Week 3 of Odd Prompts: 2023 Edition

Greetings, friend, and welcome to the land of mythical creatures and fire-breathing heroes! Here you’ll find helpful but secretly murderous robots, dancing ferns sneezing from the ritual incense, and those dastardly humans putting themselves into troublesome situations again.

But that’s why you’re here, isn’t it – to help create those tricky situations and resolve them in a story challenge?

Great! You’re in the right place. If you want to swap, send in an idea to oddprompts@gmail.com. Give one, get one; it’s that simple.

AC YoungOnly after pressing start on the automated process did it become clear that it would take 28 hours to completeLeigh Kimmel
Becky Jones“Dude! Those waves are gnarly!”Fiona Grey
Cedar SandersonThe mistake was adding a trifle of truffle to the triflenother Mike
Fiona Grey“Don’t worry, it’s just one of our traditional Scottish water ghosts. Enjoy your stay!”Padre
Leigh KimmelJason Mraz “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW17WAwMcoQAC Young
nother MikeIt’s just a jump to the left. (Sorry, Rocky Horror Show PTSD…)Becky Jones
PadreWhatever you do, don’t touch the glass.Cedar Sanderson

Don’t want to commit, but have an idea? Send in the prompts! Just put “spare” in the subject line.

SpareThe pack didn’t split as expected.
SpareKeep blinking…
Spare“Well, that explains his optimism.” The sergeant spat and turned away.
SpareThe gryphon’s fiery breath melted the fire hydrant.
SpareThe weeds grew through the sidewalk, cracking the concrete, and blooming…
SpareThe cat simply stared at the dragon.

And, of course, share your creations in the comments. See you next week!

Header image by Fiona Grey



  1. This week Leigh Kimmel and I had a prompt exchange, with me receiving: Jason Mraz “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)”

    I checked the lyrics, and the song seems to be endorsing living for today, and not worrying about tomorrow.

    So, if someone were to adopt those principles, what could go wrong?

    Live for today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

    These were the two principles on which Jason had built his life.

    And the first had just caused a flaming row with his wife.

    Earlier he’d noticed that the local electronics store had put a 55” TV on sale. It was perfect for the living room, replacing the existing smaller one.

    Live for today. He could afford it, and he’d enjoy watching things on it more than he would their current set. So he went to buy it.

    But he was interrupted by his wife. She was not at all impressed. The existing TV was good enough, and they were supposed to be saving their money for a deposit on a house.

    Jason tried to explain, but she was having none of it. He tried to persuade her, but everything he said just made things worse.

    Things got bad to worse, and before long they were yelling at each other. He’d shouted many things that he didn’t really mean, and which he now regretted. He was just so frustrated at not being allowed to buy what he would enjoy.

    Eventually he had stormed off in one direction, and his wife in another.

    As he calmed down, he remembered again that he loved his wife. He valued her long-term thinking as a bulwark against his excesses. And the last thing he wanted to do was to upset her.

    He went to find her. He didn’t have to look very hard. She was in the first place he looked.

    As before when she was annoyed, or worse, she had retreated to her sewing room, where she worked on her quilts. Jason expected her to stay there for some time as she calmed down, and if the past was any guide she’d lose track of time as she worked.

    As a first gesture of apology, Jason made a mug of tea, and took it in to her. As he’d thought, she’d already finished her previous mug, so he swapped his full one for her empty one. She might never notice the change, but it was a gesture of love, so it didn’t matter.

    In the meantime, while his wife was working on her quilting, the evening meal needed to be prepared. Jason threw out the previous plan, and set about cooking her favourite meal.

    Whenever he had time to do so, he looked in on her, and topped up her tea as needed.

    It was nearly two hours before the meal was ready. Just before Jason needed to call her to eat, the smell attracted her out of her sewing room.

    She smiled, and suddenly all was well in the world once more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cedar Sanderson gave us a skosh…

    The mistake was adding a trifle of truffle to the trifle

    [actually, I think it was the trouble started when she added a trifle of truffle to the trifle, but it does trip off the tongue, doesn’t it? Except that reminds me about the trouble with tribbles, which we probably don’t want to drag into this, do we?]

