Week 26 of Odd Prompts

PrompterPromptPrompted
Fiona Grey“I said a whiteboard, not a wight board, you daft fool!”nother Mike
AC YoungIt was a strange sort of hybrid. It looked as though its front half was the front-end of a lion with silver fur, and its back half was the rear-end of a dragon (complete with wings) with gold scales.Fiona Grey
Becky JonesThe snoring actually shook the walls of the small house.Leigh Kimmel
nother MikeWhen your etiquette column started using the tagline, “No question is too weird,” you didn’t expect to be asked what to do when your tail slips out of your tuxedo at a wedding… and then the questions got weirder…Becky Jones
Leigh KimmelYou open what you think is a closet door and discover an entire suite of rooms you never knew about.AC Young

The prompters have thrown down their gauntlets, and we’ve shuffled them, handed them back out, and you know what to do!

I mean, in this competition there’s no blood getting spilled. You might get that gauntlet back stuffed with potting soil and a blooming flower planted in it. Or maybe with a sleepy baby dragon peeping out at you. Or…

Have a spare prompt, why don’t you?

Spare“Can you eat taxidermied fish?”
SpareSpace squid!
SpareLightning’s reflection echoed across the sky
SpareThe harvest moon was large, glowing down across the fields. Then it started changing colors…
SpareRunning across the farming field was fun, until he/she stepped into the ….
SpareWhen the vegetables started dancing across the kitchen counter, it was time to…

17 comments

  1. This week I got handed Leigh Kimmel’s gauntlet: You open what you think is a closet door and discover an entire suite of rooms you never knew about.

    Hmmm. The phraseology suggests that the protagonist knows the house well enough to be surprised at the discovery. So why has he/she not deduced that the rooms must exist, even if not knowing the access? A really large house or magical space expansion?

    The Magsmiths were an old family. Not rich, never rich it seemed, but old. Alfred Magsmith could, if he wished, trace his male-line ancestry back for hundreds of years in the family records. Those records were stored in the basement of Eagle House, owned by the family – for ever it sometimes seemed. Once Eagle House had been a small country home surrounded by plenty of acreage. Successive generations had sold portions of the grounds off, and now it was merely a reasonably large house with gardens surrounded by the houses of the city.

    Alfred had grown up at Eagle House, and had moved out after Uni, but now that he was newly-wed his parents had suggested that he and Ophelia, his wife, take over the running of the place. Neither Alfred nor Ophelia was particularly enamoured of the idea, but to be polite they’d come for a visit, and were going to stay the week.

    In common with many older houses it was originally designed so that the ground floor contained all the living rooms, the first floor was for the family, and the second floor was where the servants lived. The family hadn’t employed any servants for decades. So the arrangements were now different – adults on the first floor, children on the second.

    This meant that Alfred and Ophelia were not staying in his childhood bedroom, but were instead given a guest room on the first floor. No sooner had they settled in than Alfred went exploring. In the corridor connecting all the bedrooms on the east side of the house there was a linen closet. Struck by a sudden curiosity, Alfred opened the door.

    What he saw didn’t make any sense. The bedrooms either side were only about five strides door-to-window, and the front of the house was effectively a plane. What he could see through the linen closet door stretched at least ten strides door-to-wall. An exploration of the space was perhaps reckless, but Alfred stepped in to do so. He left the door open behind him just in case. After all, it is not sensible to shut oneself in a linen closet.

    It was, he would eventually discover, a suite of six rooms, connected by open archways rather than doors. They were all square, and were arranged in a three-by-two formation. Alfred had entered the suite in one of the central rooms, so there were arches ahead of him, to his right and to his left.

    In the centre of this room was a pedestal. On the pedestal was a book. It was an old book, a leather-bound book, a big book, the leaves formed of parchment not paper. Alfred approached the pedestal. The book looked to be in very good condition for its age. In gothic print in gold letters had been handprinted the title: “The Magic-Smith’s Recipe Book”.

    Alfred opened the book – the cover was as heavy as it looked – and flipped through the leaves of parchment. He was very confused. From what he could decipher it looked to be an instruction manual for the use of magic.

    He swiftly explored the remaining rooms. In one was a selection of rare plants. In another was a selection of empty cauldrons. Each one appeared to be set aside for a different practical aspect of magic.

    Alfred had no idea what to make of what he’d just found. There was no way that the suite could fit into the space available to it. Magic was the only explanation, but magic didn’t exist – or did it? Alfred suddenly wasn’t so sure.

