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. Snow so soft and fine it feels like feathers again her face.
2. Spying was much less exciting than the magazines made it out to be. Their neighborhood was bereft of supervillains, covert operations, and even petty theft. On the whole they were terribly ordinary and horribly boring adults.
3. The sandstorm scours the dragon clean and the whistling grunts of Tyslor’s happiness echo across the sands– even in the roar of the storm the army can surely hear them.
4. Counting cars helps to pass the time, but blue cars seem to easy so the game quickly devolves into ‘cars with model names starting with R’ and ‘cars with license plates from states ending in A’.
5. It’s the last thing anyone wants, but it’s still better than doing nothing at all.
1. Good intentions are all we have left and we’re all going to hell anyway… it might as well be paved.
2. There’s a shadow on the moon, wide lemon yellow wings that cup the air and turn the valley to gold.
3. Being forty is pretty much the same as being any other age, you look back, wonder how you could have been so stupid and look forward thinking you’ll do it right this time. Which is pretty much the same thing you were doing at thirty and the same thing you’ll be doing at fifty.
4. Slivers of glass still litter the floor, fanned out from the picture’s impact point in a painful reminder that Heather really wasn’t coming back this time.
5. ‘Calculating and cold’ seems to be the general gist of the yearly reviews and he wonders what they’d been expecting in someone remolding civilians for war.
1. Iron rusts, wood burns, stone crumbles, until all that’s left are the ghosts.
2. Evening is the only time the song stops, as if the forest has paused for breath before beginning the nightly verses.
3. “You haven’t thought this through at all, have you.”
“My version of an acceptable solution is different than yours, that’s all.”
“It’s a meaningless sacrifice–”
4. Harsh red lights cut through the growing darkness, slicing back and forth through the fog in frantic loops as the hunters try and pinpoint the pack.
5. Simplify, simplify, simplify—she cuts away at her life, paring it down to the raw necessities of survival, the very smallest values of self– and still it’s not enough.
1. Rough scaly skin caught the light, drawing the dragon’s outline in sharp shattered lines.
2. January is a long and dreary month. The suns spends its days sulking behind thick grey clouds that don’t snow, but don’t let enough heat through to melt the ice.
3. They can see the future, but it’s muddles with echoes of probabilities. At best they can tell you what is more likely to happen, in descending order, until the visions are too faint to tell apart.
4. Horses and cattle thunder through the pass, kicking up a massive dust cloud that blots out the sun and leaves them blinded. Somewhere in the chaos one of the hands is trampled and screams– and the frantic rush to safety turns into a full out stampede.
5. There are only seven stars left in the sky and they name them one by one, a nightly ritual against the day when there’ll be nothing left at all.
1. The only rule in war is to stay alive and stay free—but survival’s not enough, not anymore.
2. Spiders dance in the moonlit sky, spinning and swooping on the night winds that turn their silk sails into wings.
3. “She stood here once, cup of coffee in hand and told me I’d never amount to anything.” He looked across the ruined kitchen, “She was right, I guess.”
“It’s a little hard to be a lawyer in the middle of a zombie apocalypse,” his sister shrugged.
4. Porters ferry them from place to place and for a while he feels like a sheep surrounded by indifferent dogs. He wonders what they’d really do if he just jumped off the sled, but he’s seen what’s left of her scars.
5. It might have been a mountain once, before time and long-forgotten tides wore it away. She stood at the edge of the black sand and looked up at the hill, searching for what could have been.
1. Kiwis look more like muppets than birds.
2. The stars are finally close enough to touch and he holds them in his hands, tiny sparks that burn with everlasting fire and slowly thaw him from the dark.
3. Feng Shui dictates every aspect of her apartment. From the colors to the positioning, each detail is carefully controlled– even the materials are checked and balanced in the comforting spiritual equations.
4. My life, my dreams, are nothing but kindling to the world. I’ll be dead and gone before anything I set in motion truly catches fire.
5. Fences carve up the countryside into tiny fiefdoms, reigned over by the High Court of Cats and the Low Court of Dogs. At least until the Low Court learns how to climb.
1. She sometimes suspects that stuffed animals live on tears, but she can’t decide if it’s creepy or comforting.
2. The ship is anything but quiet, even out on the open ocean. Between the waves, the creaks of the hull, and the bone-trembling calls of the dragon figureheads he was beginning to think he’d never sleep again.
3. Quarter is given and taken with solemn ceremony, but without any real concern and she’s left feeling vaguely adrift as they walk into yet another battlefield ‘timeout.’
4. Growing old is something he’s spent good money trying to avoid.
5. “Justice is not the point,” he carefully wiped down the blade, testing the edge for new nicks. “Justice was never the point. You asked me to kill this man and I did. Not because he killed your brother. Not because he killed a lot of people’s brothers. I did it because you asked.”
1. Songs are for victors and there’s no one left to sing.
2. ‘Overly protective’ doesn’t begin to describe the way she feels and it takes every ounce of courage not to snatch him back out of harm’s way.
3. Spices are the first thing they trade for, as soon as they can tell for sure what’s safe to eat. There’s only so much blandness they can tolerate and six months is two months too long to wait for ‘pass the salt.’
4. Gossip never considers ‘too soon,’ all it cares about is what sins the dead left behind.
5. The silence is pervasive enough that for a moment all he can hear is his own heartbeat thundering in the dark.
1. I am the last and I will always be the last– my immortality reborn anew on their final breaths.
2. Planning for the unexpected normally means planning for things that could reasonably happen, but this time reality has taken the gloves off.
3. Colony chickens are feral things; vicious, fast, and without even the slightest hint of fear they roam the alleyways and fields. For the moment pest control is more important than meat, but Sam looks forward to the day they’re back on the menu.
4. Flowers collect around her grave like tears, a visual cacophony of grief.
5. Shadows are gateways, if you look at them right. Like optical illusions that are both raised and sunken, dancing girls that spin both left and right– seeing them’s a skill, nothing more.
1. Eating is never utilitarian here, every bite is both gourmet and heavily ritualized, a cultural lodestone that everything else is drawn to.
2. “You left the stove on,” the cat said as soon as she got back in the door. “I could have burnt my paw.”
“They cut the power off monday, so no I didn’t,” she countered while flipping through the mail. “Plus you’re imaginary.”
3. The hardest thing on the first day of the training hunt is convincing them not to give chase when the prey thunders off. We’re naturally persistence hunters, not sprinters, but the slow methodical pace is something they still have to learn.
4. Deadlines loom large on the horizon, so he buries his head in the internet and refuses to look up.
5. We might joke about over the top action movies, but in truth humanity is always in search of the next big BOOM!