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Sudden Silence… (Writing Prompts)

Writing Prompts

I have a secret.

I'll tell it to you because it's a good one, and the secret is this: each time you post a tiny, perfect jewel of a story, each time you use these writing prompts to create something eerie or hopeful, dark or delightful, every damned time, it's like I'm unwrapping a Christmas present.

The best part is never knowing what to expect. Some of you go grim with these prompts, others write slice-of-life, many are a bit of both.

I try and help with weird words and at least one slightly veering image. This week I wonder—what do you see in this writerly crystal ball?

Sudden Silence… (writing prompts)

On Naked Slorpping and Prompts That Help You Write

Here are just a few facets of the jewels left last week. There are aliens afoot and felines too. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder what I'll unwrap next week?

The guardian of the queen (oh yeah, have I mentioned the queen yet? Pardon me, I was a bit distracted. She is apparently going to eat what is left of me) hisses back…
Here he is again, a foolish human melted onto the carpet after another night of ‘working the crunch’…Here I am again, finishing his code myself—on a keyboard not meant for paws—so he won’t work himself to death over the weekend.
Your heart’s trampled on the carpet
With your melted heart for company
Foolish human
Keep your pixels close Before you fade away
“Wha… muff, glr uppa tha?” Valla slorpped out around a tongue that felt about two sizes too big for her mouth. She thought she was smiling, but couldn’t be sure. This would be less embarrassing if she wasn’t so naked.……She’d met the Andarian at the local port while on shore-leave……Valla wasn’t in the habit of picking up strangers in spaceport dive bars, but just once couldn’t hurt, right?

What you want to remember about each of the prompts that inspire you is that if you share something here, the results are always yours to do with later whatever you will. And you can write for past prompts, too. So. What do you see? What do you see?

More Writing Prompts

Foolish Human
Black Water
Other Stuff
Write About Anything (Let It Be)
After Your Book Is Rejected—3 Dos & 3 Even Better Don'ts
(Comments moderated to foil the spam bots)

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  • Atlin / Wendy on

    What’s left behind when we wear a place out? After we’ve taken from it what we want, rung from it what we can get, then picked the skeleton bones bare just because?

    What’s left but the worn out sound of dry wind over the bleached edges of what used to be rivers, and seas, and lakes.

    It’s only that wind that talks back to me now, splashes are long gone, a sudden silence.

    Most of the ones that were left after the devastation have left. There weren’t many. I didn’t go because they’ll fare no better there than here. They’ll pick apart the bones of Proxima b, and perish all over again.

    Me, I’ll walk along the edge of the loch; I’ve lived here always and so here I’ll pass the rest of my days.

    Though the water is long gone I still talk to my childhood friend. I walk round the dry bowl of Loch Ness and discuss dust and daydreams with the ghost of my beautiful beastie in the ghost of what was once her beautiful lake.

  • Anarion on

    She is as old as this world, born in the very bones of the planet in fire and pressure. When she was young, she spent most of her time close to the core, but eventually she made her way up to the surface.

    The water covering the planet was a revelation in its vastness and the difference to the environment she was used to. She spent millions of years in the oceans, never tiring of all the wonders in there.

    Now and then she returned to the core to sleep and every time after waking she found new things to explore.
    Recently a new species has been growing and expanding its reach. The oceans have become noisy and crowded.

    She retreats to an island where she finds a lake to her liking. She avoids the rivers where the Kelpies live. The water always tastes of malice and fear. But the lake is lovely.

    But even here, the humans come and gather, searching for her even. She decides to return to the earth to go back to sleep. One day the humans will be gone, and this will be her world again.

    She dives and the sudden silence around her is a blessing. Slowly she sinks, deep, and deeper until the earth encloses her, and leaves the noisy world of people behind.

  • Narrelle Harris on

    The legend of the Loch Ness monster hides a truth behind the lie. Underneath that deep and murky water is a joke waiting to happen.

    P’neth-ac’c cannot describe what a disappointment it is that nobody on Earth has figured it out yet.

    (For the record, to pronounce the name P’neth-ac’c correctly, you require a lot more teeth than you currently have, plus four extra oral appendages and a tonal range only dolphins can hear, but that’s by the by.)

