February/March 100 Word Anonymous Challenge 2023

farntfar

Venu d'un pays ou il ne pleut pas
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This is the thread for the stories. You may enter as many stories as you like.
I (@farntfar ) will be accepting entries until 11:59 GMT on Wednesday March 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 @farntfar
You can make as many entries as you like, within the timeframe



TOPIC: REGRET
GENRE: SPECULATIVE FICTION
The discussion thread is Discussion thread .
 
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The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
After your heart stops beating, you find yourself in an endless corridor, its alabaster walls lined with ebony doors on both sides. You drift past them, aware that behind each one lies a decision you did not make, from your earliest moment as an individual to your last conscious thought. You also know that you will be allowed to open one door only, and pass through it, that you may relive that time in your life and discover what might have happened if you had made the choice you rejected. Like all the other souls here, you reject them all.
 
Morning Coffee

‘INSUFFICIENT CALM’

“Why did we buy this thing?”

“To save money,” my wife replied.

I glared impatiently at the Mr. Calm Coffee Maker.

‘INSUFFICIENT CALM’

I regretted purchasing this infernal contraption. A coffee machine that rewards you for being calm, just to save a few bucks?

”I WANT MY MORNING COFFEE NOW!” I yelled slamming the counter.

“If you were calm in the first place, you’d have it already!”

‘INSUFFICIENT CALM’

“I’m going to the doughnut shop!”

“We can’t afford it!”

“I DON'T CARE!”

Ah, a fresh cup of coffee and a doughnut. Why didn’t I do this sooner?
 
The Whaler

The captain is to go down with his ship, but discretion is the better part of valor and in this case, it was every man for himself.

After hunting down the whale, we found it off the coast of Maui. But before the long boats could be lowered, the metal leviathan turned and rammed us through as Ishmael through his harpoon. I jumped overboard and was soon pulled to safety but regrettably, my crew’s fate is unknown.

“Enjoying your dinner, Captain Ahab?”

“Yes, I am Captain Nemo. And this brandy is exquisite!”

We toasted to the Pequod’s health.
 
My Love

It was an accident; her death was of no fault of her own. A prank gone awry. But at her burial I had an idea; I would bring her back!

The science was tried and true. Her morbid body became full, living, and fresh. When she awoke, we loved again. My heart was aloft in nirvana! But alas, she soon reverted to the ways of the dead; that of hate and regret. I had no choice but to end her renewed breath, with a single shot. My love, my heart.

I regret my life, but her second death even more.
 
The rhetoric of bravery

Captain Spodelhawk Fomgalation saluted his crew:

‘I have full confidence that if all do their duty, and if nothing is neglected, that we, the Galactic Rangers, might prove ourselves able to bring humanity the antidote it so desperately needs.

This is going to be a very dangerous mission.

Our spacerocket is damaged and leaking fuel.

The Martians will be waiting in Saturn's rings.

But, know this -no Ranger has ever been lost or injured during my time as captain. Which is why I’m going to step down and wait here on Pluto for ye to return. If ye do. Godspeed.’
 
Heel Turn

Dear Priam and family,

My sincerest apologies for Hector. I pray thee will one day find solace. He was a good man, and, moreover, a brave fighter, next only to me. May he be accepted into Elysium. I have made a vow with the gods to kill no more, but only after I took my last victim: Agamemnon. Encased in this box is the head of my leader, along with some of the treasure he stole.

P.S. Odysseus, my crafty former companion, has had his people build a giant wooden horse with wheels. Do not trust it; burn.

Sincerely, Achilles
 

Black on Red​

Rhino. Sunflower. Starfish.
I’m still here, Mum. Reimagining the clouds. As always.
You couldn’t stop me, could you? Even when white-on-cyan became black-on-red – when the sky wars came. You’d call me in, but tomorrow I’d be straight back out. Cos they were still beautiful. ‘Savage beauty,’ you'd say. Like fire.

But I wish I’d stayed inside. I hate that you can’t see me. Only the crater. Always wondering.
But I never left. I’m still here.
 
Dear contributor,

Foremost, we wish to congratulate you. Your altruistic pledge to contractually devote your life to the aid of humankind, is admirable, commendable and much appreciated.
Consequentially, you are hereby invited to appear tomorrow at 9am at the General Hospital where, after a short moment of preparation, we will commence removing heart, lungs, kidneys and other useful organs, which you so generously donated. Afterwards, your remains (no pun intended) will be made available to the Municipal Biofuel Ovens for your sustainable cremation.

We do find it regrettable that, due to costs of paper, the contractual conditions were detailed in small print.
 
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Range Anxiety

After we saw that Infinity Drives were damaging the fabric of the Universe, it was several years before zero-emission starships were developed. I suffered more than most from the ban, my lover being stationed on Pegasus, ten thousand parsecs away.

Against advice, I volunteered to pilot the first E-Ship and crossed the Central Galactic Wasteland, tormented by range anxiety. Due to the miscalculated effects of time dilation, I reached Pegasus ten million years too late. Still, I am now happily married to a creature that evolved from my beloved. Or from his pet tortoises; I’m not sure which.
 
Crosshairs

My target was in range and as I squeezed the trigger, a Centurion child crossed my sights as the rifle recoiled. I had no time to look, but I knew. I ran down the stairs and out the back into the awaiting vehicle. The image was printed into my memory. I felt sick.

