Week 7 of Odd Prompts

Here’s the list for this week! We have a list of the prompt challenges, and a few Spare Prompts. But I have a favor to ask of people. If you’d like to keep this going, and I know I would, let’s share the wealth. We need more than just a core of folks doing it every week, we need people who can feel comfortable wandering in one week when they have time, or not on another week. So if you wouldn’t mind sharing and letting people know there’s no commitment? They can send in a prompt, or they can choose a Spare Prompt.

And now, on with the show!

Prompter Name Prompt Promptee
Becky Jones Let sleeping dogs lie. Kat Ross
Kat Ross A man convicted of murder insists that everything happening is just a dream. Leigh Kimmel
Brena Bock When I saw it in the antique shop, I had to buy it and now it’s…
Cedar Sanderson
B. Durbin The prompt image is below… Becky Jones
Leigh Kimmel Strange man seen in lonely mountain place talking with great winged thing which flies away as others approach. nother Mike
nother Mike You discover that the crazy cat lady down the street is really a dragon in disguise, with a hoard of cats… Brena Bock
Bethany Defries Family reunions are always “fun”. Especially when my brother the demi-god shows up. B. Durbin
Cedar Sanderson It’s raining frogs and little fishies Bethany Defries

 

And Then…

Spare Prompt He blinked when the other three lab assistants walked up and one stretched out a tentacle holding a beaker full of the latest nanotech mixture. They all smiled with both mouths and blinked all three eyes as they said, “Here, you should try this. We all did…”
Spare Prompt You walk into the shower stall at the hotel, turn on the knobs, and… the multi-colored fingers on the walls stretch out and surround you, stroking you…
Spare Prompt The tin holds both cookies, and a sewing kit, until the tin is opened, when it is revealed… Schrodinger’s Danish Butter Box
Spare Prompt The ghost of the Savoy at Mussoorie haunts not for justice, but for…

41 comments

  1. This one was a lot of fun to write, even though it started to get away from me.

    My prompt was: You discover that the crazy cat lady down the street is really a dragon in disguise, with a hoard of cats…

    ===

    When we bought the house, the couple who sold it told us we were very fortunate in our neighbors. Carol and Mike on one side were the sweetest couple with a gaggle of kids, always willing to help out. Louise and George a couple of houses up were also treasures, and organized the neighborhood party every summer.

    They also mentioned the old lady and her cats a few houses past Carol and Mike.

    “She’s a harmless recluse,” one said, “and she loves her cats.”

    “If there’s a stray in the neighborhood,” added the other, “it will find its way to her one way or another.”

    The first few months in the new house were taken up with unpacking and finding where everything went in the different layout.

    One day that spring, when I was out in the yard doing some planting, I heard a little squeak behind me. When I turned around, I saw a tiny grey and brown kitten sitting there favoring one paw. It would lower it to the ground, wince, and pick it up again. It didn’t have a collar, its fur was matted, and it looked hungry.

    I gently and slowly reached out a hand while making the instinctive sounds all cat lovers know. The kitten limped up to me and sniffed my fingers. This was followed by a gentle rub from its cheek.

    The kitten let me pick it up and immediately started an almost inaudible purring. I carefully carried it inside where I gave it a quick once over and a quick cleaning. From this I discovered that the kitten was a female and her paw seemed to only be bruised.

    “Well, little girl,” I said to her big green eyes, “what are we going to do with you?”

    I considered, we really couldn’t afford another animal right now, and I hated the thought of her languishing at the shelter. Then I remembered the Cat Lady.

    Before leaving the house, I gave the kitten a more thorough exam. Nothing other than the bruised paw and some mats in her fur. I took care of the latter, but only time would heal the former.

    Placing the kitten in one of our small carriers, along with a clean rag for bedding, I headed up the street to Ms. Kaida’s house.

    It was a smaller house, immaculately kept, with nice gingerbread work at the eaves and trim. Oddly, the windows seemed to have heavy blackout curtains that were all closed.

    I opened the small gate in the fence, walked up the stone path, and rang the bell. There was silence, followed by the sound of movement inside. I thought I could hear some meowing as well.

    A slightly hoarse and smoky voice came through the door. “Hello?”

    “Hi, Ms. Kaida?” I replied, trying to project a friendly and unthreatening tone, “I live just up the street and found a stray kitten or should I say she found me.”

