Week 23 of Odd Prompts

This week, on Odd Prompts, we introduce to you a way to prompt creativity. Doesn’t sound so different, you say? Well, check out this week’s input for idea sparkation (totally a real word). It’s just like vacation, only in your head, where you get to make up everything that goes with it!

This is how self-admitted nerds have fun.

Fine. I’ll stop being silly. Here are your trade prompts for the week. Join us! Just submit to oddprompts@gmail.com and you’ll get one in exchange.

P

PrompterPromptPrompted
Cedar SandersonWe’ve heard of French Doors, and Hobbit doors, but how would you describe _____________ doors?Becky Jones
AC Young“Beware the call of the Siren Bird. Once entranced, you will walk deep into the forest and never leave.”Leigh Kimmel
Becky JonesThe squirrel darted along the top of the fence deftly keeping its sword away from the entangling vines.nother Mike
nother MikeWhen they went to carve the roast turkey, it started to kick its legs….AC Young
Fiona GreyThis time, the goblins were the good guys.Cedar Sanderson
Leigh KimmelYou come to the final door. On it is a puzzle, a set of pipes and buckets — which one will fill first? But the printing is faded and you’re struggling to make it out in the dim light.Fiona Grey

And if you’re the restless type, grab a spare that triggers your fancy and take it for a twirl.

SpareThe professor was strange. He insisted on using septic equations to describe the behaviour of a septic system.
SpareAt midnight in the old theater, the ghosts did a Rockette style kick dance across the stage…
SpareEven monkeys fall from trees. (Japanese kotowaza)
SpareThe cricket in the construction zone singing opera while wearing a hard hat with Viking horns was just the beginning of [character’s] day.

That’s it for this week, but do come back and check out the comments once the orcs invade. I mean when the fairies host dinner. That is – mind the ghosts.

Header image by Fiona Grey, Florida

20 comments

  1. I should probably admit, we were watching a Japanese dokiri (shocking or startling) show (like the old candid camera show, but they often have a series of provocative incidents). In this show, one of the incidents was sitting down to a roast chicken, I think, and when they started to cut it, the legs began to move and dance. I thought the reactions of the families faced with this runaway roast were funny, so… I based this week’s prompt on that. Of course, AC should feel free to do whatever with it…

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  2. nother Mike supplied this week’s challenge: When they went to carve the roast turkey, it started to kick its legs…

    My first thoughts went to the early experiments in electricity, when scientists put metal rods on the muscles of dead animals and got them to twitch. But anything along the ‘apply a spark’ line looked like it would lead to a very short tale. So I hunted for some other way in to the story.

    It turned out that with a little reworking of traditional lore I could make this a vampire tale. Unfortunately given the set-up I think a nice ending requires too many coincidences, but a nice ending overall can be found should I add another episode at a later date.

    The table was almost ready. The only thing still needed was the turkey. Mom and Dad were carrying that in from the kitchen as we spoke. They put the meat board down by the pile of plates in front of Dad’s seat.

    We all sat down, my mouth watering in anticipation. Roast potatoes and parsnips, carrots, sprouts, peas, and all the other trimmings were all in serving bowls. Gravy was in the jug. And a roast turkey was awaiting carving on the meat board – it looked delicious.

    Dad picked up the carving knife and the fork. Then it happened. The turkey started to move its legs. Initially they moved slowly, then they speeded up. We all backed away in shock. Dad dropped the fork and the carving knife. The knife bounced off the table and fell to the floor. Thank the Lord it didn’t bounce into Dad – he kept the edge very sharp, who knows how badly he’d have been slashed if it had.

    The legs slowed down, but that wasn’t the end of the process. The skin changed colour, feathers started sprouting all over the bird, and finally the neck lengthened and the bird grew a head.

    By this point we were all backed up against the walls, fearing what would happen next. What was next was the turkey stood up, hopped down to the floor, and then vanished into mist. When the mist cleared a tall man in somewhat old-fashioned clothes and fangs in his mouth stood in the bird’s place.

    “H-h-who are you?” someone – I wasn’t entirely sure who – squeaked out in terror.

    He smiled around at us all, then bowed to all sides. Only then did he answer. “My name is Neil, Lord Dracula, descended in unbroken line from Vlad I himself.”

    The questions came from all sides, and overlapped each other. “You’re a vampire?” “Descended?” “Who’s Vlad?”

    He laughed. “Yes, I’m a vampire. Vlad I was the very first and most famous Lord Dracula. And vampiric descent is by siring more vampires. Under vampiric law every vampire we sire is our son or daughter.”

    I found my voice. “How?”

    He laughed again. “How did I get here? A nasty combination of Elijah van Helsing and bad luck. Elijah attacked me, and came close to ending me. I needed somewhere to recuperate. I prefer to heal as a bat, all vampires do, but there weren’t any colonies in the area; the only place I could find was a turkey farm.

