Week 30 of Odd Prompts

Writing is an introspective task. Perhaps, sometimes, we should balance it with the outward perspective of getting up, going out, and doing things. Whatever those things may be. Which then, you realize, leads to more writing material or art ideas or whatever catches your fancy. Imagination needs fuel. We provide some, here at MOTE. We also challenge you to consider something: in the last two years, what have you stopped doing that you used to do? What activities were curtailed by force at first, and now you are just out of the habit? Why not regain some of those experiences?

PrompterPromptPromptee
Becky JonesThe air outside the ship was thick and very damp.Leigh Kimmel
Cedar SandersonSomething moved deep within the darknessBecky Jones
AC YoungIt was the premiere of the monarch’s latest composition…nother Mike
PadreThe drums throb deep in the jungleFiona Grey
Fiona GreyCatching plot bunnies with a butterfly netAC Young
Leigh KimmelYou miss your turn, and as you try to find a way to get going the right way again, you go deeper and deeper into the forest. You go around a curve and in the middle of a clearing stands a post office, all by itself.Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeWhen the curtain fell, it dropped off the edge of the stage and into the first row…Padre

And if you didn’t send something in, there are always the spares!

SpareEvery time I think I’ve got a handle on Handel…
Spare“You are going to kill me?” “No. Nothing so kind as that. Instead I give you the Worst Curse of them all.” “Which is?” “Immortality. Now you get to see your friends, your family, your worlds, your hopes, your dreams, die over and over and over.” “You’re immortal, aren’t you?” “Welcome to HELL.”
SpareWaiter, what is this fly doing in my soup? Drowning, I believe, sir…
SpareZombies moaning in the moonlight, werewolves howling at the sky…

See you in the comments, perhaps with a tail of small adventures and renewed enthusiasm for life! Wait, did I mean tail… well, why not. Leave it. I mean, it’s the internet, who’s going to know?

15 comments

  1. In this week’s prompt cycles, Fiona Grey supplied: Catching plot bunnies with a butterfly net

    I had a lot of fun taking this prompt very literally. I hope you enjoy reading it.

    He read through his first two chapters. Not bad, though first party approval wasn’t necessarily worth the ink it was printed with. It was third party approval or otherwise that determined how good his story actually was.

    What would happen in chapter 3? He didn’t have any ideas. But a smile crept across his face regardless. It was time to hunt the plot bunnies! He headed out into his back garden.

    He bred rabbits specifically for this purpose. He had ten currently – five pairs, the same number as Fibonacci had three months into his famous rabbit-breeding problem (or was it four, he could never remember).

    Out they came from their hutches. The process was the same – he picked the rabbit up out of its hutch, stroked it for a few seconds, then put on one of the collars he’d prepared for the occasion, before letting it loose in the rabbit-run he’d built in the garden.

    Once all of the rabbits had been let loose, it was time to catch them again. He went indoors again and picked up his butterfly net.

    Then it was time to play the game of catching the plot bunnies with his butterfly net. The bunnies were faster than him, and more agile. It wasn’t easy, but it was enjoyable and fun.

    He caught the first. It was Amber. He extracted her out of the net, and hugged her for a full quarter of a minute. He removed her collar, and put her back into her hutch. The collar he put on the side, in front of the number 1.

    Time to catch the next bunny.

    He kept it up until he had caught them all again, snagging each of them one by one in his butterfly net. When he finished he had all ten collars lined up in order.

    Now it was time to find out what plot twists he needed to include in Chapter 3. He carried the collars back inside, making sure he didn’t mix them up.

    Back at his desk, sitting in front of his desk he picked up the first collar again, and extracted the plot element he’d stored in a secret compartment. Oooh! That looked fun! He could see how to incorporate that in the rest of the book.

    He picked up the second collar also. That collar’s plot element he also extracted and read. That would work well with the first.

    The remaining eight collars he left alone. He’d extract another pair of plot twists the next time he got stuck.

    Time to get on with the story. How was he going to fit the two new ideas into his tale? Ah, of course! He started to type once more.

    At some time he’d have to refill the two collars he’d just used. He’d have to be on look out for story prompts and plot twists. He had until he needed to catch the plot bunnies again – but he couldn’t leave it that long, as he would have ten collars to refill in the meantime.

    He continued to type away. If he was lucky he’d be able to make the last plot bunny hunt last for a few books. Otherwise his current work would be a pain to edit, and constructing a coherent plot as a superstructure would be a nightmare.

    He decided to stop worrying about the future. He’d enjoy the fruits of this plot bunny hunt for as long as he could. It was time now to keep typing away. The rest of the afternoon and evening passed quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I got a prompt for nother Mike this week. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but it turned into a character study for the characters from the short story I started, but never finished.