    P’neth-ac’c is considered a genius by his peers, in case you’re wondering. They, too, are waiting for that ripe and perfect punch line to finally hit the beat.

    It’s become the thing to act out the expected denouement at gatherings. That is, at hatchings, matings, poetry duels, and on the high holy days when fledging art is exhibited and the most artistic achievers watch with pride while their work is eaten by the runners up: Absorb the art, absorb the talent, as the Creator says.

    With tentacle, tooth, song and sonnet, mime and dance, the great enactments are performed, and the funniest rendition of the exact same story wins the prize. (No person is eaten, of course. They’re not barbarians. The winner’s set, however, is an open smorgasbord.)

    It boils down to this. Humankind, determined to solve the mystery of the Loch Ness legend, will either send a sophisticated submariner device into the murk, or they’ll drain that mighty lake. Settled into the mud, the human explorers will find a large metal orb covered in green algae. The preserved wreckage (note, it was never wrecked, it never flew) comes complete with dead engines, defunct wiring, a suggestion of desperate last days.

    Inside that slime-coated orb, that sphere of a space ship, they will find a smaller articulated vessel, shaped like a ripple, like a row of hills, all rises and falls, the skin of it dark, the head of it a peculiar periscope. The sight of it, in the plays, is always greeted with a sudden silence, gravid with anticipation.

    ‘Aha!’ the humans cry, alarmed and yet satisfied that the mystery is at last being solved. ‘Aliens!’

    That’s not the joke.

    The joke is that the rippling serpent-shaped exploratory craft is full of skeletons.

    Chicken skeletons.

    (That’s still not the whole joke.)

    And no matter how hard they look, the humans will never find a single egg. Because all the chicken skeletons are roosters.

    (Still not the punchline.)

    The human explorers will, however, find a star map and they’ll believe that the Space Chickens traversed the great expanse of space only to reach this lonely death.

    And once the humans translate the language, they’ll discover that the putative Chicken People called this great expanse…

    The Road.

  • The Honeyed Moon on

    Haar looked up from her garden at the strange red glow growing in the sky. It couldn’t be the sunset because it was coming from too high above the horizon and was far too red for this planet’s yellow sun. She stood and shielded her eyes to try and get a better look at where the new light was coming from. The sky had begun to dim and take on the purple hues of a false twilight. Her flock of chippa flapped their way into the coop at the side of her barn. Silly birds, she thought.

    The long beam of light (energy?) looked like a fist clenched at the end of a long red arm extending from the blackness of space. It was passing over her little patch of Raysho farmland and was headed for Hosnian Prime.

    Horror dawned in her mind. This was not some comet or asteroid; the system’s safety measures would have eradicated any stray objects that came close to the planets. This was something else. She watched as the red fist opened, dividing into five red fingers that reached for each of the planets of her home system.

    Hosnian Prime was the first hit and the flash was blinding, brighter than the sun. A red finger drew near to Raysho and Haar watched as the sky grew even more bright. It made her eyes water.

    Haar saw the impact in the distance, just over the horizon somewhere, and then the heat of it reached her. It was as if a giant warm glove, one that fit her from heels to head, wrapped her up in its grip. She watched as her fruit trees began to smoulder, the leaves burning away to leave their bare skeleton shapes behind. All of the air was pushed away in a rush, leaving her gasping for breath. The sudden silence made her ears ring.

    Then she knew nothing.

  • Ali Coyle on

    The sudden silence of an argument lost and won fell on the car like a boulder.

    Tired of driving and tired of talking and tired of her too for a devastating instant, there were words only meant for the time it took to snap them out, but once free they were never coming back. Words were not to be trusted.

    I imagined the sting of her bitten lip and the burn of her bitten-off words.

    “We’re almost home, but let me show you something,” I said, driving past our street, past retail parks and clusters of concrete flats, past golf courses and genteel villages until the road changed its name then dropped it.

    She sat up straighter when to the right, behind a border of trees, behind a low wall that marked where the eerily quiet road ended, glimpses of blue shimmered with white sparkles. I parked and walked closer, hearing the door thunk and footsteps crunch behind me.

    Maybe she’d remember a day years ago when we disagreed at a different water’s edge.

    “You were right.” A laugh sailed past as she walked down to ripple the shallows with her bare feet. “This is prettier than Loch Ness.”

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