Week 29 of Odd Prompts

Welcome to another week of creative challenge! I wonder if we’re getting warm and sleepy as the summer begins to relax us all…

Remember, there’s no word count requirement, if you wanted it doesn’t even have to be words, it could be art, music, photography… this challenge is meant to spark the imagination.

Prompter Prompt
Leigh Kimmel In the department of misheard lyrics:
REO Speedwagon, “Riding the Storm Out” — I used to hear the line as “watching the full moon crossing the rings,” as in astronomical feature, rather than the actual “range” (meaning a mountain range, presumably the Rockies from context)
Let’s see the alternate Earth or Earthlike exoplanet with a ring system of the sort usually seen around giant planets
Cedar Sanderson Between the pages of the old recipe book, she found… Fiona Grey
nother Mike Everyone stared when she stepped out of the painting and shook herself, as if waking up after years holding that one pose. Tammie Darden
Tammie Darden “What do you mean humans started as a cross between orcs and elves”?! nother Mike
Unstagehand Visual prompt: Astronaut and his good bois Becky Jones
Fiona Grey “I’m sorry, but dragon season has been cancelled.” Leigh Kimmel
Becky Jones My prompt for this week are the lyrics from the beginning of one of my
all-time favorite songs, David Bowie’s “Heroes”:

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day

Cedar Sanderson


Unstagehand’s visual prompt

Ah! The Spare Prompts. The place where the inside is bigger than the outside! If you want to provoke your muse, what better place to start than here? Where there is no commitment, just a mental tease…

Spare Outside, it was raining frogs and snakes.
Spare The dinosaur wagon train pulled slowly across the flatlands, the dinosaur drovers watching for any sign of water or Indians. The tumbleweeds and sage could hide almost anything.
Spare Never try the strawberry moon pies… he said
Spare It all happened at Widder’s Landing, a hundred years ago…
Spare It could be any time in the last generation, or slightly in the future. But not set during 2020
Spare *Name* opened his/her eyes slowly, waiting for them to clear. S/he tried to rub them and realized that his/her arms were both strapped down securely. Where is s/he? What happened? How did s/he get here?!?

I think by now you all know the drill. Whatever you create this week, be it fiction, visual, or… Post a link in the comments or the thing itself (sadly, WordPress does not support images in comments, so that would have to be a link). We look forward to seeing what your mind comes up with!

Header image: Static Lace by Cedar Sanderson 



  1. Tammie Darden prompted

    “What do you mean humans started as a cross between orcs and elves”?!

    I’ve kicked the idea around a couple of times. I kind of like this version best so far… What do you think?

    Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want To Know The Answer (350 words)
    by Mike Barker

    Harvey took a deep breath, then pushed “Execute” on the program. The supercomputer whirred, just slightly, as it ran the complex deep learning simulations. First, run through the existing data concerning the genetic possibilities of homo sapiens. Then, backtrack, and begin developing genetic tracks from which homo sapiens might have developed. They knew it worked for at least some of the genetic material they could find, but this was the first time they had run the homo sap genetics through the process.

    Several hours later, Harvey and the team grinned as the program signaled that it had identified the most likely genetic ancestry of homo sapiens. They all waited as the program used the extended graphics to display the ancestors morphology.

    Then they started shaking their heads and groaning. Helen said it best.

    “What do you mean, humans started as a cross between orcs and elves?!”

    The left-hand screen certainly did bear a stunning resemblance to the orcs from Lord of the Rings. As for the right-hand screen, it was Legolas. Nude! What the heck…

    Harvey quickly brought up the detailed genetic charts that the system had developed. Yep, yep… okay… that, well, right. And if the two charts were mixed, or crossbred, yep, you would have a human genetic package as a result. But… what about Neanderthal? Or Cro Magnon? What?

    The next day, red-eyed, blinking and shaking from drinking way too much coffee, the researchers all agreed that apparently, as far as they could tell, the programs had actually done exactly what they should have done. There was no error in the backtracking, the human genetic package actually was the result of someone, or something, or somehow crossbreeding those two genetic ancestors. Even if it did stand all of the archeological evidence up on end and dropkick it into the trashbin.