    Prompt: When the curtain fell, it dropped off the edge of the stage and into the first row…

    The scene in front of Jalen was indescribable. The market was a riot of color, a shock to all the senses, as masses of humanity flowed through the stalls under the morning sun. Ten thousand scents assaulted his nose, everything from the familiar odor of oil and leather and the overly ripe stench of dried fish, to the unfamiliar and more exotic smells of fruits from far south and east.
    Fenrix laughed at the look on Jalen’s face. “This is something else, isn’t it?” he said, smiling.
    “I never knew there were this many people in the world,” Jalen replied.
    “Well, keep your hand on your coin bag and come on,” Fenrix told him. “There is much to see and we only have a couple hours before we need to get back to camp.”
    Fenrix led the way deeper into the market. At one point, they stopped at a small stall where a plump lady was selling some type of meat on a stick. The meat was tough and charred on the outside, but it wasn’t the worst meal Jalen had ever eaten. They paused again briefly to trade a couple small copper coins for a small bag of chopped fruit Jalen didn’t recognize along with a measured portion of a fiery spice to dip the pieces in, then they continued to wander the booths, looking at the various wares on offer and ignoring the imploring voices of the merchants as they tried to get them to buy things they didn’t need.
    As they neared one of the central hubs, voices raised in anger could be heard over the din, followed by shouts of laughter. As they entered the space, they found a crowd gathered round a small booth that was set up like a theater stage. Two figures with oversized heads were arguing back and forth across the stage in a very exaggerated manner.
    Jalen couldn’t tell what they were arguing over, but it seemed to be some sort of commentary on imperial politics. As he watched, the puppets chased each other around the stage, still arguing. Then, as the male puppet backed away from the lady, he bumped the pole holding up the curtain. The curtain fell off, rolled over the edge of the stage, and landed in the front row of spectators.
    The puppets froze, looked out at the crowd, down at the fallen curtain, then at each other.
    “Now look what you’ve done, Leo!” cried the lady puppet.
    “I didn’t mean to, Theophana. It was an accident!” the male replied.
    Jalen had no idea where the lady pulled the club out of, but she began to beat the male all around the stage to gales of laughter from the crowd, then off behind the stage and out of sight.
    The puppeteers’ helpers walked through the crowd, passing a hat to collect coins, before grabbing the curtain and putting it back on the stage, ready for the next performance while the crowd dispersed.
    Fenrix nodded, clearly enjoying the performance, but very thoughtful. “Come on, Jalen. Let’s keep going. I want to grab a kerchief for Selena before we head back.”
    As they wound their way to a small fabric stall he knew, Fenrix seemed lost in thought.
    “What’s on your mind?” Jalen asked.
    “These southerners. These imperials. They openly mock the emperor and empress in the public squares. I’d say it isn’t a good sign, but they always do this.”
    “So, what do you think it means?”
    “I’ve no idea. I’m just a simple barbarian from the north. I get paid to fight, not think. I let my officers do the thinking, take the emperor’s gold, and go home to our village when my tour is done.”
    Jalen nodded thoughtfully and followed his friend through the market.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. AC Young brought out the Royal carpet…

    It was the premiere of the monarch’s latest composition…

    [aha! Off to the side, there’s the monarch butterflies fluttering, but we shan’t go there. Just stick with plain old royalty, right. Now, composition? Musical, with all the different genres there? Ballet, painting… ]

    The opera house was crowded, as usual. It was the premiere of the monarch’s latest composition, after all. Oh, not the monarch himself, but his protégés. Since he adored good music, he had decided some years ago to run a contest open to everyone in the country, with judges selecting the best of the submitted works, and finally, selecting the yearly winner. Which was performed by the Royal orchestra, with an opening night that was eagerly awaited by all. For not only the aristocracy was invited to attend, no, the monarch insisted on inviting a random selection of people from every part of the country and every level of society. They were seated with the aristocracy, and often found themselves exchanging comments as they waited for the music to start, or during the breaks in the music.

    It was not too unusual for a commoner to find themselves talking with a duke, or some such.

    So, this evening, …

    [blah, I don’t like the infodump! Nuts]

    [and my hands hurt today, so…]

    [dang it! Hands hurting, so I’m not writing anything right now. March of the monarch, how about a piano concerto, argh!]

    Heather couldn’t believe it. Marc had asked her to join him at an evening concert, but he hadn’t told her which one. When he handed her out of the carriage, it was the Royal Opera House! She had heard about it. Tonight was the premiere of the monarch’s latest composition, and she was going to hear it first hand. She didn’t care what kind of seats Marc had gotten, being at the premiere was wonderful.

    Of course, as they walked in, she noticed that most of the crowd were… well, richly dressed? Her black dress and pearls, while quite respectable, were not matched up to the fashion around them. Still, even as she glanced at one woman, wearing what must be a real fox as a scarf, Marc glanced at her, then saw where she was looking. He leaned over, and whispered in her ear.

    “Do you suppose he ever bites her neck?”

    Heather chuckled, and looked at him.

    “I’m not really dressed for this, you know.”

    He leaned back a little, looked her up and down, and then smiled.

    “I think you’re dressed perfectly. And now, we should find our seats.”

    He took her arm, and walked through the crowd. He showed the ushers the tickets, and they conducted them to a very nice little box.

    The rest of the evening was just a dream!

    [eek, that’s not much better…]

    [sigh, anyone else want to take a crack at it? It’s a Royal prompt, after all… I like the prompt, but this week is just misery hot here in Japan…]

    Liked by 1 person

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