Author Topic: Prompts  (Read 1982 times)  

Offline D. Roman

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Prompts
« on: April 13, 2020, 04:46:21 pm »
I'm going to post some prompts in this thread.  I'll try to do this at least once a week if not daily. (We'll see how that goes :P)

If there is already a story prompt thread please feel free to move me over.  I didn't see it in my search.

Use these prompts as you see fit in your writing.  Also, if you have prompts you want to share have it.  My goal is just to encourage writing and creativity. 

All the best and keep writing.

D. Roman

Today's Prompt

Tiffany knew it wasn't going to work out the minute she walked in the room.  There was no way she was going to allow that...

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    Offline Undercover Writer

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 09:05:25 pm »
    ...cheating David back into her life.  So, she decided that she had to...

    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 10:09:13 pm »
    I have a character "Tightass Tiffany" in my lifelong fantasy series. She becomes the next Hostel Manager as the current woman, Talia, actually happens to be from another planet, a secret that only MC and her friends know.

    Tiffany knew it wasn't going to work out the minute she walked in the room. There was no way she was going to allow that. The building 5 girls just don't like transgenders occupying the top floor. Tiffany knows that very well and she hates all of them. Now, isn't this an excellent opportunity to mock Rachel and others? Moreover, she can get the grapevine to  gossip about affairs between those girls and the transgenders -- Vickie, Jebbie, Prince, Pearl, and Shyla. A way to create social stigma against them in college. Tiffany is close to the landlords, the Callaghan brothers, after all. Will they even listen to Talia who just has a couple of weeks left in the office?

    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 06:06:50 pm »
    Prompt for April 14th

    Tonight was the night.  Derek lifted the cellphone in his hand and called her.  He was finally going to tell her that...

    D. Roman
    « Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 09:58:21 pm by D. Roman »
    D. Roman





    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #4 on: April 17, 2020, 04:38:53 pm »
    Take these as you will.  I'm just hoping to encourage people to find some spark in here.

    Be Well.

    D. Roman

    Today's Prompt

    Sarah rubbed her eyes and reached for the blinker as she approached the exit.  Her hand hesitated and she realized that...
    « Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 04:51:49 pm by D. Roman »
    D. Roman





    Offline RockWhitehouse

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #5 on: April 17, 2020, 06:25:54 pm »
    Was his hand named 'her' or was it the phone?

    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #6 on: April 17, 2020, 10:03:00 pm »
    Was his hand named 'her' or was it the phone?

    LOL - typo.  I forgot the "and" in the sentence.

    Thanks,

    D.
    D. Roman





    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #7 on: April 18, 2020, 01:42:43 am »
    The late night horror movie was long over and Sarah had dozed off, terribly drunk, somewhere during the second half. Her friends hadn't bothered to wake her up. They had giggled and deserted her. Nor had the cleaners at the movie house bothered to come along and check for abandoned bags, phones, condoms, and other stuff.

    Sarah lay slumped in a  seat near the wall. She turned her head left and right as she regained consciousness.

    Sarah realized what had happened. She gathered all her energy and dragged her body out of the row, often stumbling against the arms of the chairs. After much struggle, she stood steady on the ramp. Sarah felt dizzy and confused. She had boozed too much. She, however, walked with determination and conscious effort.
     
    Sarah rubbed her eyes and reached for the blinker as she approached the exit.  Her hand hesitated and she realized that a little girl was weeping in the dark auditorium. It was a large circular space and she was right in the middle of the ramp, The weeping sounds came in brief pauses. It was a muffled tone, possibly that of a ten year old girl.

    Sarah turned around. "Hello, anybody in there?" She picked up a pen torch from her hand bag and shined it around. The weeping stopped and the thin beam only illuminated vacant seats. Sarah's head hurt. "Perhaps, it's booze," she thought. She turned around and climbed up the ramp. As she neared the exit, the weeping started off yet again.

    Sarah turned back, and this time she saw a little girl clad in an all white attire standing at the front row, right in front of the screen. Her white hair was all loosened up and it was almost till her skirt. Strangely, the little girl was staring at the screen.

    Perplexed, Sarah walked down the ramp. "Hey, kiddo, so your momma left you behind? Perhaps, you disobeyed? Come, I will take you home in my car!"

    Sarah walked steadily towards the girl.

    The girl, however, didn't even bother to turn around. Strangely, she stopped crying.

    Sarah touched her shoulder. "Good girl! You stopped crying! So, what happened? Did you cry out of fear of darkness? Did you fight with your mom? Tell me!"
     
    "I want to watch the movie, once again, now."
    The girl turned around for the very first time and faced Sarah.

    And Sarah screamed.

