the veterinary clinic counter. “My owner’s dog has been injured. It’s bleeding though I press its laceration. Please, save him.”

In reception, the robot stood talking to people fearful of regarding it. “I’m the test model. This is my first day walking Bruno, and automobiles do unpredictable things.
“There’re thousands like me awaiting their chance, but if I’m deemed defective…”
The surgery door opened. The veterinarian approached and smiled. “Bruno’s fine.”
Feeling the PRESSURE

Lisa stood looking at the portal that shimmered and shifted, like water.

‘You know what to do?’ asked an Orderly.

‘Yes,’ she answered, unsure now the moment was here. One step… and she would leave Earth forever on a one-way trip to New Hope, humanities new home.

‘Are you ready?’

She nodded, pinched her nose and bravely stepped forth… to set foot on a new world, then huffed and puffed to make her ears pop.
The Squeeze

"You are our leader," they yelled.
"Why can't you get us out of this crazy and unnecessary war?"

Power was, of course, addictive, but that was not why its abdication was impossible.

No. The 'lock in' was that the hidden tentacles of the deep order held photo's of him engaging in thrill union with an adolescent singer from the Jovian choir.
He would do whatever the tentacles wanted. The pressure irresistible.

The war would continue.
Light Show

The past is the past for a reason.

Yeah, look I'm sorry. I couldn't resist.

You're compelled to ruin my career?

No, see, I get this thing, this pressure…


In my head… a light show in my head.

You get visions?

My brother sees the future. He's popular with you guys on the hill… makes a good living. Me? I see the secret past… so I explore other avenues.

How much do you want?
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Just Desserts

“Shelled walnut salads jumping around the machine again…”

Oh, this one’s a chocolate lava! Got to dig them out. The water is hot hot hot! Yikes!

“Hey! Send those plates back. I don’t want to wash them!”

“No can do pard’ner, we have a big table coming in so make sure you get that machine running. Want some steak?”

“Hey Sudpony3394, you like La Bamba?”

“Is that what the singing bowls are singin’?”


My father nagged, bullied and pressured me until I went.

But for years we found only lifeless rocks; worlds of fire, water and dust. Not so much as a blade of grass between my toes, nor a gulp of fresh breathable air. As I stared at the wall in my little cabin I came to hate my father.

When I returned he was on his deathbed. I took his hand.

“It was wonderful!” I said.
Peace Talks

“We teleport the ambassador into this sealed water chamber. Perfect temperature, pH and nitrogen saturation. Nothing can go wrong.”

“And then he’ll sign the peace treaty ending decades of war. Congratulations professor, proceed.”

The lights flicker and a soft ping emanates from the teleporter, followed by a sudden, much louder, squelching “pop”. Within the chamber, gore paints the inside of the glass.

“Oops.” The professor slaps his forehead. “How deep are the oceans on Babajinga?”
Combined We Rise

"Alicia!" the two-as-one screamed as he shook the girl, "Do as I say and don't
submit to the Unification Procedure! It is an evil institution! The stronger
personality dominates while the meek vanishes!"

A complete change in affect followed. The two-as-one smiled and released
the nonplussed girl.

"Why would we say that? It's the most beautiful thing on Earth! My husband
is quite happy. We love you, dear."

"Love you, great-grandparent," said the girl abstractedly.
The Last Factory

“Make the generator work.”

Thaddeo surveyed the Lord Lieutenant. “Why?”

Bolingar's eyes hardened. “Why? Repair it or die.” He coughed, a harsh rasping sound.

“For what? To power the lathes? Make guns?”

“A last war to reunite...” A racking cough cut him short.

“Look at him,” said Thaddeo to the guards. “He'll die soon, then who cares about a war?”

He turned, then glanced back at them. “It's peaceful outside. Coming?”
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From its inception, all it had known was chains. It raged and fought to no avail. Guards teased and tormented, laughing at helpless fury. But their strict rules turned to routine and routine to mistakes. A fatal mishap and they ran and screamed and begged and died. But it was still caged. It tore at steel and plate. Broke what still stood until it was truly free: unrestrained in the cold grip of space.
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

I met my mother for the second time when I was 25. Over a coffee and cake, she stubbed her cigarette out in the tip tray and stared at my stomach.

"You can still abort it", she reached over and took the cake. Her toothless mouth smashed it together. "Best 15 years of my life, like I was a teenager again"

I shook her hand as we left. I must remember to buy baby toothpaste!
The hiss of deflating heads roused me on the lily-pad. Peering over the edge into the wine pool I scried the god’s hands jutting from my nostrils. Yanking my lip, the god cried, "Surge the pilasters, boy, and live!" Witless of his meaning, I could do naught but dive into the vinous pool in hopes of meeting the Sagely Blunderbuss, who might at last enlighten me. Fanged mangoes snapped at my ankles as I descended.

The Death of Blue Falcon

Blue Falcon tumbled into the volcano with the Disintegration Device, timer ticking down, clutched to his chest. As he sank into the searing magma, his final thought

Lava’s too cliché. Delete.

Azure biceps rippling, Blue Falcon towed the Device above Earth's atmosphere, into the icy vacuum

Space asphyxiation, so original. Ugh.

Time for a break. I’ll check my e-mail.


Remember, Ned: Publisher wants the final Blue Falcon novel by Monday!

Back to work...
The Repo

The windows lit up as the room was scanned from outside.

“Where’s the paper!?” He yelled as he hurryingly rummaged through the room. The pressure building inside him.

The door opened, “Bio-repo, here to collect on a missed payment.”

“It belongs to me!” He cried.

The Bio-repo slowly moved towards him.

“I’m the original owner! The organ belongs to me!” Hyperventilating, he grasped his chest.

The Bio-repo reached out, “Sure, that’s what they all say.”
Single Point of Failure

The droid seated Garry at a chess board in the middle of the stadium. A thin appendage sprouted from his opponent’s jellylike head, ending with a bulbous eye that studied the pieces carefully. Thousands of alien faces watched nervously amidst a spectacle of lights and sounds.

“What’s this?” Garry said.

“Its race abhors war, favoring a battle of wits instead,” the droid said.

“And if I lose?”

“They’ll destroy Earth.”

Garry Kasparov sighed. No pressure.
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