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Author Topic: Writing prompt bonanza!  (Read 497 times)

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Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Writing prompt bonanza!
« on: August 13, 2015, 11:11:45 AM »
Okay, so I wanted to start a game. I have an idea, dunno how well it's going to go over, but let's see what happens.

I love the writing prompts (For everything except it doesn't develop into a full story), and I think we should have some displays of competitive artistry.

I'm going to put up a writing prompt. If you choose to write off it (If I put a picture, I'll do a caption describing the picture, for anyone using a screen reader), quote the post in your message and away you go! I'll come back every so often and put up a new one! I'll be participating too, and want everyone to feel free to add their own writing prompts for things you'd like to see!

Not sure if we'll get any activity with this, but it's so worth a try!

Good luck!
And may the Muse be with you.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2015, 11:35:42 AM »


A woman dressed in sparse, primitive leathers stands gazing intently into the distance. At her hip, a thick-handled knife is sheathed. In the same hand, a bow can be seen, clearly fashioned for distance as well as power. Blue paints adorn her skin in swirling tattoos, her long hair tied back and up at the back of her head. Behind her, a mixture of sunlight, smoke and fire leaves the world a grey/orange screen, keeping her from the rest. Her scowl shows that she is displeased, or perhaps intently focused, though she appears read for a fight.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 12:43:39 PM »


A woman dressed in sparse, primitive leathers stands gazing intently into the distance. At her hip, a thick-handled knife is sheathed. In the same hand, a bow can be seen, clearly fashioned for distance as well as power. Blue paints adorn her skin in swirling tattoos, her long hair tied back and up at the back of her head. Behind her, a mixture of sunlight, smoke and fire leaves the world a grey/orange screen, keeping her from the rest. Her scowl shows that she is displeased, or perhaps intently focused, though she appears read for a fight.


Shanna scanned the battlefield, desperately trying to find him. Everything was smoke and shrill metal on metal, the cries of dying men and she wasn't sure what it was that made her eyes water the most. Water, she told herself. Because she wasn't crying. She didn't have time to cry.

Her legs carried her swiftly, dextrous enough to avoid the piles of collapsed bodies, the remains of dead animals and the dangerous, haphazard angles at which discarded weaponry still made itself lethal. Her armour, light and flexible, allowed her to move amongst them without much problem, though it offered little by way of protection should she be noticed. Though the sun hung low in the sky and busied itself with painting the clouds in a myriad of colours that would, under other circumstances, be breathtaking, she found it hard to concentrate on anything besides scanning the faces of the fallen.

When she heard it however, she stopped dead in her tracks.

It was a rasping sound, then a cough and a gasp. She whirled to look over at the direction from which the sound had come, only to be filled with a dread that seemed to vindicate every moment of horror tucked away in her mind for processing later. From beneath a pile of enemy soldiers, one body attempted to distinguish itself by crawling into  the open. Hands scrabbled weakly, pathetically against the ground, drawing shallow gouges in the earth and the trampled grasses. Blood ran in enthusiastic rivulets from wounds about the crown of the head, the corners of his face where the familiar angles lived...

And most dangerously from the place where his back was torn open by the enemy axe still protruding from between his shoulder blades.

She ran forward, skidding to a halt in the mud and putting her hands on him, looking for a way to stop the bleeding, to soothe his injury so she might take him home. Surely, there would be no trouble. The could not be. He would come home. He would rest and recover. He would rise in a week and take her in his arms again. He would kiss her lips and whisper his words in her ears and the world would be right. He would be right. He would live and be hers, please, surely, he must!

"Can't... Shanna..." He moaned, coughing again. She decided not to see the droplets of blood that spattered from his mouth.

"I'm here." She pushed the hair back from his eyes, railing inside her head that he wasn't looking at her. What was he looking at, so far away? "My love, I'm here."

