Week 31 of Odd Prompts

Prompts! Perhaps each offering will fill your heart with peace and joy. Others are likely to spark neurons and neural pathways, as ideas race and bounce across your brain. Ideally, one will tickle your fancy, percolating through the slow drip of quiet contemplation, bursting forth into a art.

FromMessage in a bottleTo
AC YoungThe Sorceress’ ApprenticeFiona Grey
PadreThe fire had burned down to embers…AC Young
Fiona GreyChaos gremlins were, by nature, quite literal.nother Mike
Becky JonesThe wind howled around the house, but within the garden, all was still and quiet.Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeIn the sky overhead hung a flaming sign…Becky Jones
Leigh KimmelABACAB by Genesis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suCNZe3GwkwPadre
Cedar SandersonWhen the boy fell into the cave he looked up and sawLeigh Kimmel

Got an idea, and want to see it come to life? Email oddprompts@gmail.com, and put “spare” in the subject line if you don’t feel like a trade.

SpareThe team’s badge bore three lionesses.
SpareThe word was ambiguous, but the tone was not.
SpareDown by Breakwater Bayou, the frog parties were raucous affairs.
SpareHe spent a long, hard week that night in the desert…
SpareGimme a break boys, and save your soles…

Whether it’s the bare whisper of an idea or a fully formed thought ready to storm the castle walls, we want to hear!

Header image by Fiona Grey



  1. This week the prompt supplied by Padre cycled round to me: The fire had burned down to embers…

    This reminded me of fires lit in pubs or hotel dining rooms. In particular, one evening not that long ago, so I based the below on that (changing many of the core details).

    The small group were directed to a free table in the small, compact, intimate dining room. The four of them each selected a seat, and sat down.

    It had been a long day. Public consultations on a major road scheme were never easy – there were always people who didn’t like the plans for various reasons, and some of them always turned up to ask questions and so on. Today was much more difficult than normal. The hall that was used earlier today was in a village near the path of the new road, a village that was vehemently opposed to the scheme due to the increased noise, pollution, etc. that a main road running that close to the settlement would cause.

    Nine until five, with only a short break to grab some lunch. A continual stream of the public, almost all of whom thought that the scheme was the worst idea since, well, take your pick of history’s bad ideas.

    Fortunately the sort of really irritating objector who was adamant that he was right and the team modelling the new road were wrong stayed away today. But what some considered to be the even worse type, the sort that read everything thoroughly (often more thoroughly than the team), that asked plenty of intelligent questions, that listened to the answers, and had a really likeable personality – a few of those had turned up, and it took a while to deal with all of their concerns (but they’d go away and come up with more questions for the next consultation no doubt). They were very pleasant to deal with, and put a smile on the faces of those who’d dealt with them previously, but dealing with them took time.

    The consultation over for the day, the four had made their way back to their hotel, located in [redacted, in the North of England]. It was now time for their evening meal.

    They ordered their drinks and reviewed the menus. By the time the pints of cider or ale and glasses of wine (needed after such a long day) arrived they had all decided what they wanted, and ordered their main courses.

    By unspoken convention no-one raised the subject of the new road – they risked being dragged in to debates with diners at other tables if they did. Instead they discussed plans for getting home tomorrow, plans for the weekend, families, anything but why they were staying at this hotel tonight.

    As the waiter brought the main courses to their table (a couple of roast beefs, one salmon, and one pork loin) another member of the hotel staff lit the fire.

    The group continued their tired discussions about any subject other than the road. Those discussions continued as the plates in front of each of them emptied. They continued as the empty plates were collected by the waiter.

    There was a pause in the conversation as deserts were ordered, and then another one as they arrived from the kitchen.

    The group continued to converse about any topic under the sun as their puddings gradually made their ways down the diners’ gullets. They continued to converse, no-one wanting to go to their rooms just yet, as the waiter collected the empty bowls.

