Week 14 of Odd Prompts

Every week starts in it’s own way. By this point in the work week, you know how it’s going. But this is the beginning of your creative week, and you’re about to find out…

AC YoungThe stream flowed lazily through the meadow; on either side was a golden carpet of flowers.Fiona Grey
Fiona GreyThe spinach emailed the alert as soon as the troops stepped foot into the field.nother Mike
Becky JonesThe space port was completely deserted.Cedar Sanderson
Leigh KimmelYou walk through the empty halls and rooms where once there had been so much activity. And on the table is a single red rose, fresh as if it had been picked that morning.AC Young
nother MikeIn a cut glass vase on the table sat a bouquet of flowers, each with its own meaning.Leigh Kimmel
Cedar SandersonFirst they packed the books, and then the kitchen…Becky Jones

And if you wanted a surprise, and didn’t send in a named prompt to be randomly assigned, there’s always a spare prompt.

SpareThe Thorn of Damocles had long, narrow, sharp-pointed thorns. The slightest pressure would cause them to snap off, after which they could work their way through fur or clothes. Once embedded in the skin their backward-facing barbs made them difficult and painful to remove.
SpareInterpretive dance was not the transformation they expected.
Spare“In truth,” she said, “I’d not expected you to notice I was a vampire.”
SpareWhere have all the flowers gone…
SpareWhen the background music hit the crescendo, the assassins struck!

Whichever way it goes, don’t forget to come back and post or link your prompt response in the comments. Accountability for imagination doesn’t suppress the urge to create, it ignites it! You can even use the header image as a prompt (Fire and Ice, by Cedar Sanderson).



  1. Leigh Kimmel provided me with this week’s challenge: You walk through the empty halls and rooms where once there had been so much activity. And on the table is a single red rose, fresh as if it had been picked that morning.

    The prompt exudes a sense of nostalgia and sadness remembering times past. Hmmm. Perhaps an old school. Or a military training base – perhaps I could close down the Terra Firma…

    Her Imperial Highness Eleanor, Princess of the House of the Trident, and heir to the throne of the Imperial Commonwealth approached the main entrance of WIC Terra Firma for the last time. It had been more than twenty-five years since she had last left Space Force’s training base as a newly-qualified fighter pilot assigned to 12th (F) squadron aboard the WIC Drake.

    Awaiting her just outside was a small welcoming committee, headed by the head of the training base, Carrier Group Captain Victoria Arsmith.

    The welcoming committee came to attention, and saluted. “Welcome to WIC Terra Firma, Your Highness,” greeted Victoria.

    “Thankyou. Shall we do the tour before the ceremony?”

    “Of course, Your Highness. Shall we proceed?”

    The group headed into the building. Eleanor walked alongside Victoria as the pair led the way. Once they were inside, and out of view of the press, Eleanor relaxed. For a short time they didn’t need to act their roles.

    “Where are we going first?” asked Eleanor.

    “Normally, the first stop on the tour would be the simulators, but I think I’ll take you round the dormitories first.”

    Eleanor chuckled. Yes, she did want to see her old room before it was knocked down for good.

    “Thankyou for coming today.”

    “I couldn’t let the replacement be named anything else.” Eleanor was visiting to decommission the base. The replacement had already been built, and would be formally commissioned by her father tomorrow. Decommissioning the Terra Firma before the replacement was commissioned ensured that the replacement could also be named the Terra Firma. Otherwise the replacement would have to be given a different name, and that would never do.

    Privately Eleanor wished that the she didn’t have to do this. Virtually no-one who had ever served in Space Force supported this rebuild-and-replace scheme. Most of the upper echelons of the military of all branches were implacably opposed also. But the bean-counters in the government had noted that expanding the existing training base to meet the growing requirements was more expensive than building a brand new training base with much greater capacity and better training facilities and selling the existing base.

    “What are your plans for the future?”

    “I’ll be continuing in post to set the new Terra Firma on a stable footing. In a couple of years the Sector Commodore post for this sector will become available due to retirements, and I’ll put myself forwards for the post.”

    Eleanor smiled. “Hoping to get the office next to your husband?”

    Vicky chuckled. Her husband was currently the Sector Commodore over the Carrier Sector, in charge of all the pilots on the navy’s carriers, and had an office on the Orbital Station Imperial Crown. “Unlikely. With the new carriers, they’re planning on splitting the Sector into two or three Sectors, and promoting him to Space SubMarshal. He’ll probably get his promotion in a year.”

    The group reached the empty corridors and rooms of the dormitories, Eleanor couldn’t help remembering the near-constant activity while she was training here. Every so often they passed tables on which there used to be vases of flowers. Now each had but one flower – a white rose on one table, a red rose on another, a lily on yet another, each with a different flower. They passed through, passing Eleanor’s old room, and Vicky’s old room.

    “That room was assigned to Victoria Brunswick,” pointed out Vicky.

    HIH Isabelle Victoria, known during her military service as Victoria Brunswick, was Eleanor’s eldest daughter, and Vicky’s god-daughter. “How was she as a Trainee Officer?”