    The girl's face was dead white, and her eyes appeared bored out. Those sockets were bleeding. And flies emerged out of the girl's mouth as she stuck out her bloodied tongue at Sarah. "I want to watch the movie once again."

    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #8 on: April 18, 2020, 04:29:27 am »
    The late night horror movie was long over and Sarah had dozed off, terribly drunk, somewhere during the second half. Her friends hadn't bothered to wake her up. They had giggled and deserted her. Nor had the cleaners at the movie house bothered to come along and check for abandoned bags, phones, condoms, and other stuff.

    Sarah lay slumped in a  seat near the wall. She turned her head left and right as she regained consciousness.

    Sarah realized what had happened. She gathered all her energy and dragged her body out of the row, often stumbling against the arms of the chairs. After much struggle, she stood steady on the ramp. Sarah felt dizzy and confused. She had boozed too much. She, however, walked with determination and conscious effort.
     
    Sarah rubbed her eyes and reached for the blinker as she approached the exit.  Her hand hesitated and she realized that a little girl was weeping in the dark auditorium. It was a large circular space and she was right in the middle of the ramp, The weeping sounds came in brief pauses. It was a muffled tone, possibly that of a ten year old girl.

    Sarah turned around. "Hello, anybody in there?" She picked up a pen torch from her hand bag and shined it around. The weeping stopped and the thin beam only illuminated vacant seats. Sarah's head hurt. "Perhaps, it's booze," she thought. She turned around and climbed up the ramp. As she neared the exit, the weeping started off yet again.

    Sarah turned back, and this time she saw a little girl clad in an all white attire standing at the front row, right in front of the screen. Her white hair was all loosened up and it was almost till her skirt. Strangely, the little girl was staring at the screen.

    Perplexed, Sarah walked down the ramp. "Hey, kiddo, so your momma left you behind? Perhaps, you disobeyed? Come, I will take you home in my car!"

    Sarah walked steadily towards the girl.

    The girl, however, didn't even bother to turn around. Strangely, she stopped crying.

    Sarah touched her shoulder. "Good girl! You stopped crying! So, what happened? Did you cry out of fear of darkness? Did you fight with your mom? Tell me!"
     
    "I want to watch the movie, once again, now."
    The girl turned around for the very first time and faced Sarah.

    And Sarah screamed.

    The girl's face was dead white, and her eyes appeared bored out. Those sockets were bleeding. And flies emerged out of the girl's mouth as she stuck out her bloodied tongue at Sarah. "I want to watch the movie once again."

    Wow!  Nice short story!
    D. Roman





    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #9 on: April 18, 2020, 04:31:10 am »
    Prompt for Today

    Darrien slowly pulled his sword from his sheath and stared down into the abyss.  He lowered his foot onto the slimy stone step below and he heard...

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    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #10 on: April 18, 2020, 08:31:13 am »
    Darrien slowly pulled his sword from his sheath and stared down into the abyss.  He lowered his foot onto the slimy stone step below and he heard the neigh of a...Darrien couldn't believe his eyes...it was an unicorn trotting into the deep woods.

    Darren had heard about these stories. They were part of the village folklore. Now he realized that the elders in his mountain village were telling the truth. Darren had originally planned to hunt down some wild boar for food, but now? What if he brings back the unicorn's horn? Even the mythical horse itself on his shoulders? He would become the hero of his village folks. He can sell the horn in the market for a good price. He will become rich.

    Darrien hurried down the stony steps. It had rained last night and the path was slippery and dangerous but Darrien didn't care. He stashed his sword inside the sheath, wore back his mask, wrapped his bow and javelin around his chest, and simply rolled down the steps.

    In a matter of minutes he had touched upon the foot of the forest.

    It was a thick forest, full of densely packed trees and wild shrubbery. Wild boars aplenty, they were what ended up on every villager's dining table.

    Darrien simply ran in the direction of the unicorn. The sun fought it's way through the thick early morning fog, and through the foliage, as it guided the young and brave hunter. There were paths the village hunters knew. And he knew them very well too, for he himself was an ace hunter.

    Darrien ran along one of the several red roads made by the hunters. He ran in the direction dictated by his intuition... before suddenly freezing to a halt.

    Darrien heard the unicorn's neigh once again.

    He changed his course and began to run in the direction of the sound. It was off the beaten path and he had to wade through maze of trees, slushy waters, and thorny creepers.

    The neigh grew louder and Darrien persisted. He finally sighted a clear dry land.

    Darrien couldn't believe his eyes as he stared at the unicorn. He pulled out the sword from the sheath.

    The unicorn stared back at him and neighed, even as it kicked mud with its legs.

