Week 9 of Odd Prompts

Prompts below! Gitcher prompts here! Big prompts, small prompts, we gottem all. Even if you didn’t send one in… and why not? If you label it a spare prompt we won’t assign you a prompt in return, and you just might get the thrill of seeing your prompt transformed into a story!

Prompter Name Prompt Promptee
nother Mike At the novelty shop, you realize that the silver-painted skulls for Halloween decorations are not plastic, but real skulls… MIsha Burnett
Kat Ross Wild Eagle photo (see image below) Becky Jones
Fiona Grey Stimulating theta brain waves can improve insight and intuition. Who knew achieving it through ____ could enlighten oneself to ____?
Cedar Sanderson
MIsha Burnett A character from a cartoon show you loved as a child shows up on your doorstep, asking for your help. Leigh Kimmel
B. Durbin The mirror at the antique store is beautiful. Oddly enough, it does not seem to be reflecting any color. Kat Ross
Leigh Kimmel Identity—reconstruction of personality—man makes duplicate of himself Fiona Grey
Becky Jones The line from “Heroes” by David Bowie: “Though nothing will keep us together, We could steal time, just for one day” Here’s the link to the whole song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXgkuM2NhYI nother Mike
Cedar Sanderson When the end comes, find the peace that surpasses understanding B. Durbin
And here are the spare prompts, if you are tempted to play along. Please do join us! It’s fun when there are loads of comments and feedback for the writers.

Spare Prompt The giants wearing Santa Claus outfits stomped into the park and sat down, then demanded treats… “Or we’ll trick y’a!” Go ahead and describe the scene, from the POV of a first responder, a kid watching, a bystander, a politician… just about anyone you like…
Spare Prompt In 1960, Nomura made their first toy robot. The factory has long since closed, but in the back room, the robots have continued to build new models, each one improved over anything before it. Now they are ready to come out of the factory into the world…
Spare Prompt A wizard leaves a book of spells in a public place. Who finds it, and what happens next?
Spare Prompt A variant strain of encephalitis appears. 80% of the people who catch it die. Of the ones who survive, some develop mutant mental powers.


Wild Eagle prompt by Kat Ross

Even if you neither submit a prompt, nor write from one, please consider helping the Odd Prompted by sharing the post with friends and family who may enjoy playing along? Last week this challenge went multi-generational when two women wrote for it, both published authors, one a grandmother and the other her granddaughter. See if you can guess who!



  1. Our cities are decorated with the bones of the unquiet dead
    Gaudy, glistening, gilded, silvered, hung with lights
    You’d never know they were there hanging just above your head
    Shadowed in the daytime, glowing faintly in the nights

    This street a concrete canyon thirty stories deep
    Built at the cost of perhaps a dozen slain
    That’s just the buy-in, not the upkeep
    A few more every year, a few falls of crimson rain

    You don’t ever see the faces of the lost
    You might read about them if the news is slow
    You live a quiet cozy life while they have paid the cost
    It’s easier to relax at home because you’ll never know

    You sit in comfort surrounded by the things you’ve got
    Not knowing you are safe because they’re not

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Spare prompt: A wizard leaves a book of spells in a public place. Who finds it, and what happens next?

    Giggles were emanating from — where?

    Whispers, then more giggles.

    “I’m glad we found that book of spells. Well . . . SHE found it. But she doesn’t use it to make spells.”

    “Yes.” More giggles, more whispers. “And I am glad she put it in her pocket. Makes it easier for us to find it, and read it. And make spells. Even if we do have to read it through layers of — whatever.

    “Do you think she’ll find out about us? I mean, like those little elves that did so many good things for people? Then, when someone finally saw them, they stopped coming? I don’t want to be like that.”

    “Well . . . I HOPE she never finds us! We’re so much smaller than she is, I think we can stay hidden forever.”

    “Yes, I think if we remain very, very quiet, and don’t move around too much, we won’t be detected. Oh, I just LOVE doing spells and making people happy!”

    A frown. “I like making people happy, too. But remember the first spell we tried? Something went very, very wrong. That one made her sick, and I felt so bad about it.”

    Chortle: “But we learned! And now almost all our spells are happy ones! Remember when she went wading in the brook on that hot day? And we made the minnows nibble at her toes? And how it made her laugh?”

    “Oh yes! Let’s just keep hiding in our hidey-hole, stay very quiet, and try our best to make only HAPPY spells!”

    “I’m sure we can do that! I just hope she doesn’t eat any more pickles with ice cream. It makes me burp!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, all I can say is GO READ IT! There will be cookies! Seriously, go read the on-going noir fantasy family-life (and other genres as they get rolled in) tale. You’ll be glad you did!


    • It’s still a fascinating take on the prompt, even if it’s a very different flavor of story than the source would have suggested.

      And I’m old enough to remember the smell of fresh copies from the old-style spirit duplicators. All through grade school and most of high school, we’d get worksheets in that purple ink, and if the copies were fresh out of the machine, you could just about get high on them.

      By the time I was an undergrad, xerographic copiers had become pretty much universal. I remember having classmates pay me to give them copies of my notes because they were so thorough — and these weren’t students who were skipping out on class. They just liked having that other set of notes that would pick up what slid past them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s more that I’ve got so much else going on in my life that I usually can’t get to the actual writing process until it’s getting to the end of the week (this week we didn’t have as much construction activity, but I still had errands to run, and a very uncooperative cat to take to the vet for her annual shots), and where my writing tends to be very subconscious-driven, I’m often doing a lot of “driving into the fog.” I can feel that I’m just at the beginning of a much longer work that may take weeks or months to feel my way through, but I want to get enough of it down that I can continue when I get the time to circle back to it.

        Liked by 1 person

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