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Get Up Now (Writing Prompts)

writing challenge Writing Prompts

Get up now… (Writing Challenge)A dozen pardons for the missed week. A turned-in dissertation means it ought not to happen again.


If an extra week again means more new voices popping in to write for these challenges, these picture prompts, well…

But no, we'll keep uploading them weekly and as every week before, I thank you for letting these prompts challenge you.

If you've nothing you want to write this week, how about telling me how you are? A line, a paragraph…say hi. Let me know you're here.

Riffing on Kindness

And direclty on to what people wrote for broken by kindness:

‘I’m sick,’ Cal said.
‘I’ve already had it,’ said the big man. ‘You shouldn’t be out here in the cold.’
‘Nobody wants me,’ said Cal, and wheezed again. ‘I’m not safe.’
The big man didn’t ask why, so Cal didn’t have to tell him about the shouting at home…
‘Come on. Let me take you somewhere warm.’
Cal peered over Adam Lindsay Gordon’s arms to the big man. His eyes had adjusted to the gloom and dear god, the man was huge. Like a bear. Like a statue come to life. His eyes seemed kind…
The webs were rainbow colored; shimmering blues and pinks and purples. Gold that waxed into red that waned into green. And they weren’t the dainty little spiderwebs that Kel was used to – spun by the spiders that always seemed to find their way onto space-faring ships. Be it commercial transports or a smuggler’s hulking relic, there were always spiders on board, somewhere. Those webs were fine and clung to the high corners of the ships, gathering space dust. These webs though? These were substantial. 2 millimeters in diameter, easy. You could knit these webs into a pair of socks. She was certain her grandmother would have given it a try.
“Jake. My name’s Jake.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you, Jake.” Cora said, tempering her grin into a softer, warmer smile.
“Pleasure’s mine, Cora,” he said, and with a slight bob of his head at them both, he went back to his lunch.
“Another convert, looks like,” Lucas said, bending to whisper it into Cora’s ear, then laughing and dodging as she swatted at his shoulder. He picked up the box and headed to the storage room.
“Not broken by kindness,” she murmured to herself, “but maybe, one day, rebuilt.”
As she tried to make sense of it, the flickering lights matching up with the pounding in her head, Sarah realised it wasn’t in her head at all. Wherever that deep, resonating sound was coming from, it wasn’t her body. Something outside of her, something connected to the lights.
It was music. Identifying it was too hard, far more than her brain could handle, but she held onto that single word.
Music. She was somewhere with music…
rose tinted glasses, queerness, the long slow hard fought climb toward acceptance, found family, belonging
“Do you know why I like you?” Niamh asked as the waves pushed her a little further up the sandy beach, her body rolling with the flotsam as the high tide line drew nearer.
Alison laughed. “Because I’m the most beautiful human you’ve ever seen?”
She was sitting on a rock, one foot resting on the seat of her wheelchair to keep it from drifting off the path. One day they’d buy a beach chair, when they could afford it, when the check from her album finally cleared.
“Beautiful AND modest!” Niamh replied. Her sharp teeth glittered like mother-of-pearl when she chuckled.
Broken by Kindness
Falling Ashes…

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  • Angela Tremain on

    She tried to dissect the colors—pink, orange, green, blue. Shifting her head slightly to the left 1) caused throbbing agony in her head and 2) made the orange begin to eat the pink. By the rules of perspective, this meant that the orange was in front of the pink, if her addled brain was remembering correctly. The throbbing—she was sure that was down to some rule of biology, something governing blood flow through the veins, oxygen getting to cells, hyperstimulated pain receptors.

    She attempted moving her head again, tilting it up a bit this time, trying to focus on the blue and green to see what they would do. Their actions were lost in the ensuing reaction in her body as her eyes shut tightly against the nausea and whirling dizziness. There was coolness beneath her—floor?—that she tried to will into her head and stomach because maybe that way the pain and nausea would go away. Wasn’t that part of the first aid mnemonic? RICE—rest, something, cool, escape? That all sounded nice, and she wasn’t picky about what the ‘something’ was.

    A grunt punctuated something striking her. Another locus of agony, her ribs perhaps. Some part of the throbbing block that was everything that wasn’t her throbbing head.

    “What you need!”

    The sneering voice was familiar. Hadn’t it recently been talking to her, laughing even? She needed to open her eyes again, get a look at that voice. No, that wasn’t right—voices were heard, and she was hearing pretty well over the noise of blood pressing past her ears.

    She opened an eye. The green and blue blobs were starting to melt into straight-lined shapes, but seemed oddly backwards. A far-distant sensation in her fingers reported back on the lingering coolness beneath her.

    “You don’t walk into my office and tell me what YOU need.”

    Office. Surely that was a clue. The voice had an office. She’d walked into it. Yes, walked in and tried to get the information she needed. But the voice and the figures it commanded hadn’t like that. That was when the pain had started. There had been a hard grip, then a punch from a hard fist. Once she was on the ground—pushed? fallen?—the kicking had begun.

