Week 46 of Odd Prompts

As 2020 continues its toddler-like rampage, stomping each foot louder with every passing week, I hope you find comfort in a simple creative challenge. This community has been supportive and amazing – and think how much we’ve all accomplished, in spite of 202o’s disapproving glares and yodeling wails!

So if you’d like to join us, it’s easy and we’re a welcoming bunch. Just send a prompt in via email to oddprompts@gmail.com by Tuesday. Commitment shy or not sure you’ll have time after the daily demands of NaNo, but still want to prompt? Just add “spare” to the subject line. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration here as well, in ways you didn’t expect.

And with that, onto the prompts.

Cedar SandersonHer lungs filled with water, and with one last convulsive gulp, she was sinking… Her gills opened, then.Leigh Kimmel
Fiona GreyThe cat and the tree were the best of friends, if an odd pair. And then, one day, the other lemon dropped.Becky Jones
Nother MikePrompt: Walking along the darkened path, he noticed there was something glowing behind the bushes beside the walkway. He leaned over, and saw a red and green glowing something, apparently tied with bright yellow ropes, just as it struggled free… (inspired by a game commercial … feel free to make the critter in the ropes anything you want!)Fiona Grey
Becky JonesThe day started out normally enough. But, when you climbed the stairs up from the subway station, you did not expect to see ____ (whatever/whoever you like) waiting for you. And certainly not wearing the purple hat!Nother Mike
Leigh KimmelMan makes appt. with old enemy. Dies—body keeps apptCedar Sanderson

Spare prompts need love – er, ink and attention – too.

Spare“To arms!” came the cry, and every man answered the call. They took up positions along the battlefield, faces grim, a robot arm held within each fighter’s desperate, clenching hands.
SpareThe clock clicked down to….
SpareThe transparent cat
SpareShe knew now that the travel posters had been propaganda, and had learned harsh lessons. But sometimes, in wistful and fleeting moments, she wished for what could have been, had the dream been real.
Spare: “We don’t have an elephant in the living room. However, the buffalo in the corner might need some attention.”
SpareYou stepped across the threshold and knew you were home. But, this isn’t your house.
Spare: He flipped the newspaper to the daily horrorscopes, and read his. No! It couldn’t be!

Stay safe, everybody. See you next week in the comments.

Header image by Fiona Grey; Badlands, South Dakota.



  1. Becky Jones prompted

    The day started out normally enough. But, when you climbed the stairs up from the subway station, you did not expect to see ____ (whatever/whoever you like) waiting for you. And certainly not wearing the purple hat!

    Hum, who or what was waiting for you. Up from the subway… which city? And a quick freewriting session turned up…

    That Purple Hat! (400 words)
    By Mike Barker

    Harold snorted, rolled over, and looked at the clock. Oh, man, where did that dream come from? He blinked, and thought about it. Okay, the dwarf or troll or whatever was… Well, Lord of the Rings and lots of other fantasies had people like that. Heck, he had seen that documentary on the Munchkins from Wizard of Oz the other day. So the little guy who wanted to shake his hand, that was just that kind of thing rolling around in the back of his head. What was his name? Gwibble? And that hat? Well, wasn’t there one of them that dipped his hat in blood so it was red? Purple… heck, he liked purple, so why not. He chuckled, and closed his eyes again. Just another short nap, then he’d have to get up and get going for the day.

    Breakfast, a big glass of juice, cornflakes with honey and milk. Shave, brush your teeth, shower. Oh, shoot, he was running out of shirts. Have to do laundry soon. But… grab the coat and get going.

    The crowds in the subway were always there. And… this was his stop. Push his way out the door, follow the crowd, out the turnstiles, and up the stairs.

    As he walked into the sunshine, he blinked. And blinked again, as a short figure stepped in front of him and lifted its arm in greeting. What? Gwibble? And… he shook his head. He was wearing that purple hat, the purple cowboy hat! Seeing it in the sunshine, he realized it was jeweled, with rhinestones, so it glittered!

    He looked around quickly. No one else seemed to notice the dwarf standing in front of him, even with that outlandish hat.

    “And a fine good morning to you, master magician!” Gwibble said, grabbing his hand and shaking it.

    “What? How…” Harold gabbled.

    Gwibble chuckled. “Ah, I must be your first. You see, some of your people are able to bring us across, out of the dreamlands, and into the world you live in. And, clearly, you are one of them! So, you’ve brought me to this fine country, where I shall live from now on.”

    Harold closed his eyes, squeezed them hard shut, and then opened them again. No, the dwarf was still standing there, smiling at him.

    (whoops, no time to finish this… but it does seem like a fun beginning! Thanks!)

    Liked by 1 person

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