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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
by Robert Allen Lupton
Today is October 1 and on this date in 1971 - Disney World opened. On this date in 1972 - The Joy of Sex was published. My research shows the two events are unrelated. Today's Drabble is "New Puppy."
The young female Thark, Sola, was small and kind, unlike most Green Martians. The others picked on her because of her weaknesses.
Her father couldn’t acknowledge her, but he feared for her safety.He found a calot pup, the runt of a litter, and gave it to Sola.
She loved the calot and named it Woola. The puppy made her feel safer. She fed him, slept with him, and hid him from the other children. “One day, you’ll be big and strong. You’ll protect me and my friends, won’t you.”
The calot wagged its tail and barked a happy promise.
October 2 and on this date in 1835, the first battle of the Texas Revolution was fought along the Guadalupe River. The drabble today is "Well Bred."
So, Burroughs, is it breeding or environment that has the most to do with how a man develops.”
Burroughs asked, “Do you mean could you train a prince to be a thief or a street urchin become a banker?”
“Exactly. Any man or woman, can, by up-bringing and environment, master any beliefs, duties, and skills. It’s nature.”
“No. A man is a man, a pig is a pig and an ape is an ape.”
“Edgar, I miss your point.”
“Telling a man he’s a fish doesn’t help him swim and a lion in a seersucker suit will still hunt antelopes.”
Today is October 3 and on this date in 1995, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his wife and another man - by a strange quirk of fate, on this day in 2008, OJ was convicted of stealing memorabilia at gunpoint. The drabble is "Native Intelligence."
Oberleutnant Kreig drew his pistol. “What?”
The mangani said, “Dum Dum.”
“Let me pass or I’ll shoot you.”
The ape like creature blocked his way. “Dum Dum.”
‘I graduated Heidelberg. I not dumb.”
The mangani motioned for the German to turn back. “Dum Dum.”
“Not dumb, I’m a German officer.” He fired his pistol into the air.
The shot brought a dozen mangani from beneath the nearby sacred tree. They attacked the oberleutnant.
He finally realized that educated and smart aren’t the same thing. The last words he heard was the first mangani speak. “Dum Dum”
THE DICKENS YOU SAY
October 4 and on this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 orbit and the space race began. Today's 100 word Edgar Rice Burroughs themed drabble is "The Dickens You Say".
O-Ray wasn’t a Ho-don or a Waz-don. His father was from one city, his mother from the other, and she wasn’t welcome in either one.
Jane was imprisoned in Pal-ul-don and O-Ray was assigned the task of ensuring the woman was cared for. Jane asked, ‘You don’t look like the rest of the people.”
O-Ray explained her parentage and said the Ho-don treated her as a slave.
Jane said, “Your parents were like Romeo and Juliet.”
O-Ray waved her tail and asked, “What’s that?”
“A story of love in my world. You’re like another story, The Tail of Two Cities.”
Today is the fifth of October and tomorrow the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta begins. Drabbles will still be posted daily, but not on a regular schedule. The drabble today is "One Punch".
“So who’s this mug, Jim Stone. I’ll put him on the canvas in the first round.”
“Don’t be so sure, Bruiser. I didn’t want to have you box him, but the money’s good. He came from nowhere and he’s undefeated. He moves slow, but he can take a punch.”
The bell rang and Bruiser Burks charged the man who boxed as Jim Stone. Burks felt his fingers break when he punched the lantern jaw with all his strength.
He dropped his guard and Stone knocked him over the ropes.
The referee raised Stone’s right fist and the audience went wild.
The drabble for October 6. The first successful human powered attempt to circumnavigate the world was successfully completed in 2007. It took more than 80 days. Englishman Jason Lewis set out on the journey, also called Expedition 360 on July 12, 1994, from Greenwich, London. The over 46,000-mile expedition around the world took him 4,833 days, during which he used only human-powered modes of transportation including bicycles, roller blades, and a pedal powered boat. The drabble is "Free Lunch".
Jad-ba-la, the Golden Lion woke from a sound sleep. It was too hot to hunt, still mid-afternoon and the jungle sleeps except for some stupid men.
What woke me, he thought? He sniffed and listened. He smelled zebra.
