Category Archives: 100 word challenge for grownups

100 Word Challenge for Grownups – Logic

Usually Julia gives us a phrase as the starting point for our 100 word stories – but not always. For the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups this week, we’re intended to write stories answering the question this picture suggests: Why are the trees orange?


Two small boys in the park. “Hey look! They’re painting the trees orange.”

“How come?”

“So the trees know what kind of fruit to grow. These trees are supposed to grow oranges now.”

“What if they paint the trees yellow?”

“Then the trees know to grow bananas, of course.”

“Oh. So if they paint the trees red they have to grow apples?”

“And if they paint them purple they grow plums.”

“Well, how about if they paint the trees green? What would they grow then?”

“Don’t you know anything? If they paint the trees green they have to grow broccoli!”

* * *

Please let me know what you think of this one!

100 Word Challenge for Grownups – Pie of Newt

I should probably apologize for three posts in one day, but Julia at the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups has asked us to provide recipes fit for a witch, and I wanted to offer mine before Halloween comes to an end. Let me know what you think – is this truly horrifying?

Not intended for human or animal consumption under any circumstances.

Do not cook this at home, or elsewhere. 😉

Pie of Newt

3 newts
10 rotten apples
sugar and cinnamon to taste (bespell somebody else to do the tasting)

1/2 small package of quick-set concrete

Cut newts into bite-sized pieces. Slice apples; do not remove seeds and stems. Mix with sugar and cinnamon.

Line pan with thin layer of concrete. Pour filling into pan. Top with remaining concrete; cut a few steam holes in top crust before concrete hardens. Bake in a medium oven for about 45 minutes.

An excellent treat for testing whether your magic is powerful enough to compel obedience, since no one will eat this concoction voluntarily.

100 Word Challenge for Grownups: Reunion

I’m playing punctuation games this time. Julia gave us a four-word phrase to prompt our 100-word stories this week –

… and winter will bring …

– so I split it between two sentences. (Smiles innocently) That’s all right, isn’t it?


When we were in our twenties, Cindy was my best friend ever. She always had ideas on what to do for fun. But you know how it is, I grew up, got married, moved, raised kids, lost track of her. I hadn’t heard from her in twenty years or more; the last time we talked, she had just thrown her third husband out. Or maybe he threw her out. I wasn’t sure.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got a Facebook message from her.

“I’ll be in your town all fall and winter! Will bring sleeping bag’n’wine. You provide house. Party on!”

100 Word Challenge: So Soon?

Julia’s given us another challenging phrase to spark 100 words of very short fiction – this week, we’re asked to tell a story of normal life based on

…it can’t be that time….

Here’s the kind of thing my head is likely to come up with for “normal life”. Please give me your opinion of it –

So Soon?

It can’t be that time, can it? Lately it’s been just like vacation. I haven’t been working half as hard as usual, and I sleep so deliciously late in the morning. So how can it possibly be autumn already? Nonsense. I’m going to keep clinging tight to my branch. So there.

“Just look at your beautiful new dress,” whispers my twig.

What new dress? Why, I’m all red! “It’s very pretty,” I say politely, “but I’m supposed to be green.”

“Green’s for ordinary days. Not the big event,” the twig answers. “Just think, you’re going to fly! I never get to fly.”

And just then, I do! I fly away, so free.

100 Word Challenge: Headaches, Part 2

Julia’s prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups is

…. I woke with another headache ….

This one’s for Limebirdbeth and Scribbler, who asked for more of yesterday’s story. Yes, I’m cheating, I guess. 😉  Anyway, a little more about a wounded nurse in World War I, somewhere near the trenches. Let me know what you think…

Headaches, Part 2

There used to be a little stream, down the hill. I tighten the splint on my dragging foot. Deep breath. Skirts will hinder me, but female clothes might make snipers pause. The big guns? Soldier or nurse, they won’t care, any more than an earthquake would.

Crawling under fallen beams, out of what was a hospital once. Day before yesterday. Nothing looks the same. Artillery echoes through my bones. Hobbling forward dizzily, creeping up piles of rubble and sliding down the far side. Once I fainted. I woke with another headache. Water gurgles ahead. What germs, what poisons does it carry? I smile wryly – I’m going to drink anyway.

100 Word Challenge: Headache

This week, Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups is using a phrase as the story prompt again:

…. I woke with another headache ….

(And I surprised myself by coming in exactly at 106 words, as requested, for once.)


