August / September 100 Word Anonymous Challenge 2022

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 Wednesday September 7. 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.
DO NOT COMMENT WITH 'LIKE' ON THE INDIVIDUAL STORIES.
Private message (also known as conversation) your entries to @elvet.

GENRE: SPECULATIVE FICTION
TOPIC: COMFORT ZONE

The discussion thread is here
 

elvet

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He's Behind You

"I'm not sure about this."

"Can you think of anything better?"

"I could Force-throttle some of them."

"That's hardly likely to boost troop morale."

"
It's preferable to dressing up as a pantomime ATAT."

"C'mon Darth, get into the spirit of it!"

"But why am I the back end?"

"Who's Emperor?"

"For now..."

"Pardon?!"

"Nothing, my master. I recognise a foul stench..."

"Sorry, it's the beans from lunchtime - they've created a 'disturbance' in my Force, heh."

"Yuck. Listen, they're playing the Imperial March..."

"That's our cue. Now remember - it's left leg, right leg. And watch out for tow cables."

"Nooooooooooo!!!"
 

elvet

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The Training Session.

Leg hook, throat. Strike!

“You’re doing great! Just remember your training.” My instructor helped me up.

“Can we try it again?” I asked.

“No, you’re getting too confident. So, for now on you’ll train against a combat droid. With real knifes.”

“But it will kill me!”

“Do you value your life?”

“Yes.”

“Good! Because it doesn’t.”

Without warning the droid charged, and I ran screaming. But it didn’t stop!
It took several months of training, and some serious counseling too, but now I know I can defend myself.
If only I felt the same about giving to the blood bank…
 

elvet

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Time to wake up

Deep Space Vehicle process T467581 woke Tom Staunton from cryosleep, and activated its audio sequence.

'Hello Tom, welcome to Alpha Centauri. We encountered sixteen issues en-route, and all other crew are deceased. We make planetfall in nine hours. And you are the last human.'

'Come again?'

'Nine hours.'

'No, the last human thing.'

'Conflict and resource misuse caused the eradication of humanity. Except you Tom. You must be thrilled.'

'What? …uh, erm, why would I be thrilled?

Humanity is destroyed, and this vehicle’s voice recordings logged you saying you hated giving update reports to Mission Control ...they no longer exist.'
 

elvet

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The EVA

The nano-filmed space barrier was the latest for the thrill-seeking adrenalin junky, and Renee was one of the first to try it out.

Tethered to the ship, Renee unlocked and removed her helmet.

I’m so excited!

Exposing herself to the vacuum of space, fully protected and receiving oxygen, she sensed and felt everything safely.

This is so, amazing! Magical!

And then,

What am I doing!? I’m in a vacuum, without my helmet on!

Attaching her helmet, she pulled herself back to the ship.

What am I thinking! Stupid me!

Safe onboard Renee filed a lawsuit, vowing to spacewalk never again.
 

elvet

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Bedbug and Beyond

“This is disgusting!” Jane shook wildly.

“I know, but it was your idea to save on water!”

“Why didn’t you stop me, Mike?”

“Jane, they won’t come out until you’re a sleep. It’s in the brochure.”

“Promise?”

“Yes, my love.”

She got into bed as the sedative she took started taking its effect.

“Hold my hand, Mike.”

“Ok, but…”

“Just do what I ask! Please? My hand, until I…fall…asleep…”

As her hand relaxed, the roaches and bugs she held scurried away.

“Mom, you must get one. Every morning we’re cleaned, and our nails are trimmed to perfection!”
 

elvet

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One space creature's luxury is another space creature's lowly hovel

Human Ambassador Coldoon Zumpleflong had spared nothing in his attempt to impress the Klongin representative.
  • Floral wallpaper
  • Doyley for each teacup
  • Gold Chairs
  • Fancy cakes
  • A lifesize statue of Terry Wogan.
'Tea?' he asked, extending a hand towards the Klongin.

-'Retract your hygienic appendage, this place disgusts me', came the reply.

Zumpleflong protested: 'But why?, it’s identical to the place I visited on the Klongin homeworld.'

