Week 12 of Odd Prompts

Wednesday already? Here we go again, prompting creativity in each other. Let’s get right to it.

PrompterPromptPromptee
Fiona GreyThe volcano echoed its reply in whisps of smoke and flecks of ash.nother Mike
Leigh KimmelLooking for something to read while you wait, you pull a book off the shelf. Behind it you see….Fiona Grey
Becky JonesThe dragon appeared, carrying an obviously injured elf on its back. Nothing too strange, except elves and dragons hate each other.AC Young
nother MIkeShe screamed, then smashed the bug in the shower stall in a tissue. Then she told her husband to unwrap it and find out what kind of bug it was. He unwrapped it, and found only a snarl of hair. Well crushed.Becky Jones
AC YoungWhile [character] was gazing into the mirror it suddenly stopped showing the present, and instead showed [character] in scenes from the past or potentially in the future.Leigh Kimmel

Here are your spares, if you didn’t get a chance to send one in or want to peruse the selection. Have at it!

SpareBeware the curse of ambition
SpareMagnetic flow makes the bubbles go the wrong way on this planet.
SpareThere were three pictures in the kitchen.
SpareThe golden cobra in the tent was a warning.
SpareThere was a body wrapped in the carpet, but what they were smuggling was the carpet, not the body.

Send in your ideas to oddprompts@gmail.com, and see you in the comments!

14 comments

  1. Becky Jones submitted my prompt for this week: The dragon appeared, carrying an obviously injured elf on its back. Nothing too strange, except elves and dragons hate each other.

    Why would a dragon carry an injured elf on his back if the two races hate each other? A random friendship was possible, but would require an impressive backstory to justify it. If the two races hate each other then they might be at war, which would open the possibility of a prisoner transport – that I could work with.

    I fear that this response may leave the reader with more questions than answers. I may need to return and fill in the gaps.

    A deep, sonorous sound echoed through the pass. The sound was growing louder and louder, occasionally shifting pitch. The sentries on watch at Irongorge Pass Fort recognised it for dragon voices. They hoped that the dragons communicating would stop before they flew overhead – dragons speaking in their native tongue had a tendency to cause temporary deafness in nearby humans.

    The sentries collectively breathed a deep sigh of relief when the dragon conversation stopped. It was short-lived. A blue dragon flew into sight, but not just the dragon. On its back was an elf – it looked to be injured, the armour around the right shoulder burned and blood congealed all down the left side and arm.

    The sentry nearest the bell rang it as hard as he could. The sight made no sense. The dragons and the elves had been at war non-stop for over a hundred years. The battles had raged all across the continent. Forts had traded hands many times, each time being rebuilt and expanded by the victor. Human forces served on both sides – this particular unit was under draconic command, as shown by the green dragon’s foot on their surcoats and shields.

    A few seconds later a pair of dragons followed the first – one brown and one purple. They took their places either side of the blue dragon, and escorted it in to land before the main gate of the fort.

    There was much consternation within the fort, as the commanders had no idea what was going on. What had happened to cause a dragon to give an elf a ride? They decided to play it safe, and treat the new arrivals as a high-level inspection until they knew better.

    The doors opened and an honour guard lined up between the fort and the three dragons. The honour guard was followed by the fort’s commander, who came out to see what his draconic overlords wanted.

    “My Lord Ancalacan, this is a great honour.”

    “We didn’t come here to honour you.” When dragons deigned to talk to lesser beings they understood that they needed to use a lingua franca. Elven was out – it was the language of their most hated enemies – so common human was the tongue of choice. “Our prisoner needs medical attention. We are not willing to risk him dying before we can imprison him properly.”

    “Of course, my lord.” The commander turned back to the fort. “Fetch the Surgeon Mages. Now!”

    The elf was escorted to the fort hospital and chained to a bed. The Surgeon Mages went to work.

    An hour later they deemed the elf safe for travel. He was unchained and escorted back outside. Under the watchful gazes of the escorting dragons the prisoner was forced to mount Lord Ancalacan once more.

