Week 1 Prompt List

Hello all! You have chosen to participate in the Odd Prompts challenge, and this is where you pick up your assigned prompt, which was given to you by a fellow writer. They will also be participating, so it should be interesting to see what they did with the prompt you gave them!

Prompter NamePromptPromptee Name
Becky R JonesStay sane inside insanity.Richard Cartwright
Misha BurnettA woman wakes up a week after her husband’s funeral. Describe how her morning routine has changed without mentioning her husband.Pickles
JM Ney-GrimmThe king selected only warriors with living sons, but Lysander had not yet learned of his only child’s death.Nother Mike
Mark AlgerYou see a person going about his quotidian life. Really. You’re stoppedat a stoplight and a man crosses the street in the middle of the block
on the road you’re planning to turn onto. He walks bent at the hips,
assisted by a cane, is carrying a fast food bag.

Write his story. Why is he crossing in the middle of the block, rather
than at the crosswalk? How did he get to the condition he’s in? What
state are his clothes in, for instance, and why? He’s wearing a hat.
Does the style matter? What drove his choice? What does he do to keep
body and soul together? What is his social/familial circle like?
Misha Burnett
Kat RossLunar Eclipse Image (see below)Mark Alger
PicklesTheme Parks on the MoonLeigh Kimmel
ClintThere were lots of kids in school who looked like witches — that was how you could tell that they weren’t.Kat Ross
Leigh KimmelAncient (Roman? prehistoric?) stone bridge washed away by a (sudden andJM Ney-Grimm
Nother MikeWhat do you expect from a half-orc barbarian who
has a crush on cats?
Deena Campanile
Richard CartwrightIf Dante had known about daytime television the Ninth Circle of Hell would have TV sets.Clint
Cal PomesYour golden retriever, happily swimming in the retention pond, swims back to you with Excalibur clamped between its jaws.Cedar Sanderson
Deena CampanileTeddy bears, mayhem, and unicorns.Cal Pomes
Cedar SandersonOctopus ink and cuttlefish quills.Becky R Jones
Duke Chaos “I must slay the beast called doubt.” Jolie LaChance
Jolie LaChance You have finished a big ass milestone, or life changing event, the event has consumed you but it’s done.


What’s next?
Duke Chaos
“Lunar Eclipse” photo by Kat Ross

If you would like to take part in writing prompts this week, but didn’t send a prompt to oddprompts@gmail.com, you can still do so! Some of our prompters sent in more than one prompt for just these occasions. Check out what Misha Burnett sent for you…

2. Describe an undercover police officer disguised as a homeless man through the eyes of someone who is able to recognize him as a cop. 
3. The thoughts of a man working a menial job after his skilled career has been eliminated by new technology. 

Remember, there is no word quota. Make it as long, or as short as you wish. Publish it somewhere (blog, social media, comments under this post) and then comment here with a link so everyone can read it, no later than Tuesday Jan 6 Midnight EST. Then email a new prompt if you want to take part next week to oddprompts@gmail.com. Prompts should be short, sweet, and punchy: a phrase, an evocative sentence, an image, a line of poetry. Randomized prompt assignments will come out Wednesday.

Most importantly, have fun with it!

59 comments

  1. Crooked-backed and crabwise-gaited
    His cane a third and straighter leg
    He paused between the lights and waited
    Too old to sprint, too proud to beg

    His hat turns and his head follows
    As if marionetted by the wind
    Driven by automotive bellows
    Traffic keeping him on the curbside pinned

    Then a gap, a hiccup in the flow
    And lurching, cane-leaning, he fords the flood
    No hesitation, see the chance and go
    Quick his breathing, warm his blood

    Then gone, and I know not whence
    Because I’ve never seen him since

    Liked by 3 people

  2. About 800 words based on Misha’s first prompt.

    Things in the city were getting worse. It seemed there were more homeless people every day. As with many of my fellow residents, I began tuning them out. They had started to become background.