    They ran in crazy circles with Darrien attempting to kill the unicorn and chop off it's horn. The unicorn, however, was constantly getting the better of Darrien -- it would slow whenever he slowed but would speed whenever he quickened his pace.

    Darrien, hopeless and totally out of sorts, ultimately tripped and fell flat on the earth.

    All became silent for a couple of minutes.

    Gradually, Darrien recovered, unmasked, and stared out.

    The unicorn was standing right in front of him, on the perimeter of the land.

    Now, it started walking on the perimeter.

    And Darren's dazed eyes swept the area.

    Darrien clearly saw the marks made by his shoes but was shocked to find that the unicorn hadn't left behind any footprints.

    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 09:58:15 am »
    Darrien slowly pulled his sword from his sheath and stared down into the abyss.  He lowered his foot onto the slimy stone step below and he heard the neigh of a...Darrien couldn't believe his eyes...it was an unicorn trotting into the deep woods.

    Darren had heard about these stories. They were part of the village folklore. Now he realized that the elders in his mountain village were telling the truth. Darren had originally planned to hunt down some wild boar for food, but now? What if he brings back the unicorn's horn? Even the mythical horse itself on his shoulders? He would become the hero of his village folks. He can sell the horn in the market for a good price. He will become rich.

    Darrien hurried down the stony steps. It had rained last night and the path was slippery and dangerous but Darrien didn't care. He stashed his sword inside the sheath, wore back his mask, wrapped his bow and javelin around his chest, and simply rolled down the steps.

    In a matter of minutes he had touched upon the foot of the forest.

    It was a thick forest, full of densely packed trees and wild shrubbery. Wild boars aplenty, they were what ended up on every villager's dining table.

    Darrien simply ran in the direction of the unicorn. The sun fought it's way through the thick early morning fog, and through the foliage, as it guided the young and brave hunter. There were paths the village hunters knew. And he knew them very well too, for he himself was an ace hunter.

    Darrien ran along one of the several red roads made by the hunters. He ran in the direction dictated by his intuition... before suddenly freezing to a halt.

    Darrien heard the unicorn's neigh once again.

    He changed his course and began to run in the direction of the sound. It was off the beaten path and he had to wade through maze of trees, slushy waters, and thorny creepers.

    The neigh grew louder and Darrien persisted. He finally sighted a clear dry land.

    Darrien couldn't believe his eyes as he stared at the unicorn. He pulled out the sword from the sheath.

    The unicorn stared back at him and neighed, even as it kicked mud with its legs.

    They ran in crazy circles with Darrien attempting to kill the unicorn and chop off it's horn. The unicorn, however, was constantly getting the better of Darrien -- it would slow whenever he slowed but would speed whenever he quickened his pace.

    Darrien, hopeless and totally out of sorts, ultimately tripped and fell flat on the earth.

    All became silent for a couple of minutes.

    Gradually, Darrien recovered, unmasked, and stared out.

    The unicorn was standing right in front of him, on the perimeter of the land.

    Now, it started walking on the perimeter.

    And Darren's dazed eyes swept the area.

    Darrien clearly saw the marks made by his shoes but was shocked to find that the unicorn hadn't left behind any footprints.

    Nice.  Was it all a dream?!

    D.
    D. Roman





    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #12 on: April 18, 2020, 06:39:02 pm »
    I've removed a post. Please keep in mind that we're a family friendly forum -- no profanity, no "adult" content.

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    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 08:28:55 pm »
    Nice.  Was it all a dream?!

    D.

    In the end, Darrien isn't able to ascertain whether the unicorn is real or merely an illusion created by his mind. Even if he brings back the villagers to this spot, he couldn't prove that he encountered an unicorn as no footprints are left behind. So, the idea of an unicorn continues to remain a fascinating myth, a mystery, in the minds of everyone in the village.

    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #14 on: April 19, 2020, 04:42:13 am »
    Prompt for April 14th

    Tonight was the night.  Derek lifted the cellphone in his hand and called her.  He was finally going to tell her that...

    D. Roman

    Tonight was the night. Derek lifted the cellphone in his hand and called her. He was finally going to tell her that he was sorry. They hadn't spoken to each other for a week.

    Derek had chosen Sasha over Emma for the chemistry project. Students have to wish a classmate for a project mate and they had to stand up and announce the name. When Derek's turn came, he wished for Sasha, the girl who had the best brains for the chemistry project. However, she happened to be a girl that Emma hated. And that was because Sasha had a crush over Emma's boyfriend, Derek.

    Derek was terrible at chemistry. He was desperate to pass the paper. But so was the case with Emma.