    It wasn’t until after the fire had burned down to embers before the group finally broke up. Each of them headed upstairs to go to bed. The next morning they’d all check out and head home.


  2. I got prompted by Leigh Kimmel with another of her song prompts, Abacab by Genesis. I had no idea where to go with it, but I played around with it a bit and this is what came out. I think it’s a fey and not a demon. I have no idea what it’s tied to, although it could be another of the Urban Fantasy case files.


    The man behind the mirror smiled as he contemplated his latest subject. He had been waiting a long time for this one. The world was right, currently, and this one just might be crazy enough and foolish enough to warp things the little bit that he needed to escape.
    The signs were all there. Her love of poetry. Just the right mix of distain for the system and talent for rhythm and rhyme. The proper combination of insanity and stability. Overweight with lime green hair that should have warned off potential mates, except that everyone in her circle was like that. A fascination with the occult and no understanding of the dangers involved. In short, the very model of the modern General English major.

    * * *

    She stopped and stared into space. It was just on the edge of thought. She was so close to a breakthrough. Almost ready to compose her masterpiece, the work that would show the world her poetic genius. Obviously, it would be meterless. She couldn’t be so conventional as to compose her greatest work in free verse, though. Anyone could do that. But meterless with a bizarre rhyming pattern? It was perfect. Now she just had to figure out the proper pattern…
    Let’s see. Shakespearean and Petrarchan were right out. Again, anyone could do those. But what about mixing sextets like in a sestina, but with rhyming words? ABCABC? No, too easy. ABCCBA? Again, far too conventional and symetric. Maybe ABACAB? That felt right. Just right. The perfect mix of chaos and order with a hint of anarchy. She bent her head over her desk and began to write.

    * * *

    He could feel the prison walls begin to thin. Just a little more of a nudge here, just a bit more there and he’d be out of this prison. He needed just a crack in the mirror to seep through, then he’d be across the floor, through a hole in the window pane and out into the world. Soon he would be free. Soon he would have his revenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fiona Grey rolled the rpg dice with…

    Chaos gremlins were, by nature, quite literal.

    [chaotic, neutral, lawful… literal, neutral, metaphoric? Hum, we may have a matrix here…]

    Harold couldn’t believe the GM did that to them. They were already lost in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike, and then they rolled the dice once more, and the GM announced that now they had a chaos gremlin blocking the passage ahead of them?

    After some discussion, they pointed out that if the gremlin was blocking the passage, they just needed to move the blocks, and then they could go ahead. After all, chaos gremlins were, by nature, quite literal, so if it was blocking the passage, it would just be setting up blocks, right?

    [that seems pretty silly, but…]

    [huh, what about a magician ordering the chaos gremlin to blow his enemy away, and watching the poor little munchkin huff and puff, but no matter how hard it blows, the other person just laughs at it?]

    Its knot a bhig probelimb, butt …

    [let’s try something else…]

    George smiled when he invoked the gremlin. Now he would get his revenge!

    “I order you to get James Cavendish in hot water!”

    The gremlin tilted his head to the side, then vanished. Moments later, it reappeared, and nodded.

    “I have done as you commanded. James Cavendish is now sitting in a hot bath.”

    George gritted his teeth.

    “No, no, no. I want you to give him a hard time!”

    The gremlin shrugged, and disappeared again. In a few moments, it came back.

    “As you commanded, I have rubbed his back with a stiff brush. It was quite hard!”

    George closed his eyes, then blinked them several times.

    “What kind of a gremlin are you? I thought I invoked you properly.”

    The gremlin grinned.

    “Ah, now, let me introduce myself. I am Alpha, a chaos gremlin. We pride ourselves on being literal. So, you know we will carry out your orders exactly!”

    George shook his head.

    [hum, that might work…]

    [eek, running out of time, and the chaos gremlin seems to be multiplying the possibilities? Oh, no, what shall I do?]


    Liked by 1 person

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