Week 8 of Odd Prompts

Seems apropos that week eight would be late, yes?

Well, here are the prompts!

Cedar SandersonThe headache bloomed like a nuclear cloudnother Mike
Fiona GreyIt had been an unfortunate typo at the time, but ten years into it, [character] thought [his/her] life as a magic welder was far better than it would have been with the missing “i”.Ray Krawczyk
Ray KrawczykStep inside. Walk this way.Becky Jones
AC YoungThe villagers of Great Oak awoke the morning after the storm to discover that the tree that gave their village its name had been blow over.Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeThe skeleton in the bottom bunk smiled at him/her…AC Young
Becky JonesThe vase on the mantel gave a slight quiver and the elf popped out.Leigh Kimmel
Leigh KimmelDown the glide path to LAX it flew, bright, shining, and far beyond any human technology.Fiona Grey

And if you forgot, or you are just starting out to work on the prompts, or whatever the reason (perhaps you sent yours in late?) there are always spares to pick up. Heck, you could even stack prompts, a challenge and a spare, two spares…

SpareThe octopus’ garden was a sight to behold.
SpareChocolate cake was the memory trigger.
SpareThe tree sneezed. Not someone in or near it. The tree. Sneezed.
Spare“That? It’s a baseball hammer, of course.”
SpareRock around the crockpot tonight, with a mashed up melody…
SpareDragons weren’t the favourite patients at the mythical vets practice. They had a tendency to breathe fire when the pain levels rose suddenly…

Don’t forget to come back and link your response in the comments. It’s always a fun way to go through the week watching them come in, until the final crescendo of procrastinators.



  1. This week I got involved in a prompt triangle, with nother Mike supplying: The skeleton in the bottom bunk smiled at him/her…

    Only a short tale this week…

    Elsinan had served his apprenticeship in a mercenary company, and now felt that he was ready to try to enlist in the most famous of the units: Barbarian Company.

    After entering the Barbarian Fortress, and signing up with the quartermaster, Elsinan was assigned a room in the barracks. If he successfully passed the tests and proved that he was the right calibre of fighter to serve as a Barbarian he would keep his place. Otherwise he would be kicked out of the castle.

    Elsinan was guided to his room, and entered to discover that one of his room-mates was already present, and lying in one of the bottom bunks. The skeleton looked over at Elsinan, and smiled at him.

    “Welcome to the company.”

    Elsinan couldn’t speak for a few seconds. This was the first time that he’d met a skeleton. “Thankyou, I’m Elsinan,” he managed to get out.

    The skeleton smiled again. “First time you’ve met a skeleton?”

    “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

    “Your reaction’s better than most. A couple of years ago we took on a necromancer. I gave the killing stroke, and got struck with the skeleton curse in return.”

    Elsinan swallowed, then swallowed again. The skeleton curse was many people’s worst nightmare. One’s flesh liquifies, ‘til all that is left is one’s skeleton.

    “Do you still want to be a Barbarian?”

    Elsinan thought for a few seconds, then made up his mind. “Yes. I do still want to be a Barbarian.”

    The skeleton smiled again. “They call me The Skeleton now, but you can call me Skelly if you want. Welcome to the company. Try not to fail the tests.”

    “I’ll do my best,” Elsinan promised.

    He and Skelly chatted for hours, being joined by their other two room-mates mid-way through. The four shared many stories of their experiences as mercenaries.

    The next morning Elsinan started his testing.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This week’s Odd Prompt was submitted by Fiona Grey.

    It had been an unfortunate typo at the time, but ten years into it, [character] thought [his/her] life as a magic welder was far better than it would have been with the missing “i”.

    It had been an unfortunate typo at the time, but ten years into it, Blythe though that her life as a magic wielder was far better than it would have been with the missing “i”.