"Shanna..." He moaned again, clutching at his chest with one hand and trying to move the plate of leather that rested there. Beneath, she knew, rested the pendant she had sent him with.

"I'm here, my love. I have you. You'll be alright. Please, be careful...."

"Shanna.... Take me to.... Shanna..."

She could no longer call it water. The tears flowed freely, because she knew. She'd seen men on the edge of death before. Always, their last words reflected the things they left behind, the things that mattered most to them. She knew he could not hear her - they never did. All she could do as he cried out for her was to hold him. She bent her head low over him, trying not to sob as she cradled his head close. She listened to him call her name, powerless to comfort him. She listened as his breath grew more and more laboured, powerless to relieve him of his struggle.

Finally, she felt him grow weak, his breath short and his movements vague. Fearing the worst and inundated with panic, she drew back. Let him see her, even like this. Let him see her, even with the paths the tears had drawn on her cheeks, smeared with soot and mud and the blood of her beloved. Let him see her, if only to know that she had not abandoned him, after all. She was here. He was loved.

He blinked up at her, his gaze suddenly focused, sharp and clear and taking her in as though shocked to see her. She'd never been so angry with him in all the time she'd known him, and his confusion now at her distress could not have been more clear. "Oh..." He said quietly. He tried to reach up and brush the tears from her cheeks, but failed. With another sob, she held his hand to her face, kissing his wrist again and again. "There you are..." He said. "You'll have to... forgive me. Not at ... my best..."

The words were the last he ever spoke.

Her wailing could be heard over the length of the field, a shiver coursing through the bodies of ally and foe alike. Anguished screams marked his passing as the light went out and his heart stopped, his breath no longer warm on her face. She quieted slowly, ideas beginning to form in her mind. Blindly, she groped behind her for the bow she knew was close at hand. Gripping it tightly, she stood, a swirling mass of rage and grief with a keen eye and a skilled hand.

Many warriors would die tonight, she promised him. For that was the price, and he had been worth them all.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 08:20:39 AM »


A misty street slick with a recent rain gives way to a narrow alleyway. The reflective surface of the cobblestone shows the dim light from the street, against which the silhouette of a woman can be seen. She is running away from an umbrella upended on the foreground, seemingly headed towards the open street.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 06:13:17 PM »
Quote
A misty street slick with a recent rain gives way to a narrow alleyway. The reflective surface of the cobblestone shows the dim light from the street, against which the silhouette of a woman can be seen. She is running away from an umbrella upended on the foreground, seemingly headed towards the open street.

When was the last time she had felt the sun on her face?  Anna couldn't recall, but as the clouds parted overhead and cold drizzle faded into an annoying mist and then nothing, she raced forwards to the open street with all the eagerness of a child hearing the bells of an ice cream truck. The umbrella rolled slightly in a puddle before coming to a rest, forgotten.

She could smell summer!  The scent of the August's sun baking the wet cobblestones filled the air, and where that sharp dry smell didn't fill her nose there was the alluring notes of wet earth and loam; it called for her to shed her shoes and run the in grass, squeezing her toes into the moist earth. At the end of the alleyway was the avenue, and around the corner just out of her sight was the park.  Anna would run free and smiling across the wet lawn.  She hoped there would be butterflies.  It had been ages since she had chased butterflies!  And if those passing by were to judge a woman of some thirties years by her charging about recklessly and giggling like a school girl, then so be it. 

Into the bright sun she ran, letting its rays cascade down her caramel skin and warming her down to her toes even through her wet clothing. Anna raised her face to the bright blue sky with its receding clouds, closed her eyes against the glare of the sun, and smiled as if blessed by God.

"Oh, if there was only a beach around here!"

It was a childish sigh, but Anna was still grinning to herself as she uttered the words. No, the park would be good enough.  If there were laughing children and barking dogs and old people on benches and pigeons nibbling at scraps?  All the better! So long as the rain was over!