    “Unfortunately, before I could reclaim my true form the farm killed all its turkeys. When we’re transformed we can survive decapitation and other mistreatment as long as most of the transformed body remains intact. But freezing us stops our magic in its tracks. I wasn’t fully healed until a few minutes ago. Only then could I mend my temporary form in order to transform back.”

    I was surprised at the amount of detail in the explanation. “Why did you tell us all that?”

    He laughed once more. “You’re right to be suspicious.” His voice changed, now emitting power. “Sit down on the floor.”

    I couldn’t resist, none of us could. We all sat down on the floor.

    “Good. Vampire magic doesn’t work on those who serve the van Helsings’ Lord – no vampire can speak his title, nor his name unless we mean another – but it does work on ‘children of Sceva’ – I’ll explain all this to you young ones later.” The vampire picked up the carving knife from the floor, slit Mom’s and Dad’s throats, and then set about turning my siblings, leaving me until last.

    I awoke as a newly turned vampire, heir to Lord Dracula. My only hope was that this Elijah van Helsing would find us and put us out of our misery before I was too far gone. Otherwise I’d fight him – and if necessary kill – at the side of, and on behalf of, my murderer.

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  3. Becky Jones prompted…

    The squirrel darted along the top of the fence deftly keeping its sword away from the entangling vines.

    Aha! The RLF wars begin? Or perhaps…

    A bit of semi-verse?

    The squirrel darted along the fence,
    Vorpal sword dodging tangled vines,
    The raven flew above the yard,
    Cawing out the enemy advance,
    The day the backyard went to war!

    Sparrows flew along the way,
    Divebombing those who crawled below,
    The dog barked directions to the troops,
    And hard it went, for those who thought
    This yard would fall without fail.

    That day, the squirrels, raven, sparrows,
    Dog and all, they held the yard, pushed out the foe!
    The cat, draped in the window sunshine,
    Yawned, then napped again.
    For the yard was safe.

    Or maybe…

    Jimmy Nelson pulled up his shorts, and looked around the backyard. His father had said he had to be the man of the house, and when you are five years old, that meant you needed to think about how to defend the backyard first. So Jimmy came out, and looked for his friends.

    Ah, there went Ziggy, the squirrel who he often talked with. Perhaps…

    “Ziggy, if I give you a sword, will you help me defend the backyard?”

    Ziggy stopped, stood up, and looked all around.

    “Defend the yard? From whom?”

    Jimmy frowned.

    “Well, I don’t know, but I will give you some nuts if you will help.”

    Ziggy smiled.

    “Nuts? Why didn’t you say you would pay? So where is this sword?”

    Jimmy reached in his pocket and pulled it out. A metal toothpick he had taken from the kitchen. He handed it to Ziggy, who took it in one paw, and swished it through the air.

    “Now, that’s a nice sword. What do I have to do for these nuts?”

    Jimmy pointed at the fence across the back of the yard.

    “Patrol along the top of the fence, for now. Tell me if you see anything.”

    Ziggy swept the sword up in a salute. Then he scampered across the yard and climbed the vines to the top of the fence. He darted along the top of the fence deftly keeping his sword away from the entangling vines. He looked right and left, and waved the sword as he ran along. When he reached the corner of the yard, he stopped and looked back at Jimmy.

    “Nothing to report!”

    Then he turned, and ran back across the fence again.

    Meanwhile, Jimmy was looking at the sparrows in the bush by the door. He thought they would make great aerial scouts, if he helped them feed their young. Worms, that would do it. So he whistled to them, and then talked about how many big fat worms he could dig up for them.

    In minutes, they were flying up and around the yard, keeping an eye out for whatever might be coming their way.

    Hum, need to think about who is going to sneak in or attack… but Jimmy is ready for them!

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  4. I’m pretty blank tonight. I can glimpse this one – a jigsaw puzzle on a makeshift table, balanced on sawhorses, dim lighting – but without enough context to write the scene. Who’s putting together the puzzle? Why is the lighting so poor? Is someone merely renovating their house slowly, or does the door open downward into a new world? What happens when the puzzle is complete? Is anyone even working on it, or is it dusty and abandoned?

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    • The tour guide let us peek in the room at the puzzle on the makeshift table. Then he told us the story, that the last ruler of the country supposedly had started to solve this puzzle one night, and disappeared during the night. There was a rumor that if the puzzle was ever completed, he would return. And of course, according to some people, from time to time, there were ghostly figures seen slowly moving the puzzle pieces. The tour guide assured us that in fact, the puzzle did change slowly, but no one quite knew why, despite attempts to use motion-sensitive cameras and other technology to catch whatever was making the puzzle move.

      That night, the puzzle was completed…

      (How’s that?)

      Liked by 3 people

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