Week 52 of Odd Prompts

The old year is ringing in the new, with brazen bells and klaxon horns. We wait, trembling on the brink of more-of-the-same and change-is-good-right? To while away the time, perhaps let your imagination roam, asking what if…?

AC YoungChurch bells ringing the hour in the midst of a blizzard.Becky Jones
Fiona GreyThis year was guaranteed to go better, thanks to the sacrificial penguin.Cedar Sanderson
Becky JonesThe small city really did spring up overnight.nother Mike
Leigh KimmelAt first it seemed nobody was interested. Then the orders started coming. And coming. And coming.Fiona Grey
nother MikeThe fountain started spraying hot caramel into the square, and people gathered with mugs…AC Young
Cedar SandersonA great infolding of wingsLeigh Kimmel

The prompts stretch on, a year ahead of us, two years behind us. Here, have a spare if you hadn’t forearmed yourself with a challenge!

SpareA stranger bearing secrets
SpareThe voluminous fabric revealed as much as it concealed, and well it did.
SpareWhen the zombie started hopping on one foot, it didn’t seem nearly as scary…
SpareThe blue suede shoes dancing on stage by themselves got a lot of attention…
SpareWhen the ball dropped at midnight, no one expected it to start bouncing, bouncing, bouncing…

Come back and show us what you have wrought in the comments.

See you in 2022!



  1. A quick sketch for the season… grabbing a convenient spare…

    It was that time again. Everyone in the city looked at their clocks, and heaved a great sigh. Yes, a stranger bearing secrets would soon enter their land, and no one knew what he would bring to them. Still, they lifted a glass of cheer to the old departing year, and looked at the stranger and his secrets, the new year, with a gleam of hope, and renewed commitment to do their best in the new year…

    Or, as they say, Happy New Year!


  2. Happy New Year!

    This week I was prompted by nother Mike, who supplied: The fountain started spraying hot caramel into the square, and people gathered with mugs…

    A return to Farandimium seemed called for…

    The staff at the Farandimium Academy of the Magical Arts secretly dreaded the Winter Solstice. It was traditional at that time of year for youngsters to engage in pranks – and as long as no-one was caught in the act it was tradition that no investigation into pranks of the harmless variety took place.

    This year the students at the Academy had outdone themselves. In addition to the normal pranks and japes a group of students had managed to sneak outside during the night and bespell the school’s fountain.

    The fountain was formed of a group of figures, one representing each of the major magical disciplines taught at the Academy, each with one hand raised in the air. Normally water – cold, naturally – would spray into the air from each of their outstretched hands. The water would land in the bowl below the statues, from whence it would be collected and be magically propelled back through the pipes and into the air again. It was a closed system, and would occasionally be topped up as needed by the school’s maintenance staff.

    This morning everyone had awoken to find that the water had been bespelled, and transformed into hot caramel. No sooner had break time arrived than the pupils started to gather in the square outside the school’s main entrance with mugs to drink the beverage.

    The maintenance staff were privately furious. Tradition bound their hands – they had to smile about the prank, and they could do nothing about putting things back to normal until either the spell wore off completely or midnight arrived, whichever came first – they were all hoping for midnight but fearing the former.

    What they dreaded was the spell fading enough for the caramel to cool but remain caramel. If it turned back to water as it cooled it wasn’t too much of a problem. But cool caramel would clog the pipes – when the students’ spell wore off completely or was dispelled the blockage would clear, but the permanent spells ensuring the water kept moving would in the meantime create a vacuum beyond each blockage, and who knew how much damage to the fountain that would cause.

    The Head of Magical Maintenance had already gone to the Senior Archmage and requested that the traditions be suspended, and the maintenance staff given permission to return the fountain to normal. That denied, he requested that the Entrance Square be declared off-limits for the duration of the day. That was also denied. The traditions must be followed. Finally, he requested that the pranksters who had bespelled the fountain be made to help clean up the mess tomorrow. Also denied – traditions were absolute in this case.

    Unable to take any reasonable acts to protect the fountain and its inner workings the maintenance staff had placed one member on permanent duty in the square. Rotated out on a shift basis (s)he was there to perform any emergency repair work should the prank go badly wrong.

    As the students headed inside for the next set of lessons the maintenance mage on duty breathed a sigh of relief. There was no diminution of the risk of anything going wrong, but with the student body indoors there was a significant reduction of the risk of people getting hurt should it do so.

    Now they only had to survive the lunch break and the afternoon break. By the time lessons finished it would be dark and far fewer students would go outside to partake of the fountain.

    If only the spell would last until midnight. But it already looked as if the caramel was cooling slightly…

    Liked by 2 people

      • To answer your first question: At the moment I don’t know. I’m still just exploring the setting with these last two prompts, but it seems to have dragged in some ideas I’ve been playing with for a while about a magic school setting, so perhaps in time.

        The second: Traditionally, the staff can’t help the pranksters, either before or after the fact. So, no, unless the traditions are suspended the maintenance mage can’t heat the caramel back up.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. [Sorry, this little bit caught my funnybone…]

    You Thought Fireants Were Bad?

    The government biologists were somewhat surprised. Yesterday, they had surveyed this valley, and thought they knew what they were dealing with. Some kind of invasive ants, nothing particularly surprising.

    Then they came out this morning to take another look. That’s when they blinked and grimaced.

    There was a small city laid out in the middle of the sand. Not just a pile of sand, not just some tracks, there were clearly little buildings erected there, with streets and all of the other signs of a real city. The small city really did spring up overnight.

    And the ants were busily running here and there, pushing… were those carts? Tiny little shapes, with… those were wheels underneath. Or at least some kind of runners.

    Then the ants started firing their cannons at the observers…

    Liked by 2 people

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