Week 52 of Odd Prompts

Oh, look, it’s only 360-odd days until Christmas! Plenty of time to get all of your shopping done. Or, you could make art for everyone, using the prompts this year. Name characters for your friends and family, kill them off in creative ways as you write prompt responses, then put them in a book and wrap that up for their stockings! Why not? Costs nothing, and it’s totally unique!

AC YoungThe boxes of stuffed toys were awaiting delivery.Becky Jones
Becky JonesThe heavy cloud covering made landing on the planet veeerrry interesting.Padre
PadreThe rain washed the world clean.Cedar Sanderson
Leigh KimmelShe looked out and it was snowing straight upAC Young
nother MikeSometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you are…Leigh Kimmel
Cedar SandersonTurning over a new leafnother Mike

Well, if you love this idea, and who wouldn’t, but you didn’t send in a prompt last week, grab a spare, and start on next Christmas already.

SpareThere were dragons in the cabbages again this week…
SpareHaving a cat in your briefcase during the sanity hearing may not have been the best idea.
SpareGreen grows the crabgrass… and bites, too!
SpareThis year, New Years Resolutions will be enforced by demons!
SpareThen the AI started running things, and making it work right.

See you next year! Here’s to another year of creative endeavours.

(Header image by Cedar Sanderson, rendered with MidJourney AI, can be used as a prompt)



  1. In this week’s prompt cycle I received Leigh Kimmel’s: She looked out and it was snowing straight up

    It could be an artificial gravity error – but there should be safeties to prevent such happening. It could be magic – but that would require an awful lot of power to produce. It could be a VR game coding malfunction. Or it could be a TV show making a mess of the basics of magic.

    We’re back with Holly and Rose this week.

    “How many times do I have to say I’m sorry? There was an emergency at work, and they called in all the free casters on their books at very short notice.”

    The woman he was speaking to was fuming. Why? Oh, yes, Holly remembered. At the end of the last episode of ‘Mages Incorporated’, Gregory had been summoned to deal with a spell that had gone very badly wrong, and hadn’t told Julia that he wasn’t going to be able to make their date. She’d been dreadfully embarrassed when Gregory hadn’t turned up to the restaurant – and had had to eat alone and then pay for the meal.

    “Every single time we arrange a date you call it off, or don’t even bother to turn up! Every single time you claim it’s an emergency at work, that you’re needed to cast spells. But I haven’t seen any evidence that you can cast a single spell!”

    Gregory looked irritated. ‘Fine!” he snapped. He gestured towards the window, and various white and light blue lines appeared on the TV screen, radiating out from his hand, rearranging themselves into various patterns, then passing through the window.

    “Look outside.”

    Julia went to the window and looked out. The camera followed her. Outside the window the snow that had been falling downwards, was now falling vertically upwards.

    Laughter immediately erupted. Holly looked down to her left, and beheld Rose, her panther pair, laughing uncontrollably.

    Holly didn’t blame Rose in the slightest. She was tempted to join in, but felt that decorum required otherwise. The magical power required to invert gravity like that in even a small area was a long way beyond what a single free magician could manage. Even a paired caster would struggle, and both mage and pair would be visibly exhausted afterwards unless both were much more powerful than Holly and Rose.

    The idea that Gregory, a free magician acting alone, could cast the spell without any obvious ill effects, was utterly ludicrous. It was a classic example of Hollywood scriptwriters, ignorant of the basics of magic, writing whatever they felt like without bothering to check with someone who had an understanding of the subject. And it wasn’t unexpected – the show had a terrible reputation amongst actual free casters, and the ritualists and ritual magicians tended to treat the free casters they knew as more reliable in this area than the TV critics who raved about how brilliant the show was, and how clever the portrayal of the magic was.

    Nonetheless, looking around George and Victoria (her son and daughter) were sitting quietly enraptured with the TV show. They hadn’t taken any notice of Rose’s laughter – it was a common occurrence during the episodes. They loved ‘Mages Incorporated’, and always rushed dinner on the evenings it was on in order to be able to sit down and watch it. As always Holly thought that it was a pity that they didn’t yet understand the actual limits of magical power, but as a teaching aid on magic use the show was harmless – no-one could use what they saw on the show and cast a genuine spell. And if they were still interested in magic in a few years, she could get them started on the basics – Holly was a poor ritual caster, but understood enough to teach the first few lessons before passing them onto a suitable training coven.

    Hadrian, her husband was sitting in the corner reading – he found the whole thing extremely boring, but the couple had agreed that as long as he was in the room just in case he could read whatever he liked.

    Holly carefully kept her face a blank mask, and reached down with her left hand to stroke Rose. She braced herself for more to come. If experience was any guide, there would be at least two more major magical blunders later in the episode. And there was a possibility that at least one of them would be even more ludicrous than the one that had opened this episode. Each one of them would set Rose off, and each one would be very difficult not to laugh at.

