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Shadow Dancing (writing prompts)

Writing Prompts

Shadow Dancing (writing prompts)

Back with prompts in time for holiday time! Let this inspire you to write, should inspiration you wish!

As ever this is for Anarion because she takes such a delight in these and gives delight with the stories she tells.

Let your story find voice by sharing what's in that beribboned box. Or what you see at the corner of your eye when you look at those dots.

Maybe the tale you'll tell is about what shadows see in the dark, or how Hades feels about the color black.

Perhaps you'll start there and veer to a story about rain or radar or rage…whatever you see here or don't see here I hope you write it down and share it in the comments (which are moderated because elsewise we get too much spam).

Are you ready?


P.S. Happy December to you all!

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  • Atlin Merrick on

    I would read an entire book about the creature from the UUPS.


  • Anarion on

    Hades was bored.

    The Underworld had been no fun since the Romans took over. Not many people came down here since people lost faith in the Greek Gods. Nothing to do but watch the shadows dance.

    Cerberus was snoring next to the gate under the huge registration table and Hades seriously considered another century-long nap when suddenly a bright light, accompanied by a loud bang, jolted him from his thoughts.

    Hades jumped from his chaise longue with a startled noise.

    Cerberus’ three heads snapped up and collided with the table he’d been sleeping under.

    The bright light said, “Oh, fucking hell!”

    Then silence fell.

    Hades waited a few seconds but when nothing else happened, he thought it was his prerogative as the ruler to get to the bottom of things. He cleared his throat and said, “What?”

    Before he could reprimand himself too much for sounding neither like a ruler nor very intelligent in general, the bright light started speaking. Well, wailing.

    “I messed up again! I was supposed to deliver this letter to Hel but this clearly isn’t Nilfheim because usually the first thing I’m greeted with is Modgudur’s fierce face.”

    The light dimmed slowly and the creature sitting sprawled on the ground looked around with narrow eyes and then levelled a hopeful gaze towards Hades. “Or ist it?”

    “No, this is Hades.”

    “The place?”

    “The place and the person. Greetings.”

    “Oh boy, oh boy!” The creature huddled like they were expecting a beating. Hades meanwhile was way to delighted by this unusual happenstance to be angry.

    “What are you doing here?”

    “I…um… brought a letter.”

    “You are not Hermes.”

    “Oh, no. No. I’m not Greek, sorry. I work for the United Underworlds Postal Service. UUPS. Did you not get the memo?”


    “We deliver to all Underworlds!” The creature proudly puffed their chest, but then hung their head again.

    “I’m new and I keep messing it up. I delivered a letter for Osiris to Mot instead. That was one heck of an uproar! I almost got fired.”

    Most of the words didn’t make much sense so Hades focused on the ones that did.

    “You brought a letter?”


    “Give it to me.”

    “But it’s not for you!”

    “You brought it here, this is my domain. Everything in it belongs to me. Including the letter. And you, by the way.”

    The creature’s eyes widened almost comically, and they handed over the letter.

    Hades called Cerberus over with a low whistle and then used one of his claws to cut the letter open. Colourful tiny things tumbled out.

    “What is this?”

    “It’s confetti!” The creature had wandered over to Cerberus and was gently petting him. Cerberus looked delighted.


    “It’s an invitation to a party. Hence the confetti.”

    Hades absent-mindedly played with the colourful things. Parties were a long-gone thing for him He looked at the creature that was now sitting on Cerberus’ back, eagerly scratching the second head’s ears.

    “You’re a messenger.”


    “You visit many places.”


    “Are they anything like Hades?”

    “Hm… no, not all of them. Duat is definitely more colourful. Does have Anubis though. Pretty sure he wants to eat me. Valhalla is an ongoing party. I haven’t been to all Underworlds yet.”

    “Your place of employment does not seem satisfactory.”

    “Well, no. I get yelled at a lot. Just because all of you have the same address. ‘The Underworld’. It’s no wonder I get confused, isn’t it.”

    For a while there was no sound but the scratching behind a dog’s ears. Eventually Hades looked up.

    “I have an idea.”


    “We both don’t like our current occupation. How about we trade?”

    “Trade? As in, I get to stay here? As in, I can sit here and pet your dog all day long?”

    “You make it sound way more appealing than it is. But yes, that is my proposal.”

    “I’m in!”


    Three weeks later Hades returns for a brief visit. The creature and Cerberus are curled up together, the former reading an old scroll.

    “Oh, hi!”


    “How is it going? Do you still confuse all the Underworlds?”

    “Oh, constantly. Yet I have never felt that much gaiety! I have gotten into sword fights in Vahalla, Anubis has tried to eat me twice and Pluto, that old impostor, sputtered in rage the last time he saw me.”

    Hades smiled. His days of boredom definitely were over.

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