It was close. Its scent was acrid and the animal fought to catch its breath. He smelled exhaustion. Hyenas, Jad-ba-la smelled hyenas.
The zebra slipped into the underbrush and literally stuck its head into Jad-ba-la’s mouth. The lion bit down gently. Hunting wasn’t always this simple, but sometimes it was so easy, he was ashamed of himself, but he ate it anyway.
YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND
Today is October 7 and on this day in 1714 People rioted due to beer tax in Alkmaar, Netherlands. That's my kind of protest. The drabble today is "You Wouldn't Understand."
Thor hated the way the ruling classes of Veja treated common people like him and he raised an army, revolted and conquered the platter-shaped world. His version of Veja had two classes, Thorists and slaves. Thousands fled and established hidden tree cities.
Thor’s followers, like Thor himself, were only of average intelligence and half the women were sterile. They searched the jungle daily for women and scientists.
Their ruler, a descendant of Thor confronted a captured scientist. “No matter how many scientists or women we catch to breed with, we don’t become more intelligent. Why not?”
Here's the October 8 drabble -"Talk's Cheap"
Brepka claimed he was the most powerful mangani in the tribe. He believed himself, but avoided conflicts with the other males.
He blustered, lied, and postured. He pounded his chest and screamed defiance at other predators from a safe distance. The other males ignored him because he gave them no cause to fight. He magnanimously let others eat first and he never fought over a female.
One day a lion pride trapped a balu. Brepka attacked the lions alone. They made short work of him.
A she looked sad and said, “Bad things happen when you believe your own lies.”
Today is October 9 - day four at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The drabble is "Successful Liar."
Mintep, Jong of Vepaja told Carson Napier hunting tales from his youth. Mintep said, “My favorite story was about being attacked by a tharban. I killed it with my bare hands. It was a lie, but the story improved with the telling.
I stopped telling it years ago, because I was confused about my oft repeated tale’s truth.
Napier asked, “So why are you telling me?”
I told people that I kept the red and white striped tharban hide in my treasure room. Finally, I had to know the truth and I looked myself. I was shocked. It was there.”
Today's October 10th post is "Nice Kitty".
Scott Taylor challenged Virginia Scott’s right to inherit Jefferson Scott’s fortune. There was no last testament or marriage certificate to prove Virginia’s legitimacy.
Dick Gordon went to Africa to find proof.
Virginia followed and was captured. Her captors planned to feed her to a man-eating lion.
Eventually, the will was found, the lion bonded with Gordon, and everyone, including the lion, returned to America.
Taylor attacked Virginia, but Ben, now a circus lion, escaped and killed him. The wedding certificate appeared and Dick, Virginia, and lion, lived happily ever after. Where there’s a will, there’s a prey. I’m not lyin”
October 11, 2018 and day 6 of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Today's drabble is "Good Dog."
One evening, a panthan confronted Dejah Thoris and the small calot at her side. The man wore a Zodangan harness.
The panthan leered and said, “Late for a woman to be outside alone. I suppose this calot is here to protect you.”
“Be careful what you say. I go where I choose and do what I want.”
“As you say.” The panthan reached for the calot. “Does your calot bite?”
“My calot doesn’t bite.”
He patted the calot and the beast bit off his hand.
He screamed. “I thought you said that your calot doesn’t bite.”
“He’s not my calot.”
WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
The October 12 drabble is "Whistle While You Work."
Thuvia wandered into an old city near the Toonolian Marshes and found a thousands of people living underground. They worshipped ancient gods, called themselves Highos, and their priestess leader was Gno-Why-Et.
Thuvia told her banth to wait and asked Gno-Why-Et how they’d survived.
“As the seas vanished, the first priestess divided the survivors into seven clans and assigned a Dwar to oversee each clan. One clan for crops, one to hunt, one to build, and so forth. Clan rule is hereditary. It has always been so.”
“So the Highos are ruled by Gno-Why-Et and the Seven Dwars?”
The drabble for October 13: "Table Stakes."
Nkima loved watching the Waziri play hearts, a game the traders had introduced them too. The Waziri played all night long and trade goods, clothing, and weapons changed hands all night.
