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Why would you? (Writing Prompts)

Writing Prompts

Thursday writing prompts – why would you?I've mentioned before that I'm lucky, right?

That I get to post these weekly prompts to inspire writers and then I get the boon of the inspiration reading what you write.

This week is no different and as usual I want MORE stories please. No, that's wrong, I want more of each story please. Bo, Narrelle, Hardboiledbaby, Anarion, and The Honeyed Moon, may I kindly request full novels of each of your prompt fills at your earliest convenience thankskbye.

A Taste of Writing Futures Past

Now here they are, tiny snippets of last week's larger tales, or in the case of one, the entire story (which do you think it is)?

There’s a patter of little feet on the floor like light rain on a car roof. I sit down on the floor legs crossed, I wait.
They’re coming. Around the corner they charge, a drumming of little paws on the wood floor accompanied by the sound of tiny mews.
I hand out the treats.
Nobody survives Chrysalis. That is to say, no body does…
…all the best monsters have to be invited in, and all the best monsters are just the heroes of their own stories too, and that’s what we’re truly becoming. The term Human 2.0 was first bandied about on Twitter, but the Science Side of Tumblr stole a march on that with Pan narrans. They borrowed the name from Terry Pratchett. The story-telling ape. And now, today, into the future, Pan narransis telling a new story.
It’s funny, when the doctors put Hutch and me in quarantine together, we could joke about stuff—the stupid yellow gowns, the bad food, the vampire nurses who kept taking our blood. It kept us sane, kept the fear at bay. The two of us together, as always.
There’s nothing funny about the situation now. The fucking plague, now it’s coming for Hutch. Now it’s about survival. He hands me his gun and calmly gets into the wheelchair…
We should’ve never gone that far into unknown territory, should never have landed on that small blue planet.…
…should we warn our leaders that we know the species that is making its way into our territory? That we should fear them, for they are not peaceful as we? We also wonder if it was our interference that turned humans into what they were then? Or maybe what made them want to walk the paths of the Gods too? Will the downfall of our system be on us? On the errors we made as youths?
But the news that arrive are unexpected.
Another linguistic fission occurred and the thoughts were now eight. “I thought I’d lost my heart, but I gave it to you willingly almost the first moment I met you. You smiled at my frustration and brought me noodles. You gave me a job when I felt unmoored. You gave me an anchor to halt my wandering. With you, I have a proper home for the first time in longer than I care to dwell on. You are holding my heart. Will you marry me?”
Without realizing it Kel had begun to cry.
They’re always saying the ravening hordes are always on their way, always, and Amoeba still doesn’t get it. That’s not her real name and she isn’t even the littlest one in their drove but whatever.
Anyways, someone’s always on about ’you’ve got to be tough,’ and ‘only the strong’ll survive’ as if some invasion force is comin’ and whatever-whatever, Amoeba’s heard it all before and doesn’t much listen anymore.
Cause somehow they make it through despite all the fuss, don’t they?

I always recommend that you scarper off to read the rest of each of the stories I quote here. There's more in case you didn't know. Each week I pluck out a bit from every story, the better to entice you. Are you enticed? Then go have a look at last week's prompt They Are Coming and see if you love them like I do.

Then write with us. One sentence, one paragraph, an ode. It's up to you.

More Prompts
They Are Coming
No Lights

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  • Atlin Merrick on

    “Why would you wash my cape? My actual cape?”

    Charles looked up from his cereal.

    Indira looked at the ceiling of their tiny kitchen and supplicated at it. “I’ve travelled the galaxy in this thing," she told it. "This dashing cape has been from one end of the milky way to the other!”

    Charles put down his spoon.

    Commodore Indira Balakrishnan, Retired continued to look at the ceiling, arm raised as if providing an antenna for immediate and pertinent cape intel.

    It did not come; the ceiling had nothing to say.

    Finally Indira looked at Charles, who had been and continued to look peaceably at his wife. His cereal was growing soggy. He let it.

    “My cape looks like crap now, Charles.”

    Charles John Jones – never Chuck, never Charlie – tilted his head. It always made his blonde head look pet-worthy. He knew this.

