Week 40 of Odd Prompts


Welcome, welcome to one and all, survivors of ye creative prompting! We’re so glad you’ve decided to join the Creative Prompts Across the Universe Tour with the rest of us Odd explorers.

Everyone on board their respective sandworms and spaceships? Excellent. Please ensure your reflective vests are on, your seatbelts are secure, and if the captain turns on the “beware of jellyfish” light, well, don’t worry. Nothing’s gone wrong in – oh, so long it feels like forever,* haha. Nothing to concern yourself with. I’m sure we’ll find them soon.

Now, buckle up, and let’s take flight into fantasy – or scifi, or noir, or art, or what have you. Prompts away!

Prompter Prompt Prompted
Fiona Grey Failure is a powerful motivator to learn. But sometimes…
Cedar Sanderson
Becky Jones She stood in front of her grandmother’s secretary (the furniture piece, not the person) and took a deep breath. There was no knowing what the old lady had stashed in there. Reaching out her hand she grasped the handle and pulled… Fiona Grey
nother Mike The customs inspector wasn’t quite sure what to do when she found the alien baby nestled in the Williams carry-on luggage… Leigh Kimmel
Leigh Kimmel Steepled town seen from afar at sunset—does not light up at night. Sail has been seen putting out to sea. Becky Jones
Cedar Sanderson The voices came loudest when deepest in the ancient forest, the whimpering of the wood stretching and groaning. nother Mike


Catching up? Just starting? Not a fan of commitment? That’s what the spares are for! We’ve got you covered. Just like that giant aerial jellyfish behind you will in a – you know, maybe you should move to the right just a tad. Straightaway.

Spare When technology goes wrong.
Spare Only the squirrels survived.
Spare Gary couldn’t understand the complaints. They told him to pop the top on their car, right? So he yanked it off, just like any bottle top, and now they were so upset…
Spare The latest stealth websites were wicked. Once someone opened it in a tab, it would periodically pop up again in a tab on its own, so you could never get it out of your browser…
Spare There was a broken pencil in the special delivery box.

Reminder, should you choose the visual, non-written forms of art, the comments section of WordPress sadly doesn’t support a direct graphic inclusion. It will, however, support links to where your art is posted (Flickr, Deviant Art, your own website, etc).

See you in the comments – and beware those tentacles, will you? This is an accident-free prompt zone.**

Header photo Fiona Grey, Jellyfish in some New England zoo.

*Five minutes counts. Look, that zebra shouldn’t have acted like prey. We warned him. He signed a waiver and everything.

**We’d like to keep it that way, so please duck and cover in ten, nine, eight – now! Duck now!




  1. And that’s all, folks. I just finished The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack. This is… sorry. It’s really long. I took a couple of days off for my birthday, and with the express intent of finishing this novel. And I’m publishing it all because why not?

    70K words! Prompt challenge! You guys are awesome. I am still in shock I wrote a full novel of this fun thing. I’m not done, either. Nope. Just going to keep writing to prompts, only not on Hatrack. Because it’s done!

    Whee! *cartwheels*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cedar Sanderson prompted

    The voices came loudest when deepest in the ancient forest, the whimpering of the wood stretching and groaning.

    This was odd… I ended up with a short snip, a very odd bit of blank verse, and a longer bit, which I’m going to share here.

    Voices… (300 words)
    By Mike Barker

    The Boy Scouts were noisy as they tramped their way into the woods. Young boys laughing and joking, singing sometimes, hardly noticing as the world changed around them. Still, leading them was a good way for him to escape, and sometimes one or two of them might, just might feel a touch of the ancient glory.

    As the scouts settled into their camp, he told his assistants he would be taking a short walk by himself. Then he started hiking. Soon he was deep in the ancient forest. He stopped for a moment, and leaned back against one of the giants. He closed his eyes and listened. His breathing slowed down, he started to hear them.

    The voices always came loudest when he was deepest in the ancient forests. There was the whimpering of old wood stretching and groaning, growing minute by minute.

    And then he heard them, the voices of the trees, their cries as they grew, the tears they shed for those who fell, cut down, toppled in their prime. They talked among themselves, remembering ancient glory, and fearful of change and of fire. They knew that old friends in distant parts had died in flames, while others simply faded and fell away, without the support of other woods.

    He listened. The voices overwhelmed him, and made him feel so young. But… Soon enough, the young voices started to sing and dance, as the undergrowth added the stories of this year’s green new growth. and even the grasses sang their little tunes.

    Moments later, or maybe hours later, he opened his eyes again. He took a deep breath. Then he bowed to the trees, and waved gaily at the underbrush. He shook his head, and started back towards the camp.

    Maybe he would ask the scouts to close their eyes, and listen. Maybe one of them would hear the trees talking.

    (something to pick up sometime, maybe…)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like it! I spent my summers in junior high and high school backpacking in the Sierras and in the mountains of southern California. In the Sierras, in those old-growth forests, you really can hear the trees, and the mountains when you’re above the tree line, talking. It’s amazing.


    • Oh, yay! I have my grandmother’s secretary. She used it for her bill paying, letter writing, Christmas cards…I’ve always loved it and my mother made sure I got it when my grandmother passed.That and her dresser are among my most prized possessions.


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