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. Immortals from bad families don’t have trust funds, they work retail.
2. It’s hard to stay scared, no matter how spooky the house is, when nothing bad actually happens. Things going bump in the night and shadows seen out of the corner of your eye take on this disturbingly normal tone after a few months.
3. “But how are we getting the guns to start with?”
“Details,” he shrugged, “I don’t do details, I told you that when we started.”
4. Thunderheads rear up among the mountains, dancing lightning down the magnetic spires and turning the horizon into a terrifying wall of storms.
5. We’re so far gone from the farming days– We don’t eat what we plant anymore, half my mother’s garden is actually poisonous.
1. The water defines the horizon with deep blue scars against the green.
2. “I don’t want to go home again,” she snapped, “I can miss the pass without having to wallow in it.”
3. They’d reached the peak, but the dogs were spent. The hounds had sprawled out across the cool rocks panting and only giving a halfhearted wag as their handlers walked by.
4. Being paid to play games all day really isn’t as much fun as it seems. My job is to test the bug fixes, which means following a checklist of scripted actions instead of playing for fun. Except this time the game’s fighting back…
5. The only birds that pass over the tiny island are the long distance gliders, none of which bother to land unless there’s a storm rolling in.
1. Photographs burn and fade in the sunlight, losing forever those pieces of time.
2. “I thought you retired.”
“I tried– ran away as far as I could get, searching for a place where I was just a nobody again– and you know what? I hate being a nobody.”
3. They created the paint as a joke– it started as black and worked its way up the spectrum, the faster you went the brighter it got. One kid even got a motorcycle just into the white before a cop finally brought him down.
4. It’s an odd culture, the word for every animal is just another variation of ‘not-us’. She has a feeling the translators are being polite when it comes to humanity’s description.
5. Fishing boats flock back to the bay at midday, only slightly quieter than the raucous seagulls that follow in their wake.
1. Dogs are patient; they’ll wait forever for you to love them back.
2. On foot it looks like the whole world has been paved over, but by plane you can see the vast forests that lurk just beyond the concrete and steel horizons.
3. Queens hold all the power here; their courts are human versions of lion prides where Kings are merely figureheads that care only for other Kings and little else.
4. “Life happens too quickly to process in the moment,” the elder chided as he moved slowly through the food presentation rituals. “So you will humor me, and sit, and eat, and then you will tell me about your day.”
5. The world ends just outside his window, a roiling void of nothingness that sucks at the house, eating it away atom by atom.
1. No one wants to read my memoirs– then they might have to face the truth.
2. Every so often courier dragons flash by, a painful reminder of just how slow planes have become.
3. It rarely rains here, so the only green to be found lines the rivers and irrigation ditches. The rest of the fields are a dry dusty brown, with only sporadic plants who’ve learned to survive the drought.
4. “Wishing won’t change the world.”
“I know,” he looked down over the railing, “but that’s all I’ve got.”
5. The sea’s is a perfect reflection of the sky, holding the boat unnaturally still and eerily silent.
1. “Unless you want to get out and walk, you listen to my music.”
2. The gardens are an excess of wealth, hundreds of varieties of vegetables and flowers intertwined with crushed stone walkways just a shade larger than sand.
3.The dragon is a nose taller than the horse, but it’s long-limbed and fragile with less weight than its human handlers.
4. You don’t reclaim land from the sea; you borrow it with yearly tithes to keep the Deep at bay.
5. “Hey look!” He pointed out the plane window and she leaned over to see. “You can see where the river used to run, before they diverted it.” The old bed was a dry sandy scar across a desiccated forest.
1. Flowers wither and die, but briars are forever.
2. “I used to admire people who can sleep on planes,” said the not un-handsome stranger across the aisle, trying to extract himself from his snoring friend.
3. There’s no distinction left between cats and dogs, save the scientific. Space has warped both species into something new, pushing them towards the same adaptations until they reach that common goal.
4. The pond water is a bright emerald green. Her fingers hover over the surface a moment before she steels her courage and dips in the cup.
5. Footsteps in the snow mar the soot– the men came after the dragons then, and now she knows who to kill.
1. The tide covers a multitude of sins.
2. Her magic has turned the funeral pyre’s flames black and cold, leaching light and warmth from the hall.
3. Most saddle makers are overjoyed with the introduction of each year’s line of designer animals. They best have a front-row preview of the new creatures and the rest are left to scramble to adapt.
4. “–you are the Chosen One!”
“Really? That’s awesome! When do we start—wait. Oh God, I need to pack.” She eyed her closet, “No, scratch that, I need to shop!”
5. They learn all the ways to crash a glider, coming back into the shop bruised and bleeding and laughing with excitement.
1. “So what brings you into the wood?” asked the fox who wasn’t a wolf and wasn’t a bear. “It’s not safe out here in the dark.” He rippled as he spoke and wasn’t a cougar and wasn’t a lynx.
“You’re right,” she said and shot him with silver until he was just a fox again, “it’s not safe at all.”
2. I finally had to call in sick after a fruitless hour of tearing my apartment apart searching for my keys. My boss was more amused than annoyed, but I was headed into to a full-blown not-really-midlife crisis.
3. Dolphins are the teenaged assholes of our coast– sure, sometimes they’d help rescue a drowning fisherman, but for the most part make a game of dismantling our fish pens, harass the hippos that bring barges down the river, and snatch away the larger gamefish just before we can get them on the boat.
4. Over the years the forest expands outwards from the circle, rows of trees radiating in straight lines as if planted by an army of gardeners.
5. There’s a cliff by the sound end of the beach where you can lie right on the edge and watch the waves crash in below you. It’s just high enough to seem scary when you’re small, but short enough not to terrify your parents.
1. One day I realized other people could talk.
2. Another day at the campgrounds and I think she would have snapped. Heck, we might have been able to push her over the edge just by threatening to stay– but thankfully (or not) Phil had carefully rationed out our vacation into a Sally-approved adventure.
3. The shield might keep them safe, but it tinted the whole colony a depressing shade of blue.
4. “There are more domestic unicorns in Tennessee alone than there are left in the wild.” She looked out across the pasture with a sigh. “At this rate I’ll never get to see a real one.”
Her unicorn flicked his ear and snorted in amusement, but didn’t look up from his hay.
5. They save on fuels by following the winds, waiting until they’ve been truly mired in the doldrums to nurse the engines back to life.