Week 44 of Odd Prompts

Last week was fun, to see what we all did with a single prompt. This week, we are back to thrown gauntlets of prompt challenges. If by gauntlets we mean snips and sentences tossed randomly with good humor and much anticipation of really interesting stories springing up from where they fall, that is.

AC YoungThe Tree Circle contained 12 different deciduous trees, each corresponding to a different month. Over the year the months cycled with the Oak always associated with the current actual month, and the others permanently off-set. Magic ensured that each tree appeared as it would during the month it was currently associated with.Fiona Grey
Becky JonesThe relics the archaeologists found on Centauri V were almost identical to relics found on Earth.Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeWatching the disco ducks waddle down Main Street in a line, we could almost hear the music thumping…Becky Jones
Fiona Greya snippet of inspiration: Weaponized fogLeigh Kimmel
Leigh KimmelThere’s never a good time for a breakdown, but some times are better than others. At least here she didn’t have to worry about helpful tanuki.AC Young
Cedar SandersonWhile repairing the porch, they found a long-lost prepared microscope slide in the earth underneath.nother Mike

And of course, as always, if you don’t choose to challenge with a custom prompt, there are the spares! Meant for those who couldn’t commit, or just needed that little nudge of inspiration while they struggle for the words during NaNoWriMo…

SpareAt the clinic, you are directed to the Department of Infernal Medicine…
SpareThe leaves of the fire tree turned a deep crimson every autumn.
SpareThere was an antique fork stabbed deep into the back of the corpse…
SpareWhen the tail of the comet crossed the atmosphere, the long-frozen genetic load scattered over the world…
SpareThe werewolves yelled, “Have a great Howl-oween!” as the vampires, wizards, witches, and others drove away…

Don’t forget to post a link (or the whole thing) to your response in the comments. See you next week!



  1. Leigh Kimmel supplied my prompt for this week: There’s never a good time for a breakdown, but some times are better than others. At least here she didn’t have to worry about helpful tanuki.

    A short offering this week.

    The TS North Sea wasn’t going anywhere. She was supposed to have left the Orbital Station Felixstowe this morning – she had a hold full of goods that the owners were contracted to transport to OS Clyde.

    However, when the captain ran the pre-launch checks the main engines failed. So the Chief Engineer, Thea Middlewich, was outside with the Junior Engineer, Kevin Easfield. No sooner had they opened the forwards inspection hatch on Main Engine Number 2 then they spotted the problem (at least they hoped there wasn’t an issue on another engine as well). Somehow the circuitry on one of the fuel injectors had shorted, and the sparks had caused a significant number of additional wires to melt.

    Replacing a fuel injector wasn’t a quick job at the best of times. With the additional problem of checking all the wiring in the bay to ensure that they had caught all the damage, it was going to take most of the day.

    Thea had successfully extracted the malfunctioning fuel injector, and had bolted the new one (their penultimate spare) in place. She was now starting to connect the wiring. Kevin had the job of checking all the remaining electrics, and replacing anything that was damaged.

    To help pass the time the pair were regaling each other with tales of other repairs. Tall tales of repairs going wrong were a favourite.

    “Remember that time on OS Yokohama? The TS Hokkaido?”

    “Oh, yes. The engineer was being ‘assisted’ by that shapeshifter thing. What did they call it?”

    “A tanuki?”

    “That was it. Yes, it kept giving the engineer the wrong equipment.”

    “A five-eighths spanner instead of a nine-sixteenths. Always just close enough that the engineer would try to use it, and then find out that he needed something else instead. He kept looking such a fool.”

    The pair laughed. “I’m glad we don’t have any of those things here. This job’s long enough as it is.”

    The pair moved on to another story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here’s my short response to Mike’s prompt: Watching the disco ducks waddle down Main Street in a line, we could almost hear the music thumping…

    Kira watched with a worried smile. The ducks were waddling down the median of the busy road. Main Street was two lanes in each direction and the cars tended to fly down it. Hopefully none of the ducks would step out into traffic.