    On my walk to work I passed by one area that was becoming more popular with the street residents. I noticed myself turning my head to avoid making eye contact. Instead, I would scan the middle distance and break my view up into sectors. This wasn’t good, I really didn’t want to get back into that mindset, especially back here in the world.
    I was also concerned that I would see someone I knew. Maybe a fellow vet. What would I do then? I could barely take care of myself some days. How could I help anyone else?

    On Thursday I saw something different. There was a new vagrant huddled in the doorway of one of the recently closed businesses. Something about him made my senses ping. I didn’t know what it was at first, but even though he blended in, he stood out to me.

    On my walk home he was gone and I wrote it off to a territorial dispute. But Friday morning there he was again. I tried to take a closer look surreptitiously.

    He didn’t seem dirty enough somehow, but maybe he had just left one of the shelters that were operating around the neighborhood. That wasn’t it.

    Thoughts about him popped up in my mind over the weekend. I realized I was thinking of my walk to work as my patrol sector and he was a potential threat.

    Monday came and he wasn’t there. I breathed a silent sight of relief. Tuesday, he was back and I took a closer, less subtle look on my way past. My instincts were coming back on line and I knew there was something wrong. Something out of place.

    On Wednesday as I walked past his doorway, I was “texting” on my phone. Actually, I have the video recorder going and angled the phone to sweep him as I went by. That night I pulled up the video on my computer and looked at the footage.

    As I scanned back and forth and zoomed in, details started to emerge. He *was* too clean, especially his nails which were also neatly trimmed. His hair looked wrong and I realized it was a wig. While examining that detail I saw the earbud then his boots. They were new looking side zip patrol boots. I had a similar pair in my closet for nights I rode the ambulance as a volunteer EMT. I also registered the way his eyes were scanning the passersby. Pausing on each one and moving to the next.

    Who was this guy? Who did he work for and who was he looking for.

    I decided I would start carrying my sidearm again and resume my weekly visits to the local shooting range.

    This went on for a few weeks. He was never there on Mondays or in the late afternoon/early evening, but every other weekday morning there he was, at his post watching for something or someone. Was he a threat and if so, to whom?
    To help me process, I started keeping an incident log of my observations.

    Finally I had to try a small test. As I walked past him one morning I made eye contact. When our eyes met, I splayed my hand open at my side. The movement caught his eye and he glanced down, I immediately curled my thumb and forefinger together, leaving my other three fingers out straight.

    As soon as he saw that he barked a silent laugh, looked back up at me with a grin and nodded. He then made the move along gesture and I kept walking.

    So he was ex or current military or law enforcement and was on an assignment. My pulse rate picked up thinking about having a mission again.

    Now that I knew, or thought I knew, what he was, I started paying more attention to the other vagrants in the area. None of them stood out to me, but there was still something off in the neighborhood. Too many of the homeless looked on edge.

    I shifted my schedule so I could get to work and leave earlier. I also found myself unable to sleep some nights until I walked that trail.

    New datum, he wasn’t there before about 5:00am or after 1:00pm.

    One afternoon I saw him “rousted” by the local patrol officers and cuffed and stuffed into a patrol car. Before it turned the corner I saw the cuffs come off and one of the uniformed officers hand him what looked like a cell phone.

    This event both confirmed my suspicions and increased my attentiveness to the feel of the area. There was a threat on these streets that he was trying to stop.

    Like

    • Criminy! I’m sorry! Here it is: “Ancient (Roman? prehistoric?) stone bridge washed away by a (sudden and
      curious?) storm. Something liberated which had been sealed up in the masonry of
      years ago. Things happen.”

      Like

      • ““Ancient (Roman? prehistoric?) stone bridge washed away by a (sudden and curious?) storm. Something liberated which had been sealed up in the masonry of years ago. Things happen.”

        Ooooh! Way cool! I’ve already written a story based on ““Ancient (Roman? prehistoric?) stone bridge washed away by a (sudden and…”

        But the rest of the prompt takes things in a new and interesting direction. I’m very tempted to write another story that explores that direction. Next week, perhaps. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Let me try this again. I’m using one of Misha’s extra prompts. Here’s what I have so far.