The traders had insisted “You need four players.”
When there were only three players, Nkima took the fourth seat.
Tarzan returned from London and was surprised to see the little monkey playing cards. He said, “I knew he was special, but I didn’t know he was this smart.”
Muviro said, “He’s not that smart. He sticks his tail straight up in the air whenever he has a good hand.”
Our October 14 drabble is "Playtime."
David Innes told Abner Perry about the little man who wasn’t Dolly Dorcas. Abner said, “Did he tell you how his ship sailed to Pellucidar? We need to find the polar opening.”
“No, the old cannibalistic seaman was old beyond his years and his mind was as weak as his eyesight."
“Did you learn anything from him?”
“Not much. He constantly rambled nonsense. He talked about Swedish meatballs. He enjoyed playing with the children. He carved yo-yos and tops and he baked clay marbles, He delighted in hide-and-seek.”
Abner smiled, “Good. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”
TIME TO GO
Today is October 15 and on this date in 1917, Mata Hari, Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, was executed by firing squad. She refused a blindfold and blew a kiss to her executioners. The drabble today is "Time to Go."
The other animals at the circus were afraid of Ben, the new lion. His muscles were strong because he’d hunted and fought for his food since childhood. The malnourished circus lions were thinner, weaker, and frequently their cruel masters pulled their teeth.
Ben wanted to leave and the other lions agreed. One day, the scent of his human friend, Dick Gordon, was on the breeze. Ben was crazed. The other lions agreed to help him. Two lions pretended to fight and Ben escaped in the confusion A female lion said, “Thank god he’s gone. He was just a wild animal.”
WHAT'S IN A NAME
Our October 16 drabble: On this day in history, Christopher Columbus' fleet anchors at "Fernandina" (Long Island, Bahamas). The drabble is "What's In a Name."
Dirty Cheetim hired a new bartender. “Cut the real whiskey by half with water. The bar stuff is turpentine, water, and some flavorings. Go light on the turpentine. Don’t want folks to die before I got their money. Go light on the wash soap, it costs money.”
“Yessir, I know how this works. I don’t do rough stuff, but I’ll keep a shotgun close. How’d you get your name?”
Mom fished a lot, named me Bait N. Cheetim. Hated the name and hated to wash. My Sis started calling me “Dirty”. It’s like she and mom could see the future.
Our October 17 drabble is "Final Fight."
Tantor missed Tarzan. He sniffed unsuccessfully for his scent. Tantor hoped to see Tarzan before entering the place of elephant bones.
He smelled men in the secret valley. Not mangani, not gomangani, but tarmangani. Strange tarmangani.
They loaded tusks from ancient skeletons into conveyances that belched fire and stank of oil.
The old elephant watched and then charged. He crushed the machines and trampled the men. Then he lay down to join his ancestors. It was good to have spirits of tarmangani and strange machines to accompany him.
He snorted, sniffed the air one last time, and went to sleep.
On this day in October 18 In 1924, Red Grange scored 4 touchdowns in one game. The drabble is "Boola Boola."
“Why move the pigskin to the endzone place,” asked Tarzan?
“Points. You get points.”
“Can I eat points?"
“No, most points win.”
“Win what? Land, women, gold?”
“Win the game.”
“Game like deer, antelope, or buffalo?”
“No, only bragging rights.”
“People need a dead pigskin to brag?”
“Some, try it once. Put on this helmet.”
“Don’t need a dead cow hat to carry pigskin.”
Tarzan ran two offensive and two defensive plays and scored four times. The coach offered to sign him on the spot.
Tarzan said, “No, thanks. Waste of time. Maybe Nkima play. Monkey play good with football.”
BIG SHOT FOR A MOMENT
October 19, 2018 was a good day for the Luptons at the Great Mississippi Balloon Race. Today's drabble is "Big Shot for a Moment."
The man ordered a round for the bar in Farris’s and toasted himself, the beautiful women he’d known, and the opulent saloons where he wasted evenings lost in fine wines and old whiskeys.
Farris entered the room as the barkeep poured another round. The man rambled and ordered a third round.
The barkeep looked questioningly at Farris.
