Week 4 of Odd Prompts

This week, as we close out the first month of the year, we can reflect on… we’ve survived 2020. Then, 2021 hit us like a freight train and has been pushing us down the tracks. But! as I was reminded, we’re alive to know we’re being pushed. Get us out of this tunnel, and then we can plot our escape. In the meantime? Escape into another world with a prompt to lead the way, if your muse is being stubborn. Sometimes the little tickle of a prompt, bugging your mind, starts to build up like an oyster making a pearl.

Go make some nacre around one of these babies!

PrompterPromptPromptee
Cedar Sandersonripped from the headlines: “Oklahoma police found their vehicle contained a rattlesnake, a canister of uranium, an open bottle of whiskey and a firearm” Why…?Becky Jones
Fiona GreyThe windshield wipers squeaked across the glass, and the world hiccuped. The painted yellow and white lines and trees abruptly shifted to the left, while the radio burbled into a new station. Fog loomed by the roadside, and you brake because your headlights reveal….nother Mike
AC YoungIt was a routine fleet resupply mission. But an hour after leaving the Orbital Station the gravity generator on the TS [Transport Spaceship] Arctic failed.Leigh Kimmel
Becky JonesYour first day on the job as building maintenance and your boss asks you to clear out the old storage space under the stairs. What you find changes your entire world view.Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeIt was hard to see to drive in the pouring rain, and then the car thumped as we drove over something. When we stopped and got out to see what it was, we learned we had hit…Fiona Grey
Leigh KimmelSame title, two different songs: “Shout” by the Isley Brothers and “Shout” by Tears for Fears. Tie them together.AC Young

Didn’t send in a prompt? No hu-hu, you can grab a spare. Don’t see one this week that is the sand in your craw? We’ve got fifty-seven… wait. No can math before coffee. Fifty-something weeks here on the blog, with prompts of all shapes and sizes and heck, take an assigned prompt! We’re all good.

SpareSunset gleamed off the polished black curves of the antique VW bug, the collapsing barn a poignant reminder.
SpareThe timer is counting up, and no one knows why.
SpareIt’s the year 3045, and you’ve just found the last can of coffee in existence.
SpareThe police were not sure how to respond when the suspect answered all their questions with interpretive dance…
SpareThe villain wore metal gauntlets, just like an old time knight in armor…
SpareIn the rental car you just picked up, a cell phone in the glove compartment starts beeping…

Want to join in the fun for next week? Simple! Send an email to oddprompts at gmail dot com, and if you don’t want to be assigned a randomly selected challenge prompt, make sure you put spare in the subject line.

See you in the comments!

15 comments

  1. If you haven’t looked, go back and visit Week 3! There’s a visit to a flea market that surprises, a button you shouldn’t push, a dance with lions, a mystery in the Yukon, a kitten and a grow-lamp, elves in the woods, and a trip out of this world! Wow! Go, read, and tell the authors what you think!

    Like

  2. Leigh Kimmel prompted with: Same title, two different songs: “Shout” by the Isley Brothers and “Shout” by Tears for Fears. Tie them together.

    Slight problem: I don’t believe I’ve heard either song before, so I went looking for the lyrics. (Yes, I’ve heard a cover of the first one…)

    Reading the lyrics gave me the following impressions (I may have got the wrong end of both metaphorical sticks…): The first of the two songs is about shouting because the singer is in love; The theme of the second is shouting in rage at the world.

    So, in keeping with the theme of the prompt it seems that the only way to go is a duet, one singer playing the part in love, the other singer the part in hate. The lyrics of the first song suggest that the singer is male, the lyrics of the second song reference a male non-singer, so I’ve given the part in love to the man and the part in hate to the woman. (Feel free to invert the parts if it works better.)

    It’s a song so there should be a tune, but I don’t have one. The verses don’t even have a rhythm, but I have the rhythm for the chorus (this section of the tune has a 3 4 key signature – three crotchets to the bar):

    Crotchet crotchet crotchet | minim quaver quaver | minim REST |
    Crotchet crotchet crotchet | crotchet crotchet crotchet | crotchet REST REST |
    Dotted-crotchet quaver crotchet | quaver quaver quaver quaver crotchet |
    Crotchet dotted-crotchet quaver | crotchet quaver quaver crotchet |

    The external structure is four verses, the chorus, four verses, the chorus. The chorus is sung by both parts; the last two verses are split between the parts, the man taking the first two lines, the woman the last two lines.

    Woman:
    The whole world has done me wrong:
    Keeping me masked and alone!
    So I sit and plan revenge
    Against those who keep me from song.

    Kept from family and friends –
    I hate the virus lockdown!
    How can I turn the tables
    In order to attain my ends?

    Man:
    My love does not see my heart;
    To her it’s invisible.
    She sees only her deep wounds.
    Enough! No more being apart!

    I will not be mute with fear.
    I must proclaim all my love
    And with my faltering voice
    Sing it into her perfect ear!

    Chorus – Both:
    I can’t stay quiet anymore!
    I must sing and yell and shout!
    I’m compelled to open my mouth
    And raise my voice in a shout!

    Man:
    Urgent now we’re kept apart
    I must proclaim “I love you!”
    And hope that this comforts, for
    Your loneliness wrenches my heart!

    Woman:
    Rage, my heart, rage against all –
    Yet music is in my ear.
    And the unexpected balm
    The tempest calms despite my call!

    Man:
    Might my long goal be attained?
    Does she finally perceive?

    Woman:
    There is one I do not hate.
    Might I have feelings yet unstained?

