DRABBLES (100 word stories)

FATAL ERROR

 

The bestselling author was now frail and aged, but still producing books. Her only relative, a niece, moved in to help the old lady.

 

Three months later the author was found dead, an empty bottle of painkillers beside her. It seemed she had committed suicide. To support this theory the niece produced a suicide note typed on the author’s aged typewriter. On reading it the detective arrested the niece.

 

The note contained the phrase ‘I’m afraid my latest titel won’t sell.’

 

The niece was a child of the computer age. Unfortunately for her there is no spellcheck on a typewriter.

 

*****

A LOATHSOME JOB

 

With a battle cry the Viking warrior swung his mighty axe and brought it crashing down, deftly severing the outstretched limb. A hated task - but it was his duty. It wasn’t his first – and it wouldn’t be his last.

 

It was heavy work, and even though there was a layer of snow on the ground he wiped the sweat from his brow as he leaned on the long-handled axe and surveyed his work.

 

 

Readying himself for the next one he raised the axe, but before he could bring it down a voice called, “That’s enough firewood for today, dear.”

 

*****

ALL IN THE PLANNING 

 

He’d planned it meticulously. She had the code to the vault. He wooed her and won her trust; promised to marry her - if only he had the money.

 

She could smuggle him into the vault on Friday. He’d load the money and valuables and leave the building during the night through an unlocked window. The theft wouldn’t be discovered until the following Monday.

 

She could join him overseas later.

 

Everything worked out as he’d planned - until he punched in the exit code to the vault. *Incorrect Code*.

 

 

He hadn’t planned on her seeing him with his real girlfriend.

 

*****

HELLEN

 

“Why can’t you get a decent job?”

“You’re useless.”

“I don’t know why I married you,” she screamed endlessly.

 

Her name was Hellen and he called her Hell, because for 30 years that’s what she’d made his life.

 

She scoffed at his efforts to help cook and clean. “When will I ever please you?” he pleaded.

“When hell freezes over,” she sneered.

 

He bought her the new chest freezer she wanted, but she complained, “It’s not big enough.”

“Yes. It. Is,” he said, stuffing her body inside.

 

 Smiling, he wondered how long it would take for Hell to freeze over.

 

*****

 

THE JOB APPLICATION

 

 

I waited nervously for the sedate elderly man to finish reading my letter of application. With an ailing mother and four younger siblings to support, I desperately needed the job, even though it would take me away from home.

 

He was friendly and charming and my hopes rose. But then he enumerated his misgivings. I was far too young, I was too attractive, and it was not the life he would recommend for a young woman.

 

I tried to argue, but the answer was still, no. Regretfully, he could not employ me as a stewardess on the newly-built SS Titanic.

 

 

*****

 

EXPECTATIONS

 

“You’re going to be the death of me!”

 

He heard it for the first time when his boyish exuberance resulted in a visit from the police. It was repeated when he was expelled from school; when he was sent to a remand centre; when a pregnant girlfriend turned up, and when drugs were found in his room.

 

He heard it for the final time as a ghostly whisper in his head after his mother refused to give him money and he stood over her crumpled body with a bloodied knife in his hand.

  

Finally, he’d lived up to her expectations.

 

 

*****

 

FLYPAST

 

Bill’s nerves were taut as he nosed the Spitfire down the runway, remembering his last flight after the war. But as the plane soared upwards his confidence returned.

 

George had warned him to keep to simple manoeuvres. He circled the airfield to give his grandson a better view. But the manoeuvre sent the plane into a diving roll and it slammed into the ground.

 

Two men raced over to the fallen aircraft, followed by a small anguished boy. Surveying the wreckage, Bill said despondently, “You were right, George. These model aeroplanes can be just as tricky as the real thing.”

 

 

*****

 

HOLIDAY DILEMMA

 

For 25 years they’d argued over the holidays. He liked the sea. She liked the mountains. Each year they went to the beach.

 

Now that the children were grown and had left home he decided it was time to holiday on a yacht. She didn’t argue.

 

There were few passengers, but there was no privacy. The bunks were tiny and uncomfortable. The galley was crammed and awkward.

 

She went up on deck. He joined her. “How do you like sailing?” he eagerly asked. There was a splash and muffled shout.

 

Next year she would go to the mountains. 

 

 

*****

 

THE COMPETITION

 

When Jason saw it he knew this was the one that would win him the championship. But it was behind a high fence in the grounds of a private estate, and well out of reach.

 

His opportunity came when the gates opened for a chauffeur-driven car to glide out. He quickly slipped inside, careful not to be seen. Technically he would be a thief.

 

It stood before him, laden with its huge spiky seeds. The biggest horse chestnut tree he’d ever seen. He hurriedly filled his pockets. Bound to be a ten-er amongst them.

  

He came. He saw. He ‘conkered’.

 

 

*****

 

LOST AT SEA

He overheard his young wife and her lover planning his demise - and what they’d do with his money.

He changed his will and bequeathed everything to Douglas L. Bradshaw. He left a note instructing his executor: “If I should die in mysterious circumstances have the police investigate my wife and her lover.”

Then he took his wife on a cruise. Two weeks into the holiday he disappeared during the night, believed to have fallen overboard and drowned. Despite a search his body was never recovered.

Douglas L. Bradshaw was at the inquest. The plastic surgery scars were healing nicely.

*****

 

 

 


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