Farris shrugged, “His cash is good. I’ve known the piker for years and he’s a liar. Women that pretty wouldn’t talk to him. Saloons that upscale would toss him in the street and he never bought a top shelf bourbon in his life.”
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Our Edgar Rice Burroughs' themed drabble for October 20th is "Behind The Curtain."
D’Arnot asked Tarzan. “How can you return the jungle, my friend? Won’t you miss the Paris nightlife, fine clothes, cigars, and beautiful women? The theatre, fine cuisine, art, and the classics of literature?”
“Your world has many beautiful and impressive things, but most of them only serve to complicate life. They distract from the things that are necessary and important.”
“I don’t take your meaning.”
“A man needs sleep, food, water, a mate, and good companions. Life is that simple. Your world hides that truth with glitter and bright lights. The trappings of your civilization are nothing but window dressing.”
October 21 and the ERB themed drabble of the day is "Thermostat Control."
Nu, son of Nu, and Nu, father of Nu, talked as they watched the first full moonrise of spring. Old Nu said, “Warmer this year than when I was young. The glaciers are shrinking and game is more plentiful. Don’t need bearskin coat. Berries grow higher on the mountain. Legend’s tell of old times when there were no glaciers. Maybeso those times come back.”
Young Nu said, “You say ice age over?"
“Yes, it’s our fault. Too many people make too many fires. Melt ice.”
“How we stop it?”
“I don’t want to stop it. My bones like it warm.”
Here's the post for October 22. It's called "Close "Friends."
Dejah Thoris selected her new servants carefully. Her father, Mors Kajak noticed that she chose mostly her friends and acquaintances.
He shook his head and counseled her. “Friends make poor servants. Even your best friend will resent emptying your chamber pot. Nothing destroys friendships faster than friends made into workers. Workers may become friends. It never works in reverse."
“If I pick people I don’t know, I could unintentionally bring an enemy into the castle.”
“All the better. If they’re busy, they won’t have time to hatch new plots. The closer you keep your enemies, the easier to watch them.”
Today's October 23 drabble is called "Conundrum."
Barney Custer conferred with his council. “I’ll stay king, I want to change things. We need a constitution and a legislature. The Brits call it a constitutional monarchy."
“But sire, surely you don’t mean to allow the people to have a say in how we run the country. They don’t know enough.”
“You saying the king is smarter than everyone else?”
“Sire, I’m saying everyone isn’t as smart as the king.”
“Both ways sound wrong. One man isn’t smarter than everyone, but everyone deciding things together doesn’t sound any better. It’s a wonder we ever learned to build a fire.”
TRAITOR TO THE RACE
The drabble for October 24 is "Traitor to the Race."
Moses Samuels expected to die by torture. Peter Johansen, a fellow human turned him in to the Kalkar overlords for practicing Judism.
Peter laughed at him and Moses asked, “How can you betray humans to this filth? You should be ashamed.”
“Every day they come for someone else, is another day me and mine are left to survive.”
“You trade our lives so you can live another day.”
“Sounds worse when you say it like that.”
You’re a fool. When you run out of people to betray, they’ll come for you and no one will be left to help you.”
October 25 and on this day in history, in 1415 at Battle of Agincourt, Henry V's forces defeated a much larger French army. In 1854, the infamous Charge of Light Brigade took place during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. Today's drabble is "Nose Blind."
Joey Marks sneezed constantly. He complained to the boxer he managed, One-Punch Mulligan. “Can’t believe you dragged me to Africa for vacation. My nose hates these plants. Hay fever is killing me.”
Mulligan replied. “Stick a rag up your snout. The sneezing scares the game.”
“Only sissy animals. The big game come to us to see what the hullabaloo is about.”
‘I should thank you for sneezing me up a lion to shoot? I can’t hear anything over your noise.”
Marks slipped behind Mulligan and pointed, “Don’t listen. Look.”
Mulligan’s gun clicked on an empty chamber and the lion growled.
PUNISHMENT TO FIT THE CRIME
Today is October 26 and in 1881 the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place. The drabble is "Punishment To Fit The Crime."
The eastern writer wandered the cemetery. He asked a caretaker. “Why’s this grave only got one name, Mart?”