"You'd think you were Noah coming off the Ark," a voice commented behind her.  Anna turned about to see Paul following her up the alley.  His wheelchair only moved so quickly across the cobblestones, but his kind features showed that her boyfriend didn't begrudge her running ahead of him.

"The weather's been rotten for weeks!"  She spun on her toes and winked at him. "I've been couped up too long!  I need to get out and dance!"

Abruptly, Anna realized what she just said.  Her face fell as guilt crossed her pretty features, and in embarrassment she lowered her gaze and tucked a strong of black hair behind one ear.  "I'm sorry, Paul, I shouldn't have-"

"Don't." Her one time choreographer turned soldier shook his head.  Paul's wry baritone was firm but gentle. "I know how you feel, Anna.  Go ahead.  Give 'em a show for me!"  His craggy features came up as a leering grin.  "You can give me a private show later, maybe?"

Anna laughed out loud in relief and bent down to kiss him soundly. "Number seventeen," she relied in a melodramatic voice, "The Spread Eagle!"

Her imitation of Catherine Zeta-Jones made him laugh even louder, and he swatted at Anna's backside playfully.  "Get!  Go and get your thing on, sweetheart.  I just need to sit and rest for a minute."

Anna kissed Paul again, softer but more soundly, her dark brown eyes staring into his pale green ones with nothing but love. And then she was off to run and dance and to feel alive once more.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 06:48:52 PM »


A dark haired mermaid swims around and then in front of a deep sea diver, her tail nearly wrapping about him as he stands there surprised. She's smiling as she looks into the viewing portal of his helmet. With her hands upon his shoulders, he appears startled and doesn't know what's going to happen next.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 10:47:51 AM »
((That was excellent! I love the interplay between the characters, it sounds intriguing. Let's see what I can come up with next!))

It was a grating sound, hollow and hoarse. When it came again soon after, it was slightly higher pitched but the quality had not changed. It was the steady rhythm that helped him keep his calm, so far below the surface. "What do you think of that, Frank?" His voice was just as hollow, echoing slightly in the cavernous confines of the rubber suit that clung to him, the glass-and-metal mask that encased his head. While he couldn't see Frank from where he was, he knew exactly where the other man was. Sitting in his chair, staring at a screen that was almost entirely unlike the experience of being in the drink yourself.

"I think if we manage to get it up, it'll be more than a decent bonus this year. Just in time for Christmas, too." Frank's voice sounded close, quiet as though the person was speaking directly beside his ear. "You'll be able to finally give Sarah a place worth sharing with you, Jake." Jake rolled his eyes at the tone of Frank's voice, ignoring the cynicism and the jabs. Frank had no sense of wonder, had lost all idealism in so many decades on the job. One wreck was as good as another, to him, made all the better by whatever the benefactor was willing to pay for the raised artifacts.

A shadow crossed in front of Jake, making him stop in his tracks. He turned his head from side to side as best he could, trying to determine if he'd really seen what he thought he saw. The long tail, the vertical fin, the rush of movement... If he stayed still, whatever it was - he hoped for a shark, personally. Tuna were such a pain - would hopefully keep to itself and let him get back to the submersible unscathed. That was was mantra, in any case, right up until...

He felt the snag in the line more than anything else. Sudden tension, a quick jerk and then the utter disappointment of too much slack. He panicked, then, gripping the hose and pulling it towards him. There was just enough resistance that for a moment, he thought he might be safe. But as he kept pulling, hoping to make his way back to the pod, the end of the section of tube came floating towards him, releasing bubbles of precious oxygen into the vastness of the ocean above. He was really in trouble now.

He began to plod slowly, grasping the end of the tube and pulling it downward to trap what little oxygen was left. If it could last only a little while, he could try to make it close to the pod, give Frank a chance to inch forward and pick him up. He was only a few hundred yards out. Still, two hundred yards was a long way to travel with the weights and in the bogged atmosphere of the alien, underwater world. Especially with the shape returned. At first, he turned on the spot, trying to find the source of the movement. He gazed behind him without moving his feet, an attempt to maintain his heading. He noticed that he was veering, slightly and made a note to correct it. When he turned back again, he felt strong fingers gripping the suit.

