Week 25 of Odd Prompts

Welcome to summer in this northern hemisphere! The longest day of the year happens this week. Plenty of time to write, create, and enjoin your muse with an Odd Prompt!

We may not be many, but the quality of the work this group is producing continues to awe me. Keep it up! Even if you don’t feel like it’s your best, it is an accomplishment to create something. You might not think so, but everything you do is leaning how to get better, moving toward something greater. There’s no pinnacle. It’s all steps upward with an infinite ability to get better and accomplish more.

Prompter Prompt Prompted
Becky Jones The brightly colored flock of parrots flew out of the trees and landed on the back deck.
Cedar Sanderson
Cedar Sanderson The giant gray wasp nest quivered, and then a tiny elfin face popped out of the entrance. Fiona Grey
nother Mike In the sewer tunnel, the rat carried a short sword. Becky Jones
Fiona Grey Commercial space exploration continues, and one day we meet aliens. They are horrified at how we have been so uncouth and barbaric as to have actually left our home planet. Civilized galaxy members, we are told, stay at home and communicate/trade through [technology of your choosing]. Tell the story of this discovery and our reaction to alien condescension. Leigh Kimmel
Leigh Kimmel A place one has been—a beautiful view of a village or farm-dotted valley in the sunset—which one cannot find again or locate in memory. nother Mike
Or you can choose a spare prompt! There are weeks you can’t commit to a weekly thing. We understand that. But if the muse starts to sing, perhaps one of these will catch her fancy…

Spare If you could catch time in a bottle, what would it look like?
Spare Harold wasn’t prepared for what happened when he won the lottery.
Spare Out of curiosity, he pressed the button at the bottom of the elevator panel labeled with a big red H, and waited for the doors to open… (suggested by https://www.thefarside.com/2020/06/15/0)
Spare The Grim Reaper’s nightmares.
Spare The cemetery’s caretaker is a lovely young woman

19 comments

  1. They are horrified at how we have been so uncouth and barbaric as to have actually left our home planet. Civilized galaxy members, we are told, stay at home and communicate/trade through [technology of your choosing]. Tell the story of this discovery and our reaction to alien condescension.

    Although it is NOT a ‘spare’ I am So Very tempted to use it myself if ONLY to have the end be something of the sort, “WE heard your Alarm. WE still make House Calls!”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks to ‘nother Mike I got the prompt: In the sewer tunnel, the rat carried a short sword.
    Here’s what I came up with. Seems like it wants to be at least a short story. I’ll have to let it float around a bit and see what happens.

    The tunnel was truly foul. It stank with the waste of the 3,000 or so people living in the city above combined with fetid water and various dead animals. I tried to breathe as shallowly as possible through my mouth. Every now and then in the midst of concentrating on where I was stepping, I forgot and ended up breathing normally. God does that ever focus one’s mind.

    My guide signaled for a stop and made a “back-up” gesture with one paw. I slowly stepped back to the small alcove we had just passed. Rakha joined me moments later.

    “What?” I whispered.

    “Footsteps. Quiet,” he hissed.

    Now I could hear them too. They weren’t regular but sounded like whoever or whatever was coming down the tunnel was staggering. Regardless, there was no attempt made at stealth. Drunk or wounded? A dark shadow approached our little alcove. We were about to find out.

    I peered through the gloom trying to determine what we were dealing with. I felt rather than heard an indrawn breath beside me. Rakha stepped out of our hiding place and approached the shadow.

    “Timla. What happened?” he asked the shadow in a low voice. I knew that Timla was one of his littermates. It didn’t bode well that he was down here. He was supposed to be guarding our exit.

    I followed Rakha out, pulling the small kit I kept for emergency wound care off my belt. Rats don’t drink so the staggering was due to injury not overindulgence.

    Timla had a paw pressed to his side and was leaning on his sword to keep his balance. He glanced over at me as I walked up.

    “My thanks, Kydyr. I don’t believe it’s deep, but it is painful.” He lifted his paw and I pulled out the piece of cloth he had jammed into his wound. Timla turned back to his littermate.

    “Rakha, the Imperial scouts have discovered you are helping Kydyr here. They are moving throughout the city to trap you. I managed to get away after a small skirmish and they didn’t see me come down here. But you will have to stay down here until you can get out of the city.”

    I looked up at Rakhat from my bandaging efforts. “Can we get out of the city through the sewer tunnels?”

    “Yes, we can. Can your nose survive the trip?” He bared his teeth at me in the rat version of a grin.

    “I can always cut it off if it doesn’t cooperate,” I said, returning the grin.

    “So, we change direction, then,” Rakha ordered. “Can you walk?” he asked Timla.

    “Yes, thanks to Kydyr’s surgical skills,” Timla sheathed his sword and gestured to Rakha to lead the way. I fell in behind Rakha, and Timla came after. I wondered how long I could hold my breath while walking.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Leigh Kimmel prompted

    A place one has been—a beautiful view of a village or farm-dotted valley in the sunset—which one cannot find again or locate in memory.

    The Valley of Memory (180 words)
    By Mike Barker

    Jeremy climbed up, up, up and over the top. He paused, and looked across the valley. Beautiful trees, the creek winking here and there as it meandered down the middle, a little rockslide off to the left. A great view, but… it wasn’t the place. Drat. He really thought he’d found it for sure this time. He hefted his pack, and set off down the trail again.

    He really loved hiking, but he always felt a little strange when he realized yet again that he might never find the place. It was so clear in his mind’s eye, the little village, the houses built out of fieldstone, the surrounding fields separated by split-wood fences, the little grove of trees, everything. But he could never remember how he had gotten there, or where he went after that moment that seemed to be burnt into his brain. He could never even figure out exactly when it was. So he just kept searching for it, taking long vacations and short weekends to walk, and climb, and try to find that place.

    Maybe over that next hill?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. […] If you’d like to participate in the Odd Prompts challenge, simply send in a prompt to oddprompts@gmail.com and you will be randomly assigned a prompt in return. Every week there is a new prompt, but there are no wordcount limits, and it doesn’t even have to be a verbal response. You can find out more, and read the prompt responses, at More Odds Than Ends.  […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My response is up on my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/769284.html.

    It’s such a cool idea — but I can’t seem to get it down to the specifics of characters and motivations and all those things that make an actual story, as opposed to a role-playing game setting or the story bible for a shared-world anthology (or series of anthologies). I don’t have the necessary background to write a role-playing game, and right now I don’t have the systems in place to handle the necessary licensing processes to publish a shared-world anthology — or the connections to pitch one to an established publisher who is set up to handle the licensing and make sure all the money is handled properly, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

    So it looks like it’s going to be another cool idea to be filed away for some future time when I don’t have quite so much on my plate already. (As in, simultaneously fighting off Oh Shiny Syndrome and the tendency of another family member to come up with ideas of cool new projects for me to do when my plate is already overflowing around its entire circumference)/

    Liked by 4 people

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