This submission is spurred by Gordon’s “Vectors” and Amy’s “Taking Measures”
Cross Country by Eric Smith
Since he couldn’t abide the heat and humidity that descended over the Mid-Atlantic region in late April, he didn’t enjoy track season. To him competing outdoors on the track amounted to pain, torture, and agony—sweat pouring into his eyes, sun sapping his strength even before the gun. So he favored cross country. The season began in September, summer’s last gasp. Then October, his favorite month, gently shouldered September aside—temperatures fell, the sun shone obliquely, the fragrance of rotting leaves flared his nostrils as he ran. October allowed him to run full bore without restraint from the climate.
“Beer?” Bob asked.
“I’m driving. Melissa asked me to drop this off,” Tom replied.
“Okay, coffee then,” Bob insisted as he flicked the TV remote.
“Have you been talking to Melissa?”
Tom was desperate to get to the bank but noticed the £1,000.00 cheque Melissa had written as Bob pulled it out. He was about to do the unthinkable when something on the news caught his attention. He froze. According to reports an ex-convict was holding bank customers hostage. He realized then that Melissa’s dream had come true. The errand to Bob had been her way of delaying him…
If you can recall your school mathematics lessons, ‘vectors’ are distances to which direction has been applied. Their practical use really only dates from the mid-eighteenth century, but they’re known as ‘Euclidean’ vectors because it was the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid who first spotted their importance.
A keen runner, he ran in the 10,000 metres finals at the 272BC Olympics. Trailing in a distant ninth, Euclid suddenly realised that after a great deal of effort running 25 laps, he was simply back where he’d started.
Euclid thus proved it was more efficient to be a couch potato than a runner.
I wrote this on Friday and edited it today. Sorry for being late but I tried to make it 100 words exactly. Not sure if it needed a title or if that was part of the 100 words so I didn’t give it one.
(Untitled) by Eve Gaal
The first time we met, he said my gabardine suit wasn’t hiding my obvious curves. I turned and left. Next week, he continued with innuendos during my presentation. Proud of the sale, I quickly left for my office, processing the contract. I arrived home exhausted, ready to unwind. Five minutes later, the doorbell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone, so I continued to relax until my roommate banged on my door, telling me about a man on our couch. How did he find my address? He had followed me home. Six years later, I was still trying to get rid of him.
Naturally, when the rapture came, I stayed behind. All of us did. I joined Vinnie at a crowded deli. “Not many Christians tonight,” I said. He pointed to a table. “Preacher and his mistress,” he smirked. We took our beers and sandwiches to a deck with a view of Jersey. “I’m gonna miss the Evangelicals,” I admitted, “I wonder what those crazies are doing now?” Vinnie just swished his tail at a fly while I picked pastrami out of my tusks. “Gotta hurry,” he said, “Big gambling den in Brooklyn.” “Poor schmucks,” I said, while we split the tip.
Before sunrise, I finish the last swipe of pita and humous, take my tools and head out to the tunnel under construction below the school grounds. Other men gather and we bow down barefoot on the ground to pray the first Morning Prayer. Ahmed sets the timer for the rockets towards Israel. Then he joins us underground digging the tunnel towards our enemy, Israel. Hands and faces, black and grimy, but we are fired by an inner passion to overcome our enemy, the Jew.
After a few hours of labor, we rest exhausted on mats. Suddenly, an explosion.
Dave was proud of his library and of having read nearly all of the several hundred literary works it contained; proud, too, of his ability to expound at length on the likes of Proust, Twain, Woolf, Shakespeare. He tried to sound casual when mentioning that he read about forty novels a year.
But a scrawled message had stumped him for the past eight hours. What could it mean, he thought.
Dave, I’m leaving. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
He took a copy of The Taming Of The Shrew from his bookshelves. Perhaps the answer is in here, he muttered.
Dave was proud of his library, prouder still of having read nearly all of the several hundred works of literature it contained and his ability to expound at length on Proust, Twain, Woolf, Hemingway and so many other illustrious authors. He tried not to sound as if he were bragging when casually mentioning that he read about forty novels a year.
But now he was looking at a mere two sentences, a scrawled message that had stumped him for the past eight hours. What could it mean, he thought.
Dave, I had to leave. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I’m just trying to live my daily life here, but the obstacles I face are unbelievable. I head out to grab some food for the family, and people just swat me around like I’m a nuisance. I find some nice unclaimed stuff on the ground, but when I go in to snag it, others just brush me off as if I’m no one. I wish I were better able to stand up to them and not back down, but all I can do is zip away before they squash me. Life’s tough as a bug, but I’ll make it somehow.