    [trifle? Layers of spongecake soaked in sherry, fruit, custard, and whipped cream to top it all off! Or perhaps trifling with her affections? Hum… and truffle is a fungus, edible and expensive? Or maybe those chocolates?]

    Harold thought he had finally pleased his mother. He had tried so hard, and she seemed to enjoy the dinner. All six courses, cooked in his own kitchen, with his own hands. Right up until he served the trifle for dessert, and she began to eat it.

    Her spoon dipped into the whipped cream and custard, and she had a bite of that. She smiled. Then she dug in a little deeper, and pulled up a heaping spoonful of the next layer. She started to chew that, and her brow bent. Her eyebrows came together, and she leaned back, closing her eyes as she chewed. And swallowed. Then her lips worked for a moment.

    Her eyes opened and she stared at him.

    “What, pray tell, did you do to the fruits! I have never tasted anything quite so strange! What did you add to your trifle?”

    Harold bit his lip, and looked at the dish. The clear glass showed the spongecake layer on the bottom, doused in sherry. Then the fruit, a layer of pieces, which is here that trouble lay. And of course, the custard and whipped cream on top. He shook his head. He really thought he had figured out just the right touch to make her enjoy it. But, clearly, the mistake was adding a trifle of truffle to the trifle. Even if Mother did say she loved truffles in everything.

    “Well, Mother, I used strawberries, melon, and other fruits. With just a touch of your favorite, truffles. So you might say, a trifle of truffle in the trifle is truly terrible?”

    She squeezed her eyes shut, and then popped them open. Then she giggled. And shook her head.

    “I have said I love truffles in everything. But, Harold, I don’t think anyone else would have thought of putting them in a trifle. Even a trifle of truffle in the trifle is… terrible!”

    Then she laughed, and pushed the whole dish away.

    Harold sighed. The dinner hadn’t been quite the success he wanted, but apparently it was amusing.

    The next time, he would try putting those other truffles in, the chocolate ones he found in the store…

    [there we go! A snippet in the life…]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fiona Grey prompted me with: “Don’t worry, it’s just one of our traditional Scottish water ghosts. Enjoy your stay!”

    Hmm. I don’t know much about Scottish mythology and folklore. [Heads off to Wikipedia] Hmm, if I riff ghost to spirit…

    “I’ll be taking your horse, my good man.”
    “And why would that be?”
    “Because I’m English and you’re a bloody Scot. That’s why.”
    Angus looked up at the Englishman who towered over him. The horse was his livelihood and, while not the only thing he owned in the world, it was one of the most important. It was a fine gelding, more of a farm horse than something a fine English gentleman should be riding, but it was probably useless telling him that. He thought for a second.
    “Well, lad. If you want him, he’s all yours. I’ll just have to go back to using my fine stallion over in the back field by the loch.”
    The Englishman gave Angus a suspicious look, then sneered. “If this isn’t your best horse, then lead me to the other one. I deserve the best.”
    Angus shrugged and nodded, then led the way to back pasture. There in the field was the finest horse the Englishman had ever seen. It was black with white boots, a long flowing mane and tail, and looked strong and spirited. He smiled.
    “What are you waiting for? Give me your saddle and I’ll be off.”
    Angus bowed his head submissively. “Yes, my lord,” and pulled the tack off the horse.
    The Englishman smiled and saddled the stallion, then ran a hand along its flank, before he mounted up. “This is a horse fit for an English gentleman.”
    No sooner had he mounted, though, than the horse began to buck and rear. “Woah! Woah!” called the Englishman, but the horse continued to buck. The Englishman screamed, “Damn you! What kind of horse is this?” as he stayed glued to his seat, seemingly unable to be thrown off or dismount even if he wanted to.
    “That’s no horse, lad. That’s an each-uisge. Don’t worry. It’s one of our friendly Scottish water ghosts. Or spirits. Enjoy your stay.”
    A couple seconds later, the creature took off towards the loch with the man still astride, screaming increasingly desperate pleas for help, before they faded into silence as the waters of the loch closed over his head. A welter of red briefly stained the water far out, then even that vanished, leaving no sign the Englishman had ever been there.
    “I might be a bloody Scot,” thought Angus. “But you’re a bloody idiot.” He went back to his farming without another thought.

    Liked by 2 people

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