    Still, at least she had the joy of the reviews on Casting Parents Anonymous to look forwards to. Some of the reviewers on the site managed to be even funnier than the episodes they were skewering. And because she read them online after the kids had gone to bed, she didn’t have to worry about explaining why she was laughing at a show they loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cedar Sanderson dropped this stocking stuffer on me…

    Turning over a new leaf

    [oh, my. With dragons in the cabbage patch? Hum…]

    The bioengineers swore that they had corrected that little problem in the AI that did the final setup, but Jon still fretted as he started to go through the birth farm. The plants were bearing, so he was pleased to find the rabbits they had asked for in the first set of plants. He turned back the leaves, and carefully picked the baby rabbits off the stems. He put each one in an incubator, and set it to work.

    Then he got to the next patch, and turned over a new leaf. He blinked twice, and shook his head. Drat, that was… that was a baby dragon. Yes, it had cabbage leaves on its skin, but it was still a dragon. Not the goats that he had expected at all.

    [that could be fun?]

    Harold swore he was going to stop writing, one of these days. Still, he found it somehow calming to carefully add to his journal of his life, deep in the jungle. So, turning over a new leaf, he started to add yet another account of what he had been doing today. He carefully scratched the leaf with the rock tip he had shaped, and left a visible scar in the soft surface. By tomorrow, it would dry, leaving a nice readable tale of life in the jungle.

    [hum, that’s kind of silly…]

    Harvey swore as he took out the suspension on the old truck. Darn it, why would anyone drive something that long? Oh, well. He dug into his spares, and turned over a new leaf spring. Yep, that should do the job. Now if he could just get the old leaf spring out…

    [there we go! Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy…]

    He went leafing through his old notebooks, trying to find something exciting to work on. Somehow, it all seemed jaded and old. Then he picked up a new notebook, and turned over a new leaf! The blank page seemed to cry out for a new idea, and he found himself quickly scribbling, ideas flowing.

    [ho, ho, ho…]

    Simon squinted as he turned over a new leaf in the compost heap, and the old mold underneath released a built up reservoir of rot. He wished he could somehow squeeze his nose shut, but touching his face with those gloves after working the compost was a really bad idea.

    [phew! Stinky!]

    [lots of leaves waving in the breeze, but I’m not sure any of them is really that new leaf we were looking for. Keep raking, I guess…]


  3. Very late on this one. I came down with whatever bug is going around I’m feeling better, so finally got this one completed.

    Becky Jones challenged me with “The heavy cloud covering made landing on the planet veeeerrry interesting.”

    “I don’t like this, Sarge.”
    “You scared?”
    “No. Not scared, just concerned about the weather.”
    “It’ll be fine. A little rain won’t hurt you, particularly in your suit.”
    The young commando shook his head. It was clear that the senior NCO was not understanding his concern. “It’s not the rain. We’re trained for that. Besides, I don’t think it’s going to be raining. Have you taken a look at the weather on the target?”
    The Lieutenant glanced over at the soldier. “I haven’t. It’s not something we worry about. Our suits shield us from most of it and it tends to impact our enemies far more than it does us. Why?”
    “The weather report calls for heavy cloud cover from 3000 meters to ground, if not more. We’re doing a combat drop against enemies with modern sensors. We won’t be able to detect the ground once we get into the clouds and so will have to pop our chutes earlier than we might want. And that runs the risk of scattering us. Now, I don’t mind fighting on my own, but it’s nice to have back up. And once we get on the ground, the fog will play havoc with our ability to link up and find the target.”
    Both the non-com and the officer were nodding at this point.
    “Now, I’m not scared and I think we can pull it off. We’re the Imperial Commandoes. We’re the best of the best of the best. But I don’t want us to go in without an appreciation for the risk we’re running above our normal.”
    The sergeant nodded. “Anyone else see any issues? No? Then we drop at 2630.”

    The starship was at maximum stealth as it crossed the area over the target. Heavily shielded against any and all detection systems, including several that the Imperium didn’t think the enemy had, it sliced across the sky like a ghost. Then, the tube covers opened and the ten men in the squad were spat out into the open air high above the target. They oriented on one another, then silently turned over and dove for the ground far below.
    True to the rookie’s concern, there was nothing but a layer of cloud over the valleys where their target should be. The sergeant caught the lieutenant’s eye and carefully nodded, then looked around at the team. He made the hand signal that called for them to tighten up and the commando squad reacted like the professionals they were, drawing their falling bodies into a loose circle that kept them close to one another as they dropped.
    The air started to get thicker around them. The cloud cover was coming up fast, and they still had no idea how much further it was to the ground. Then, they dropped into the fog and lost all visibility and sense of perspective, except down. They popped their chutes and floated down, hoping that they wouldn’t be separated too much. “I hope we can pull this off,” the young commando thought. “’I told you so’ won’t make a blown mission easier.” He sensed the trees rushing by him more than saw them, just before he jerked to a stop as the chute caught on a branch. He pulled his knife to cut himself down. It figured. Why had he volunteered for this again?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s