    The chemistry teacher, visibly surprised, had asked Derek, smilingly, "But isn't there a good chemistry already existing between you and Emma?" To which, Derek had curtly replied, "And to what extent would that help me with my grade? This is a different chemistry project!" The class had broken into rapturous laughter, upon which, Emma had walked out of the room abruptly.

    "Listen, Emma," Derek pleaded, as he sat up on his bed. "I'm sorry, truly sorry to have insulted you in front of the class."

    "Damn you, Derek..." Emma broke into tears, as she rested her elbows on the study table and cupped her chin.

    "You know, Emma, I should've expressed myself in a polite manner. You know I'm in a tight corner."

    Emma's crying sounds persisted on the other end of the phone.

    "Damn," Derek cursed himself, as he punched the wall with frustration. "Listen, Emma, please, to my situation. Sasha isn't all that bad. I'm getting better at my chemistry. You know that she's the best when it comes to... "

    Emma reconciled and pounced at the mention of her rival's name. "What excuse now? After all that had happened in the class, you are trying to convince me that your chemistry is getting better, eh?  Isn't that also the chemistry between you and Sasha? First, you take her help. Then you take her for a date, all in return for a good grade. And then she wishes to get married to you in another couple of years." Emma snorted. "Listen up, Derek, I'm fed up with your alibi. Time to choose. Three more days remain to change project mates. Choose me, else you have failed OUR chemistry."

    Derek persisted. "But Emma, you don't understand. You're being emotional. Did I mind you having Brad as a project mate? Everyone knows that he likes you."

    Emma's anger shot up. "Oh, so now you suspect the chemistry between me and Brad? How dare you!" She cut the call abruptly.

    "Damn, damn, damn."  Derek punched the wall with frustration.

    Epilogue:

    Three days later, Derek and Emma huddled together on the front bench. The chemistry teacher lowered his gaze on his book. A gentle smile played on his face, one that shone with wisdom, a peace that passeth all understandings..and misunderstandings.

    Derek nudged Emma. "So, are you happy now that we both are together in this?"

    Emma whispered back, but audible enough for Sasha in the bench behind. "Absolutely happy. Fail or pass, we both are in this together. In fact, this is a pass grade for OUR chemistry!"

    Sasha, angered, attempted to prick Emma's back with the nib of her fountain pen. However, Brad, who sat next to her, grabbed her hand and placed the nib upon his left palm.

    He made her write his name.


    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #15 on: April 19, 2020, 06:25:02 am »
    In the end, Darrien isn't able to ascertain whether the unicorn is real or merely an illusion created by his mind. Even if he brings back the villagers to this spot, he couldn't prove that he encountered an unicorn as no footprints are left behind. So, the idea of an unicorn continues to remain a fascinating myth, a mystery, in the minds of everyone in the village.

    I really like this.  It seems very in keeping with the mysteries sparked by fantasy in the first place.  little people, wisps, creatures in the woods, things seen but unseen. 
    D. Roman





    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #16 on: April 19, 2020, 06:26:56 am »
    Today's Prompt

    Jason watched the leaves fall outside his window, just another ordinary fall day.  Except for that one leaf that paused midway down. It just hung there suspended.
    D. Roman





    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #17 on: April 20, 2020, 01:00:32 am »
    Today's Prompt

    Jason watched the leaves fall outside his window, just another ordinary fall day.  Except for that one leaf that paused midway down. It just hung there suspended.

    Jason watched the leaves fall outside his window, just another ordinary fall day.  Except for that one leaf that paused midway down. It just hung there suspended. Jason couldn't believe his eyes. He grabbed a binocular from his study table and observed again. No. There wasn't a thin string or a thread to which the leaf had latched. Intrigued, he emptied his cup of coffee and hopped over the window sill. He stood on the ledge and observed yet again. The Ash tree was dropping twigs, leaves, and helicopters, every now and then. But this one, this strange leaf, simply hung in its place. "It's a miracle," he muttered, as he reached out to the leaf. It never grew shy but continued to stay in it's place.

    Jason grabbed it with his right hand and jumped back into his room. He sat down and placed the magical leaf, bottom up, on his study table. Jason felt the texture of the leaf. It was just like the other leaves. He shrugged. "Oh wait," he then said in sudden realization. He picked the leaf and allowed it to drop on his table. But, lo and behold, the leaf simply stood in the air! Jason couldn't believe his eyes. He placed it yet again on his table and turned it, bottom down. He was again surprised.

    A couplet was written on the leaf.

    It read:

    Abundance and happiness over the mire of poverty below,
    To the one who floats this back; the fairy shall thus bestow.

    Jason understood, stood up with the leaf upon his palm, and gently blew it out of his window.

