A Patch of Earth

Ron walked around town for his health, and because he could get everywhere he needed to go by walking. Every morning he went to get a coffee. His path took him by the town cemetery. He looked at the stones as he passed. He memorized their order. He saw many familiar names. These were the parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents of people he knew. He wondered how many of his friends would occupy this corner of earth one day. The thought that he would like to occupy a small patch there one day as well. It was comforting.

100 Below - So Many Questions

Eli sat on the toilet as he always did approximately 90 minutes after eating a meal.

Breakfast at 7am, poop about 9:30am.

Lunch at 12:30pm, poop about 2pm.

Dinner at 7pm, poop about 9:30pm.

Today as he sat he wondered, did his body hold the poop in his body until it needed room for the meal he’d just eaten? If he skipped a meal, would the poop still come?

These were the cosmic questions his 12 year old brain contemplated.

100 Below - The Walk

Ron Baker and his dog Max lived in the deep woods. Ron moved there to live a solitary life and walk the back roads.

One gravel road lead into what appeared to be the darkest, deepest, woods.

One day, Ron started down the dark road. Max wouldn’t follow. Ron dropped the leash and walked on. Max whined and barked but didn’t follow.

Days later the Sheriff drove by. Max was still waiting. The Sheriff coaxed Max into the car. The Sheriff got into the car and drove on. He knew what lay at the end of the road was evil.

100 Below - The Bartender

I regarded the bartender. He was young, perhaps 25, but there was a world-weariness in his countenance that spoke to a short lifetime of difficulties. Those difficulties were etched into his body. His tattooed arms and chest were a canvas of Celtic symbols, plants, and zombies. His earlobes had been cut and were distended, looking like three fleshy icicles.

Then there was the tremble. The boy’s hands shook, ever so slightly. But they constantly shook.

I wondered about his short past and his story, as I sipped the most delightful cocktail he concocted for me on the spot.

The Voice

In youth, the voice was nothing more than an occasional whisper on the wind; a noise so faint and nearly imperceptible that is passed into unconsciousness. As a young adult the voice changed into a distant sound in the background of other sounds in the mind. In maturity the voice was a nearby whisper in the ear of the mind, if not the body itself. In decrepitude the voice was a raging scream that echoed constantly and had to be shouted out in vain attempts to silence it.

100 Below: Harry’s Midlife Crisis

It had been a difficult year for Harry. Work was a drag. Ginny hadn’t been herself. He was at a low point. He wondered how he could get out of the doldrums. Then it came to him. Harry arranged a “work” trip to Hogwarts. Using his invisibility cloak, he snuck through the castle to the Room of Requirement. When he got there he found a chair and waited. He started to nod off when it happened. Two lovely, frisky, French girls appeared. After a few hours his requirements were met.

100 Below - Lead Fruit

I remember my grandfather and I planting the tree. He looked over the farm towards the Shenandoah and said, “This land was fought over by Federals and Rebels. One day this tree will bear lead fruit.”

It was crazy, of course. But when I looked at the tree I thought “lead fruit.”

65 years later a nor’easter blew threw. Knocked down that tree. I went and looked at it before they came to cut it and take it away. There tangled in the mass of roots and dirt were bullets from the Civil War.

“I’ll be damned. Lead fruit.”

100 Below: Beware Cosplay Girls

We met at Comi-Con. She was the hottest babe wearing a metal bikini. Every guy there wanted to do unspeakable things to her.

I got to.

She was weird. She said her people were coming and they were going to change things.

One day after sex she said it was done. I asked what. She smiled. I thought she meant us, but she didn’t.

I came home a month later and found her. She was squatting, rubbing herself and making sex noises.

Then she screamed and passed an egg.

A huge fucking egg.

She says its “ours.”

King Rodrigo’s Big Day

King Rodrigo looked upon his mighty host. His knights glinted in the sun. His peasant levies & archers stood in ordered rows. They had new shields, new polearms and pikes.

The king gazed across the field. King Ferdinand’s knight’s armor looked dull and tried. No colorful pennants snapped in the breeze. Ferdinand’s levies stood together in loose bands and looked dirty.

Years of peace in Rodrigo’s demesne allowed him to stockpile arms, supplies and money. Ferdinand fought many wars over the years. It was time to dispatch Ferdinand.

Bloody battle ensued.

100 Below - An Ancient Mystery Solved

Here is a 100 Below story for your reading pleasure. Inspired by recent interweb stories.

“A cup is missing.”

“What master?”

“We’re short one cup in the cabinet. Why?”

“Remember those guys in the upper room? When they left, I cleaned up the room and there was one guy there. He took a cup with him. A few days later he came back with the cup. It had dried blood on it. So I broke it and threw it into the trash pile. I’m sorry if I did wrong.”

“No,” the master said. “If it touched blood it was unclean. I’ll get another. It’s a pity it’ll not match.”

100 Below: Crazy Old Man?

Albert sat with his dementia-addled grandfather, Ted, often. Ted stared out the window and told stories beginning “I once…” Most stories started, “I once had a great sandwich at a diner in Portland.” They amused Albert in their ordinariness.

Today, Ted started, “I once did a hooker in Nevada.” This caught Albert’s attention. “She tried to change the price once we were done. We argued. Her pimp crashed through the door and we fought. I killed them both. Buried them in the desert. That’s why I don’t go to Nevada anymore.”

Ted winked, then stared out the window.

History of the Future

Endnote from “Earth’s History,” published 2212.

The widely accepted first contact with the Silurdairians on Titan in 2157 was not in fact the first contact between the two races. The true first contact occurred in 1922 when a Silurdairian spacecraft made an emergency landing after a hyperdrive test gone awry. Had Greek sheppard Dimitrios Pereclius known that staring without blinking at a Silurdairian is considered highly aggressive behavior the history of our galaxy might have been radically different. Instead it ended with Pereclius reduced to a mass of bloody goo and the Silurdairians repairing their ship and returning home.

100 Below: An Evil Man

When the story of the greatest villain in the history of the world is written, many will seek to explain what made William Madsdorf the man he was. His surname supplanted Hitler as a synonym for perfidy. Historians, journalists and physiatrists will pour over the documentation looking for the cause of his evil. They will only find good friends, loving parents, a happy home, a superlative liberal (and Liberal) education, and fulfillment in everything he did.

No matter how hard the writers will look, they will not find anything. Because sometimes a person is just a bad seed.

100 Below: Late for dinner

The old man sat on the river bank. Fishing.

Across the river, an impatient bearded man kept reeling his in line and recasting it.

Then the bearded man walked across the surface of the deep river.

“Hello brother,” the bearded man said. “I’m late… Um, you caught anything?”

“There’s one in the basket.”

The bearded man looked in the basket. “Amazing! Now there are ten! Can I take five? The boys are waiting for dinner.”

The old man nodded.

“Thanks a lot. Never been much of a fisher of fishes. More a fisher of men type ‘o guy.”

100 Below: A long walk

Gilles set out on a bright spring day. All his young life, he’d wondered about the patches of similarly shaped stones around the village fields. Most of the village houses were made of these square-ish stones taken from the fields. One day he realized he could connect the patches together in a line. It dawned on him that the stones were a path.

And so it was, in March 1173, Gilles the peasant left his village in Anjou to follow the path.

Many months later Gilles learned that all roads do in fact lead to Rome.

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