    =============================

    Things in the city were getting worse. It seemed there were more homeless people every day. As with many of my fellow residents, I began tuning them out. They had started to become background.

    On my walk to work I passed by one area that was becoming more popular with the street residents. I noticed myself turning my head to avoid making eye contact. Instead, I would scan the middle distance and break my view up into sectors. This wasn’t good, I really didn’t want to get back into that mindset, especially back here in the world.

    I was also concerned that I would see someone I knew. Maybe a fellow vet. What would I do then? I could barely take care of myself some days. How could I help anyone else?

    On Thursday I saw something different. There was a new vagrant huddled in the doorway of one of the recently closed businesses. Something about him made my senses ping. I didn’t know what it was at first, but even though he blended in, he stood out to me.

    On my walk home he was gone and I wrote it off to a territorial dispute. But Friday morning there he was again. I tried to take a closer look surreptitiously.

    He didn’t seem dirty enough somehow, but maybe he had just left one of the shelters that were operating around the neighborhood. That wasn’t it.

    Thoughts about him popped up in my mind over the weekend. I realized I was thinking of my walk to work as my patrol sector and he was a potential threat.

    Monday came and he wasn’t there. I breathed a silent sight of relief. Tuesday, he was back and I took a closer, less subtle look on my way past. My instincts were coming back on line and I knew there was something wrong. Something out of place.

    On Wednesday as I walked past his doorway, I was “texting” on my phone. Actually, I had the video recorder going and angled the phone to sweep him as I went by. That night I pulled up the video on my computer and looked at the footage.

    As I scanned back and forth and zoomed in, details started to emerge. He *was* too clean, especially his nails which were also neatly trimmed. His hair looked wrong and I realized it was a wig. While examining that detail I saw the earbud then his boots. They were new looking side zip patrol boots. I had a similar pair in my closet for nights I rode the ambulance as a volunteer EMT. I also registered the way his eyes were scanning the passersby. Pausing on each one and moving to the next.

    Who was this guy? Who did he work for and who or what was he looking for.

    I decided I would start carrying my sidearm again and resume my weekly visits to the local shooting range.

    This went on for a few weeks. He was never there on Mondays or in the late afternoon/early evening, but every other weekday morning there he was, at his post watching for something or someone. Was he a threat and if so, to whom?

    To help me process, I started keeping an incident log of my observations.

    Finally I had to try a small test. As I walked past him one morning I made eye contact. When our eyes met, I splayed my hand open at my side. The movement caught his eye and he glanced down, I immediately curled my thumb and forefinger together, leaving my other three fingers out straight.

    As soon as he saw that he barked a silent laugh, looked back up at me with a grin and nodded. He then made the move along gesture and I kept walking.

    So he was ex or current military or law enforcement and was on an assignment. My pulse rate picked up thinking about having a mission again.

    Now that I knew, or thought I knew, what he was, I started paying more attention to the other vagrants in the area. None of them stood out to me, but there was still something off in the neighborhood. Too many of the homeless looked on edge.

    I shifted my schedule so I could get to work and leave earlier. I also found myself unable to sleep some nights until I walked that trail.

    New datum, he wasn’t there before about 5:00am or after 1:00pm.

    One afternoon I saw him “rousted” by the local patrol officers and cuffed and stuffed into a patrol car. Before it turned the corner I saw the cuffs come off and one of the uniformed officers hand him what looked like a cell phone.

    This event both confirmed my suspicions and increased my attentiveness to the feel of the area. There was a threat on these streets, my streets, that he was trying to stop.

    How could I help?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like the slow growth of tension! I did think he might start noticing more odd bits and pieces about the other homeless as he tries to watch for this one. But now I want to know what kind of threat is growing, and how will they recruit “me” into the effort? Or will they ? Nice!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A quick sketch…

    The People’s Inheritance (300 words)
    By ‘nother Mike

    The king selected only warriors with living sons, but Lysander had not yet learned of his only child’s death.

