Week 13 of Odd Prompts

Writers write, they say. And so we do. And sometimes, we need a touch of help – of inspiration, a glimpse of whimsy, a new challenge we have not yet met. Prompts are all these things, and more. How a few simple words can open up an entire new universe, unfurling like a spring blossom? Well, that’s peering into a writer’s mind, now, and that’s just plain dangerous. Here be monsters – and love, and light, and hope.

Want to join? Trade a prompt by sending in a prompt, or join in with a spare below. Oddprompts@gmail.com is all it takes – that, and a bit of writing time.

PrompterPromptPrompted
Fiona GreyThe man’s eyes blazed with discernable hatred as the car whizzed by, too fast on the windy back road.nother Mike
AC YoungThe dragonlord was so nicknamed because of his coat of arms. It was quartered. Two quarters showed a white dragon on a red field, the other two a red dragon on a white field.Leigh Kimmel
Leigh KimmelDoing the video for a cover of “California Girls” at the first lunar city.Fiona Grey
nother MikeThe cat just sat there, gently waving its tail, with the little alien under one paw…Cedar Sanderson
Cedar SandersonThe coffee was a little more bitter than usualAC Young

SPARES

SpareAn unfeigned fear of butterflies
SpareThese words were made for writing, and that’s just what I’ll do…
SpareVines trailed delicately from her antlers, the curved tendrils nearly reaching the floor.
SpareSpace pizza delivery was worth the cost.
SpareThe time travel capsule worked fine, except it turned out you also traveled through space every time you used it…

See you in the comments!

Header image by Fiona Grey

Advertisement

13 comments

  1. This week Cedar Sanderson supplied: The coffee was a little more bitter than usual

    I confess. I’m not a coffee drinker. A little investigation suggested that the bitterness could have an innocent explanation, but what if it wasn’t?

    Lancelot McArthur had just turned on his TV to watch a repeat of Poirot – David Suchet was starring in Peril at End House – when his mobile rang. He glanced at the number as he pulled the phone out of his pocket. “Not again,” he moaned as he recognised the number of one of his colleagues.

    As he had feared he was needed at a crime scene. It was a mid-terrace house, inside which a woman had been found dead in the kitchen when her husband had arrived home late from work. DC Jones had been the first on the scene, and had observed that the victim had hung around in non-corporeal form.

    Now ghostly testimony wasn’t admissible as evidence in court, as the vast majority of the population couldn’t see non-corporeal beings, and even fewer people could hear them speak. But the information obtained from interviewing ghostly victims of crime could help the investigators to ask the right questions, and help solve the crimes. And DI McArthur was the only detective on the force known to be able to hear ghosts, so while he was officially an unattached member of the Serious Crime Division, he was unofficially the division’s Non-corporeal Liaison Officer.

    His job was to interview the ghosts of crime victims, and use the information to assist the investigations. He was on the list of future DCIs, but that would come with a team, and as long as he was the only NLO on the force his promotion wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

    On arrival at the scene, Lancelot was briefed by the DI in charge of the case. The victim, one Helena Laurence, appeared to have been poisoned, but there was no evidence that she’d eaten or drunk any poisons at home. The detectives took care to ensure that the ghost of the victim didn’t overhear them, in order not to contaminate Lancelot’s interview with her.

    Then it was time to set up the interview with Helena. A quick chat with Lauren Jones, and the living room was cleared of everyone bar the two detectives and Helena. DC Jones was assigned to guard the door so that no-one else could enter. This was not only to keep Helena’s evidence confidential, but also because the image of a policeman talking to himself, appearing to have a conversation with an imaginary witness, was not something that anyone wanted to get into the public domain.

    “Good evening, I am DI McArthur. By the door there is DC Jones.”

    “Good evening. Can you hear me?” asked the ghost.

    Lancelot smiled. “Yes, I can hear you. How are you finding life as a ghost?”

    “Frustrating! I keep talking to people, and they ignore me!”

    “A common complaint. I’m afraid most people can’t hear you. It’s not that they’re ignoring you, it’s that they don’t hear you speaking to them.”

    As the reality hit home, Helena’s eyes filled with incorporeal tears. Lancelot’s heart went out to her, but the corporeal can’t hug the incorporeal, so he couldn’t do anything.

    “I’m sorry, but I need to ask you some questions. Do you remember anything unusual in the run up to your death? Anything that might suggest the cause?”

    “When I arrived home from work I felt alright, but then I started to get a pain in my stomach area. Before I could phone for an ambulance it got a lot worse, and I fell to the ground.”

    Lancelot made notes. “What did you eat or drink today?”

    “The usual for breakfast and lunch. Oh, and they served coffee at the afternoon do at work. It was a little bitter, but didn’t taste too bad.”

    Lancelot made more notes. “Thankyou. May I come back should I need to ask you more questions?”

    “You can visit me anytime.”

    That was a normal attitude from new ghosts in Lancelot’s experience. He terminated the interview and made his way to the kitchen. He phoned up the local pathologists.

    “I’m at a possible poisoning. It looks as if the most likely source was coffee at work. If so, there could be multiple other victims. Could you keep a look out just in case?”

    The pathologist agreed to keep an eye out for more victims.

    Lancelot then turned to DC Jones. “I think you should put yourself forwards for NLO-duty.”

    “Sir, I’m not…”

    “I saw you react to what Helena was saying. You can do the job. Yes, you’ll be seconded all over the place at all times of the day and night. But the additional experience will result in faster promotion to DS and DI.”

    DC Jones reluctantly agreed. The pair would go over the paperwork for the application after-hours tomorrow.

    Lancelot then went to find the DI in charge. After briefing him on his findings, he went home. Poirot had already finished, so he went straight to bed. He would be back if needed. Otherwise he’d have other ghosts to interview tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like that the ghostly testimony is not admissible, but is usable. And if everyone knows that ghosts can indeed communicate, then the problem of probable cause goes away as well. Hmmm…

      Like

  2. Fiona Grey pointed out

    The man’s eyes blazed with discernable hatred as the car whizzed by, too fast on the windy back road.

    [hum… quick and a bit quirky…]

    The man’s eyes blazed with discernable hatred as the car whizzed by, too fast on the windy back road. He could hear them singing, just a bit of the song, “Head out on a highway, looking…” It unwrapped in his head after they went past. Looking for adventure? Sure…

    He ran down the hill, cutting across country to get ahead of them. As he ran, he howled more of the words. “Like a true nature’s child…”

    Then, as they pulled into the straightaway near the woods, he ran across the road. They ran off the road to avoid hitting him. And while they were still sitting, shocked at their accident, he carefully bit them, one after another. He hummed, the words ringing in his head.

    “We were born, born to be wild…”

    Then he raced off, laughing. True nature’s child! Wait until the next moonrise, and see how you like being were!

    [oh, werewolves and earworms!]

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply to Michael Barker Cancel 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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s