    The question they asked each other, shuddering, was that if indeed humans were the offspring of those genetic ancestors, where were the ancestors? Why didn’t the archeological record seem to include any hint of this? What…

    That was when the Elven troops blew in the doors.

    (to be continued?)

    Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I’m assuming they are playing chromosome roulette — hey, if you can map the genetic structure, you can figure out the possibilities, right? And then, if you play your cards right, you could do a traceback to what kind of genetic ancestors led to this. Also to what kind of future generations might be possible? I mean, once you start doing computer simulations, all kinds of possibilities turn up, right? So, no actual genetic samples were needed, just run the numbers, and then check what the expression would look like? (and wave hands frantically, hoping that no one digs too deeply into this…)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been staring at the photo of Leland Melvin and his dogs. I recognized the photo, but had to go look up the back story of the photo. He snuck the dogs in to the photo studio at NASA. Both dogs are rescues with one of them, Scout, simply showing up in his front yard. He was drafted into the NFL, but wanted to be an astronaut because he was a Trekkie. He’s a nerd and an athlete.

    I finally came up with a partial something that I worked into the Cursebreaker series.

    So, here you go:

    Week 29 prompt, photo of Leland Melvin, astronaut, and his two dogs, Jake and Scout.


    Jack stared at the photograph. It showed a smiling African-American man wearing a spacesuit and two obviously happy dogs climbing into his lap and licking his face. He looked down at the two dogs sitting outside his office door. The dogs in the photo. There was no doll, just the two dogs who had arrived a couple of minutes ago, with one carrying the photo. He turned the picture over. There was a short note on the back.

    Hi Jack,
    I hope that Jake and Scout have found you. You need to go to my house and find the bobble-head doll of me. It’s on the shelf above the desk in my office. The house keys are on Jake’s collar.

    Jack bent down and looked at both dogs. Yep, there were the keys on one collar.

    “Okay, you’re Jake, and you must be Scout,” he greeted both dogs. Small tail wags acknowledged his greeting. He returned to the note.

    I had a contract with Armina Grove and Camilia Sharpe. Yes, I read it. No, I did not break it, but they showed up on Tuesday and accused me of breaking the contract. They then left, promising to return. I put this note together and the keys on Jake’s collar. I have spoken with other magic workers and I think I am prepared for whatever they try next. In the event I am not, you are reading this note.

    “Well, Greg, you were not prepared. At least not enough. And, I’m not sure that even two spaceflights could prepare anybody for a revenge-seeking witch,” muttered Jack.

    Thank you for your help. I’m confident you can figure this out.
    –Greg Leland

    Jack ran a hand through his spiky black hair. Another magic-worker, another curse, but no doll. At least no doll yet.

    “C’mon boys, come in,” he waved to the two dogs. Captain’s tongue lolled out and his tail wagged in greeting. Jake and Scout trotted into Jack’s office and exchanged nose sniffs with Captain. Jack closed the front door and crossed the small room to the other door and walked into his living room.

    “Monica!” he called up the stairs. “I’m going out. Over to Greg Leland’s house. Captain’s coming with me.”

    “What happened? Another doll? Is Greg okay?” Monica came down the stairs.

    “The doll is apparently at Greg’s house. His dogs showed up just now with this,” he showed her the picture, “and house keys. The note on the back says there’s a bobble-head doll at his house that I need to pick up. I’m going to take all the dogs with me. It shouldn’t take too long. I’m going to grab the doll and come straight home.”

    This thing is just getting weirder. I have to find out what’s going on!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. And mine is now posted on my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/784586.html. I’d intended to carry it through to Roger finally getting his memories of the Fire back, but ended up spending a chunk of the evening texting with my brother the computer engineer. My dad’s computer is now out of service, thanks to one of those “Microsoft is blocking your computer, call this number” scams. Right now all scammers can just freaking die, as far as I’m concerned.

    Liked by 4 people

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