    She leaned back from her work, tossed her head to flip up her welding shield, and leaned in to inspect the weld she’d just applied. She was careful to not let the head of her MIT welding wand touch anything she didn’t want co-mingled with a nearby substance. Magical Intermingled Technomancy had been in its infancy ten years ago when she’d been accepted to Miskatonic University’s first Technomancy undergrad program.

    She’d been dismayed to discover that instead of a magic wielder, she was going to be in an education curriculum designed to make her an artificer. She’d cried on the phone to her parents. Her older brother, a talented Geomancer had laughed at her. She missed him. Like most magic wielders, he had fallen in battle with the dark forces assailing their mortal world.

    And she got to work on projects like this. A fully autonomous golem. The outer carapace of armor composed of fused orichalcum and sterling silver. The silver lending purity that darkness could not vanquish and the orichalcum conducting the magical power that both propelled the golem and also served as its weapon against darkness.

    All of it made possible by the technomancers of Miskatonic and other fine institutions of magical learning.
    The whistle sounded and a groan of weary relief sounded from the throats of a hundred technomancers working on the golem, and several hundred other apprentices, tenders and support workers in the golem yard.

    First shift was over, and Blythe gathered her tools into her shop bag. She doffed her welding shield and placed it on top of the pile of her tools in the bag, running a hand lovingly over the Miskatonic University sticker she’d applied to the face plate. (Go, Fighting Cephalopods!)

    She tossed her welding gloves on top of the shield, stood and picked up her bag. Another day in the history books. Soon this golem would join the other fifty Dunwich Yards had sent down the ways to fight against the dark forces. Other yards produced golems to slightly different designs, Arkham, Innsmouth, Kingsport, but Dunwich produced golems with the best regard among the fighting forces.

    A casual mistake of spelling might have sent her down this path. But it wasn’t one that she begrudged. Because of that mistake she was still alive and contributing to the fight.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Cedar Sanderson rang in with…

    The headache bloomed like a nuclear cloud

    Whew! With spring pollen just around the corner?

    [one take…]

    The weather report called for a storm front to roll through. He shook his head, then leaned back and closed his eyes. He rubbed his temples. And then… the headache bloomed like a nuclear cloud. He could swear he felt each pulse of his blood beating against his forehead, and his sinuses trying to explode through his skull.

    He blinked, leaned forward, and picked up a slice of apple. He carefully bit off a corner, and started chewing. As he did, he could feel his head relaxing, his blood pressure dropping. Somehow, just eating seemed to make the headaches disappear, or at least fade back. But he had to keep eating, and he hated giving in to them that way.

    He started to pick up his tablet to look at that code that was giving them problems. As he did, the headache rose, and threatened to explode again. He sighed, and set the tablet down without turning it on. Not now. Not for a while. Not until the fallout washed away….

    [hum, that might work…]

    The headache bloomed like a nuclear cloud,
    Fallout glittering across the screen
    Where he worked, or tried…

    The toothache hit like a guided missile,
    Arrowing in and digging deep,
    Then bursting into agony.

    Headache, toothache, running nose…
    It pulled him away, and made him want to give up,
    And yet, he persevered. He worked on,
    Even as the pain urged him to stop.

    [Another slice]

    He picked up the trouble report, and read through it. Huh. If they were getting that kind of problem, it must be in… he dug through the code, and found the routine. He started reading through it. Oh, let’s see. It called that subroutine. A quick look there didn’t raise any flags. And the conditionals… yep, all the possibilities were covered. Not the way he would have written it, but it should work. So, let’s see…

    He was deep into the code when the headache bloomed like a nuclear cloud. He squeezed his eyes shut, and leaned back, trying to get the pain under control. Not now, darn it. He could feel his sinuses exploding, and he knew the fallout from that headache would keep him from doing anything except gritting his teeth and enduring for hours. Darn it, darn it, darn it. He thought he could have found the problem if he had a little more time, but now…

    He shook his head, and closed the files. Then he shut down the computer, and sat there, trying to get up enough energy to go home.

    Some days are like that.

    [Sigh… I think I have a headache…]

    Liked by 2 people

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