Week 22 of Odd Prompts


There’s freedom in writing, in being able to put pen to paper, to tap upon keys and have words pour forth and spin into a tale, to catch the eyes of readers and ears of listeners.

The gears and gauges in our brains are designed to chronicle, to tell and to listen. We are wired for story, as the saying goes, and what better way to come together than to share our stories?

So come together, grab your prompt, seize a spare, and share your narratives. Write on, write on, write on.

Prompter Prompt Prompted
Kat Ross I hope no one is superstitious. 😀 Randomizer picked #13. 13 happened to be our black cat. (Darla in photo below) nother Mike
nother Mike When he got in the car, there was a frog on the dashboard. Becky Jones
Fiona Grey No one suspected the code was hidden in the quilt.
Cedar Sanderson
Becky Jones Gunk smurf picture… (see below) Leigh Kimmel
Leigh Kimmel Something is seen at the oriel window of a forbidden room in an ancient manor house. Fiona Grey
Cedar Sanderson The genetic coding for growing plaid hair or fur is discovered! Kat Ross


‘Gunk Smurf’ Visual prompt, photo by Becky Jones
’13 is Darla’ visual prompt, photo by Kat Ross

spare Dinosaur fossils are actually the discarded bones from giant alien picnickers visiting Earth… (see https://www.thefarside.com/2020/05/20/1)
spare There was a tiny bottle labeled Love Potion #9 in his pocket…
Spare What if life really is a game? What do winning and losing look like?
Spare Grooming the wooly mammoth took special tools, like…

Want to join the prompt challenge, or submit a spare prompt? Send an email to oddprompts@gmail.com (indicate spares in the subject line). See you in the comments!

Memphis mural photo by Fiona Grey



  1. My prompt over here is the picture of Darla, the black cat…

    And with Stevie Wonder playing in my head https://youtu.be/0CFuCYNx-1g

    A quick riff to get us started…

    By Mike Barker

    I should have known better. Friday the 13th. Fighting my way out of bed, I wrestled with sheets and blankets, and heard a sudden crash. Somehow, the blanket had wrapped around the mirror on the dresser and pulled it off. Where it hit the one inch gap at the edge of the rug, and shattered into a thousand splinters. Which I was going to have to vacuum out of the rug later, because my alarm clock was blinking 12:00, since apparently we had lost power sometime in the night, and I was late.

    So I rolled out of the other side of the bed, the wrong side, and worked my way along the wall to the bathroom. Blinking at the mirror, trying to figure out what to do, when I heard the hiss behind me.

    I turned, and saw a black spot against the sunshine on the rug. Then it blinked those shining eyes. Oh, it was just Darla. So a black cat waited for me. For a moment there…

    I chuckled. It was a good thing I didn’t believe those silly superstitions. I mean, Darla was a good cat.

    Then another cat strolled into the sunshine, over to where the first black blot was, and sat down. It wiggled a moment, and then there was only one cat sitting there, blinking at me.

    Wait a minute. I only have one cat. Where… What… While I watched, with my jaw on my chest, five more black cat shadows walked through the sunshine and joined the one that I had seen first. Then they stopped.

    I shook my head. The black blot was definitely Darla, my black cat. Although as the other shadows merged, the blackness against the sunshine seemed to get deeper and darker, somehow.

    Seven… every cat has seven lives, right? But I never knew they could walk around separately…

    (to be continued?)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another quick riff, for fun…

    The Cat That Wasn’t There
    By Mike Barker

    You probably know the old song, about the little man who wasn’t there upon the stair? Well, last night, I came home, opened up the apartment, and turned on the light. And there it was. The cat that wasn’t there. I mean, it looked like a cat, or at least the black shadow of a cat. It had two gleaming dots where a cat would have eyes, and as I stared at it, it stood up and stretched. But there was no cat there! I mean, I don’t have a cat, and as I watched, it stretched, then walked forward, and as it moved away from the light, it suddenly disappeared! Pop! Almost as if an invisible cat had been there, blocking the light, and all I could see was its shadow.

    I looked all over the apartment, but couldn’t find any sign of that black cat that wasn’t there.

    Then this morning, I got up, went in the bathroom, turned on the light over the mirror, and started to shave. In the mirror, behind me, I saw it again! That black cat, sitting there, apparently licking its paw. Just a black shadow, but perfectly outlining a cat that wasn’t there. Of course, when I turned around to look at it, it jumped and ran off. And disappeared again! Pop.

    I carefully looked at the floor, the wall, every part of the bathroom. There was no cat there! And even though I tried turning the light on and off, standing by the sink and looking back, I didn’t see it again.

