Saturday Story Prompts are a weekly collection of five short snippits of story that my Muses never went further with. Hopefully they’ll spark a story for someone else!
1. Space is vast and empty and boring… but so is Earth, if you look at it right.
2. Horses only come in sandy chestnut here, the first herd was too small for the other colors to survive the rains. So she dreams in bays and grays and palominos… and wonders how mad her uncle would get if she ‘borrowed’ his hair dye.
3. Cold weather rolls down from the mountains and pools in the valley until the weather witch rolls up her sleeves and knots up the winds to the river.
4. Keeping college students as pets amuses her for a while, but they’ve no respect for antiquity– their lives revolve around finals and midterms. She settles on history-themed graduate students instead and torments them with insights she couldn’t possibly know… that all turn out to be true when they dig.
5. Deacon is less intimidating in person than over the phone, there’s some magic power that keeps him from cussing as loudly (or creatively) when he has to do it to your face.
1. The unicorn snarled, a low rumbling bellow that echoed in her bones.
3. There’s a constant hum throughout the ship, a melodic tone that’s generated to drown out the distracting clicks and whirrs and chirps that keep us alive. The tone’s annoying, but your brain filters one tone out easier than the chaos it’s hiding– at least until someone ‘helpful’ reminds you it exists.
5. Power goes out and the world goes with it. No one cares what’s happening overseas any more than they care what’s happening in a town three hundred miles away.
Note: Two prompts will be missing until monday, as the master copy is on the computer that is currently in storage, sorry!
1. Open the door, they whispered from the shadows. Open the door, over and over until his childhood echoed with it.
2. They aren’t transporters so much as replicators, it’s only the law and the failsafes that clean-up the you that’s left behind.
3. Every so often I vow to give up the internet and accomplish something physical instead of virtual– but there are a depressingly few number of respawn points on this planet.
4. The wolves are small coyote-size things, stunted by generations of poor hunting and long winters. The sheep are massive, comparatively, and the canines learn quickly that my mountain flocks are nothing like their dimwitted low-valley cousins.
5. Telepathy depends heavily on your ability to translate the input; it’s more akin to interpretive dance than cryptography.
1. He’s forgotten more in a month than I’ve ever learned and it’s terrifying to watch something so ancient try to fit into a human shell.
2. ‘Happy thoughts’ really depend on who’s thinking them.
3. “This is the last time I save you from stupid choices.”
“I thought last time was the ‘last time’,” he said with a grin. “Come on Aunt Marg, you know you love the chance to tell Mom she was wrong.”
“The last time,” Margery repeated… and she almost meant it.
4. Raindrops are larger here, due to the gravity and atmosphere, and he spends a few lazy hours watching them splash against the windows.
5. Caravans are always delayed: it’s a time honored law of low-tech travel, so they’ve built in two-week buffers to compensate.
1. Unplugging –completely opting out of the net– isn’t possible anymore. Even if you aren’t directly connected everyone around you is and you’re defined by the blank space in their lives.
2. “If you say ‘I never meant to hurt you’ I swear I will gut you like fish.”
“I’m new to these sorts of battles, but I don’t think you’re allowed to fight clichés with clichés…”
3. Years are the only currency he has left, so he takes the bargain and steps out of time and into purgatory to pay his dues. What’s a century or two among friends, after all?
4. Hot springs are an unexpected bliss, tucked away just far enough off the trail that only the faintest hint of sulfur gives them away. The path is overgrown and none of the tracks are fresh so they’re safe enough to stop and soak.
5. Waiting is the worst part of bad events. I wait for them to happen, wait for them to be over, and wait for the next one to come along– being psychic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
1. Tiny leaves encircle the vines like fur, ruffling in the soft spring breezes.
2. “But– I thought I loved you,” he sounded so honestly confused that for a moment she felt guilty.
3. Vacant hallways are all that’s left of the victory celebration. The victors are thoughtfully tidy in their conquest, if nothing else.
4. The planet is disturbingly flat to someone born and raised in the mountains. Populated with nothing but grasses and reeds, the continent they’ve landed on is an endless prairie that stretches to all horizons with nary a shrub or sapling in sight.
5. Building a nest egg turns into a game of finding places to put the money that he’ll forgot to look in. Sure, he feels silly eight months down the road stumbling over a twenty in the vase or a fifty in an old coat pocket, but at least he’s consistently saving.
1. Victory is for our grandchildren, for us and our children there is only war.
2. There are no standard punishments for breaking the laws in the western kingdoms. Court cases are elaborate dances of protocol and each verdict is unique and tailored to the individual as well as the crime.
3. There’s no better time for self-reflection than just after midnight, hours before you’re pretty sure you’re going to die– trust me, I’ve done this a few dozen times.
4. The world changes too quickly to keep up, so after a few decades of fighting he stops trying. At least now they think he’s just being ‘retro’ instead of suspiciously archaic.
5. The planet’s poor in silicate, so plastic has replaced glass wherever it can– she’s not sure if that should be as depressing as it sounds in her head.
As you probably know, I’ve been trying to catch-up on posting Monthly ‘read the future’ collections of the Saturday Story Prompts for a while now. I’m happy to say that the last of the 24 eBooks are finally done and in the Smashwords store!
|Read the Future for a buck!
The original plan back in 2012 had been to post these once a month as a rolling Tip Jar. One eBook would be posted each month for a buck and the book from the previous year would rollover into free status.
This worked on the assumption that I could finish a book a month… and considering today’s posting is for the books scheduled to appear last year, you can see why the plan failed.
So these four books will be the last of the Monthly Collections. If you want to throw some money in the Tip Jar, check out the Yearly collections and the custom Prompt-a-Day eBook offering over on Etsy.
1. There is something about finally being warm again after working out in the cold that’s incredibly blissful.
2. Fire wolves prowl the edges of the campus, flickering shadows that stalk us in the darkness.
3. For a moment she daydreamed about ignoring the phone– She just wanted a day off, a day without anyone demanding anything from her, a day where she could curl up with a good book and dammitall, not feel guilty about it!
4. Watching from the shadows is all he can do, there are too many of them and there’s too much at stake to throw his life away on noble gestures– but he refuses to let them die alone.
5. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they aren’t watching you just because they’re turned away; they’ve a predator’s instincts but a herbivore’s eyes.
1. Magnetic fields warp and shatter around them as their power grows.
2. Some parrots keep humans as pets; stopping by their houses to get food and attention. A few of the flock have even taught them simple words, even if Brightfeather’s Law technically forbids it.
3. The ability to grow food in winter was abruptly gone and humanity found itself pushed back towards the equator.
4. Hand-made means both quality and crap at the same time, it’s meaning depends mainly on the context (and the tone).
5. Robots could do everything better– if we let them.