It’s annoying when stories tangle with reality. I woke with another headache this morning, sniffling, and reluctant to swallow because it hurts so much. But enough about me, warm, dry, safe, and quiet – for lack of a voice – in New Jersey. Let’s picture someone with a little drama about them (and yes, “them” was a deliberate word choice: the undefined gender third person singular).

Ah yes.

I woke with another headache. The guns were still thudding. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Have to find water today. See if the legs will work. If you’re lucky you can dodge shrapnel. Time to go.

100 Word Challenge: Hot Potato

This week, Julia at the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups is back to asking for a supershort story based on a phrase: “… suddenly it was in my hand ….” instead of a picture. Just to make it trickier, she wants this week’s stories to be funny – but if you promise not to tell anyone, I won’t either.

Hot Potato

It wasn’t my fault. What would you do when out of nowhere somebody shouts “Catch!” and you see you-don’t-know-what flying right at you? You put your hand up, right? So that’s what I did and suddenly it was in my hand. Bag full of cash.

What? You think I ran for it? Do I look stupid or something? Cops, they’re like dogs. You run, they chase. Nah. By that time there was this crowd all trying to see over each other’s heads. So I shoved right in with them.

But the dumb cops, they didn’t know how to act. They just searched everybody, and I had it, so here I sit. Whaddaya mean, what do I expect you to do? Didn’t they tell you you’re my lawyer? One of those court-appointeds? I expect you to get me out of here. I’m putting it in your hands.

* * *

I’d love to know what you think of this one!

100 Word Challenge: Installation

Oh, that Julia. This week she’s giving us another picture as the inspiration for 100 words worth of fiction. Well, the stranger the prompt, the more skewed the story needs to be, I suppose –


He sits on the end of the heavy rock tongue, feet dangling. The view is spectacular, perfect in every detail, he decides.

Slipping off the end of the cantilevered boulder, he drops lightly to the glass floor. Yes, there’s a little refraction where the floor curves smoothly up into the walls, but who can tell refraction from the shapes of wind-carved rock? And the curve is vital to prevent a tell-tale seam where surfaces meet. He paces around, checking for smears or scratches; no, it’s perfect.

He pulls himself back up onto the rock and trots into the cave-like entrance hall. Tomorrow, his exhibit opens. He wonders how many art-lovers will dare to explore it.

100 Word Challenge: Spilled Milk

Oh, Julia. You almost did me in with this one. I’m not sure why I found this week’s prompt so difficult, but it took a couple of false starts before I came up with this week’s story for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups.

The prompt this week is ….as the apple fell….

Spilled Milk

The bag tore as she hobbled out of the supermarket. Eggs shattered into spilled milk. Last of all came her week’s piece of fruit. As the apple fell, the old woman burst into tears.

Other shoppers rushed to help. “Oh, honey!” An arm around her shoulders. “You come sit on the bench.” Another woman offered to replace the ruined food.

“No, no,” she sobbed. “That was all my money. I can’t pay you for it.”

“Now, don’t talk like that. If my mama, rest her soul, was here, I’d hope somebody would do the same for her.”

At last she accepted a fresh bag of food and a ride home. As they drove away, she asked, “Did you get much?”

Big grin. “Pretty soon they’ll all be wondering where their wallets went. You trained me right, mama.”

100 Word Challenge: Time, time, time

I went way over the length limit this time for Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. My only excuse is that this narrator’s getting old, and he tends to talk a lot.

This week’s prompt is

… returning to the routine,,,

and here’s my story.

Time, Time, Time

When I was a rookie cop, they assigned me a partner who was looking to retire. I hated that old man. He was the world’s worst cynic.

Back then, I figured we could clean up some of the bad actors if we got them soon enough often enough. “Don’t kid yourself, kid,” he’d say. He thought that was a big laugh. “Don’t kid yourself. I don’t know if they’re bad or just plain stupid, but nobody ever learns.”

Well, maybe the crooks don’t, but I did. It’s all in my head, every bad guy around for forty years. So when we were ready to call in the detectives for the latest body, I said to my new rookie, I said, “Tell them it’s old Lon Francesco’s work. Got his marks all over it.”

The kid looked at me funny. “Didn’t they put him away back in the seventies?” Lon was a bad one. Even wet behind the ears rookies heard of him.

“Yeah, and they just let him out.”

“Guy must be what, sixty? Seventy?”

“So? This is all he knows. He’s just returning to the routine.”

* * *

(Usual disclaimer: If there is any real person named Lon Francesco, he has no connection whatever to the career criminal in this story. I just pulled the name out of thin air; as far as I know, no such person exists.)