    “It had moon dust on it from Sita-Alpha IV. It had just a little bit of vomit from that drunk S’perrity out past Plenty. Do you know no one’s ever seen anyone from that race again?”

    Indira looked at the clean cape in her brown hand. Charles looked too. Finally Indira’s husband spoke.

    “I could dump some milk on it if you like?”

    Indira sighed. This was her own fault for showing off the thing every time some college kid came by to interview her, then later, in this instance, confusing the cape with the dog’s favourite blanket.

    Indira scratched her nose. Made up her mind.

    She chucked her cape, which indeed had been from one end of the Milky Way to the other, onto the floor with a smile.

    “Get it up by the collar; that’s where the third head of the S’perrity puked on me.”

    Charles has done far stranger things to keep his wife happy in her space retirement. He got to work with the milk.

    “You’re a doll, snookums. Hey! Do we have something here that’ll look like moon dust?”

  • Anarion on

    The milky way is just a faint shimmer in the starboard window when the new captain swooshes in for the first time.

    Everyone on the bridge turns and stares. Because the man they all have heard is strict and by the book is wearing an honest-to-the-stars cape. It’s purple and sparkling and if we’re being honest, he looks absolutely dashing in it.

    He flops down in the captain’s chair and starts giving orders as if he wasn’t looking like he was about to win the Nebula 5 award. His second in command clears his throat and the crew turn back to their assigned tasks. Nobody mentions the cape.

    In the evening, the captain and the engineer sit in one of the small leisure spots, equipped with comfortable seating and a broad window showing the view outside.

    The engineer shakes his head. “Why would you?”

    “To keep the crew on their toes?”

    The engineer snorts.

    “To prove that I’m fearless?”

    The engineer rolls his eyes.

    “To… okay fine. The real question here is: Why wouldn’t I? Have you seen me?”

    The engineer throws his head back and laughs.

  • The Honeyed Moon on

    “Kl’yd, my darling dear? My giant of a human? Please, for star’s sake, pick somewhere? Boone’s Planet isn’t that big. There must be somewhere romantic where we can go and be alone, isn’t there?”

    Kel was getting cranky with her big love. She had decided on this little excursion weeks ago, right down to the clothes she was going to wear and the food she was bringing along. Today was the Big Day: she was going to ask the question.

    She had researched local lore and discovered that marriage proposals on Boone’s Planet, more often that not, came from the party who was able to produce children. The idea being that the bearer of any offspring should be the one to decide where the additional genetic material came from. It was an old tradition, but one she was willing to take advantage of, because she feared Kl’yd would never get off his ass and pop the question himself. When Kelar made up her mind about a thing, that was that.

    The one thing that was missing was a destination. The only parts of Boone’s Planet that she was really familiar with was the little town that was adjacent to the spaceport, and the bustling harborside. Kl’yd had lived here most of his life, so there must be someplace on this little hunk of rock that he felt was special.

    “Well,” he drawled in his unplaceable accent, “There’s the north end of the beach, hardly anybody goes there.”

    “That’s because the beach is about a meter wide at low tide, and is covered with pointy rocks. No. Pick somewhere else.”

    “Uh, well,” He drawled some more, “What about the Cape of Despair? That’s always real nice this time of year.”

    Kel’s eyebrows nearly rose to her hairline. “The Cape of Whatnow? Despair? Why would you…” She stopped mid-sentence. This was his planet after all, she’d let him finish.

    “Now don’t go gettin’ your hair up, let me tell you about it.” He plopped his big self down on the edge of their bed, pulling Kel down to sit next to him. “Right now, the season is changin’ from the spring cool to the summer. The ocean around the cape is full of coral reefs, and with the water warmin’ up, the corals are gettin’ ready to spawn.” He reached out and fiddled with a lock of her hair, “You know… sex? Lots and lots of sex. These corals release all their eggs and, um, their,’ Kl’yd’s discourse faltered, and he sort of flutter-waved his fingers in front of his face. For a man that had the filthiest pillow-talk Kel had ever heard, he inexplicably went all tongue-tied and blushy when they spoke of sex when they weren’t actually doing it. “You know,” he whispered, “Their sperm, all at the same time. There’s so much of it that the water turns cloudy and purple. In some places there gets to be so much, uh, stuff in the water, it gets black streaks. But when the sunset glints off of it, it all sparkles.”