    The leaf drifted away and attached itself to a branch. And miraculously, all the falling, and fallen, twigs, leaves, and helicopters, began to move upwards and backwards, into the Ash tree.

    The Ash tree turned resplendent. It began to glow and dazzle in golden color.

    Lo and behold, the Ash tree fairy appeared before Jason, radiant and bright.  She recited the couplet, blessed him, and disappeared back into the Ash tree.
    The tree now turned into it's usual, normal self.

    Within a year, Jason's business flourished and he became a billionaire.







    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #18 on: April 20, 2020, 07:08:04 am »
    Jason watched the leaves fall outside his window, just another ordinary fall day.  Except for that one leaf that paused midway down. It just hung there suspended. Jason couldn't believe his eyes. He grabbed a binocular from his study table and observed again. No. There wasn't a thin string or a thread to which the leaf had latched. Intrigued, he emptied his cup of coffee and hopped over the window sill. He stood on the ledge and observed yet again. The Ash tree was dropping twigs, leaves, and helicopters, every now and then. But this one, this strange leaf, simply hung in its place. "It's a miracle," he muttered, as he reached out to the leaf. It never grew shy but continued to stay in it's place.

    Jason grabbed it with his right hand and jumped back into his room. He sat down and placed the magical leaf, bottom up, on his study table. Jason felt the texture of the leaf. It was just like the other leaves. He shrugged. "Oh wait," he then said in sudden realization. He picked the leaf and allowed it to drop on his table. But, lo and behold, the leaf simply stood in the air! Jason couldn't believe his eyes. He placed it yet again on his table and turned it, bottom down. He was again surprised.

    A couplet was written on the leaf.

    It read:

    Abundance and happiness over the mire of poverty below,
    To the one who floats this back; the fairy shall thus bestow.

    Jason understood, stood up with the leaf upon his palm, and gently blew it out of his window.

    The leaf drifted away and attached itself to a branch. And miraculously, all the falling, and fallen, twigs, leaves, and helicopters, began to move upwards and backwards, into the Ash tree.

    The Ash tree turned resplendent. It began to glow and dazzle in golden color.

    Lo and behold, the Ash tree fairy appeared before Jason, radiant and bright.  She recited the couplet, blessed him, and disappeared back into the Ash tree.
    The tree now turned into it's usual, normal self.

    Within a year, Jason's business flourished and he became a billionaire.

    Awesome!  You've really got a knack for flash fiction!

    D.
    D. Roman





    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #19 on: April 20, 2020, 12:46:04 pm »
    Today's Prompt

    Taylor stood in front of the safety deposit box with the key in hand.  Her grandfather had left it to her and she had no idea what was inside. She turned the key and the box popped open.
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    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #20 on: April 21, 2020, 04:01:51 am »
    Today's Prompt

    Taylor stood in front of the safety deposit box with the key in hand.  Her grandfather had left it to her and she had no idea what was inside. She turned the key and the box popped open.

    Taylor had been living with her doting grandfather ever since she was twelve years old. Poor Taylor had lost her parents in a car accident before she moved in. 

    Grandpa Jim pampered Taylor as she attended school. He was a wealthy man. He would shower her with pocket money, buy her expensive dresses and gifts. Anything she wished for. Not just that, he would also encourage her to read lots of books. "Reading helps you to learn life," he used to advise. "It's the simplest way understand people, society, and relationships. It gives you the maturity to cope with all that life throws in your way."

    Taylor excelled in her studies, thanks to her wonderful grandpa. She had majored in physics and was now offered a job as a teacher.

    After all these years, grandpa Jim had grown really old. His body had weakened terribly and he knew that his end would come anytime soon. As they both had dinner one night, Jim was very pragmatic with his words. "I'm extremely happy with your career, honey. All my wealth is only for you, my dear. But tell me, what will do after me?" he asked coughing incessantly. And Taylor had replied that she would dedicate her whole life to teach physics to kids. While happy with those words, grandpa Jim, however, urged her to marry the man of her choice and settle down in life. His persuasions, however, ended up in disappointment.

    As things would roll out, grandpa Jim died in a couple of days, and Taylor inherited his house and his wealth. Initially terribly shattered at the loss of her hero, she soon came to terms with the practicalities of life, thanks to the maturity she had attained by virtue of her reading habits. She had a clear understanding of life and it's ways. She spent the rest of the month going through her grandpa's assets. She sat in his room and went through his bags and belongings. During the course of investigation, she became aware of the fact that he had rented a locker in a bank. The key and the periodical receipts were kept in a purse. Taylor never once intruded in her grandpa's financial matters. But now, she was curious. "Perhaps, it has grandma's jewelry," she pondered. Taylor had to know and take action. Her grandpa had left it to her...to find out someday. And  the time had arrived. Now. Taylor learnt the address of the bank from the receipts. It was only a couple of streets away. She grabbed a quick snack and started off to the bank. 

