Writing prompt: Expand a detail from an existing story

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“Write in about a small detail from another story as its own story” (In this case, another story mentions the excitement caused by a two-headed snake.)

People from the next three hollows over agreed that the two-headed snake was the most amazing thing they’d ever seen. Only old Alvin Teek, always crazy but growing more combative as he aged, was unimpressed. But then he thought there were buildings made of glass taller than any tree and invisible light that could cook food. Whatever hollow he originally came from must have died out for lack of practicality. The man couldn’t even catch his own food.

After the bomb, it was common to see animals with growths or legions. They were usually pretty sick. The most interesting ones were always dead. Teek said it was the radiation, some relative of his magic cooking light. But the two-headed snake was alive, and mad as hell that we’d caught it. It bit one of the honored blue men, and the other blue men were jealous that he’d grown closer to the hills until his wound grew infected and he lost the hand. One only wanted to be so close to the hills.

Lately we’ve been seeing things in the sky. Teek says they’re planes, full of people. They look like slow-moving shooting stars. They’re not full of people, but they do seem full of meaning. First lights in the sky, now a two-headed snake. They’re omens for sure. Times are going to be changing. The land we live on is older than the world, but we aren’t. The elders say the land is preparing to shed us once more.


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