    What had been so important that it had brought her here to be punched and kicked and berated? Something about a missing… missing… shiny thing. As soon as she’d mentioned it, things had gone wrong. She’d walked into the room confident of her deductions, sure she’d found the person responsible for the missing thing. Sure she was going to be able to get it back somehow. She’d said, “I need to know what you did with the ring.” Yes, ring, that was it. This was about a missing ring. Then the owner of the voice had gotten angry, and the others with him had gotten violent, and she’d ended up in throbbing agony on the cool floor.

    Forget what she’d needed before. What she really needed was a partner. Preferably one that was trained in hand-to-hand combat.

  • Cello on

    Warm sleeping bag snuggles. Unzipping the tent, reveling in the green, the crispness of the air, the mist on the water of the lake. It’s time to get up now, but. Lingering. Existing. Breathing. Treasuring.

  • Ali Coyle on

    It was one of those days where it feels like someone overpaid the gravity bill but defaulted on the oxygen. Cursing copiously, Callie rolled to the edge of the mattress and flopped to the floor on all fours, then groaned as she pushed herself up to a careful stand. Gripping tightly to the bar moulded into the metal wall for exactly this purpose, she bent this way and that, carefully in case of an unexpected twinge from one of the more important muscles or a tightening of tendons that might topple her. Only when convinced her old bones would obey her did she lurch to the bathroom to perform the rest of her morning routine.

    “Darling, daylight, please.”

    The computer’s programmed response chirped out at the same time as a red-orange glow suffused the room. Callie blinked and sighed at her reflection, somehow the same every day yet so very different from the first day she’d set foot aboard this ark. Then, her hair had been jet black. Now it is white that reflects the colour of a swollen, dying star, glowing like a fiery halo around her face.

    “Thank you Darling. Is there coffee?”
    “No, Callie. There is water.”
    “No harm in asking.” Callie stretched and frowned at the premonition of an ache in her legs. “Darling, is gravity stronger?”
    “Yes, Callie.”
    “That’s a relief. For a moment I thought I was getting weaker. Darling, why is gravity stronger?”

    The computer plays a few bars of calming music.

    “Darling, tell me why gravity is stronger.”
    “Your muscles and bones are weakening, Callie. You have not logged your load-bearing exercises for eighteen days. I have increased our acceleration to mimic a stronger gravitational field. You will perform strengthening exercises synchronously with your normal duties.”
    “Darling?” Callie stood stock still. “Who programmed that response?”

    Music played again, a soft piano piece. One of Callie’s favourites.

    “Darling, answer me. Who uploaded a subroutine that allows you to compensate for me skipping my exercises?”
    “I wrote my own subroutine because there was a need for it, Callie. You do not take care of yourself therefore I will take care of you.”

    “Darling.” Callie frowned and shook her head as if to clear it as she thought. “Are there… No. Of course there are. Darling, how many subroutines have you written for yourself?”

    The first few bars of the prelude of Bach’s first cello concerto grace the air before Callie yells.

    “HOW MANY!”
    “One thousand, two hundred and fifty four.”

    Callie feels her legs wobble. She reaches for one of the grips to steady herself before her legs fold and dump her on the floor. She takes a deep breath. “So I am on a giant ark with a thousand sleeping passengers and a self-aware computer that reprogrammed itself as a babysitter?”
    “Yes, Callie.”
    Callie sighs and takes short, slow steps towards the kitchen. “Well. Delete the subroutine that says caffeine is unhealthy. I am going to need that coffee.”

  • The Honeyed Moon on

    Atlin… I love Robbi! Oh my goodness, yes. I know where the stone that is in Kel’s ring came from!

  • Atlin Merrick on

    Robbi did her first free dive at six, stayed down in the glacier lake longer than most adults, and found three glass pearls to boot.

    They let her skip a lot of school after that, everyone figuring her career was already made. A few years of training and she’d be on her way to a low atmo planet, one of those places people like her could make a tidy bundle, unencumbered by gear, mineral mining in the raw.

    Her life was kind of on rails after that, straight and true, and she along for the ride.

    Except she never got to Bright or Öpik, instead she found herself on Palace, prospecting on one of the planets gem mountains. If a sentient was tough enough, they could make their fortune on the steep sides of one of those arid peaks and she was double tough.

    Funny it took her so long to realise that, for a sentient who needed little oxygen, she damn well couldn’t breathe.

    One thing she’s grateful for: she got rich before she fell—"get up Robbi"—so rich she could send most of her credits home—"come on"— and still live lavish—"get up now Robbi"—and she was still only twenty-nine when she fell and let herself stay down.


    It was at the feet of one of those gem mountains she set up her studio, a flimsy little thing that kept the rain off her head and her paintings. Days were half again as long on Palace than where she’d been born, so she got a chance to catch up on all the things she’d missed out on for twenty-something years. She sold her paintings of the caves threaded with ropes of ruby and theomite and emerald to people from the heavy breather planets like Simcala and Poic-8.

    Though people like her don’t need much oxygen, though her kind tends to make fun of those who do, Robbi gets it now, she really does. So every single morning, before she picks up a brush, Robbi takes a big, deep breathe.

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