Tag Archives: bizarre

Writing prompt: “He tore off another sheet of paper and threw it in the bin”

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

“He tore off another sheet of paper and threw it in the bin”

He tore off another sheet of paper and threw it in the bin.

“This just isn’t working, I don’t know why I even bother! I’ll never reach 50,000 words!” He buried his head in his arms.

A clattering caused him to raise his head. The bin was tipped over. James looked at it with curiosity; he hadn’t heard the cat come in. The crumpled pieces of paper rolled out of the bin, one after another, with a strange sense of direction. That was odd.

The pieces uncrumpled themselves, and then crumpled together, forming some kind of an animal in amalgamation. An ostrich, he decided.

“You just need to have imagination!” He blinked. It was the paper ostrich that spoke. It had a buzzing voice, like air blown quickly over the edge of paper.

He looked into his coffee mug. What type was this?

“Put the mug away and get to work. We’re full of good ideas, and we’re here to put you to work. First, you will write about a radioactive raccoon that has been breaking into people’s trash. Then you will write about a woman’s struggle against the tyranny of cowboy aliens in the early American frontier. Then you will write about a colony of people who live inside the sun. Then they will all meet!”

“That’s insane,” James said.

“They are words, and you will write them! You weren’t doing any better before!”

“That’s true. That one about the sun sounds kind of cool.”

“Write, and the inspiration will come. How many words have you written in the month before this one?”

James didn’t reply. He always meant to get around to writing… there were just cool new bars opening, and concerts… Hmm… what would he write about a colony of people living inside the sun?


Writing prompt: “She watched the autumn leaves fall”

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

“She watched the autumn leaves fall”

She watched the autumn leaves fall. The floor of the forest must be covered in several inches after the last week.

It’s under there, she thought. She gazed at the sea of golden and brown leaves. It was tempting to notice how pretty the scene was, golden late afternoon light spilling through the nearly bare branches. But it was more like looking at a new ocean that had just formed, a great useless barrier in between her and her prize. How long would it them to find the city under this mess? If she couldn’t, would it be too late by spring?

Five years ago, when she had started the research, the danger of it had never occurred to her. Ants were nifty, clever little critters. Somehow, she still didn’t know how, but somehow she had changed them. They were smarter. They plotted. They got to things normal ants shouldn’t get to, like the morning she arrived to find the sugar-water solution in the next room down a quarter in volume. It hadn’t been her imagination, she realized, when the birth rate went up the appropriate time later.

Somehow, a week ago, a few had stowed away on her person. She wouldn’t even have noticed, except that somehow she’d killed one. What a shock it had been to see one of her hot pink ants in her pocket, the worst kind of smoking bullet. She’d traced her steps back to her cut-through home. Even her ants were remarkably camouflaged this time of year. Had they planned it?

People probably imagined that viruses or bacteria engineering would eventually wreak havoc on the world. But no, she shook her head; it was going to be her Technicolor ants. Maybe they wouldn’t survive the winter.