Week 20 of Odd Prompts

The prompts choose you, they mold you, they bring out something you didn’t know you had within you…

Send in a prompt to oddprompts at gmail dot com, or select a spare from the list below. Then create something wild, weird, and wonderful with it, before posting your response in comments (images will have to be hosted elsewhere, wordpress is unfriendly to image comments, sadly for meme purposes).

So prompt me, baby, one more time!

AC YoungThe small wood was surrounded on all sides by houses. The fence surrounding it had no gate. Legend (now widely disbelieved) said that it was the burial place of Sir Galahad, and that the grave was protected by a curse.Cedar Sanderson
Fiona GreyThe magic wasn’t in the wand, s/he discovered. The quill, on the other hand…Leigh Kimmel
nother MikeThe dancing octopus was wearing shoes and a frilly tutu…Fiona Grey
Leigh KimmelHow could they possibly fit my greenhouse into that little package?AC Young
Becky JonesThe birds stopped by to admire your new garden design.nother Mike
Cedar SandersonWhen the scientists decided they had to discover just why ___________ did _____________ they never expected to find…Becky Jones

If you’re afraid of commitment, have no fear! The spares are here for you. We’ve all been like that. Can I? Can’t I? Why not? Life happens. Grab a spare, and drive on. It’s all good.

SpareThey weren’t quite sure what to do when they realized the person in the hotel window was trying to signal them using a towel for a flag.
SpareThe SMS was just a string of numbers…
SpareThe horses they were riding galloped over the clouds, following the rainbow …
SpareThe wind riffled through the grasses, around the house, and up along the ridge of the sleeping dragon’s back

Don’t forget to come back and read the responses! Or send in a spare prompt with spare in the subject line, so we don’t hit you with a challenge. Or challenge us! The more, the odder it gets.



  1. This week I received the prompt from Leigh Kimmel: How could they possibly fit my greenhouse into that little package?

    What if the package didn’t just appear to be too small, but was actually smaller than the greenhouse?

    For my New Year’s Resolutions this year I’d resolved to do something about the mess that was supposed to be my back garden. It had taken me several months of hard work every Saturday I had free to clear out most of the weeds and out-of-control perennials.

    First stage completed, next step was to put something approaching a garden together. Last week I’d ordered a greenhouse – disassembled and I had to put it together, but it was a lot cheaper that way. Today it was being delivered.

    The front doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a couple of men from a delivery company with a small cardboard box between them. The van they had come in was sitting in the road. On the side of the van was painted a carpet bag. On the visible side of the bag was printed the company name: “Doctor Poppins Deliveries”. The same logo (much smaller) appeared on the men’s shirts.

    “We’ve a greenhouse to deliver to number 28,” said the man on the right.

    The box between the two men didn’t look like it was big enough to contain the pieces of a greenhouse. How could they have fitted everything into that small a package? But first things first, get the greenhouse into the back garden. “The gate’s to your left. Could you unpack it in the back garden please?”

    The men agreed, and picked up the box. It appeared to be very heavy, more heavy than it should be given the size of the box.

    I made my way through the house into the back garden. I didn’t have to wait long before I was joined by the two delivery men with their cargo. They put it down on the (still very dirty) patio.

    They opened the top of the box. About three quarters of the box appeared to be filled with panes of glass, with the rest showing the ends of the metal parts. “We need to put the box on its side to get the metalwork out, but we need to get the glass tray out first, otherwise some of the panes might crack.” Or so one of the men explained.

    Actions matching words they lifted the glass out of the box. When they put the tray down on the patio the panes were taller than the box. “How?” I tried to ask, not quite knowing what to ask.

    “Trade secrets I’m afraid. We’re not allowed to tell anyone.” The delivery men put the box on its side. Then one of them grabbed a loop and pulled, while the other held the box still.

    The loop was attached to a tray on which all the metal parts had been stacked. The tray was long, about five times as long as the box was tall.

    When everything was decanted I was handed a set of printed instructions on how to put it together. Then the men said their goodbyes and left to their next delivery, taking the cardboard box – the box that was so much larger on the inside than the outside – with them.

    I reviewed the instructions. It was more difficult than I was expecting, and I clearly needed a lot of help to put it all together. Time to phone around family and friends…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry, a bit scattered and wild…

    Becky Jones prompted…

    The birds stopped by to admire your new garden design.

    Quick first draft…

    First the sparrows darted here and there, looking for seeds. Then the hummingbirds flitted through, pausing at likely flowers.

    And a black crow slowly winged into the middle, where it looked around, cawed quite loudly, and then flapped away again. A one-caw review. But what else would one expect from a crow?

    Or maybe a Hitchcockian version?

    Henry sat by the window, looking out at the new garden design.

    That’s when the first birds dropped in, and settled on the branches of the bushes at the edge of the path through the garden. He smiled to see them.

    But then, more birds came, a swarm blackening the sky. They dropped onto the branches, they pushed each other on the fence, they clustered on the ground.

    In moments, the entire garden was crusted with a moving black swarm of birds, birds, and more birds.

    Then they started to fly away.

    The garden was covered with white and green dung, and the new branches were broken where they had scratched and torn them.

    Ugh… I don’t like that one very much…

    Hum, what if the new garden design is intended to draw birds…

    Henry smiled as the first sparrows flew in and landed at the edge of the new garden design. They cocked their heads, hopped around a little, then flew a little further in. When nothing bothered them, they started eating some of the seeds scattered there. Then they flew a little further in.

    Moments later, he grinned as they flew into the large cage at the center of the garden. And found themselves trapped inside, unable to fly back out.

    “It works! I thought it would, but now I’ve shown that this design draws birds, and actually brings them into the cage.”

    Then the swallows started to fly in. And the crows. And…

    Within a few hours, the cage was crowded, jammed full of birds.

    He shook his head, and struggled to open the side of the cage. He hadn’t designed it to be opened, but with a little bit of prying and some snips from his wire cutters, he thought…

    There, it broke free. And the birds poured out, squawking and scared. Small birds, big birds, defecating, hurt, and terrified by being trapped, even for a short time.

    Henry waved his arms, and wished he had never tried to trap those birds.

    The end

    Liked by 2 people

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