    The dread rite, a secret known only to the leaders of their country, was carefully designed to take the training and wisdom of those aging warriors and pass it all to their heirs. It had worked before, and kept their warriors strong beyond those that would trouble them, their king protected down through the ages. But when they did it this time, the magic rang down and rebounded, searching out…

    A swineherd looked up from the slops, stared at the stars, and said, “I am Lysander.” Then he turned and walked toward the capital.

    A butcher paused in the middle of cutting a steak from a side of beef. Then he swung the cleaver into the beef and left it quivering there. He shrugged and said, “I am Lysander.” Then he started his march to the capital.

    A prostitute, a lawyer, a blacksmith, a Priest… the magic sought them out across the breadth and width of the country, and even into neighboring countries, all those with the blood of Lysander’s forebears, and filled them with the call to the capital, as Lysander reborn. The land rang to their march.

    Days later, as the army of Lysanders marched on the capital, the king shook his head and signed the royal proclamation that Lysander had asked for, had pleaded with him for. It declared that the people would select their own representative Council to stand before him and act as co-rulers from then on. Somehow the king felt sure there would be at least one Lysander to join him, perhaps as the head of the council?

    Sometimes even a king could see what was needed when the people found their inheritance. And Lysander’s dreams sprang up everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for giving me a fun reason, and method, to do a blog!!
    Here’s the link to the extra I snagged ( Describe an undercover police officer disguised as a homeless man through the eyes of someone who is able to recognize him as a cop.)

    I went with a character from a series that I’m hoping to get published this year. This happens a few years before the first in that series, but it still fits perfectly.

    http://www.jfposthumus.net/post/weekly-writing-prompt-jan-2nd

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for giving me a fun method, and reason, to start blogging! I snagged an extra and used a character from a series I’m hoping to publish this year. This takes place a few years before the first in that series, but it still works perfectly!

    Here’s what I went with: Describe an undercover police officer disguised as a homeless man through the eyes of someone who is able to recognize him as a cop.

    Here’s what I came up with:
    http://www.jfposthumus.net/post/weekly-writing-prompt-jan-2nd

    Like

  7. Just found out about this website. Great idea! Having a go…

    Prompt – Describe an undercover police officer disguised as a homeless man through the eyes of someone who is able to recognize him as a cop.

    300 words…

    Looking out through the blinds as I usually do, and watching the street for the next drop off kinda gives you a sixth sense. At first I thought I was going paranoid and shrugged it off but then your brain won’t stop when it gets an inkling, telling you something’s not right with this picture. All was normal in the street, at the grocers, the barbers, the tobacconists, even the watchmaker was open after a week closed due to sickness in the family, but what caught my eye was the homeless guy sitting on the corner, arse against the wall with his knees up on his chest. Sure, I could see from here the couple of days stubble on his face and that his clothes looked like he’d slept in them for a while, and his manner was that of a drunk. But people ignored him as they walked by. Now by itself, that isn’t strange, but I mean, no one noticed him. Absolutely no one looked his way. It was like he wasn’t sitting there and stinking the place out. I told young Joe to get me some oranges and I watched as he walked right by the guy. I even showed him the guy when he came back up. Nope, he hadn’t seen him, or more to the point, smelt him. Yep, that was my problem. If he was a homeless guy, either he’d just been to the shelter and got himself a shave and a shower, maybe some new apparel, which he hadn’t, or he smelt like shit from the street. Which he didn’t. Occasionally I caught him looking our way, towards the front door, our front door. The door with no distinguishing marks, signs or features for strikingly obvious reasons. This guy was an undercover cop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Psst? Thanks for joining in. Most of the folks are looking at… is it week 9? Anyway, they aren’t likely to see this. Feel free to work on whatever works for you, but if you want comments, you might want to join wherever we are now? Send in a prompt, make some comments, or, of course, write a response! THANKS!

      Like

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