    “You guys can fly…why the hell are you walking down the road?” she muttered to herself. “You’re giving me a heart attack.”

    Despite the potential for a heart attack of epic proportions, Kira still found herself smiling. The synchronized waddling of the ducks reminded her of line dancing. She could almost hear the disco music thumping as the ducks made their, mostly dignified, way down the median.

    “Where are they going?” a voice to her right wondered.

    Kira turned to the gentleman stopped beside her. “No idea. I’m wondering why they won’t fly. It’d be safer.”

    “Well, disco ducks prefer to dance, I guess.” The man chuckled.

    “You see it too? Like they’re auditioning for that movie…what was it? The one with the alien duck?”

    “Howard the Duck. And, you’re too young to have seen that.” The man smiled at her.

    “That’s it! My mom loved those cheesy movies, so I grew up watching them with her,” Kira replied.

    “Ah. Yes, there’s nothing quite like a good cheesy disco movie,” he grinned. “Well, here’s hoping they aren’t really aliens, and that they stay out of traffic. Have a great day.” The man gave her a short wave and continued down the sidewalk.

    Kira watched as the ducks reached the end of the median where Main intersected with Poplar. The leader came to a halt and looked around and then back at his? her? followers. After scanning the intersection, first duck gave a short nod and launched into flight quickly followed by the others.

    “Oh, good. They can fly as well as they can dance,” Kira sighed with relief. She waited until the ducks disappeared over the buildings before walking back to her car.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] This week, AC Young challenged me with what became a plaque inscription. I haven’t visited Wisburg Academy for a while! My prompt went to Leigh Kimmel, who hopefully will be inspired to write about a snippet of weaponized fog. Join the fun at MOTE! […]


    • Just wait until she explains that they were all found in positions which can be related to astronomic locations. For example, the white stones were clearly aligned with the Milky Way, showing that…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Cedar Sanderson tossed out the provocation…

    While repairing the porch, they found a long-lost prepared microscope slide in the earth underneath.

    Sorry, just a quick sketch…

    Harold felt strange about fixing up his grandpa’s house before they sold it. But no one in the family really wanted to live there.

    Then, while repairing the porch, he found a long-lost prepared microscope slide in the earth underneath. He pulled it up, and looked at it. It was one of those old style ones, with a small shallow dip. It had a small square of glass carefully fixed across the hollow. One end was wrapped in well-wrinkled tape. He rubbed at the dirt on it, and read the designation there. XR34.

    He remembered visiting his grandpa years ago, with the new microscope that he had gotten for his birthday. They had pulled up samples of so many things, from a drop of blood to pollen from a flower, and peered at them in the sunshine on this porch. His grandpa had insisted that he start a journal, and then labeled and tracked each of the slides, with notes as to what they had seen. He chuckled a little, wondering if he could find that old journal and look up experiment 34.

    He held it up to the sunshine, and blinked at it. He wasn’t sure what they had sealed inside there, but it was still visible. It looked like one of the ones where he had tried to stain something.

    Funny, he had to rub at a tear. Drat, he had enjoyed those days with grandpa, and that had led to his interest in biology later. Where the microscopes got quite a bit stronger, but that discipline of labeling and tracking experiments held up, even if most of the journals were computerized now.

    He looked at the slide again, and carefully slid it into his pocket. Maybe later he would find a microscope and see what it was, for old times sake. And make a note about how XR34 looked now, after all those years.

    And he might have to think again about whether to sell the house or not…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I finally got mine up. It’s just the beginning, and I didn’t even get to the planet, let alone the actual attack. But even when I was first making notes, I was thinking that this looked like a fairly long and involved adventure, and might actually become a major part of the story.

    At least Grand Rapids Comic Con is our last major event of the year. We do have one small local event the first weekend in December, but it shouldn’t be nearly so time-consuming as a road trip. So I’m hoping to finally have some time to start pulling together all these pieces of stories into something cohesive, and actually release some new works in the next three months.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s