-'Bedack human! That was when we hosted you.'

'Apologies, what did you expect?'

-'Cups of armpit sweat, a septic tank …at the very least you could've greeted me with a kick in the thurible.'
 

elvet

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Why We Can't Go Outside

"I can't stand it anymore!" Bill shouted and threw down his cards, "I need to see the world!"

"You remember what happened to Joe," Ron drawled calmly.

"Yeah," said Bill, "He was hit by a car because we're by the highway. Stupid. Don't mean we're cursed."

He approached the door, opening it. He stepped triumphantly past the threshold, took a deep breath
and sighed. He took a few more steps, and then was crushed beneath the feet of a polka-dotted
elephant.

Ron sagged comfortably.

"So many possessions, so much time," he said, crossing off Bill's name and taking his beer.
 

elvet

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The misapprehension of Sheriff Zalderbon Bongodrick

Zalderbon Bongodrick of the Intergalactic Police Force explained: ‘A backwater Sheriff like me needs to relax. To turn a blind eye to some things. But your species, and you in particular, are taking the piss -war is illegal.’

Vladimir Pontin shifted uneasily in his chair onboard the orbital paddy-wagon: ‘But I only stepped out to buy milk.’

Instead of milk, Vladimir got a trip along a light beam to where he sat.

Zalderbon contemplated Vladimir’s blank look.

Damn. Wrong abductee again. You can go. But if you see that human with the atomic bombs tell him I’m coming for him.’
 

elvet

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Fumigation

The place was infested. He’d never get the wife to come back if she found out. It was all he could have done to convince her to buy it, and only because of it’s relative cleanliness.

“Say, how does one afford a vacation planet like this anyway?” asked the exterminator.

“Never mind that. How do we get rid of them?”

“The worst of ‘em look like oxygen breathers. Standard treatment is to pump the atmo full of CO2. Be clear for ya in, say, ten-thousand years or so.”

“Ugh, fine. Let’s do it then,” he said, opening his checkbook.
 

elvet

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Professor Schlotzsky

“A teacher is a student that is addictive to learning.” my professor would say, and I now stood before a class of Grasshopoids.

The human cadaver before me was in fact, my professor, now cured in brine.

Pastrami.

“Can you explain the differences in the respiratory functions?” asked a student.

Looking at my professor, I almost lost it.

His head turned toward me, ‘You’ll never know unless you try.’

Then I lost it! The Grasshopoids where understanding; it was their culture after all.

After the class I cut a slice, rye bread and lite on the mustard.

Delicious!
 

elvet

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Out Of The Comfort Zone... Into The Fire


"Cadets, who'll volunteer for a mission to Mortiferum?"

"The planet with acid rivers and carnivorous faunae?"

"Bingo!"

"If we volunteer, will we return?"

"Possibly..."

"If we don't, will we go on to have fulfilling careers in Astrofleet?"

"Probably..."

"So what's in it for us?"

"
Your names will be immortalised on the Board of Glory!"

"
The one in the galley?"

"
Yep."

"
Covered in gravy stains?"

"Errr..."

"And a dartboard nailed to it?"

"Well..."

"Are you leading the mission, sir?"

"I've... got an urgent meeting at HQ."

"In that case, we're with you all the way..."

"Excellent!"

"...back to HQ."

"Fiddlesticks."
 

elvet

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No need to get excited, it's just a story

'Open the cargo doors Beatrice, I’m after robbing the Martian time machine.'

You mean the device that will allow us travel back to a point before Martians used their doomsday ray to destroy Earth Gerry?’

Why the fiddlesticks would you ask something like that? Are you some kind of plot device?’

‘No. And as one of only two humans to survive the blast I resent that insinuation. I’m just a simple space rocket pilot preparing to save humanity.’

You don’t sound real. Anyway, that’s not gonna happen.’

Why not? It’s in the plot.’

Because I forgot to rob the instructions.
 

elvet

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Comfort Zone Incorporated

‘Comfort Zone Incorporated.’ To its clients, CZI offered escape; dream therapy, clairvoyance, and the ultimate treatment: ‘Transcendence’.

