As they are so brief, we're publishing all the hundred-word stories (drabbles) from our 100th event Hundreds & Thousands in a single post. You're welcome :)
IMPACT by Katy Darby, read by Judith Quin
It's on YouTube. Starts out just sky; pale clouds, birds wheeling, somewhere high. No voices, just wind, sunshine. A pan shows grass, brown cliffs, a river wriggling through the ravine below. The camera looms over the edge, looks down, starts zooming. Cliffsides fall away, slow, then faster. Steady, smooth, an endless zoom, and just as you're thinking, shit, how long is this lens? you realise they must've dropped the camera.
Except it would be spinning uncontrollably, and it's steady all the way down. That's why you don't realise he’s still holding it – until it's just too late to look away.
LIFE.SENTENCE. by Gordon Williams, read by Carrie Cohen
Emerge. Cry. Breathe. Cry. Suck. Grow. See. Hear.
Eat. Drink. Crawl. Grow. Stand. Fall. Walk. Stumble. Walk.
Blabber. Talk. Grow. Learn. Grow. Meet. Run. Play. Fight. Play.
Compete. Fail. Compete. Fail. Compete. Win.
Want. Ask. Lose. Cry.
Learn. Learn. Learn. Tell. Succeed.
Meet. Talk. Hold. Kiss. Undress. Fuck. Repeat.
Work. Earn. Spend. Repeat.
Try. Fail. Try. Fail. Try. Nearly. Try. Succeed. Try. Fail. Try. Succeed. Diversify. Repeat.
Love. Conflict. Loss. Tears. Repeat.
Love. Kids. Love. Give. Watch. Learn. Help. Teach. Sacrifice. Gone. Tears.
Work. Earn. Save. Retire. Relax. Reminisce.
Lose. Grieve. Remember. Forget.
Decline. Dementia. Dependency. Delirium. Demise. Decay. Dust.
UNCLE PHIL by Tom McColl, read by Nicholas Delvalle
I was throwing darts at the dartboard pinned to a wardrobe at my Uncle Phil's.
Uncle Phil came in. He wasn't really my uncle, but then he wasn't really a dartboard either, and when he said I’m just getting something from the wardrobe, and had his back to me as he opened the wardrobe door, I threw the dart.
How he yowled as I hit the bullseye right between the shoulder blades.
I was five, and I've never felt so alive before or since as when I heard that dull thud and saw my mum's friend – my fake uncle – wince.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS & FIFTEEN by Joanne L. M. Williams
ONE HUNDRED YEARS (read by Lois Tucker)
One hundred years is a long time. A long time to slumber in enchanted dreams. A long time to wait for true love. It was my birthday on the day it happened. The day that poison entered the blood through pierced flesh and brought the promised curse. My birthday too, the same as hers, though I am no princess. When kings and queens offend the magic powers that be, the consequences befall us who labour for them. The castle slept. When the prince came at last to lay claim to Beauty, I awoke a century on, my lover long gone.
FIFTEEN (read by Miranda Harrison)
'It was a wizard idea to think of having a birthday picnic for just us two on such a glorious day!' declared Pamela, flinging herself down on the lawn beside Janet. 'Fifteen! Do you feel awfully grown-up?'
'No! Well... in some ways. Come here you silly thing,' Janet laughed, reaching over to smooth down Pam's forever-untidy curls. Pam impulsively covered her friend's hand with her own small, nail-bitten one. They exchanged glances, suddenly shy, and everything was still for a moment. Then Janet snatched her hand away in half-confusion and began to busily lay out the sandwiches and ginger cake.
(c) the respective authors, 2016.