    Man:
    Your love is all I desire.
    Your happiness all I need.

    Woman:
    Your love I reciprocate,
    It has rescued me from the fire!

    Chorus – Both:
    I can’t stay quiet anymore!
    I must sing and yell and shout!
    I’m compelled to open my mouth
    And raise my voice in a shout!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like it! I will admit to singing the Tears for Fears song in my head and trying to fit your lyrics to that for the woman…but of course, that’s not completely what you did. Very cool.

    Like

    • I like the hierarchical inversion – the inferior human being more capable in zero g than the superior cat-race.

      I’ll also echo the desire to delve deeper into the grav plane failure. Normal wear and tear is one thing, but if it’s deliberate sabotage that could be the start of something more serious. (Also – how common is grav plane failure? Given the significant impact upon the Chongu, if such failure isn’t rare questions need to be asked about why there wasn’t a backup?)

      Like

  4. Fiona Grey prompted…

    The windshield wipers squeaked across the glass, and the world hiccupped. The painted yellow and white lines and trees abruptly shifted to the left, while the radio burbled into a new station. Fog loomed by the roadside, and you brake because your headlights reveal….

    Oh, what did we see in the headlights… Let’s try some possibilities…

    Shift #1

    He hated it when he Blinked. He had called it various names, shifting, changing worlds, or whatever, but now he just called it Blinking.

    The windshield wipers squeaked across the glass, and the world hiccupped. The painted yellow and white lines and trees abruptly shifted to the left, while the radio burbled into a new station. Fog loomed by the roadside, and he stomped on the brake because the headlights revealed a new town that hadn’t been there a moment ago.

    He glared at the rearview mirror. In between the billows of fog, he could see that what had been a flat road running through sagebrush and drifts of sand was now a winding country road snaking down a hillside through pine trees, with plenty of green bushes and undergrowth.

    He didn’t even try turning around and driving back. He knew that the old world was gone, and he would have to deal with a new world again. He was used to it by now.

    [Blech, I don’t like that… even if it does have an intriguing possibility of trying to deal with a brand new world every little bit. How do you handle money, housing, etc. when the world may just shift around you at any time?]

    Shift #2

    The windshield wipers squeaked across the glass, and the world hiccupped. The painted yellow and white lines and trees abruptly shifted to the left, while the radio burbled into a new station. Fog loomed by the roadside, and he hit the brakes because the headlights revealed…

    An angel. Wings of flame, a sword raised in one hand, swathed in shining white cloth. What?

    “Be not afraid,” the angel said, its voice seeming to shake his bones.

    He shook his head. Then he stammered, “Wha… what are you doing?”

    The angel lowered its sword. Then the sword disappeared.

    “I have come to bring you a choice. You would have died, just now, when your car rolled off the edge of the hill you were driving beside, but the Lord has work for you to do. If you choose to do it.”

    He blinked. “I would have died? What?”

    “I have moved your car past that, so it will not happen now. But in return, you are being given a charge, a task.”

    He looked at the fog billowing around them. And at the angel still standing in the headlights.

    “So, what’s the job?”

    “You will know when you encounter it. A child needs your help, and you must give it.”

    “And what if I don’t?”

    The angel sighed.

    “Yes, you can choose to ignore the call for help. But that child will be… Well, the pain that child will endure will echo across the heavens. Still, it will be your choice.”

    He lifted his head and looked at the ceiling. The radio was playing some old song… oh, of course. “Were you there when…”

    “So. Let me get this straight. You saved me from dying, and you are going to let me live because somewhere up ahead, I’m going to see some kid hurting, and help them? Or not?”

    The angel smiled.

    “Yes.”

    Then there was a flash, and the angel disappeared. The radio jumped tracks again, and he heard it pick up …

    [That’s pretty silly. Although I kind of like the idea of an angel warning you that there is a moral dilemma ahead of you…]

    Shift #3

    The windshield wipers squeaked across the glass, and the world hiccupped. The painted yellow and white lines and trees abruptly shifted to the left, while the radio burbled into a new station. Fog loomed by the roadside, and I hit the brake because my headlights revealed….

    A tank? Although it was dented, and looked as if it had been through the wars. The cannon slowly turned, and I realized I was looking straight down what should be the barrel. Except it wasn’t really a black hole, more of a shiny surface?

    Then the radio voice announced, “Halt! Are you Alpha-3 or Beta-9? In either case, you are trespassing on secured ground, and I am authorized to use force to stop your actions.”

    What? I looked around, trying to figure out where I was and what the heck was going on?

    The tank rolled forward, its tracks clanking.

    “Answer immediately.”

    I raised my eyebrows. Alright, play along.

    “I don’t know about alpha and beta. I’m just a guy, driving down the road. And suddenly you’re in the way.”

    “Are you claiming to be human?”

    I laughed at that.

    “Yes, I’m a human. So what are you?”

    “Attack tank automaton 9Z491. Are you really a human?”

    I shook my head, and opened the door. I stepped outside, and held my arms up.

    “Yes. See me?”

    The cannon shifted over to where I was standing.

    “A human. Wait… re-ordering priorities. Scanning for holographic distraction… You are really there. And at least the initial scans indicate you are a human.”

    I laughed, and shook my head.

    “Yes, I’m a human. So open up your tank and let’s see you.”

    “I am the tank.”

    (to be continued)

    Wow. This is so much fun. Toss in something appearing in the fog, and ramble along, seeing where it goes…

    [Eek, it’s time to put something on the site. Okay… here, try these!]

    Liked by 1 person

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