Week 23 of Odd Prompts

Welcome to another week of creation, inspiration, and err, perspiration. Fortunately shielded by screens and distance no one needs to know how much of that last there was as you create something odd from the prompt assigned to you. Ready, set, go! 

And if you, gentle reader, would also like to exercise your imagination, please send in a prompt! If you do not wish a prompt in return (thus entering you into the challenge) simply put ‘spare’ in the subject line of your email to oddprompts@gmail.com. But please do come and join us in the mental marathon. It feels great to work the old gray matter over and see what happens as you tone it up!

Prompter Prompt Prompted
Jolie LaChance I was learning lake geography last week and it compares a lot to what the riverboatmen did back in the days of Mark Twain. “When the lake is at this level, you have to watch for reefs here…that mountain is your landmark from this direction but it changes appearance when you want to enter the bay from that direction.” Etc. Imagine if going from star to star FTL was like being a riverboat pilot. Kat Ross
Cedar Sanderson They can go 400 days without eating Leigh Kimmel
nother Mike When the kids squeezed maple syrup onto their pancakes, they accidentally wrote the ancient symbol that summoned the most powerful genie of all… Jolie LaChance
Fiona Grey The moon looked like it had another crater, which grew as the moon waxed larger. And then… nother Mike
Kat Ross Someone takes out an ad offering a huge sum of money to the man (or woman) who can solve a murder – their own. They are killed within hours of the ad appearing. [“borrowed” from Whatdunits, edited by Mike Resnick] Cedar Sanderson
Becky Jones The fish counter spotted the baby kraken as it made its way up the fish ladder. Fiona Grey
Leigh Kimmel The Steely Dan song “Kid Charlemagne” tells the story of the exploits and fall of Owsley Stanley, a counterculture chemist. But a new generation of listeners don’t know the story behind it. With imaginations steeped in the world of fantasy gaming, they reinterpret what they do not understand and hear a story of magic adventure. Becky Jones
A visual spare prompt!

“Germany” photo by Jolie LaChance

And here we have the spares, ready and waiting for anyone who didn’t feel like committing to the challenge, but still wants to take part. Perhaps one of these will jog your brain and knock something loose!

spare When they opened the door of the closet, a body fell out. Dead.
spare The firemen found a cellphone in the tent where the fire started…
spare “What’s the countdown for?” Alex asked.
spare Deep inside, he knew everyone just thought of him as comic relief. That’s why he wore a clown suit. It was a funny job, but somebody had to do it. (See https://www.thefarside.com/2020/06/03/4)
Spare “He still thinks it’s the middle of the last century, when mental powers and ESP were popular.”
Spare The black goat butted the cat off the steps. Kathleen Sanderson
Spare Call upon these when needed. What might be down that alley? (Germany picture on site) Jolie LaChance


  1. […] This week, Becky Jones challenged me with “The fish counter spotted the baby kraken as it made its way up the fish ladder.” My prompt went to nother Mike: “The moon looked like it had another crater, which grew as the moon waxed larger. And then…” I can’t wait to see what he does with it. […]


  2. My prompt was:

    The moon looked like it had another crater, which grew as the moon waxed larger. And then…

    A pimple that popped? A hole through the moon? Hum…

    I tried the moon running away, the moon turning black, a momentary oddity, even a hole through the moon. But I think the one I like goes like this…

    A Dark Beacon (300 words)
    By Mike Barker

    Like just about everybody, Malcolm was outside that evening looking at the moon when it happened. After all, it was one of those moons that the astronomers talked about, strawberry, harvest, something or other. The news had been full of it, and that evening, it was surprisingly clear, so most of America was outside to see it.

    Malcolm sighed, looking up at the moon. He had been so close! Top ratings in the astronaut training, just about to join the Space Force, and… they had closed it all down. The ISS, left to run on automatics. Both NASA and the civilians ordered to write it up and leave it alone. Funding cut to the bone. And him, told to make a life doing something else. He had a radio with him, tuned to the live broadcast from what was left of NASA.

    The moon was gorgeously full, hanging in the dark night. But as he watched, one of the craters, a dark pimple on the moon’s shiny face, suddenly seemed to swell up. Then it shrank again. Swelled up, shrank, swelled up, shrank. Then swelled up and held it, for a long count. Shrank again. Swelled up and held it twice more.

    Malcolm held his breath. The crater ran through three more shorts. Three short, three long, three short. SOS? Who or what could be doing that?

    As he watched, as America watched, the crater repeated the sequence. Video cameras, live streams, everyone captured it.

    The NASA broadcasters were sputtering and screaming at each other. Finally, someone yelled, “Shut it off.” The broadcast shut off, but the moon crater continued to send SOS.

    Malcolm’s cell phone rang. He didn’t recognize the number, but he answered it.

    “Malcolm Foster? You are being recalled to the Space Force. Report to duty as soon as possible at the SpaceX center.”

    He blinked and looked at the phone.

    “Yes, sir. But… What’s the mission?”

    “We’re going to the moon to answer that SOS!”

    (a beginning?)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oho! Turtle workers! One of the dangers of genetic manipulation, Magic, all kinds of things, we may re-invent slavery, and since they aren’t human… or are they? Nice!


  3. I spaced, things caught up with me, my brain didn’t work…for a whole host of reasons, I missed my prompt and I missed sending one in this week! Gah! My goal right now is to get back on track and organize myself (an ongoing Sisyphean task!)

    Liked by 1 person

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