Week 8 of Odd Prompts: 2023 Edition

You never know what any given week is going to bring you. Plans change, families shift shapes, children take off to the city with you waving a hankie in their wake, shouting ‘drive safely!’ One thing you can be sure of is that there will be a prompt here, for you to do whatever you want with. Draw, paint, write, feed that thing to an AI and see what it spits back out… it’s all good. No one is judging. Just send us a prompt, or grab a spare if you forgot.

Fiona Grey“Magic’s limitations are what force us to be creative, dear.”John Wyman
John Wyman“Oh no…not again!…”Cedar Sanderson
AC Young“We’ll solve the problem by pretending it doesn’t exist!”Fiona Grey
Leigh KimmelOn the floor lay a sliver of lightnother Mike
nother MikeThe note with the money in your mailbox starts out, “Hello. I am a pregnant gypsy, and I need your help…”Leigh Kimmel
Cedar SandersonThe altitude control is out on the levitation shipAC Young

That’s the thing about this, there’s no pressure. You can do what makes your brain happy. You need one place in the world where that’s true.

SpareThe masked man rode a stegosaurus slowly into town as the sun set…
SpareIt was a children’s book starring zombie unicorns.
SpareThe snail crossing the road was bigger than a bus…
SpareThe refugee bet his last dollar on the big lottery, and won the big prize!
SpareElementary, my dear Watsu-san!
SparePlans don’t always survive contact with coaches.

Come on back and post the response here in comments, either in situ or as a link (images will have to be a link, wordpress being what it is). We will see you there!

Visual prompt is by Cedar Sanderson (rendered with MidJourney).



  1. This week I was the recipient of Cedar Sanderson’s offering: The altitude control is out on the levitation ship

    Levitation ships had been developed as freight transports – the economics of the technology meant that small ships weren’t viable, so passenger variants hadn’t been designed yet.

    The Freight Transporter Pachyderm was a brand-new levitation ship, the first of a new class larger than any that had gone before.

    Charles Bouquet was the captain of the Pachyderm. Violet Goodview was at the altitude controls. Various other crew were scattered around the ship, more than was strictly required for this was the Pachyderm’s first voyage.

    Charles pressed the requisite buttons, and the Pachyderm disconnected from the dock.

    “Violet, take us up to 5,000m.”

    Violet adjusted her controls, and the Pachyderm climbed. Once she had cleared the buildings at the airport, Charles engaged the engines, and the Pachyderm headed south.

    A few minutes later, the ship was at 5,000m. Charles let the ship fly at that height for a while, but for efficiency reasons levitation ships needed to fly higher than that.

    “Violet, take us up to 10,000m.”

    The ship climbed again. Then as the altimeter switched from 8,191m to 8,192m everything shut down.

    A second later the emergency siren sounded. Charles picked up the emergency procedures folder and started flipping through it. There didn’t seem to be anything in there about what to do when all the systems had shut down.

    Then all the systems came back on again.

    “What’s our height?”

    “We’re at 7,200m and falling, Captain. Now we’re flying level. We’re climbing again.” Violet sounded bemused, then she looked at her board again. “The altitude controls are still at 10,000m, Captain.”


    The ship climbed again. Charles looked at the altimeter. The ship climbed above 8,000m again. All was well.

    Then the ship reached 8,192m, and everything shut down again. The emergency siren sounded once more.

    Charles grabbed the emergency procedures folder once more, flipped back to where he had got to previously and read from that point, but there still wasn’t anything in there to explain what to do in this situation.

    Suddenly the systems came back up once more.

    “Where are we?”

    “We’re back at 7,000m, Captain.”

    “Is the altitude control still at 10,000m?”

    “Yes, Captain. And we’re now climbing again.”

    “Reset the altitude control to 8,000m.”

    “Yes, Captain.”

    The Pachyderm climbed to its new height, and the engines and other systems stayed on.

    “We’ll stay at this height for now, and get the systems properly checked over at the far end,” Charles decreed.

    The rest of the maiden voyage went without much incident, but upon landing Charles put in an urgent systems check request. Whatever had caused the potentially fatal incidents needed to be fixed.

    It turned out to be a problem with the altitude control software. There wasn’t enough memory assigned to the current height. As soon as it reached 8,192m, there was a memory overflow, and that caused the issues.

    It was two months before the bug was fixed and the Pachyderm was ready for its second flight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Leigh Kimmel set down the challenge…

    On the floor lay a sliver of light

    [just a sliver of light… in the darkness?]

    On the floor lay a sliver of light.
    Not a shiver, not a liver, but a sliver.
    Silver bright light, that sliver was.
    On the floor, quite light and bright, it lay…

    [whoops, we have poetry! Not good poetry, but…]

    The power had gone out early, but he didn’t care. Sitting in the dark, he let the tears roll down his cheeks. There really wasn’t any reason to go on, was there? He’d lost his job, he’d never really found a woman who would put up with his whimsies, and now, he was just sitting in the dark, waiting for… well, he didn’t know what.

    That’s when he blinked, and stared. On the floor lay a sliver of light. Wait, where was it coming from? He crawled across the floor, watching that sliver of light. Then he looked up, and saw that a corner of one of the Venetian blinds was caught, leaving a thin expanse of glass. And, somehow, the moon was shining in, laying down that sliver of light on the floor.

    He laughed, a little. The moon had come to cheer him up? Well, why not? So he got up, and pulled the blinds up. Then he sat and stared up at the moon, and the stars. Somehow, that heavenly display rolled out up there reassured him that the world would go on, and that his life would go on. Step-by-step, with pains and problems, but it would go on.

    Now the light was more like a carpet across the floor. He grinned, and stretched.

    [hum, that’s a little grim…]

    [Okay, I’m going to post this now. Not so good, but the headache says it’s about the best you’re going to get today…]

    Liked by 1 person

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