    “She was bold. She came to my office a couple of times in her first term, but when it became clear that I wasn’t going to give her an easier time than her fellows…”

    The pair laughed. They both knew that Victoria was a very confident extrovert.

    “How is Angus doing?” Angus was Vicky’s eldest, about the same age as Victoria.

    “He qualified for the Marines. I’m hoping he’ll end up on a carrier.”

    “With his parents’ example he’ll probably end up a General.”

    Vicky laughed. “If he does I’ll expect you to give him his rank insignia.”

    Eleanor laughed in her turn. She had presented officers with their new rank insignia upon promotion in the past – all the royal house who had served their time in the military were expected to do so – and had presented Vicky with her current rank insignia.

    The party moved on to the flight simulators. As they passed through the simulator complex Eleanor spotted a simulator suite for the Cataphracts – once the Imperial Commonwealth’s top-of-the-line fighter, now assigned to second-rank fighter squadrons.

    “Remember the first time we were in a simulator together?”

    “Don’t remind me. I went from a fighter pilot with dreams of commanding a carrier fighter wing to being sure that I would be lucky if I was allowed to remain serving on board the Ulysses.”

    Eleanor did remember. Vicky had been shown just how much she needed to improve between a top-rank trainee pilot and a top-rank carrier fighter pilot – every new carrier fighter pilot went through the same experience – and it had been a massive shock to her system. Eleanor had helped her through the crisis, and it had proved the foundation of their friendship. “As I recall you improved drastically from there,” she commented.

    “And then I undid it all by crashing my Cataphract.”

    Eleanor laughed. Crashing a fighter that badly-damaged into a hangar on the Ulysses was an achievement that most fighter pilots couldn’t match, and they both knew it.

    The rest of the tour passed with little incident. The two friends took the opportunity to chat all the way around.

    The tour over, the party returned outside the building. Everyone returned to their public roles.

    The formal part of the visit now began.

    “I hereby decommission this base. The name WIC Terra Firma is removed from it, and may be assigned to any other warship or military base as the government and military decree.”

    One final salute. One final lowering of the flags of the Imperial Commonwealth and of its constituent planets. Then the ceremony was over.

    HIH Eleanor turned and returned to her transport. WIC Terra Firma was no more. The name would be re-used for the new training base, but it wouldn’t be the Terra Firma to her.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fiona Grey branched out with…

    The spinach emailed the alert as soon as the troops stepped foot into the field.

    [Using the grapevine network, no doubt. Hum… one idea?]

    “Vegetarians on the march! Arm the cowpies!”

    The oak tree sighed in the wind, wondering what those silly vegetarian troops thought they were doing this time. Oh, well, the plan was laid out, and each and every plant, even the humble carrots, knew what they needed to do. There would be no sprouts lost today!

    [what about?]

    “Army ants on the march again!”

    The vegetables all shivered, and prepared to be chewed on. Those ants just kept coming back, time and time again.

    [Or maybe…]

    Hank tilted his hat back, and watched the sun setting over the nearby mesa. He loved those golden sunsets, even if they did mean that the fields he had worked so hard to plant out here were likely to be invaded again. Still, he chuckled a little, tonight might be different. He had paid those biohackers enough, and they had done a right smart job to help him.

    Sure enough, as the darkness slid over the fields, his cell phone vibrated. He slid it out of the holster, and brought up his email.

    Hah! As soon as the troops stepped foot into the field, the spinach emailed the alert. It was amazing what the biohackers had done with that little plant. And he had carefully planted a nice row of the spinach all around the field to let it stand watch for him. Along with the other plants that the biohackers had worked out to defend his fields.

    As he sat on his horse, watching, the next defenses started to work. The jumping cholla planted near the spinach whapped segments into the legs of the troops, who started hopping, trying to pull those thorns out. Which is when the morning glories started releasing their perfume. The biohackers had changed it into a sickening miasma that burned the eyes, nose, and lungs of the poor troops.

    Within moments, the troops were retreating, limping and sneezing… Wait until they realized what the poison ivy they had pushed aside had done to them!

    Hank had to hand it to those biohackers. And to the plants that had protected his land from being invaded by those darn vegetarians.

    [hum, that’s different]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] A snippet of an idea that will become much more, thanks to AC Young’s inspiration in the first sentence. Thanks, AC! Check out his own prompt submission and more – like what nother Mike did with my suggestion for about the spinach that emailed – at MOTE. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was what I was able to come up with based on Cedar’s prompt. It’s been a week…

    Jake sighed. Moving was a pain no matter what. It was even more of a pain when you were moving from one planet to another. At least the books were packed. They’d started with those because while both he and Serena read a lot, that was on their tablets. These books were mostly ones they had collected. Valuable first editions and no-longer-in-print cookbooks took up most of the space. Current stuff resided on their tablets. He shoved the last box against the wall and looked around. Time to tackle the kitchen.

    Liked by 2 people

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