With a start he dropped the hose which unfurled away from him, shooting upward into the water to release all the bounty it held practically at once. With a muffled curse, Jake struggled to hold his head above the water that came pouring down the tube. He stared at the creature in front of him, wondering if she was merely a reaction to his strained mental condition. From the waist up, it appeared to be a woman, though the clammy depth had not been kind to her complexion. Her fingers bore signs of underwater life, strands of algae and kelp clinging there and intertwined with her hair. Her eyes were green like the murky reaches of the water and gentle like the serene landscape. The large tail - which he supposed he must have seen before - was powerful and seemed to work independently of the rest of her body, sinuously curling around him.

She reached up, gripping the tube and pulling it downward again. She looked him in the eye, taking up the end of the tube and puffing out her cheeks. Slowly, she blew bubbles into the end of it, bending it so that the air gathered in a pocket within the canvas and plastic. Literally as a drowning man to air, he reached out to manipulate the hose, pulling the air in close to the helmet and giving him a short burst of air. She tail around him coiled, tensed and flapped near the end, propelling them awkwardly a yard or so from the place they had been entwined only a moment before.

Despite his fear, he found himself elated by this. Reaching out, he placed his hands on her shoulders. Unless he was mistaken, she nodded, grasping at the suit as well so that the next time she flapped her tail, she managed a yard and a half before she was forced to set him down. In steps, like this, she slowly dragged him back towards the submersible, stopping just as he achieved the end of the tube that had been severed. He turned to her, trying to figure out a way to say his thanks, but came up with nothing. She merely nodded again, reached out to rest her hand on his shoulder and swam away.

He climbed back into the pod to hear Frank cursing under his breath between shouting into the blank screen. "Frank, you're scaring the fish." He said, in a state of shock. He knew he could never tell Frank what had truly happened. There was no way the old man would believe him. He wasn't sure if HE believed him.

As he started peeling off the suit amidst the berating rage of his partner, he noticed something small stuck to the rubber. There, entwined, were a long strand of sea-weed and a single long, brown hair.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 08:18:25 PM »
@PhoenixRose - That was great!  I loved the creativity of getting him back to the bell!  Hopefully we can get a few other people to bite on this soon!

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 10:30:21 PM »
Thanks! Was that a fishing pun I sensed, there? Well done!

Here's your new hook.



Under some unknown depth of water, eerily green light filters to the rubble and ruined structures of some ancient-seeming sunken structures - possibly a whole metropolis' worth. All around this city, which is perched on a stone ledge of inderterminate size, shapes can be seen in the water, presumably fish and other various ocean creatures. In the foreground, glowing with or possibly simply translucent enough to reveal the ethereal greenish light, a pair of jellyfish are the only truly discernible living things in sight.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 04:08:09 PM »
Quote
Under some unknown depth of water, eerily green light filters to the rubble and ruined structures of some ancient-seeming sunken structures - possibly a whole metropolis' worth. All around this city, which is perched on a stone ledge of inderterminate size, shapes can be seen in the water, presumably fish and other various ocean creatures. In the foreground, glowing with or possibly simply translucent enough to reveal the ethereal greenish light, a pair of jellyfish are the only truly discernible living things in sight.

"No, I don't know what to make of it either, Dr. Sung," Dr. DuBois replied icily.  The French woman's accent made her words crisp and biting, the underlying frustration shining through. "This is supposed to be your area of expertise, is it not?  So you tell me, how these buildings come to be here?"