    Taylor stood in front of the safety deposit box with the key in hand.  Her grandfather had left it to her and she had no idea what was inside. She turned the key and the box popped open. Taylor expected precious jewelry but the box just had a brown key. Taylor grew more curious than disappointed. She was not that much of a materialistic woman, after all. So, she didn't panic or get angry with her late grandpa.

    Taylor returned home with the brown key. She sat in her grandpa's room, in his rocking chair. She almost napped when an insight struck her. She unfolded her palm and examined the key more closely. It was an old, slightly rusted key, but the number 65 was clearly visible on it. "So, I need to find a lock with the matching number," she muttered. She leapt out of the chair and began to search the room all over. The house was big, and Jim's room was really enormous.

    Taylor's began to hunt for clues. She checked the numerous cupboards, book racks, the table drawers, wardrobe, and even a kitchenette. Most of the places were not locked, 
    but the relevant keys were hung on nails along nearby walls wherever she encountered locks. It took over forty minutes and Taylor returned to the rocking chair, tired and fed up. She relaxed and closed her eyes, the brown key nested in her palm. Curiosity again nagged her. A random thought, and she was literally pulling off the carpet. And her intuition was very correct. There was a lid right underneath the rocking chair which led to a secret basement.

    Taylor lay flat and peeped through the flight of steps. It was too dark. So, she grabbed Jim's lantern from the wall and began to descend. The steps were steep with no supporting side rails. Taylor entered the basement and searched for the switchboard. No, there wasn't a switchboard. For a moment Taylor wondered why her grandpa wanted the basement so dark and secretive. Anyway, she moved around carefully.
    She shined the light around and soon realized that the place was meant to hold her grandma's possessions. Yes, Jim had stuffed his wife's jewellery, clothes, shoes, hats... everything lay exposed in this secret basement. Taylor was pleased but still continued her search. And yes, finally, she stumbled upon a chest. She checked the number on the lock. It had 65 written on it. Taylor was thrilled as she inserted the brown key. Lo and behold, the chest opened, but that left Taylor further mystified.

    This chest had another key along with some papers. Taylor noted that 78 was inscribed on it. She checked the papers only to find that they were locker receipts with the same bank. One more locker! Taylor was puzzled but she climbed out of the secret basement.

    In no time Taylor arrived at the bank yet again. She stood in front of the safety deposit box and turned the key. The box popped open to expose an old black and white photograph.

    Tears rained down the cheeks as Taylor examined the old photo. It was the only photo in  which she was present along with grandpa Jim, grandma Wendy, and her parents. Wendy had died a few days after her birth. The backside of the photo had her grandparents' signatures and that of her parents along with a message that said: Little Taylor darling, the most precious jewel of our lives.


    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #21 on: April 21, 2020, 06:20:01 am »
    Taylor had been living with her doting grandfather ever since she was twelve years old. Poor Taylor had lost her parents in a car accident before she moved in. 

    Grandpa Jim pampered Taylor as she attended school. He was a wealthy man. He would shower her with pocket money, buy her expensive dresses and gifts. Anything she wished for. Not just that, he would also encourage her to read lots of books. "Reading helps you to learn life," he used to advise. "It's the simplest way understand people, society, and relationships. It gives you the maturity to cope with all that life throws in your way."

    Taylor excelled in her studies, thanks to her wonderful grandpa. She had majored in physics and was now offered a job as a teacher.

    After all these years, grandpa Jim had grown really old. His body had weakened terribly and he knew that his end would come anytime soon. As they both had dinner one night, Jim was very pragmatic with his words. "I'm extremely happy with your career, honey. All my wealth is only for you, my dear. But tell me, what will do after me?" he asked coughing incessantly. And Taylor had replied that she would dedicate her whole life to teach physics to kids. While happy with those words, grandpa Jim, however, urged her to marry the man of her choice and settle down in life. His persuasions, however, ended up in disappointment.

    As things would roll out, grandpa Jim died in a couple of days, and Taylor inherited his house and his wealth. Initially terribly shattered at the loss of her hero, she soon came to terms with the practicalities of life, thanks to the maturity she had attained by virtue of her reading habits. She had a clear understanding of life and it's ways. She spent the rest of the month going through her grandpa's assets. She sat in his room and went through his bags and belongings. During the course of investigation, she became aware of the fact that he had rented a locker in a bank. The key and the periodical receipts were kept in a purse. Taylor never once intruded in her grandpa's financial matters. But now, she was curious. "Perhaps, it has grandma's jewelry," she pondered. Taylor had to know and take action. Her grandpa had left it to her...to find out someday. And  the time had arrived. Now. Taylor learnt the address of the bank from the receipts. It was only a couple of streets away. She grabbed a quick snack and started off to the bank. 

