Week 51 of Odd Prompts

We’re getting closer toward another year’s closure of odd prompts. The closure of the year is worth a reflection on habits built and improvements made as a somewhat arbitrary date approaches. Here, at more than most other place, you can see what it is you’ve done all year.

Want to join us in this habit for the coming year? You’ll find it helps prime the creative pump, taking part in the prompt challenges. All you have to do is email a prompt, in the form of a phrase or sentence, to oddprompts at gmail dot com, formatting that as an email address. If you’d rather not commit and receive a randomly assigned prompt challenge, then you can just include the word ‘spare’ in the email subject line, and we’ll slip it into the anonymous spare pile. Then, on Wednesday morning, take a look at your prompt. You can write, make art, or take a photo. So many creative ways to run with a prompt! Post the results of your endeavour in the comments, and wait to see what your prompt prompted in someone else’s brain.

Fiona GreyThe virus made her a living prison.Becky Jones
AC YoungI hope that that’s insufficiently unclear.Leigh Kimmel
Padre“The candles burned low.”AC Young
Leigh Kimmel“Smooth Operator” by Sade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TYv2PhG89APadre
Becky JonesI was drifting through when it hit me…Cedar Sanderson
nother MikeThe weather forecast called for cold and lizardly weather…nother Mike
Cedar SandersonAim small, miss smallFiona Grey

Spare prompts are for those who couldn’t commit to a prompt for the week. Or someone new. Or… add one onto your prompt challenge prompt for the cherry on top of a creation.

Spare“Make sure to get chicken nuggets and duct tape on your way back!”
SpareThe monster in the house was wearing flipflops
SpareCatch a falling star and put it in your pocket…
SpareThe salamander in the oven was grinning when we opened the door.
SpareThe pictures in the kitchen of dancing cooked turkeys seemed a little odd.

See you in the comments! Let’s get ready for the new year of prompt challenges.

Header image by Fiona Grey



  1. For the fourth prompt of Advent Padre gave to me: “The candles burned low.”

    After a few ideas went through my head, I went with a Christmas Eve service.

    It was Christmas Eve in the realm of magical creatures. Many had gathered together in the local temple. The service was being broadcast live for the benefit of those who couldn’t make it, including the pairs of human mages, who all had duties preventing their return to the magical realm.

    The temple was lit only by candles around the walls.

    All present had been greeted by the Servants, and the traditional opening hymn had been sung. Now the long night’s vigil was being silently observed.

    One by one the candles went out.

    When the last light had faded away, a voice called out from the East end of the temple, just underneath the great East Window. “Light, separated from its source, fails.”

    Then from the West: “Peace, disconnected from its source, is fragile and easily broken.”

    From the North: “Goodness, separated from its source, is easily corrupted.”

    Finally, from the South: “Salvation, disconnected from its source, is impossible.”

    Silence fell once more. The candles had been deliberately chosen so that they would all fail just after 11.

    At midnight the town clock struck the hour. No sooner had the first sound of the bell been heard in the temple, than one of the Servants – a fire drake standing in the centre of the temple, where the two corridors crossed – reversed the flows, and cast a fire spell.

    The Central candle, at the centre of the temple lit. “The light shines in the darkness!”

    Those present responded: “And the darkness cannot overcome it!”

    More magic, and a candle at the East end was lit. “The source of light eternal has entered the world!”

    Those present responded: “All glory, honour and praise to the Creator of Light!”

    The West candle was lit. “The one who gives peace unmatched has entered the world!”

    Those present responded: “All glory, honour and praise to the God of Peace!”

    The North candle was lit. “The one who defines goodness has entered the world!”

    Those present responded: “All glory, honour and praise to the Fount of Goodness!”

    Finally the South candle was lit. “The saviour of the worlds has entered the world!”

    Those present responded: “All glory, honour and praise to the Saviour of All!”

    A lone voice arose in song. It sang the first verse of the Hymn of Dawning, the traditional hymn celebrating the birth of the saviour, sung as always a cappella.

    All present raised their voices at the opening of the second verse. The remaining verses filled the temple with sound and with great joy.

    As the hymn was sung more candles were lit, running down the centre of the main east-west corridor, and down the centre of the north-south corridor, connecting the Central candle with the East, West, North and South candles. The temple filled with light.