“He rode with Corey Blaine when they kidnapped Kay White from California. Blaine and his other hands might a’ known Mart’s full name, but they ain’t talking neither.”
“Don’t pay to ride on the wrong side of the law in Comanche County. Folks hereabouts ain’t too keen on trials. The deputy sheriff, Buck Mason, shot the lot of them.”
“Steal and die. Rustling horses, women, or cattle pays the same. Bullet or a rope followed by a shallow grave.”
IT'S WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW
Today is October 27 and on this day in 1682, William Penn founded the city of Philadelphia. The Edgar Rice Burroughs themed drabble today is "It's What You Don't Know." WARNING: The image is a real photo from WW1 and is both explicit and disturbing.
Tarzan and Nkima smelled the dead bodies from a mile away and slowly made their way through the jungle canopy. Nine dead European soldiers were sprawled around the remains of a fire.
Tarzan dropped to the ground. Nkima stayed in the trees and ate two mangos. Tarzan examined the men. “Nkima, these men died of hunger and thirst.”
Nkima tilted a large leaf poured water into his mouth. He found four eggs and shared with Tarzan.
Tarzan ate a fistful of sweet berries. “They starved surrounded by abundant food and water. Ignorance is the one crime the jungle won’t forgive.”
AGE IS RELATIVE
Today is October 28 and on this day in 1726 the first edition of Gulliver's Travels was released. The drabble today is "Age is Relative."
“What do you mean, you don’t know how old you are?” asked Dejah Thoris.
John replied, “Folks weren’t big on records and by the time I was big enough to care, no one was around to ask. How old are you?”
“Men don’t ask women. We are long lived and our age doesn’t matter for many years.”
Carter replied, “I couldn’t agree more. I believe everyone is really the same age.”
Dejah asked, “You can’t believe that?”
“Doesn’t matter how long ago you started. We each have today and tomorrow. Yesterdays don’t matter. Beginning now, we’re all the same age.”
WAR IS STRENGTH
Today is October 19 and the anniversary of the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. Double down for those of us raised in the aftermath of the Oklahoma dust bowl. The drabble is "War is Strength."
Tarzan knelt and talked to the little man with the long name. "I'm not a giant, I'm normal sized for my people."
Gefasto, Commander of the Veltopismakusian military said, "I'm a giant, I'm the largest man in the army. Our scientists will shrink you to my size and then we'll fight."
"I do not choose to fight."
"Are you afraid? Battle is the spice of life and life's true meaning. War makes the Minuni masters of the jungle."
"I fear nothing, but most wars are pointless."
"Tell that foolishness to the dead."
"You can tell them, you'll see them first."
October 30: The Boers defeated the British in the Battle of Ladysmith leading to the siege of Ladysmith. (Check out my horror story, "Dark Cloud Over Ladysmith" in Uncommon Evil anthology - available on Amazon. The drabble today is "Evening Gown."
John Carter marveled at the way Barsoomian women dressed. Dejah Thoris didn’t feel the cool night’s chill. She was bred to resist the cold.
“How you can wear next to nothing without freezing. Earth women would never appear in public without covering their bodies.”
“Why not, are they ashamed?”
“It’s not considered decent. Men would make inappropriate advances.”
“Have they no men to protect them.”
“Yes, but sometimes protection isn’t available.”
“Yes, but when such men are released, they repeat their behavior.”
“I’m confused, dead men don’t hurt women.”
“No you’re not, it’s my people who are confused.”
Halloween and today's drabble is "Waziri Halloween"
The costumed Waziri children shouted Trick or Treat and woke Jane. “My, what a fine collection of ghosts and goblins. How did you learn about Halloween?”
“Korak said you’d give us sweet things to eat.”
She fetched a bowl of honey and bread for dipping. She and the children sat on the porch, shared, and talked.
“There’s another Halloween custom, “The Wake-Up serenade. Gather pots and spoons. Follow me to Korak’s house.”
They shouted and pounded the pots. Korak charged out of the house and fell off the porch into the mud.
Jane laughed and said, ‘Trick or Treat, yourself.”
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Copyright 2018: Robert Allen Lupton
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