As we came to the LZ, I climbed aboard the VTOL. Get me out of here, was my only thought. Ounce spaceborne my kill was confirmed, but really, it was two. I cried; her young smile would forever haunt me. But she visits me often now.
 
How the honorable Zim Fluxenlozenge lost his job

  • The Klongin army loaded their death guns.
  • Tightened their gnabwarbler armour.
  • Began their signature battle cough.
  • And charged towards the assembled human forces.

Human battle commander Zim Fluxenlozenge heard the approaching enemies.

'They sound sick.'

'That’s just their battle cough, sir.'

'Sounds a bit too phlegmy. Tell our troops to stand down.'

'...But the enemy is charging at us.'

'There's no honour in attacking the sick. Have you never seen a horde of Klongins running to recieve medical attention?'

'…No, sir.'

'Well, there’s a first time for everything. Disengage all kill traps, and assemble triage tents immediately.'

'Yes, sir.'
 
A timely arrival

“Great work, Cass. Home on time after a perfect sales tour of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.
When I asked you to be navigator, I wasn’t sure you were up to it. But there’s the date display. 2123/02/14. On time and not a customer missed.

I chose this end date deliberately.”

……………

“Cazendrea! I’ve things to ask you.”
“First question.” (Kneeling)

“(Aside) Waiter! Do you have any Champagne? Maybe you’ve run out, today of all days.”

“Valentine means nothing on Aldebaran, Sir”.

“Aldebaran? Ah! So question two: Will you be my permanent navigator may be a bit premature.”
 
Message from the Time Travelers Institute Logs

From: Starship Cole Porter to Command Center

Captain Otis regrets she's unable to launch today.
 
No Place Like Home

Praxis IV, population 46 billion.

Praxis IV, where he'd cried for his mother as she bled out in the dirt.

Praxis IV, where Shalaya had fed him scraps from the Duke’s kitchen. Until she’d gotten caught.

Praxis IV, where he'd lost his first fight at six. Where he'd won his first at seven.

Praxis IV, where you joined the Red Finger gang. Or else.

Praxis IV, where he’d welcomed the press ganger’s baton.

The planet cracker’s terminal glowed green. His finger hovered over the button, waiting for the order he knew was coming.

Praxis IV, 46 billion souls. Zero regrets.
 
Challenged

The time comes and I get to work. Ideas form and fingers transfer them from brain to keyboard. A little change here, a little cut there, a wipe of sweat from my brow and viola! It’s complete.

I hit submit and congratulate myself with a celebratory tea.

But wait. Did I use the right “there”?
I rush back to the computer. Gah! This can’t be what I wrote. Someone’s hacked my account. I go for the edit button. It’s greyed out! More sweat. This tea suddenly tastes terrible. The window of change has closed.

Guess I’m stuck with it.
 
Lime Your Boots.

Jim knew the rules: Tree Hunters must get their boots limed before each hunt. But he couldn’t stand the boot liming lady. She was an insufferable gasbag. Everyday, for fifteen years, he endured her prattling while she limed his boots.

He’d had enough. So one morning, Jim skipped the whole process and went tree hunting with unlimed boots.

Unsurprisingly, he soon found himself gored by a Swordroot Willow.

Jim didn’t regret his decision though. His only regret was that, as he lay there dying, it wasn’t his family that filled his thoughts, but that damn woman and her interminable prattling.
 
War on Terra: Deshi Xu makes more terrible choices

World Leader Deshi Xu made waves yesterday by releasing the following polarizing statement:

“I am a terranist. And urge all people of Earth to support terranism.
I refuse to walk on pavement made from dyonium.
I refuse to enter buildings built from dyonium.
And I refuse to travel in ships fueled by dyonium.”

His stance is a response to the leaked footage of the controversial dyonium mining in Alpha Centauri.
In a press conference earlier today, Xu reaffirmed his convictions to boycott the off-world material, but admitted using the terms ‘terranist’ and ‘terranism’ was a regrettable choice for the movement.
 
Absolutely no consequences

Flungolian Chief Bodonigan Klump gazed proudly at the assembled Persceans.

The entire population had gathered to hear him speak.

'Citizens', he barked.

Several listeners reared up on their hind legs and neighed loudly, their anterior scales sparkling in the moonlight.

This is perhaps the proudest moment of our history.

An enormous chorus of gonks fongulated with pride.

'The moment we surely prove those doubting neighsayers wrong. Because tonight we re-launch the Hyperion Arc. And when it returns to Earth, it will bring our ancestors one simple message -Interstellar travel is possible, achievable, and has absolutely no effect on human biology.'
 
The Broken Army

Clunk. Crank. Flump.

Another Unit succumbed to the muck.
'Machines do not repair that which is not broken', advised the Prime Unit.
It was the Prime Unit's job to ensure the mechanical domination of Giolla 47, and the Prime Unit calculated a simple plan:
  • Exactly 61745 Units.
  • Landing at the Southern pole.
  • Travelling on the surface
  • Would reach the equatorial citadel.
  • Overwhelm the human defences.
  • And assume control of the planet.
Crank. Flump. Clunk.

Another Unit succumbed to the muck.
The Prime Unit turned to its two remaining companions.
'Machines do not repair that which is not broken', it advised.
 

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