Today, I thought I would try something a tad different. Searching the vast reaches of the internet (i.e. what my US broadband servers will let me see) brought me to a nifty website. http://writingexercises.co.uk/index.php for any that are interested. The site has a multitude of prompts, and I was searching for one that would inspire me today. Silly me, limiting myself to one. After I wrote using the first prompt, I had one of those ‘Ah-hah’ moments, and realized that several of the other prompts I’d generated and dismissed were viable options. Silly, silly, girl. Which gives us today’s four prompt entry. Enjoy!
May 11, 2015
First line of dialogue prompt:
“Why did you scream like that?” He stood at the top of the basement steps, staring down with alarm.
“Giant cricket. One of those gross, spotted ones with the three foot legs.”
“My God. Really?”
“Yeah, I’m not coming up until you kill it.”
“Just step on it. You’re wearing shoes.”
“Nope.” She shook her head. “It will eat me.”
Title of a story prompt:
The Hissing City
Callie hugged her arms to her chest, wishing her jacket were thicker. She hated leaving the diner this late. Hated waiting for the steam train at the empty platform. She could remember a time before the steam. Before the sun started flaring. Before the raging storms came. The overabundance of water had been bad for many places; places near the coasts or not too far inland. But for those still living in cities, existing in the middle of the terra, the water was as good as gold. Steam powered everything here, and the sounds still startled her, even after three years.
Random plot generator prompt: The story begins in a church crypt. Someone is accused of theft. It’s a story about family ties. Your character investigates with the help of a good friend.
“Give me the lantern,” I said.
Brian handed it through the crack in the stone wall. I held it above my head. The ancient crypt lay undisturbed for three centuries until yesterday. Yesterday, the groundskeeper saw a figure darting from the entrance which is supposed to be locked. The woman found the chain and lock lying on the ground. She took it to the Friar, and he called me.
Brian tagged along for, as he called it, ‘funsies’. I don’t know why my oldest friend liked going on investigations with me, since he got out of the Private Investigator business six months after we started our own firm. It was a fairly lucrative way to make a living. Most jobs were husbands or wives hiring me to find out if their spouse was cheating. Those jobs paid the bills, and gave me a modestly comfortable life. Every once in a while, though, something juicy came along. Something like this.
“Jackson, I can’t fit through this hole,” said Brain.
I turned around. His face was pressed against the stone. For once, being 5’8” and weighing 120 lbs gave me an advantage. Brian could not squeeze his over six foot broad frame through the crumbling structure. “It’s fine; wait there.”
“Dude, what if there’s someone in there? They could be waiting to kill you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Brian, we’re in a church crypt beneath an order of monks in a secret, walled up section. I doubt anyone knew about this.”
“Yeah, no one but us and the thief.”
“Okay, good point. Still, I’ll be fine. Just wait there.”
I started forward, ignoring his random humming that he always did to stave off boredom. There were two rows of tombs. Large stone rectangles, with heavy stone lids. Other than the set of footprints – woman’s size eight – nothing else seemed amiss. Until I reached the end of the row.
A section of the wall was busted behind the last tomb on my right. Crouching, I placed the lantern on the ground before reaching into the hole. A crowbar lay next to my knee, discarded by the thief. I could take it and dust for prints, but there would be no need. As my fingers closed over the petals of the white rose left for me, I knew exactly who to look for.
Random job/occupation prompt: School meals supervisor
Ugh, they can keep their fruit budget, thought Ms. Winkker. Growing bodies need meat. Lots and lots of meat.
She cackled a little at the thought of all these privately schooled Saturnian children living on stardust and bloom-sprout fruits.