Assisted suicide, some said. Corporate murder. Marketing called it ‘Elevation of the Spirit’ to what lay beyond, which itself was heavily disputed. Eternity, hell, a massive cloud-based RPG, or a big, black nothing. Glyvva didn’t care. Lying in bed 74, awaiting injection, she considered anything better than life on war-torn Thysraxia – and war had been great for business at CZI.

Finally, her injection arrived. Glyvva’s eyes closed.
______________________________________________________________________
The birthing suit at St. Patricks hospital was all smiles.

“Congratulations Mrs. Foster. It’s a girl.”
 

elvet

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Side Effects

Draven perched high on the roof overlooking the alleyway. It was dark, but he could see the forms of the hobos below, bright red shapes in his unexpectedly improved vision.

The hormonal therapy had worked, had pulled him out of deep depression. But slowly things got—different. Things he didn’t tell the doctors about. All the physical enhancements came at a price, though. They left a hole that could only be filled by consuming other humans’ souls.

He sniffed the air and licked his lips. Silently he crawled down the wall towards his unsuspecting prey, hungry as ever.
 

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How to fool Zomboonicans

Astronaut Chuz Rontalplek ducked into the narrow cave, Jasper and Frangle Zomboonic were too big to fit.

'Come out human', they yelled.

'No. Ye'll eat me.'

'We will, but your only other option is to live out life in that dark cave', explained Jasper.

'...and it's crawling with Marmstickles and Chugflankers.' Added Frangle

'Well, erm, …I like dark caves. And Marmstickles. And Chugflankers.'

‘Hmm, I thought humans hated Chugflankers', noted Jasper, ‘well, ya learn something new every day. It’s pointless us waiting out here. Come on Frangle, let’s return to the Glombository.'

Stupid Zomboonicans’, muttered Chuz, ‘nothing likes Chugflankers.’
 

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Breakdown on a Full Moon

The moon was hidden in the clouds. Jeffrey hurried out of the office and down the staircase.
Russell and Kelly met him at the bottom.

"Hey Jeffrey," Russell said, "What's the rush?"

"I have to go home now. Sorry."

"We all have to go, you know," said Kelly, grinning.

Jeffrey tried to get past them. His heart pounded.

"You don't understand..."

He glanced through the window. Too late. The full moon was visible. Jeffrey started changing,
as did they. Flesh gave way to fabric.

The weredog and werecat looked at him and cackled.

"A weresofa!" they mocked.

Jeffrey cried internally.
 

elvet

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Contentment

I like it here. The walls offer me delicious and nutritious meals, perfectly designed to keep my body in optimal condition, combined with the simple and enjoyable exercises in which they instruct me. I have access to all the works created by human beings during the last five thousand years; paintings, sculptures, music, theater, cinema, books, and so forth. All I have to do is choose something from the seemingly limitless selection provided by the walls and it appears, in full dimension. The walls educate me, too, and now I am an expert in many skills. Who needs people, anyway?
 

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Dimensions

With your imagination as the key you unlock a door to another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of touch, a dimension of taste, a dimension of smell. A dimension of children's laughter and tinkling streams, a dimension of gambolling lambs and frolicking ponies, a dimension of soft velvet cushions and gentle summer breezes, a dimension of the finest Belgian chocolate and sweetest French Champagne, a dimension of freshly baked bread and newly bloomed roses. You've just opened the door to... The Comfort Zone
 

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Pastimes

Evlyn nudged a marble cone forwards. "Red moves first. You play blue."
Cruz signed confusion. "Why?"
"Happenstance."
Cruz scanned the ancient diagrams. "A flower moves along any empty line or diagonal?"
"A squat flower too, but only one square. You've to trap the red one to win."
Cruz gesticulated. "That's disturbing!"
"But a cone that crosses the grid becomes a flower. That's a good thing!"
"It's bizarre."
"Playing this game may be key to understanding their history," Evlyn insisted. "We must think like them, if we're not to join them in the fossil record."
"Agreed. So, why's there a seahorse?"
 

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