    So, I gave up. Checked the apartment one more time, locked up, and went to work.

    It’s almost time to go home. And just like the old song, oh gosh, I hope that cat isn’t there again tonight, that cat that wasn’t there before…

    Maybe on the way home I’ll buy some catnip, just in case.

    The end


  3. Got my prompt from nother Mike and it fits what I’m seeing is his sense of whimsy and fun. Mike, I hope I did your prompt justice!

    When he got in the car, there was a frog on the dashboard.

    Eamonn sighed and looked out the windshield at the water sluicing off. The downpour had started just a minute before he pulled into the grocery store parking lot. Maybe it would stop just as quickly.

    After waiting what felt like half and hour, but in reality amounted to a mere five minutes, Eamonn gave up hope, pulled up his hood and scrambled out of the car. He briefly ducked into the hatchback to grab the bags and ran into the store.

    Eamonn took his time shopping. Honestly, there was no hurry. It was pouring rain outside (there’s nothing much worse than trying to load groceries into your car while it’s pouring rain), and since he lived alone, there’s was nobody waiting at home for him to return as soon as possible with provisions. But, even when purposefully dawdling, there’s only so much time one can take shopping for groceries. In the end, he managed to kill about an hour and a half. With a great deal of reluctance, Eamonn left the cashier’s stand with his bags tucked into the cart and headed out to his car.

    At least the downpour had stopped, but it was still raining steadily. Once again, pulling up the hood on his sweatshirt he jogged back to the car. He managed to get the groceries loaded into the back with a minimum of trouble and after shoving the cart in the general direction of the cart collection stand, jumped into the driver’s seat.

    Ribbit. Ribbit.

    The sound came from the dashboard area. Eamonn jumped when he saw the frog sitting on the dashboard just behind the steering wheel.

    “How the hell did you get in here?”

    Ribbit. Ribbit.

    “Okay. Never mind that. Is there someplace I can put you so that you can go back to wherever you came from?”

    Ribbit. “In this area? No, I’m afraid not. I need to come with you to your house,” the frog responded.

    Eamonn felt his eyes bug out. “Wha…???”

    “Please, my good sir. I think I made myself clear. I need to accompany you to your house,” the tone was polite, if a bit…well…croaky.

    Trying to recover some sense of equilibrium, Eamonn gave speaking another shot.

    “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’ve never heard of a talking frog except in a cartoon. I really do not understand.”

    “I see. I apologize. I was told you had been briefed. I still believe it will be easier if I accompany you to your home and we can discuss this there,” the frog was quite polite and well-spoken.

    Eamonn stared at the frog for another minute. It (he?) stared right back.

    “Um…okay…I guess.” Eamonn started the car and backed out of the parking spot.

    He hoped this didn’t end like the guy who found Michigan J. Frog.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m late! I’m late! I’m…just gonna be late. Which is annoying, as I really like my prompt. Brain just not working properly yet after this week. Here’s as far as I got.
    Charlotte Merikh receives an invitation
    Heads to ancient manor house for event (fancy dress ball?)
    Creepy, all-seeing butler w/ piercing eyes
    Hiding from creeper at party
    Finds library
    Enters section with rare books: “oh, I know I shouldn’t have”
    Second story window – a finger drawn across the dust of the sill, smudge on a white glove
    Looks out and sees dinosaurs on the lawn
    Window of fate (butler explains)
    He knows who will look out of it next
    The next person to look through will see her fate; you never know how long it will take to find the person
    Creeper stumbles in, drunk
    “what’s with all the skeletons on the lawn?”
    Congratulations, lady death (despair?)
    She flees, terrified, to the sound of laughter
    Looking back over her shoulder, she sees the windows broken, dark, and empty; ruins, moss and ivy overgrown; scorch marks from fire, plywood in the lower windows, tripping over brick and weeds, dank smell of vegetal rot and discard, she is alone

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooo! So we have the skeleton, we’re just waiting for the meat… Looks good, take your time, get it right! Spooky sort of a story, but that matches the prompt pretty well!


  5. My response to this week’s prompt is now up on my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/758094.html. That was an interesting one, since what immediately flashed into my mind was a music video — but I sure don’t have the video editing skills to put together a video for any of several songs that came to mind.

    And then the headlines provided the subconscious with the necessary seed, and I realized that this could fit with the backstory of Autumn Belfontaine from Shepardsport Pirate Radio. And the pieces of the story started falling together. I’m still not sure how it reaches a conclusion, and I think it needs some expanding, but I think I may have a reader magnet for Shepardsport Pirate Radio, and that whole part of the Grissom timeline.

    Liked by 1 person

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