    The door swung open and that same voice said, “Oh, a kitten? Come in dear, come in. Please to pardon the mess.” She had an indescribable accent. Equal parts Eastern Europe, the Far East, and something else.

    I went in and immediately noticed that while the house did smell of cat, it wasn’t the strong smell of rotting food and uncleaned litterboxes I had been dreading. In fact, the cat smell wasn’t much stronger than in our house, just with a slight undertone of smoke. Like last night’s dinner had burned and the smell hadn’t dissipated yet. Inside it was also very dim, and when the door closed behind me it took a few moments for my eyes to adjust. Luckily, I’ve always had good low light vision.

    “Let me to see the poor little moppet,” I heard from behind me.

    When I turned around, there was Ms. Kaida, she was wearing a long housecoat and large, tinted glasses. Her hair was slightly disheveled and I thought it might be a wig. When she reached out for the carrier, I noticed she was also wearing long opera style gloves.

    “Please to pardon the dimness, dear,” she said, “my old eyes can’t take much of the bright light anymore.”

    “Of course,” I replied, then asked, “where would you like me to put this?” gesturing with the carrier. As if on cue, a small, pitiful, squeaking, meow emanated from inside.

    “Right over here, onto the table, dear,” Ms. Kaida said, leading me into the living room. She had an odd, stiff walk. Another sign of age, I thought.

    As I lowered the carrier to the coffee table, I realized that I was being watched. Many pairs of eyes were peering at me from the doorways, from behind every piece of furniture, and from on top of the bookshelves. There must have been over thirty cats observing, with a few more trickling in as I stood there.

    With one deft movement, Ms. Kaida opened the carrier, reached inside, and gently brought out the kitten.

    “She seems to have a bruised paw,” I said, and Ms. Kaida tsked, “otherwise she seems healthy,” I continued, “just under fed and scared.”

    “Poor thing,” we both said together. Affectionate warmth seemed to radiate from Ms. Kaida with that.

    At that moment, a big orange tom sauntered up and rubbed against my legs.

    “Well,” Ms. Kaida’s voice took on a slight tone of amusement, “it looks like Flynn is approving of you,” after a brief pause, she continued, “I’ve found that cats are to be excellent judges of character, have you not found it so?”

    “Animals in general, in my experience,” I responded absently. He really was a very handsome cat. I held out my hand, inviting him to sniff my fingers. He did so then rubbed his cheek against them.

    “Oh, I’ve never seen for him to take to someone so quickly!” I could hear the smile in her voice.

    As Ms. Kaida reached down to introduce Flynn and the kitten, another one of the cats, ran up her back and knocked her hair and glasses off. It was a wig after all, I started to think and then realized what I was seeing. Not the wrinkled and pale skin of the elderly, but ridged and scaly skin.

    I was standing there unsure what to do or say when Ms. Kaida looked up at me. Without the glasses, I could see the scales extended across her face and surrounded her yellow, slit-pupiled eyes and continued down her beak like nose.

    “Oh dear,” she said with a sigh. Her voice was much stronger and rougher, “I am really wishing that hadn’t happened.”

    “You’re a d…d…dr…” I tried to get the word out.

    Another sigh, “A dragon, yes dear. I’m a dragon,” with a shake of her head she continued, “Now the question is to where do we go from here.”

    “What…what do you mean?” I was starting to feel concerned. For my sanity if this wasn’t real, and for my safety if it was.

    “I’ve only been here sixty or seventy years,” Ms. Kaida said, “and I am really not wanting to move.” she took a sad look around the room. “All my cats are here, to relocate them would being such a chore.”

    Flynn had flopped down at my feet and was showing me his belly. Without thinking, I knelt down and started giving him tummy rubs. He immediately arched and started purring louder.

    Still holding the kitten, which had fallen asleep in her hands, Ms. Kaida looked at us and said, “Flynn is trusting you, so I will as well. Let this to be our little secret, yes?”

    “What?” I said absently, “Oh, of course. There’s no need for anyone else to know,” this was too surreal.

    “And you’re welcome to be visiting any time you’d like dear,” she said with a comforting smile.

    Liked by 5 people

      • I didn’t write her as a vet, just an animal lover. I could see Ms. Kaida hiring the main character to help her acquire more cats for her hoard, get supplies, or take cats to the vet, though.