    Then all hell broke loose. A hailstorm of arrows fell from the sky. Almost simultaneously elves appeared from every direction, all wearing chainmail and armed with swords.

    Before the fort’s defenders could adequately react the elves were amongst them. They were swiftly disarmed and captured, or killed.

    The dragons would normally have had better reactions, but they were looking the wrong way, and before they were able to bring their fire to bear the elven arrows had turned all three into pincushions. With the dragons slowed down by the arrows the elves were able to strike and kill them all.

    Before long Irongorge Pass Fort had changed hands once more. The commander of the elven strike force made his way to the dead blue dragon, and helped the former prisoner down. “I wasn’t expecting to find you here, General.” (Naturally the pair conversed in Elven.)

    “Not all of my plans worked as well as this. The battle on the Plains of Greshim went extremely badly, and I was captured. I’m glad your archers are as good as they are.”

    “I didn’t want to get one of our best generals killed. I ordered them to take greater care. What happens next?”

    “Next, I need to return to the Citadel. We need to rework our plans to take account of our latest set-backs. Commander, you will take charge of this fort until the full garrison arrives.”

    “Yes, Sir. I’ll organise an escort for you.”

    “Thankyou, Commander.”

    Perhaps the day’s events had changed everything. Perhaps they had merely returned the war to a previous state. Only time would tell…

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      • Primarily it will be because elves hate dragons, so none of the elves will waste any sympathy on a dragon.

        The general will also know that the only reason the dragons arranged for him to be healed is that they wanted to interrogate him, and they couldn’t do that if he died from his wounds before they got him to their prison. So their actions were not for the general’s benefit but for theirs.

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      • Oh, I know how it works. But when the enemy is all evil, it certainly makes it harder to stop the fighting… maybe the humans can help bridge the gap, since they appear to be working on both sides? (Can you tell I was a Vietnam war era guy? All we are saying, is give peace a chance… 🙂

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      • I haven’t any real idea of the elven or draconic societies at present, so I don’t know how easy or hard it will be to obtain a peace treaty. I also don’t know yet whether the dragons are good, evil (think Glaurung or Smaug), or in between.

        I do know (and I’m stating the obvious again, apologies) that while it only takes one side to start a war it requires both sides to generate a peace. And if one side is genuinely evil (or is perceived to be so) then their enemies are not going to accept any peace short of a total victory.

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      • …or, conflict ending requires only one side to be left standing.

        This has been your trip to the dark side with Fiona. Before exiting the shuttlecraft, please ensure your tray tables and seat backs are in the upright position. Thank you for flying with Dragon Air, and we hope you join us again soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fiona Grey prompted…

    The volcano echoed its reply in whisps of smoke and flecks of ash.

    Hum. Reply to what? Wisps of smoke and flecks of ash, of course, tend to be a volcano’s answer to many things. So, what set this one off?

    Worldbuilding in progress, but no characters so far?

    That summer, the astronomers who studied the sun predicted a major sunspot season, as three sunspot cycles coincided. At the same time, the astronomers who studied the planets gloried in their prediction that both Jupiter and Saturn would be in alignment, and the Earth would travel through the field between the sun and the aligned planets. What no one realized was that the combined effect would produce a strong magnetic flux, well outside the normal range, and that the Earth’s magnetic field would respond.

    So, that evening, we looked up, and enjoyed the unusual sight of the aurora, colorful sheets of light, flowing across the skies, even as far south as Texas and other southern states.

    And then the Earth responded to the unusual stresses playing out in the solar system. The ring of fire shook, with earthquakes and other signs of the subterranean movements.

    And in Japan, Mt. Fuji, that revered old volcano, echoed its reply to the celestial fireworks with wisps of smoke and flecks of ash.

    Of course, then the continental blocks started colliding, and the volcanoes and tsunamis that swept the oceans made such minor behavior almost unnoticed.

    Coastal cities, river mouths, and other sites quickly become disaster areas.

    Hum, the dystopia certainly seems plausible, but…

    (Unlikely to be continued…)

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