Jason Sung, professor of marine archeology, shrugged and folded his arms as he sat back in the small chair.  He had no explanation for it either. But the remote submarine's cameras did not lie. They could not lie.  It wasn't as though anyone would be able to somehow hack into the computer's systems to generate the visual record being broadcast back up at them, not when their research vessel floated in the middle of the Pacific.  Dr. Sung was actually a little annoyed with his colleagues.  This expedition was supposed to be a hunt for exotic sea life.  The only reason he was there was because it was his boat they had hired, and now the trio of marine biologists and appeared to be upset with him for finding something completely different than the hoped for supposedly extinct shark or undiscovered whale.

"Not a clue," he finally replied languidly.  This answer appeared to upset his guests even more.

"But look at it!" the other American scientist, Perkins, insisted, his finger pointing directly to the screen in front of them. "it's impossible!  We're... what... middle of the Ring of Fire?  Not so much as an atoll around for several hundred miles?  So how the hell did a city get here??"

"Can we address the more immediate weirdness?" Dr. Atkins from Canada asked patiently. The older, balding man sniffed.  "Look how deep those ruins are. It's too far down for sunlight to filter.  Most of the ambient light I'll grant to bio-illumination and phosphorescent algae. So how is there sunlight reaching down right over that structure there?"

"It isn't," Dr. Sung replied after a moment. "It's coming from the inside and going up.  Look how it's shining through that doorway there going inside, there must be a hole in the roof.  Some ancient civilizations always allowed for a gap or ceremonial hole in the ceiling for spirits to get in and out, or in the case of tombs to allow a person's soul to ascend to the heavens."  He leaned forward towards the computer screen, resting his elbows onto his knees as he stared intently at the screen.  No, it wasn't what the scientists who hired him were looking for; that didn't mean it wasn't interesting. 

"I don't get it, though.  It's... like a mashup." The tip of his finger gestured around the outsides of the image, indicating all of the outlying buildings. "Those over here and here?  Those are both Hellenistic Greek and later Imperial Roman. Only this one here, on the far left, that looks like it's... late Etruscan, maybe?  Hard to tell without getting closer.  But this central pyramid?  It's basic structure is more like something you'd find in South or lower Central America.  The underlying construction in Mayan, but these carvings here?  Those are definitely Aztec!  But the stone looks like a blue granite that you wouldn't find in any of those regions but instead in certain areas of Britain. As for that light?  Not a clue what's generating it."

Dr. Dubois snorted and straightened her back, her greying curls flopping back over her shoulder.  "This is not making sense."

Dr. Sung stared hard at the scene. He was very much like a man faced with a complicated crossword puzzle where the answers that he knew should fit didn't.  The silence between the researchers and the crew at large remained thick and tense before he finally spoke.

"Let's get the remote a bit closer," he finally decided.  The ship's captain and archeologist knew that the lines and cables linking the sub to the vessel were long enough for the task, but they would have to take extra care in piloting it through the columns so that it wouldn't get tangled up. His hand grasped the two control sticks with stoic determination. Beneath his command, the robotic submarine began to sluggishly move forward, scaring a pair of immense jellyfish that caused Dr. Atkins to mutter something about unusual composition.  The fish overhead continued to school and swim overhead, unconcerned.

Abruptly, the submersible went dark.

"Crap!" Dr. Sung began to type urgently into an attached keyboard, his eyes following lines of code that flashed along on a separate, small monitor off to the side of the cabin. "Did we get the recording?  Did we save it?"

The vessel suddenly lurched hard to port. The assembled researchers went crashing against the far wall, and over the thunks and cries of dismay, Dr. Sung was sure he had heard the splashing of crewmen going overboard.  The vessel rocked twice more, mashing the middle-aged Dr. DuBois against the Asian-American scientist in ways that he might have found pleasant in other circumstances.  Those crew who were still aboard were shouting into the cabin.

"Something's on the line!  It's pulling us down!"

"Lay out the slack!" he bellowed back despite aching ribs.  The whole of the ship violently rocked again as some great weight laid claim along the remote's lines and cables.  "Screw it!  Cut us free!"

