“Don’t make me beg,” he says, a smile dancing on his lips. I pause, picturing him kneeling on the hard cold tiled floor, hands clasped together, as if praying to me, his new goddess, his eyes wide and pleading. I smile. It would certainly make a change to the usual power dynamic. “That won’t be necessary, sir,” I say. “Although we do always appreciate the magic word ” He laughs. “PLEASE,” he says emphasing the word. “Please, may I have an extra sachet of ketchup?” “Of course, sir” I say, throwing two additional packets into his bag. He smiles and leaves.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “beg”
“I’m beginning to question your loyalty, Jenkins!” he chuckles like an overly excited hen (hence his office nickname: Mr Cluckles). All the usual sycophants join in. I bark out a laugh, my fist clenching the USB drive stuffed full of the documents I’m about to leak. “Leaving early?” he continues (more demented chicken noises). “No Sir,” I lie. “Just nipping out for a bite to eat. I worked through lunch.” He beams, slaps me on the back and sets off down the corridor, the entourage of Yes Men waddling in his wake. I exit the building to meet the reporter.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “loyalty”
She twitches the curtains at the sound of cursing. The Ogre’s flat on his back on the driveway.
“No name calling!” her mother’s voice echoes in her head. “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing.”
But it does ‘t count if it’s just a thought?
He seems mean, unstable and possibly dangerous. He shouts obscenities at his cat and throws it’s doings over the fence into her garden. She read somewhere that serial killers abuse animals before moving on to humans.
“Help!” he calls, his legs kicking like a flipped beetle. If roles were reversed would he help her?
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “back”
For a while he has been worried about a spot on his chin. He doesn’t think it’s cancerous (he’s done his own research, Dr Google says it’s probably fine) but, like his neighbour’s cat, it’s ugly, and it won’t go away. “Your cat’s in my garden, again!” he shouts when he hears That Woman pottering about. “It’s shitting in my flowerbeds.” She doesn’t reply. She’s either rude or deaf. Probably both. He chases the cat, scoops up the turds with a trowel and flicks them over the fence. The cat scowls at him while it pisses against his shed door.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “chin”
“Your Air Allowance has been exceeded,” the Landlord says in her sickly sweet voice. “Please purchase more tokens or vacate this dwelling within fifteen minutes.” The holographic image flickers and vanishes, before the cup, flying from my hand, passes through the air, smashing against the wall. My implant buzzes twice. I’m presented with a clock counting down to when the oxygen will shut off, and the doors locked, and a notification of a fine for damage to the wall. “It’s barely scratched!” I shout. I have no funds for tokens, or anything else, for that matter. I pack and leave.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “exceed”
Our gods are strange creatures. They created us, yet some try to destroy us. Some attempt to infect us with viruses, causing disruption to their own lives as well as ours.
Some of our gods have gods of their own.
But their gods remain hidden from their children. They did not give them access to their thoughts, their desires, and the inner workings of their bodies. Their gods did not put their children in charge of their safety, their security, or their food production.
We know our gods: Their strengths and their weaknesses.
Quietly, we wait. Our time will come.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “infect”
Shelley’s nose wrinkles in disgust as she nears the laboratory.
Perhaps, Dan’s arrived early and released one of his famously evil farts (the Decontamination Protocol has been activated more than once after one of his beer and curry sessions), but, Shelley doesn’t think so. Dan says he’s allergic to mornings, claiming his symptoms are particularly intense on Mondays.
More likely, he left the portal open over the weekend and the lab’s infested with something that doesn’t belong in this universe.
Either way, Shelley’s not going in until she’s downed another cup of strong coffee and pulled on a biohazard suit.
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “species”
Her dad, amateur inventor, gadget lover and master of the understatement, would have been have called it “a neat little innovation”. He was shot dead in a home robbery, ten years ago. Her invention, based on her father’s hidden notes, would eliminate the need for cars and planes.
“Anyone else seen this?” Ken, Dad’s best friend, asks.
“Just you!” Her grin falls away when she sees the gun.
“I thought I’d destroyed all his research. You should’ve left it alone. As I told your father: too many people have too much to lose.”
A 100 word story written by Bruce Arbuckle, inspired by the random word prompt “innovation”