        Like

      • Just pondering, but I could see the city animal folks deciding they ought to visit this old lady with all these cats they had heard about, and perhaps Ms. Kaida might ask her neighbor to help out in the confrontation? Of course, a treasure hunter who had located the dragon after many years might be a bit frustrated not to find gold… I thought every dragon had a hoard of gold? Just a couple of possible ideas to keep the ball rolling! I like it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My prompt was:

    Strange man seen in lonely mountain place talking with great winged thing which flies away as others approach.

    Quick freewriting response. I.e., just start somewhere and see what happens? Here we go…

    Up In The Sky (400 words)
    By Mike Barker

    The stranger walked through town, carrying a hiker’s backpack and frame on his back. No one paid too much attention to him, but several of the town’s folk noticed him, and remembered him that evening when they met. They all agreed that he had been looking around, even though he didn’t seem to be poking and prying too much. Still…

    So the next day, Harold and two others slunk out of town early, looking for where he might have gone. They found him in the pine forest nearby, rolled up in a sleeping bag. So they settled down and waited.

    When the sun rose, he arose. Stretched, washed his face in the stream, and packed up. Then he hiked upwards.

    Harold sent one of the others back to tell the town what they had found so far, while he and James followed the stranger.

    The stranger soon took off the packframe and pack, and stowed it near the path. He put some branches over it to hide it from casual sight. Then he stretched, and started climbing the rocky face.

    Harold and James watched as the man spidered up the cliff.

    At the top, he lifted his arms, and a winged figure arrowed down out of the sky and landed near him.

    Harold and James watched, jaws gaping, as the stranger met the winged… well, it wasn’t a pegasus, it wasn’t that big. More like a winged fox, if there was such a thing.

    They could see the stranger waving his arms, and the winged fox apparently talking back to him. This continued for a while.

    Then James growled. Both the stranger and the winged fox glanced towards the woods. Harold and James froze in the underbrush.

    Then the stranger nodded, and the winged fox turned and flew up, and up, and up again. The stranger levered himself over the edge of the cliff, and quickly descended. Perhaps too quickly, there were small rocks and dirt clods thudding down as he climbed down. He dropped the last few feet, and hit and rolled.

    Harold glanced at James, and sent him sneaking off to town to report everything they had seen so far. Then he carefully followed the stranger, trying his best to stay hidden.

    A werewolf from a town of werewolves was pretty good at hiding in the woods. Although, Harold glanced up at the sky, he wasn’t so sure that they all knew to hide from that flying thing. Was it spying on them? For who? Why? And what had it told the stranger?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My prompt was the picture. My brain is a bit fried from a very weird and stressful week at work, but this is what I came up with.

    “Mama, who’s this in the picture with Tío Joaquín?”
    “Ah, that is his best friend Guillermo.”
    “No, I mean others.”
    “What others? There’s only Tío Joaquín and Guillermo.” Mamá sounded puzzled.
    “Mira, Mamá, there’s a small boy, but it’s not me, and there’s somebody in a devil mask.” Adalberto glanced at his mother. Didn’t she see the other two in the photo?
    Elena stared at her son. “Mijo, you can see them?” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
    “Sí, Mamá. What’s going on?”
    Elena took a deep breath. If Adalberto could see the other two, she had to explain the young angel and the devil he’d defeated.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Having a bad week, but I wanted to post something. Poem in honor of our GM being on vacation and my regular Sunday night game cancelled:

    The Devil is in Hollywood tonight
    And Hell closed down for renovations
    Time to say a prayer to the Great Light
    Kick off our boots and hoist libations

    No murder-hoboing this eve
    No betrayals and no remorse
    No fanatic priests to disbelieve
    But then, no amputations of course

    A well-deserved respite
    From slaughter, theft, and despair
    A simple quiet Sunday night
    Perhaps I’ll bake an eclair

    No battle between the Dark and Light
    The Devil is in Hollywood tonight

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Mine is now up at my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/699920.html. I definitely want to go back to it and finish it, preferably after the chaos of home repair has settled down and my office is back in order. But it’s always good to have a few good ideas in reserve for times when inspiration runs dry.

    I’ve been trying to encourage other people to join in. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be reaching additional people who are interested in this sort of activity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice! I have to admit, when I saw that he was from New England, I had the thought that he didn’t really need to go far, Salem, Massachusetts is well-known for having eldritch witches… If he had gotten one of them riled at him, that might have been enough to do it?

      Like

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