"No!" Dr. Atkins protested.  Dr. Perkins followed with, "Do you know how much that thing cost?  The system is a couple of million dollars!"

"Yeah," Sung snapped back as he pushed DuBois off, "Sorry, I value my life just a bit more than that!"  He climbed up the stair and out onto the deck, shouting orders to his crew.  "Cut us free, dammit!"

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 09:27:07 PM »
Fantastic detail! Have you spent much time aboard ships? I really liked the mashup of the ancient styles, it's very in line with the things that are said about Atlantis, actually. I'm assuming that's what you were going for? I'd totally love to read that story.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 09:29:37 PM »
Sadly, no, although I have studied a great deal of nautical lore and superstition (not to mention sea shanties.)  And, yes, I was going for a sort of Atlantis-Chuthulu mix type of deal. I'm glad you liked it!

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 10:07:15 PM »
Keep 'em coming!

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2015, 07:27:44 AM »
(Sorry for the delay, had to find just the right image for this next one.)



A crowded street near the start of the early twentieth century, where carts laden with goods have come to rest along the sidewalks.  Further back, horse-drawn buggies and delivery wagons can be seen. All along the way, vendors hawk goods from their carts: vegetables, spices, and fruits.  Crowds shuffle along the sidewalk, searching and buying, while overhead locals lean out of their tenement windows to watch the daily scene below.  In the foreground stands a large family. Adults and children alike stare down the street in the same direction as though expecting someone or something at any time.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2015, 10:46:30 PM »
((Sorry it's taken so long!))

The window of the office looked out over a bleak landscape from any other vantage point than this one. From the seat across the desk in the cluttered little room, the tops of a few buildings and the periodic puff of smoke were all that broke the monotony of today's slate-grey sky. Willard loved this room for just that reason. From his position, he could see much more than the people who weren't... well, him. This was working specifically to his advantage at the moment, while Ellis took notes.

"And in the end, sir," Willard said in a commanding voice, pausing momentarily to wait for the other man to finish writing the words. He poked his fingers into the pocket of his waistcoat, drawing out a watch and opening the face to check the time. With a snap, he closed it again and looked back at Ellis, whose eyes were on his employer, waiting patiently. "It will be too great a cost to invest in such impractical machinery." With a slight 'harrumph', he waited for Ellis to catch up with him. "Sincerest regrets," he waved his hand, indicating that more should follow. "And so on." Ellis nodded, scribbling on the paper quickly. "Get that delivered to Ford as quickly as possible. His constant missives have become something of a taxing ordeal. Once you're finished that, go ahead and close up. I won't be far behind."

Ellis said very little except to wish a good evening to Willard, slipping from the office. Willard watched the young man go and sighed. This idea of Ford's, to create affordable automobiles for the everyday household. Bah! A ridiculous dream that was going to end up going nowhere. He certainly wasn't going to let this man leech money from Willard's company just to chase this fruitless dream.

Ellis finished his work early, packing up his belongings and locking the door behind him as he left. There was a spring in his step as he left the carriageworks office, excited to be getting home. Mary had only a few more weeks before she gave birth. What a gift, so early in the spring! With mister Willard's words in his ears, he grinned, believing them wholeheartedly. This would be the year for the company! It was the turn of a new century, after all, and those who were taking advantage of the expansion of industry stood to gain swelling successes in the future. Barely seven years into the new era, and everything looked fantastic.

On his way home, Ellis stopped into the jewelers. What could it hurt, he thought, to reward Mary's fine faith? He bought his new bride something lovely to wear around her neck and nevermind the price. His future was secure.

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Re: Writing prompt bonanza!
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 11:38:15 PM »
((No worries!  Things happen and real life has to come first.  I took the time to get myself better situated here. Starting to wonder if we should use more provocative images to get some other folks to join us! Publicly acceptable images, of course.))