Week 28: Odd Prompts

Observation is a powerful thing. Quiet contemplation can lead to new ideas, new connections, even resolve that pesky problem when it’s percolating in the back of your brain. People watching in all sorts of locations – festivals, shopping centers, and sporting events are fantastic options – can spark ideas, especially if you play a “what if?” game about the characters you spot. Why did that man have a goat on a leash, anyway?

I can’t speak to what it’s like for extraverts, but I’m assuming it’s a different perspective, probably more vibrant, maybe more focused on the immediate now with a smaller range. Based upon introvert observations, I suspect they’d become good friends with John the goat farmer, who was cleverly using his marketing skills to sell goat milk soap (there was also a petting zoo).

What do prompts bring us? Worlds we didn’t know we had within us, and worlds we develop through observation and questions. So prompt on! And don’t be afraid to join in with a spare.

Fiona GreyThe leprechauns needed a way to prevent their enemies from finding their convention, but the rainbows kept giving the location away.AC Young
AC YoungThe red dragon danced with the white unicorn.Cedar Sanderson
Becky JonesThe stones shifted to spell out…nother Mike
Leigh KimmelThe door is leaning against its frame. When you pull it open, you see….Fiona Grey
nother MikeWhen they lifted the box, the spider escaped.Becky Jones
Cedar Sanderson…pressed the button and refreshed time…Leigh Kimmel
SpareThe spell to release the creature(s) bound into a standard was one of the more effective in the spellbook of a war wizard.
SpareShe’ll be riding six white horses when she comes…
SpareThe Tipsy Mango food truck had a porthole to…
SpareEmerging from the fog came the herd.
SpareShe drank Coors Light from a wine glass
SpareWe had joy. We had fun. We had phasers* set on stun. (*Or other device…)

See you in the comments, with your created world and characters both!

Header image by Fiona Grey



  1. This week, Fiona Grey’s gift cycled round to me: The leprechauns needed a way to prevent their enemies from finding their convention, but the rainbows kept giving the location away.

    Was there a practical solution? Could I work in the science of rainbows, or did I need to treat them as magical objects?

    “My fellow leprechauns, we all know what the most serious problem afflicting our glorious convention is.”

    The chair of the special committee was suddenly interrupted by a hall full of leprechauns yelling “Humans!”, “Thieves!” or some variation thereof.

    “Yes, yes.” The speaker motioned that the hall should calm down. “There are many greedy humans who are only after our gold. Only a small proportion of the entire, but they are persistent. They follow our rainbows over and over again. It has proved extremely difficult to prevent these lower orders of mankind from finding out where we have agreed to hold our conventions and rob us all.

    “We have tried many things. Ten years ago, we tried congregating at various intermediate points, and then using the same rainbow from there. But the thieves still found us. Fifteen years ago, we tried inverting the colours on our rainbows, but the humans just started checking both ends of each rainbow, and so it didn’t help us in the slightest.

    “This time we staggered our arrivals, and the long delays between rainbows seemed to work, for we haven’t had any unwelcome interruptions.

    “But this isn’t a sustainable solution. All of us have had to agree to spend months here just so that we could have a fortnight’s convention. All of us have had to abandon many long-term tricks so that we could keep our location a secret from those who only care about our gold.

    “The Special Committee for the Safety of the Leprechaun Convention have been meeting all this week. We have heard your complaints about the failures of our previous efforts to keep the location secret. We have heard your complaints about the extreme inconvenience of the current means for doing so.

    “We regret that we have only come up with one solution to our problems. We must abandon our current means of transportation, and permit the rainbow to be a purely physical phenomenon. The committee have discussed the matters with other fey, and have determined that teleportation will work. It will require a little effort for each of us to learn the new spell. And we can still use the rainbow for effect, when departing after tricking a suitable mark.

    “I believe that now is the time to turn the floor over to the ordinary conventioners. The committee awaits your commentary on our proposal with interest.”

    There was a second or two of silence. Then the hall erupted in uproar. The traditionalists were all determined to prevent the rainbow being degraded into a mere trick of the trade. No sooner had the modernists heard that the traditionalists were against the proposal, than they started yelling as loudly as they could in favour of the committee’s idea – they didn’t want the current means of keeping the convention secret to continue, and any means of ending them were fine by them.

    Eventually the con of leprechauns quieted down. They gradually realised that yelling over one another wasn’t getting them anywhere. But emotions were still running extremely high. Taking it in turns, they spoke one after another, alternately yelling at the committee for suggesting such a heinous solution to the problem, and yelling at the traditionalists for wanting the current mess to continue.

    Eventually decorum started to return to the hall. It had taken a full two hours, longer than anyone had expected, but eventually they were able to put the new proposal to a vote. It failed. So they put the status quo to the vote. It also failed. A quickly constructed proposal to reconsider the options during the next convention was then put to the con. It just about passed, to the chair’s great relief.

    The Special Committee for the Safety of the Leprechaun Convention was not best pleased by the “solution”, but under the circumstances they recognised that it was better than their best plans being rejected outright.

    It would be another three months before every convention attendee was able to head back home. It would then be another nine-and-a-half years before the leprechauns started to assemble for their next convention. Ten years from now… Hopefully, the Special Committee would either be able to come up with something else (extremely unlikely) or their current plan would be approved.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’m thinking that the above incident is set sometime in the Middle Ages in Ireland (so all the thoughts and speech has been translated from the Irish of the time into English).

        Your suggestion might work in the modern day – especially given the leprechaun’s reputation as a trickster – tricking the ignorant to swamp the convention with people uninterested in gold in order to protect their gold would fit. But if we’re working several centuries before anyone was interested in rebadging the rainbow in that way…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky Jones postulated…

    The stones shifted to spell out…

    [oh, my… I should probably apologize…]

    He thought at first it was just a nightmare. There was an avalanche of stones, surrounding him. And then it started raining croissants! Soon, he was surrounded by stones and croissants. And then they started moving.

    The stones shifted to spell out words. He read them, hesitantly.

    “He’s a pinball Wizard?”

    What? No… they shifted again, and this time the croissants moved, too.

    “I wanna rock and roll all night… and party every day?”

    That’s when it hit him. Of course! It was the curse of the rock and roll wizard! The stones moved again…

    “One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock…”

    It was going to be a long, long night! Full of oldies! Rock and roll heaven!

    [whew, I better quit there. Bread and stones may break my bones…]

    Liked by 2 people

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