    Kel turned all this information over in her head. She did love purple, and a good sunset. And Kl’yd, of course, that’s why she wanted to get him out somewhere that was romantic. Coral reef sex orgy? Why the pfask not.

    “Sure, that sounds amazing, actually.” Kel leaned over and kissed Kl’yd’s cheek. “How long does it take to get there? I need to know so I can pack the food properly so that it doesn’t spoil before we get there.”

    Kl’yd gave her a side-long glance and said “About 90 minutes. You didn’t try makin’ another Aqualarian creampie, did ya?” He had a decidedly queasy look on his face.

    “No, I did not. I learned my lesson that time; now I project the recipes on the kitchen wall, that way I can’t accidentally swipe to another page.” She grinned, “I know I’m never going to win an award for my cooking, but this will be good.” Kel stood and headed for the kitchen, “I’ll pack up and we can head out to the great coral reef sex party.”

    When she reached the little kitchen, a thought occurred to her. Shouting back the way she’d come, she asked, “Hey, Kl’yd? Why is the place we’re going called the Cape of Despair?”

    (I hope this is not a duplicate submission… the Improbable Press website went wonky when I tried to submit the first time.)

  • hardboiledbaby on

    Not all heroes wear capes, they say. But some actually do.

    Me, for instance.

    It was a cute purple number, with white polka dots. No, not like a superhero cape, silly. One of those salon ones, you know, for doing hair?

    See, I happened to be at Fontaine’s for a cut and color, changing out my usual blue for a new sassy shade of green, when right outside the shop I saw it: this pimply-faced kid with a buzz cut in a Jonas Brothers t-shirt, he barreled up against this older couple, knocked both women over, and stole one of their purses.

    I was furious. Before I even realized what I was doing, I’d jumped out of the chair and took off after him. I heard Freddy yell something, but I just hollered back, “Call the police, and check on the ladies!”

    I chased that little piece of shit for three whole blocks, my cape trailing behind me the whole while. He had a head start and was a lot younger than me, but I’m pretty fit. Maybe I’m no Simone Biles, but my Orange Theory membership isn’t just for show.

    When I caught up to Buzz Cut, I used the cape to take him. I pulled it over his head like a hood, covering his face and dragging him backwards. He went down, yelping like a kicked dog.

    Okay, I might have kicked him. I don’t know, my foot could have slipped, it was pretty crazy there for a minute.

    Anyway, he was down, and I wrapped the cape around his legs, kind of hog-tied him so he couldn’t get up again. Then I sat on him, just to be sure he wasn’t going anywhere.

    His face was blotchy red and sweaty. He was sputtering something—cursing me out, probably, but he was so out of shape he didn’t have the breath to do it right. I was sweating too, but I could speak. Orange Theory, I’m telling you.

    So I said, “Why would you do that, asshole? Those women could have been your grandmas! Why? For this?” I held up the purse, then whacked him with it. “Asshole!”

    Right about then, Freddy came running up.

    “Are you okay, Jaz?” he said. I smiled and nodded.

    “Better than him,” I said, as I got up. He yelped again.

    Okay, I might have kicked him. Again. I don’t know, I was gesturing at him so Freddy would know who I was talking about and my foot could have slipped. To tell the truth, it was all just a lot of stuff going on.

    The cops showed up, and then the ladies were there, too. Fortunately, they were both okay, just a little shaken up. We all gave our statements and then Buzz Cut got hauled away.

    The ladies wanted to give me a reward, and the officer said something about a citizen award, but I declined. I was just glad I was able to help. I was feeling pretty good about myself, actually, proud of how I ran down a punk kid half my age, which was a reward in and of itself. I was still sweating, but I chalked that up to the summer heat. I dug around in my pocket for a tissue.

    “Uh, Jaz?”

    “Yeah, Freddy?”

    No tissue, damn it. I rubbed the perspiration out of my eyes with the back of my hand.

    “We’d better get back to the shop,” he said, with a strange look on his face. “Now.”

    “Okay…. Oh.”

    The back of my hand was a sassy shade of green.

    So I guess I’m a kind of superhero, after all. I just didn’t expect to be Gamora.

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