    His reveries were then unexpectedly interrupted. His father, Peter, entered the suite and shut the door behind him. “I see you’ve discovered our chambers of magic.”

    “These weren’t there when I was a boy.”

    His father chuckled. “They’re enchanted so that you can’t see them until your magical capacity reaches a certain level. For most of us that’s the mid-twenties.”

    Alfred looked back quizzically, and his father chose to answer what he thought was the unspoken question. “Firstly, magic is very dangerous when the wielder lacks discernment, so we choose not to permit children to learn magic here for their own protection. Secondly, up to a point higher magical capacity when we start learning magic results in us becoming more powerful magicians. We choose not to teach our children until after that point.”

    “But why? Magic isn’t real – or it’s not in public perception – or …” Alfred tailed off. He couldn’t figure out how to ask the question he wanted to ask.

    His father smiled. He seemed to understand. “Thank the Lord, most people believe that magic is a myth. Unfortunately there are always those who want to explore the possibility, and some do so with malicious intent. We are the Guardians for this region. It is our responsibility to fix any careless mistakes, and to oppose any evil usage.”

    “We?”

    “Yes, we. It is a responsibility given to our family by the son of Aurelius centuries ago. Each generation we must train a new set of magicians to fulfil our task. Will you accept the training?”

    “Do I have a choice?”

    “Yes! It must be voluntary. A compelled magician will only ever be a stunted magician. If you don’t wish to train, we will ask your brother when he comes of age.”

    “And Ophelia?”

    “She must make her own choice. It is beneficial for a pair to serve together, supporting each other, but it is not essential. One alone can serve as the Guardian.”

    Alfred thought. And then thought some more. “I can’t speak for Ophelia, but I would be interested in learning magic. Perhaps we can discuss this further after dinner tonight?”

    “Your mother and I will discuss the matter with you both. If you agree we will train you.”

    The matter agreed the pair vacated the chambers of magic for the time being.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am determined to write something this week. I couldn’t think of a full story to go with this spare prompt, so here’s a snippet.

    The harvest moon was large, glowing down across the fields. Then it started changing colors.

    She stared at it, entranced, watching opalescent flashes of green, violet and blue crossing the disk that dominated the horizon. The dew soaked her dancing shoes and the hem of her silk skirt. All memories of the ball she’d been attending, the chandeliers, the glasses held in elegant hands, the swish of skirts, the laughter, the brilliance of the woman on the throne watching the dancers, The fair chevalier standing next to the throne … all had vanished.

    Now there was just her, the silent meadow, the shifting moon, and no memory of how she got there.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Fiona Grey prompted…

    “I said a whiteboard, not a wight board, you daft fool!”

    Oh, those apprentices! Sounds like the magician and his apprentice, and a wee tiny bit of misunderstanding… now what happens when you drag a wight board into a meeting?

    But… but… I spent all night on it!
    By Mike Barker

    Harold looked around the workshop. He got it right this time, for sure. The glassware was all washed, gleaming on the pegs over the workbench. Feinstein flasks, Moldren bottles, and all of the other oddly named tubes and jars that Wilbur, his master, used for alchemistry. The animal cages were cleaned, each given the appropriate food and water, even the three-headed snake had tiny mice for each head. The coffee was dripping through that glassware tangle, slowly filling the carafe that Wilbur loved so much when he came into the workshop early in the morning. Wilbur’s cup was ready to fill. He had even polished Wilbur’s chair, so it gleamed.

    And, of course, the crowning achievement. He had worked all night, but the wooden board, with its carved runes, sat in glory across from the door. Every ghost, sprite, and other supernatural shade in its place, and carefully labeled. A true table of the spirits, just as Wilbur had requested.

    The door creaked open, and Wilbur stepped in. He looked around the workshop, as Harold smiled at him. Then Wilbur’s eyebrows shot upwards, and he threw up his hands.

    “What have ye done now?” He asked.

    Harold looked around again, then shrugged.

    “Exactly what you asked for, master? Why?”

    Wilbur rubbed his hand over his balding head.

    “I said a whiteboard, not a wight board, you daft fool!”

    Harold looked at the wight board, covered with every spirit known to alchemistry, and thought about the hours he had spent last night summoning them all and getting them all bound. Then he groaned.

    “Ah, no! A whiteboard? But the wight board… I spent all night making it!”

    Wilbur nodded.

    “Of course you did. But with a whiteboard, I could write down what you need to learn, and you might get it right next time. Oh, what am I going to do with this?”

    He pointed at the wight board. All the spirits thumbed their noses at him…

    (Hum, now there’s a question…)

    Liked by 2 people

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