    Taylor stood in front of the safety deposit box with the key in hand.  Her grandfather had left it to her and she had no idea what was inside. She turned the key and the box popped open. Taylor expected precious jewelry but the box just had a brown key. Taylor grew more curious than disappointed. She was not that much of a materialistic woman, after all. So, she didn't panic or get angry with her late grandpa.

    Taylor returned home with the brown key. She sat in her grandpa's room, in his rocking chair. She almost napped when an insight struck her. She unfolded her palm and examined the key more closely. It was an old, slightly rusted key, but the number 65 was clearly visible on it. "So, I need to find a lock with the matching number," she muttered. She leapt out of the chair and began to search the room all over. The house was big, and Jim's room was really enormous.

    Taylor's began to hunt for clues. She checked the numerous cupboards, book racks, the table drawers, wardrobe, and even a kitchenette. Most of the places were not locked, 
    but the relevant keys were hung on nails along nearby walls wherever she encountered locks. It took over forty minutes and Taylor returned to the rocking chair, tired and fed up. She relaxed and closed her eyes, the brown key nested in her palm. Curiosity again nagged her. A random thought, and she was literally pulling off the carpet. And her intuition was very correct. There was a lid right underneath the rocking chair which led to a secret basement.

    Taylor lay flat and peeped through the flight of steps. It was too dark. So, she grabbed Jim's lantern from the wall and began to descend. The steps were steep with no supporting side rails. Taylor entered the basement and searched for the switchboard. No, there wasn't a switchboard. For a moment Taylor wondered why her grandpa wanted the basement so dark and secretive. Anyway, she moved around carefully.
    She shined the light around and soon realized that the place was meant to hold her grandma's possessions. Yes, Jim had stuffed his wife's jewellery, clothes, shoes, hats... everything lay exposed in this secret basement. Taylor was pleased but still continued her search. And yes, finally, she stumbled upon a chest. She checked the number on the lock. It had 65 written on it. Taylor was thrilled as she inserted the brown key. Lo and behold, the chest opened, but that left Taylor further mystified.

    This chest had another key along with some papers. Taylor noted that 78 was inscribed on it. She checked the papers only to find that they were locker receipts with the same bank. One more locker! Taylor was puzzled but she climbed out of the secret basement.

    In no time Taylor arrived at the bank yet again. She stood in front of the safety deposit box and turned the key. The box popped open to expose an old black and white photograph.

    Tears rained down the cheeks as Taylor examined the old photo. It was the only photo in  which she was present along with grandpa Jim, grandma Wendy, and her parents. Wendy had died a few days after her birth. The backside of the photo had her grandparents' signatures and that of her parents along with a message that said: Little Taylor darling, the most precious jewel of our lives.

    Very sweet story.

    D.
    D. Roman





    Offline D. Roman

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #22 on: April 21, 2020, 06:43:16 am »
    Today's Prompt

    I'm going to be posting pictures here to help with the prompts.  I'm pulling them from Pixabay.  All images are listed as free for commercial reuse with no attribution required. Regardless - I'll always post the artist behind the pictures as I think they deserve credit for their work and could use our support as well.  I'll also include the link to the original picture.

    (Please let me know if you have any feedback about this process. The intent of this thread is to encourage creativity and I figured we could showcase some artists while we're at it.)


    - Photo Credit Geoff Gill
    https://pixabay.com/photos/barista-coffee-pouring-espresso-5055060/

    Prompt:  The barista smiled as he poured.  "So which will you choose? The glass with coffee already, that glass I am filling, the glass that contains only smoke, or the glass that has yet to be filled? They all cost the same, my friend."

    Be well and keep writing.

    D. Roman
    D. Roman





    Offline Dpock

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #23 on: April 21, 2020, 10:23:09 am »
    [
    Prompt:  The barista smiled as he poured.  "So which will you choose? The glass with coffee already, that glass I am filling, the glass that contains only smoke, or the glass that has yet to be filled? They all cost the same, my friend."

    "Surprise me."


    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Prompts
    « Reply #24 on: April 22, 2020, 02:48:10 am »
    Today's Prompt

    I'm going to be posting pictures here to help with the prompts.  I'm pulling them from Pixabay.  All images are listed as free for commercial reuse with no attribution required. Regardless - I'll always post the artist behind the pictures as I think they deserve credit for their work and could use our support as well.  I'll also include the link to the original picture.

