Week 33 of Odd Prompts

Welcome to another week of creative endeavours! The best way to keep your brain young and elastic is to challenge it, did you know that? So here’s to staying bright and alert and writing, or arting, or…

Get your prompts here, and let them take your brain strange and wonderful places.

Prompter Prompt Prompted
Cedar Sanderson Why are you putting a door there? There hasn’t been a door there in years… Leigh Kimmel
Fiona Grey At a restaurant, you order calamari. The cloche is lifted, and a talking squid named Calamari gives your table a personalized standup comedy routine. Jim and Anne
Jim and Anne A description of a Soldier or Marine engaged in a task other than fighting (something clerical, like PowerPoint). “This isn’t what I thought it would be like!” nother Mike
Becky Jones Visiting Ireland, you walk through the Poulnabroune Dolmen…where are you when you emerge? (see below picture).
Cedar Sanderson
nother Mike As the kids cut across his lawn again, Mr. Oglethorpe unleashed his latest purchase, heat-seeking missiles. He grinned and muttered, “I told you to get off my lawn!” Fiona Grey
Leigh Kimmel Visual Prompt: Wave Motion Becky Jones
Leigh Kimmel’s Very Visual Prompt
Becky Jones’ Visual Prompt, the Poulnabroune Dolmen

Don’t want to commit to a weekly challenge prompt? Come grab a spare prompt and see what you can do with it!

Spare The marshmallow planet
Spare
You wake up and realize that you are now in your favorite book. You’re you, not one of the original characters. They don’t know how you got there. What do you do?
Spare You find a pair of broken glasses in the purse someone left on the table.
Spare You get an Amazon delivery, but you didn’t order anything. When you open the box, live ants stream out of it…
Spare You’re lazily admiring the clouds, when you realize they are moving, shaping up into…
Spare She struggled the last few steps, collapsing over the finish line, her heavy pack driving her into the ground…seconds late.
Spare
You go into the office for the first time since the quarantine began. No one has been there in well over a month. When you walk into the break room, you find…

If you’d like to send in a prompt, just email it to oddprompts@gmail.com, and if you are sending us a spare, make sure you put ‘spare’ in the subject line.

No matter what else you do, make sure you come back and read the comments! That’s where the prompted challenges land, and there are always quality things to read or look at by the end of the week.

In the meantime, Happy Wednesday!

(Header Image is ‘Perspective’ by Cedar Sanderson)

13 comments

  1. Jim and Anne prompted with

    A description of a Soldier or Marine engaged in a task other than fighting (something clerical, like PowerPoint). “This isn’t what I thought it would be like!”

    mopping, doing inventory… oh, let’s try that…

    Doing Inventory
    by Mike Barker

    Holden groaned, and stretched. He looked at the stupid computer screen, and shook his head. He couldn’t believe they had him doing this! Him, a well-trained killing machine, sitting in front of a computer, and checking an inventory spreadsheet. He knew he shouldn’t have told the sarge he had a year of business school before he enlisted. Yeah, yeah, yeah, logistics were important, but darn it, that’s what the computer was supposed to do. Why should he check…

    Wait a minute. That last column had at least 20 entries in it, each over a thousand. And the total was just 900 something? No, no, it should be well over 20,000, shouldn’t it?

    He pulled up another spreadsheet, and copied the column of figures in, then ran a sum. 25,679? Whoa, something was haywire.

    Now he leaned forward, and started checking the formula. Okay, sum of … named area. And when he looked at what the spreadsheet highlighted, it only had some of the entries in it? Huh.

    He checked the spreadsheet again. Sure enough, someone had inserted a bunch of new rows, without checking if the formulas did the right thing. So a bunch of the numbers were just ignored. He made a copy of the whole spreadsheet, and started fixing things in the copy.

    About an hour later, he shook his head and looked at the spreadsheet again. He had straightened out the formulas, and added some doublechecks. If you stuck a row in now, without adjusting the formula, it would pop up an error message, warning you that the totals didn’t match. He chuckled as he tested it. Then he straightened out the error, saved the good one, and printed it out.

    He rolled his head back and looked at the ceiling. Given what a wreck that spreadsheet had been, he was going to have to check that the supplies that it claimed were there really were sitting in the supply shed. He wasn’t too worried about the beans, but there were cases of ammo and other stuff that they really needed.

    Then he blew his cheeks out. Before he did that, he was going to have to tell the sarge what he’d found.

    ###

    “What? The inventory spreadsheet was messed up?” The Sergeant glared. “Is that what you’re telling me, Holden?”

    Holden stood at attention, eyes on the wall.

    “Sir, yes, sir.”

    “At ease, Holden.” Sergeant Klimpson groaned. “So… what do we need to do next?”

    Holden relaxed, sliding his feet out and his hands behind his back.

    “Actually, I’d like to do a physical inventory. There’s stuff on that spreadsheet that we need, sir, and I want to make sure it’s actually there.”

    “Nope, you’re absolutely right.” The Sergeant shook his head. “All right. We’ll find you a partner to work with, and both of you can check that we actually got the stuff we should have gotten.”

    Then he smiled.

    “By the way, Holden, that’s good work! I have to admit, I didn’t expect you to find something like this, but… I’m glad you caught it now. We’ve got a chance to clear it up before we end up in trouble. Well done.”

    “Thank you, sir.” Holden grimaced. “I have to admit, I thought it was a crummy assignment, but then I found the mistakes.”

    “And it’s a really good thing you did.”

    “What do you mean, sir?”

    “Imagine this.” The Sergeant grinned. “Suppose we packed up and went into the field, without catching those shortages. What would happen?”

    Holden nodded.

    “We’d be in trouble. Especially if we needed bullets!”

    “Right.” The Sergeant patted Holden on the shoulder. “So we’re going to find out where we’re short, and get those supplies now. So it’s a darn good thing you caught those mistakes before we found them in the field.”

    (more?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The spare prompts are interesting. I’ve lived some of them.

    So there we were in Iraq. The wives club sent us a box of home baked cookies. Three weeks later in the desert, we received a box of ants.

    “She struggled the last few steps, collapsing over the finish line, her heavy pack driving her into the ground…seconds late.” – Both PLDC and BNCOC (SGT and SSG schools). Land navigation courses are hell on people with no sense of direction.

    “You go into the office for the first time since the quarantine began. No one has been there in well over a month. When you walk into the break room, you find…” – Nobody had emptied the coffee filter or the dregs in the pot. The fungi were interesting shades of green and blue, and beginning to grow out of their containers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have never had to do *real* mil-spec land-nav…. and what I see some otherwise intelligent people do… scares the [manure’ out of me. In the northern hemisphere, the sun might be east, west, or south… BUT never north (alright.. polar regions are weird). And yet such simple sanity checks… look, *ox* figure this out. Outsmarting an ox should be a way of existence for humans, not a struggle. Should be.

      Like

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