Week 48 of Odd Prompts

We’re down to the last few weeks of this, and there’s a question that simply must be asked and answered. Not sure if it was asked last year, but then again? Memories of last week are a bit fuzzy. No, the question simply is: Do we make it into year three of this crazy thing? Or do we say ‘two years! Wow, look at what we did for two solid years. Surely this is a habit now? We can manage on our own, thanks?’

This is not a solo thing, for those reading who can’t see a byline. There are at least three, sometimes four, folks behind the scenes doing little bits so it didn’t all fall on one person’s shoulders. Odd Prompts most likely could not have made it for two years without that invisible team, so CHEERS! to them.

AC YoungThe Commander of the Channel Fortress had set only a minimal guard. No-one would try to invade when it was so cold that even the Channel itself had frozen over. Unfortunately the enemy on the other side of the Channel hadn’t received the memo…Cedar Sanderson
Leigh KimmelYou find a hairball on the kitchen floor — but you don’t have a cat.AC Young
nother MikeWhen he cracked the screen on his cell phone while playing his favorite game, he didn’t expect the game characters to slip out into the real world …Leigh Kimmel
Cedar SandersonShe unwound the ball of yarn carefully, until…nother Mike

And as ever, there are the spare prompts. Perhaps even if the game doesn’t go on, the spares should.

Or maybe there should be a book with a prompt, then a blank lined page for your art/writing/poetry to happen on.

SpareA snow leopard came across a yeti.
SpareThe year of the cat is coming up… watch all the rats run!
SpareAfter your grandfather dies, you find his old journal. Reading it, you find out secrets you never even suspected…
SpareHaving a drone constantly following your child isn’t quite the safety measure you thought it would be…


  1. What do we call the behind-the-scenes helpers? – the Imps of MOTE? the MOTE Elves? something else? Whatever we call them, many, many thanks from me to all of you for all you’ve done to keep this going during the last year.

    As far as the continuation question is concerned, the weekly challenge lobbed my way is something I look forwards to, and the prompts have been extremely helpful in keeping me writing (many weeks my prompt response has been my only fiction writing, and my non-prompt fiction over the past year has been a small minority of my total fiction over that time). So for a number of very selfish reasons, I would like to see this weekly challenge continue.

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  2. In this week’s rotation I was challenged by Leigh Kimmel: You find a hairball on the kitchen floor — but you don’t have a cat.

    After a bit of thought I remembered Grace, the panther/vixen shifter from week 13. So, perhaps a story set early in her life as a shifter…

    Grace came down the stairs and walked into the kitchen to make her breakfast. She stopped dead. On the tiles there was a hairball. Who or what had puked it up?

    Some things were easy to discount. Neither she, nor any of her university friends that she was renting the house with, had a cat.

    The kitchen door had a cat-flap, so it might be from a neighbourhood cat – perhaps a stray – that had wandered in. But she doubted it. The few cats in the vicinity shied away from her when she was out and about in panther form. They were highly unlikely to come in to a house where their noses could smell her intermingled panther and vixen scents.

    Only two possibilities remained. Perhaps she had expelled it while shifted. But the colours were wrong. The hairs in the ball weren’t the black of panther fur, nor the reddish brown of her vixen form. No, the hairs showed the range of colours of a tabby cat, the very form into which her grandmother could shift; and her grandmother was currently visiting, staying in the spare bedroom. Grace’s eyes narrowed. She had a very shrewd idea of who the guilty party was.

    But first things first. Grace put the offending hairball in the bin, and dealt with what it had left on the tiles. Then she made her breakfast, as she had been planning on doing when she first came down the stairs.

    After she’d finished, Briony and Rose came down the stairs. The three of them chatted for a while, as they did most mornings. But Briony and Rose had morning lectures today, so they headed up to get ready.

    Only then did Gran come down to break her night’s fast. Grace waited until both the other women had left the house before mentioning the morning’s surprise. “Did you go wandering outside last night?”

    “It’s a new neighbourhood. I may be old and decrepit but I still like to explore.”

    Grace laughed. “You, decrepit! I’m sure you’re still one of the finest cats in the vicinity.”

    “Beware granddaughters. They’re always biased.”

    Grace laughed again. “I, um, found a hairball this morning. Yours?”

    “Probably. It’s a known hazard of being a cat-shifter.”

    “But don’t you remember coughing it up?”

    A wry smile. “Not always. You must have noticed that when you’re in feline form it’s natural to groom yourself. In the same way expelling a hairball is natural, and we sometimes do it without thinking or noticing.”

    Grace screwed up her face in mock disgust. “Are you saying I might have hairballs?”

    Chuckles. “Only as a panther, my dear. No-one quite understands it, but hair of one form doesn’t transfer to another form. It merely re-appears when you take that form once again.”

    The pair continued to chatter away, until it was time for Grace to head out for her lectures and her grandmother to make her way home after a very enjoyable visit.

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  3. Cedar Sanderson tickled the fancy with…

    She unwound the ball of yarn carefully, until…

    A very quick snippet, and I don’t know where it is going! More sooner or later, maybe?

    Hazel sighed as she knitted the last ball of yarn that her grandmother had left her. She had been surprised when the family let her have all the yarn, but no one else liked knitting.

    As she unwound the ball of yarn and carefully pulled the last length loose, a jewel fell out into her hand. As it touched her fingers, she felt as if the world was changing. Her muscles seemed to stretch, and her mind quivered and shook as she felt the magic locked in the jewel unfold…

    Liked by 1 person

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