Week 33 of Odd Prompts

Sometimes, the best we can offer to the world are momentary distractions to others, and to ourselves. But within the seeds of those distractions are more than merely stories, and far more than a waste of time. No, we offer hope. Beyond hope, we offer a vision of the world, both as it could be and as it should be. We offer possibilities.

And occasionally, challenge. Want to join as a direct trade? Email oddprompts@gmail.com with a prompt and you’ll be paired with someone else’s idea in an exchange.

Cedar SandersonThe old truck blasted a stream of flames from where its headlights ought to beFiona Grey
AC YoungWhen an evil wizard attended the concert he observed a beautiful cellist. The next day he turned her into a swan.nother Mike
nother MikeThe paper bag in the trashcan was full of bills, mostly $10 bills.AC Young
Fiona GreyThe tree reached out and bopped her on the nose with a bright green leaf.Leigh Kimmel
Leigh KimmelAfter a long journey you come home to find something extraordinary in your back yard.Becky Jones
Becky JonesAs your shuttle set down on the planet’s surface you noticed a group of locals coming toward you. Funny…there was no mention of inhabitants in the briefing info…Cedar Sanderson

Prefer less commitment? See one that strikes your fancy? Stuck on your assigned one and feeling rebellious? (We don’t judge.) Grab a spare from below and write away.

SpareThe church library was not where you expected to find a unicorn…
SpareWhen you open the door of your hotel room, you do not expect a water balloon to fall on you…
SpareWhoever arranged for your own theme music to play wherever you walked in the hotel did not expect what the teenagers picked out for themselves…
Spare“I used stickers to tell them apart,” she explained.
SpareThe broken feather was an ominous sign.
SpareWhile disassembling the dragon was easy enough, putting it back together again in working order proved to be more difficult.

They say there’s nothing new in the world. They also say the possibilities are endless. It’s all in your perspective.

Header image by Fiona Grey



  1. This week I got a prompt swap with nother Mike, who supplied: The paper bag in the trashcan was full of bills, mostly $10 bills.

    It took a while to thin out the ideas to just one. How does the following read?

    He preferred to remain as anonymous as possible. Those who hired his services knew him as Achilles Zephyr – not his real name but he had fake identity documents in that name for the purpose.

    He was walking along the sidewalk with a brown paper bag in his hand. The bag was stuffed with blank pieces of screwed up paper. When he passed the next trashcan he reached in, dropped his paper bag and picked up another. He then set his steps for home.

    In his work apartment, rented as Achilles Zephyr (as opposed to his personal apartment which he rented under his own name), he opened the paper bag and extracted a bunch of notes. Sitting at the table he carefully counted them out. There were eighty $10 notes, and ten $20 notes. Unusual, normally the $1000 deposit was paid solely in $10 notes.

    Next Achilles checked each note carefully. The first had three additional parallel lines in blue ink in the middle of the bottom edge on the reverse of the note. It made no difference to the face value of the note, but it meant that when he returned the note to his employer with proof of completion he would be paid 1000 times more.

    He didn’t trust those employing him for this job and wouldn’t have put it past them to sneak a few unmarked bills or notes marked for a different job into the set. But all of them were properly marked for this job, so once he completed he could exchange the notes for the full million dollar price for his services. This would be paid into his Swiss bank account, already full from his previous exploits.

    Achilles put the notes in the apartment safe, then left to spend the night in his personal apartment. He would return in the morning to plan the job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent! I think what I like best about it is the teasers. What is the job? What is his real name? Who paid him $1000, and who is going to pay him a million? Oh, and of course, there’s the question of what other jobs he has or will have? And why is he running this large-scale con job, anyway? Why not just relax with his Swiss bank account? All sorts of glimpses of something bigger out there, and meanwhile, let’s get some sleep…


  2. AC Young intimated…

    When an evil wizard attended the concert he observed a beautiful cellist. The next day he turned her into a swan.


    Ohoh. A concert, with a beautiful cellist. And then the wizard turned her into a swan? Now why would he do that? Was he collecting swans? Or was this his way of thanking her for the wonderful performance?

    So, we have the action, we mostly need motivation. Why would the wizard do such a thing? Oh, yes, he’s evil, but even evil wizards usually have some rationale in their own mind.

    And a quick review of a synopsis of the story behind Swan Lake suggests we don’t want to go there? Although it does have some intriguing oddities, like swans by day, humans by night? And a lake formed by the tears of parents crying over their children turned into swans?

    And having seen a reference to the swan Princess story, I checked on that… oh, Disney had an evil wizard turning a sweet girl into a swan? Based on… Swan Lake. And thinking about it, I suppose I could toss the black swan in here… nah, it’s too complicated already. Well, let’s try a draft, just of the basic action…

    Quick sketch…

    Lord Garvey prided himself on being a patron of the arts. Of course, no one ever objected to his attending events whenever he wanted to. The last time someone commented on his attending an event, he turned them into a toad in the middle of the entrance hall, and then stepped on him. Everyone else in the kingdom quietly decided to accept his occasional outings. He did enjoy a good evening of music.

    Which is why he attended the concert that night. The orchestra was quite good, and while he was listening to them, he noticed the cellist. A beautiful young lady! He wondered when the orchestra had acquired her, since he was very sure he had never seen her before. Ah, well, now the evening was complete! He had a task for tomorrow… He muttered a quick spell, then settled back and enjoyed the show.

    Early the next morning, he checked the filament of magic that he had attached to the young cellist during the performance. It was still attached, which made everything quite easy for him. All he had to do was summon her into his laboratory, into one of the transformation pentagons that he had permanently etched into the floor there. Then a short incantation, and… voila, the lady was a swan. As she honked at him, he smiled.

    “Oh, my dear, please relax. Yes, you are a swan now, by day. But don’t worry, every evening, as the sun sets, you will turn into a woman again. Naturally, you will stay here at my castle, but we will have such performances together! You must meet the rest of my collection of swans.”

    He started to turn away, then swung back. She made one startled honk.

    “Oh, and I should explain. One of the benefits of this exchange, of the change from swan to human and back again, is that you will not age. No, you will retain your beauty forever, as long as you stay in my little collection. So, you see, this is for your own best interest. A little music, and a long life, never growing older than you are right now.”

    Then he led her out into the moat, where the swans sailed gracefully along, white wings tucked up, long white necks curved, and eyes flashing as they paddled along. He turned her loose, and the other swans joined her.

    (Hum, that’s kind of interesting?)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And now mine’s up on my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/1009576.html. It picks up from what I’d been planning to write for a prompt a few weeks ago, but only got a beginning written because I was so busy with selling at conventions. This week I’ve had a little more time, and have been working on it on my Dragon Touch tablet — but still ended up short of what I’d planned, because I discovered a new convention being held just down the road from us on a weekend where we lost the convention we used to always sell at (long story, still not sure exactly what went wrong).

    Liked by 1 person

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