Week 48 of Odd Prompts

It continues to a be a doozy of a year, but I’m thankful for this group. It’s been a note of brightness in the darkness. To make new friends and be productively creative – perhaps it’s the small things in life, but these are very good things.

And to keep the momentum going, here are the prompts up for trade this week.

Cedar SandersonIt was night, and far from soaring safely over the ocean below, he was falling…Fiona Grey
Becky JonesWalking down the street you hear, “Psst…wanna buy a good watch?” The gnome looks seedy and hungry. You feel bad for it…what do you do?Leigh Kimmel
Fiona GreyThe octopus that came for Thanksgiving wearing a Pilgrim hatCedar Sanderson
nother MikeThe Amazon delivery box didn’t have a book in it. Instead, when they opened it, a small elf jumped out.Becky Jones
Leigh KimmelMan stumbles on dream world—returns to earth—seeks to go back—succeeds, but finds dream world ancient and decayed as though by thousands of years.nother Mike

Here are your spares, as this may be a busy week for those of us in the US. Try not to catch your turkeys on fire. And if not US-based – hello, out there! Welcome to Earth, or at least to creative prompting. Join us, if you like – send a prompt each week to oddprompts@gmail.com, and trade if you wish, or mark “spare” in the subject line. All creative outputs welcome. Post a link or your tale below.

SpareThe light at the end of the tunnel was an intense blue-white flash.
SpareI sold my glass spear.
SpareFinding an ancient yet nearly pristine Studebaker in a forgotten old shed was rather unusual, even on earth. This wasn’t earth.
SpareTurns out, the dumbo octopus, given a feather, can…
SpareSomeone had painted a masterpiece on the wall of the garage.
SpareWhen he picked up his hat, there was a furry bat sitting in it.

See you in the comments.

Header graphic by ulleo, Pixabay.



  1. Don’t forget to look back at the entries from last week! I know, we got new prompts to work on, but… last week, we had unusual uses of a wooden spoon, a flash vision of a brand new antique tractor, wolf puppies in a vortex, and even a little bit about elves in a long winter! Go read ‘em, and comment! Hey, something to do over the long weekend, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There were a couple of the prompts this week that had potential but it was the header image that finally drew my attention. I swiped it to use as my own header. I may go back at a late date and work on those other stories.

    Years ago my mother had a wooden bowl with what most people call Indian Corn. Seeing the image brought back memories.

    Shortly after my mother died I moved into an apartment and spent the holidays alone. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone is depressing.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. (BLEEP! Running too fast, but here’s a really rough sketch, including some notes…)

    Leigh Kimmel prompted…

    Man stumbles on dream world—returns to earth—seeks to go back—succeeds, but finds dream world ancient and decayed as though by thousands of years.

    Faded Dreams
    By Mike Barker

    Gene shook his head. Darn it, he was sure that he had worked the ritual right this time. He still remembered when he did it last year, and suddenly there was a shimmering hole hanging in the air in front of him. He stepped through, into wonderland. The elves, the food, the whole society. It had been so nice, but… he wanted to go home, and they let him. In fact, they helped him set up his return. And promised that if he did the ritual correctly, he could get back.

    Well, a year in the ordinary world was plenty to show him that he had made a mistake leaving that place. His job was just a horror, the food he found tasteless, everything was a ruin.

    So, he wanted to go back. And he tried to do the ritual. He had done it several times now, chasing his dream.

    Wait, maybe that was it. He had been concentrating on the wonder, instead of his feelings of dismay and distaste. Let’s try it again…

    He lit the candles, he recited the invocation, he closed his eyes and thought about what he found so distasteful here…

    And when he opened his eyes, the shimmer showed that this time it worked!

    He took a deep breath, and stepped through, without looking back at all.

    The shimmer faded, and he frowned. Wait, the last time, the forest was bright green, and the castle shone over the valley. This time… the forest looked as if the trees were dying, with grey foliage drifting down. And the castle… were the walls slumping? The tower had fallen? What?

    As he looked around, a strange grey figure stepped out of the shadows, and sneered at him.

    “Took ye long enough!”

    He blinked. Could that be?

    “Felder? Is that you?”

    The grey figure wrinkled its nose. There were plenty of wrinkles anyway, but it managed to wrinkle the cheeks and nose even further.

    “Of course it’s me, ye dunderhead. I told you I would meet you if you came back, and here you are. So here I am.”

    “But what has happened? Why are you and the forest so grey? What happened to the castle?”

    The old elf shook his head.

    “What do you think happened? It’s been many long years since you were here, and time wears even the elven lives down.”

    Blah. I don’t like that very much. Okay, so he goes back, and the other world has aged. Why? Different time rates? Or does it have something to do with him not being there. I kind of want him to be challenged to bring it back to life, to be the creative mainspring or energy or whatever that makes it tick?

    He reached over, and put his hand on the old grey elf’s head. He felt… it was as if warmth was draining out of his arm. But the elf! He seemed to be growing younger. His hair turned black again, and the wrinkles on his face pulled tight, and smoothed out. After a moment, he stood straighter, and his hand fell off the young elf’s head.

    “There, see, we need your energy, your drive, to make us young again.”

    Hum, not sure that’s a whole lot better?

    Okay, pick it up later, maybe?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ohoo, good start.

      I’ve seen enough computer games (like Rainbow Web) that follow a kind of quest, complete each level and more of the “world” returns, that I can easily see this following that route.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that might work. So Feder or someone starts laying out challenges, go fetch the Ruby, and as he works through those, more and more of his dream world revives… Thanks! Now, if I only had a few days free to crunch on it…

        Liked by 2 people

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