    After the Hymn of Dawning, there was a short period of silence, then a final blessing from one of the Servants.

    The service over, the main doors opened, and those present dispersed.

    The second-most important service of the year was over for another year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My dear Bovine Buddy! For you, we will get a set of those slipper-socks, with the leather soles and stretchy tops, to help keep those hooves from scratching the floors. Okay? Although thinking about flipflops for hooves… maybe something like a balloon with a solid bottom? Or you could glue them right on there, couldn’t y’a?


  2. Nother Mike expostulated… (wait a minute, I got my own prompt? Is that legal?)

    The weather forecast called for cold and lizardly weather…

    [what the heck. Let’s try to add in one of the spares? “Make sure to get chicken nuggets and duct tape on your way back!” Should be good… so, who is going where that they check the weather forecast, and what happens on the trip? Let’s see…]

    Lamont shook his head as he climbed into the Jeep. First, this morning, the weather forecast called for cold and lizardly weather. When he laughed at that, his roommate, George, just looked serious, and said, “That’s not good.” So then when he said he was going to the store, he called out, “Make sure to get chicken nuggets and duct tape on your way back.” Lamont thought he knew what was going on. He expected that they would actually have a rain of newts or geckos or some kind of lizard. After all, they lived in the borderlands, where things got weird. Then… George would probably make some kind of trap with the duct tape and chicken nuggets. Actually, thinking about it, Lamont could visualize it. Little cones of duct tape, with the sticky inside, and a chicken nugget stuck to them. So the lizard would run into the cone, trying to get to the hot nugget, and get stuck on the duct tape. Hey, he had seen George catch that snake that was eating their eggs with a similar trap.

    Lamont banged his head against the steering wheel, then straightened up and started the Jeep. Time to get to the store, pick up supplies, and come back. Then he would spend the rest of the day making duct tape cones.

    Somehow, watching lizards fall from the sky would be a relief.

    [eek, that feels infodumpy… Still, it’s better than the story I didn’t get time to write yet! Happy Holidays, everyone!]


  3. Leigh Kimmel challenged me with another of her song prompts this week, “Smooth Operator” by Sade. It seemed to fit Father Michael more than Drak, so I went with a continuation of something from a few weeks back. I’m not sure if I like how this one went, but it will do for now.

    “Talk to me, Roberto. What is going on?”
    “You wouldn’t understand.” The young man looked miserable, but defiant, hunched over in his chair with his arms crossed.
    Only years of self-discipline kept Father Michael from laughing. Only a slight smile showed on his face, converted to kindliness by the sympathetic look in his eyes. “Lad, I’ve not always been what you see here. Try me.”
    Roberto shook his head. “I just don’t see a way out.” The priest nodded, encouraging him to continue.
    “There isn’t anything for me. There are no jobs around here, no way to get into college with my grades, and with the only other paths to success, I’ll end up in an early grave or in jail like my dad. At least with magik, I can eventually get the stuff I really want. Money, power, beautiful girls.”
    Father Michael looked at him and nodded sagely. “You feel like there is way out of your current situation. What do you think it’s going to cost?”
    “I doubt it will cost anything. You do these things and you get power. That’s all there is to it.”
    “But at what cost?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “There is always a cost to these things, even if it’s not stated. I have a friend who comes to see me occasionally. It doesn’t matter who it is and I won’t tell you, though you’d recognize the name.”
    “If you looked at him, you would think he has everything. He’s a professional athlete, rich, at the top of his game. All the women want him, all the men wish they were him. He’s known as a smooth operator, flying across the country in the off season, going to Hollywood parties, hitting the night clubs in New York, visiting the hot spots in Europe. He seems to have it all.”
    “He comes to see me, I think, because he’s lonely. He’s told me that I’m the only person in his life that wants nothing from him. The only person in his life that he is certain just wants to be his friend. It’s a horrible place to live. In a very real way, he has gained the world, but only at the cost of his soul.”
    Roberto was silent for a couple minutes as he absorbed the story. “So, what do I do?”
    Father Michael smiled. “It’s up to you. Come talk to me next week. I have some ideas about how to get you out of here without getting to jail or dead. I don’t think you need the magic for it either.”
    Roberto had a bit of a thoughtful look on his face as he left Father Michael’s office and rejoined his grandmother for their trip home. Father Michael had given him much to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

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