Before they ripped the metal from the road Bert’s father was a conductor on the tramway. Sometimes, Bert rode the rails with him. His dad’s hat swallowing his head he would collect money from smiling passengers in exchange for tickets spat out from the machine around his father’s neck. It broke the old man’s heart when they steamrollered the thick black tarmacadam over the best part of his working life. Now, more than seventy years later trams are returning. Watching them lay the track along the sea front, Bert hopes he’ll live long enough to ride it one last time.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “conductor”
At first it was a thrill to be Integrated, linked to so many Minds, both human and artificial. The capacity to process and understand information made his heart thump. For the first time in his life he felt a part of something important. The tingling, where the chip burried deep beneath his skin connected to his brain stem, reminded him of the fluttering excitement in his stomach when riding a roller coaster. But then it started to feel like burning. Panicking, he attempted to disconnect but was unable to do. Something had taken control of the chip and his brain.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “integrated”
It’s a bold little blighter. And clever too. The supposedly squirrel proof bird feeder had been installed less than ten minutes before the creature had managed to liberate its hoard of nuts and seeds. She raps on the window attempting to shoo the creature away. It looks at straight at her and winks.
“Will you stop banging on the bloody window!” her husband grumps from behind his newspaper. “You’ll break it.”
“That rodent just winked at me,” she says.
Helen tries to remember the last time they had a proper conversation. She has a better relationship with the squirrel.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “bold”
The mist swirling around her feet begins to brown and thicken. Better get home before it gets too sticky.
Her neighbour had been glued to his lawn the week before last when he went to fetch the newspaper. He had been stuck there for hours, poor soul. When he was eventually released his mind had been completely Fogged. His wife couldn’t cope with him at home. The grey collection van had come for him yesterday.
No one knew what caused the syrupy brume to appear. Or perhaps they did. Easy access to information died with the internet, television and radio.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “mist”
“You can’t lose!” the leaflet said, promising health wealth and happiness within 30 days, “Or your money back!”
Brian had fallen for get rich quick schemes before. He’d promised Alice he wouldn’t sign anything before speaking to her after he spent a small fortune on a course promising to teach him to be less gullible.
“It’s not a pyramid scheme,” Dave said, tapping the leaflet. “It’s all 100% legit. But in order to qualify for the discount you need to sign up now.”
It would be a shame to miss out, Brian thought, handing Dave the money. Alice will understand.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “lose”