    (Please let me know if you have any feedback about this process. The intent of this thread is to encourage creativity and I figured we could showcase some artists while we're at it.)


    - Photo Credit Geoff Gill
    https://pixabay.com/photos/barista-coffee-pouring-espresso-5055060/

    Prompt:  The barista smiled as he poured.  "So which will you choose? The glass with coffee already, that glass I am filling, the glass that contains only smoke, or the glass that has yet to be filled? They all cost the same, my friend."

    Be well and keep writing.

    D. Roman

    Tin Ginlope studied metaphysics under Professor Tray Jumbojoyce. A bright student, he also worked part-time as a barista at the campus cafe to support his living.

    One afternoon, Ginlope was visibly surprised, even embarassed, when he saw a familiar face walking towards his counter. And that was because the person happened to be none other than Professor Jumbojoyce himself. The teaching staff usually kept away from this cafe as it was mostly filled with students who would take any opportunity to play pranks upon them. The teachers had their own unofficial "staff only" cafe, many buildings away from this cafe. Professor Jumbojoyce had to visit the library in the adjacent building. He had bored the librarian to death when he advised her on procuring certain books which he had recommended to his students. The discussion had lasted over an hour and Professor Jumbojoyce was stressed out. He was desperate for a cup of coffee. A gang of students followed him to the counter, giggling and gossiping. One girl even poured some ketchup on his shirt!

    Ginlope was an interesting character. He understood that the gang wanted fun. Though he was a metaphysics student, he had an excellent sense of humour. And this was an excellent opportunity to prank his eccentric professor in front of others. He forgot the student-professor relationship. Hell, he was a barista now and Professor Jumbojoyce was merely his customer!

    Ginlope placed four glasses on the counter even as his professor asked for a cup of coffee.

    Ginlope the Barista, smiled as he poured.  "So which will you choose? The glass with coffee already, that glass I am filling, the glass that contains only smoke, or the glass that has yet to be filled? They all cost the same, my friend."

    The gang giggled as they sat at a nearby table to watch the show!

    The professor used to address everyone in campus as: "My friend, my friend", because of which he came to be recognised jocularly as "everyone's friend" in the campus! So, Ginlope had used the same style of addressing to mock him.

    Eccentric Professor Jumbojoyce, however, didn't take offense, but was puzzled by the question his student had posed. "But I just want a single glass, my friend."

    "I understand that, my friend, which is why I'm asking you."

    "Is this a puzzle?"

    "Some kind of a metaphysical puzzle, if you want to keep it that way."

    "Okay, but I choose the first glass, the one which is full."

    "Why?"

    "What if you cheat on the quantity as regards the other glasses? Or perhaps the jug volume isn't sufficient?"

    "Have I ever cheated in class?"

    "No, but this is business."

    "Okay, I assure you that there is enough coffee for the other three glasses in this jar."

    "Okay, but I prefer certainty over uncertainty. The event of you pouring is incomplete as regards the other three glasses. What if right now you spill some coffee or the roof comes crashing down as you pour? You see there is that uncertainty because of the observer effect. The volume may get modified because of the way the light rays interact between the glasses and your eyes. There are those infinitesimal decrements, correct?"

    "Okay, you make a good point. But don't you judge coffee by it's freshness? I mean, the glass you chose is relatively the coldest. It must have lost some energy as per the laws of thermodynamics. The entropy in the filled glass cup system has increased."

    The gang laughed.

    Professor Jumbojoyce was stumped. He fixed his black spectacles properly on the bridge of his nose and gazed intently. "Okay, in that case, I choose the last one, the glass that is utterly empty, even of the smoke."

    "But, my friend," Ginlope teased, "don't you think you are ignoring the aspirations of the smoke in the third glass? It must be extra piping hot because of the inner circulation, correct?"

    Giggles broke at the nearby table!

     Again, professor Jumbojoyce was stumped. "Okay, I concede defeat. I'll have the smoke-filled, extra fresh glass cup."

    Ginlope teased yet again. "Okay, but it costs just the same, my friend. There ain't no entropy and observer effect in the pricing!" He filled the smoke-filled glass cup.

    The gang stood up and clapped.

    Professor Jumbojoyce looked around visibly embarassed before grabbing his cup. "Thanks, but remember, this humiliation in front of others  will cost one fourth of your grade, my friend."

    He reached out for his wallet in his back pocket but only to realize that it was stolen.




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      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #25 on: April 22, 2020, 08:22:17 am »
      Tin Ginlope studied metaphysics under Professor Tray Jumbojoyce. A bright student, he also worked part-time as a barista at the campus cafe to support his living.

      One afternoon, Ginlope was visibly surprised, even embarassed, when he saw a familiar face walking towards his counter. And that was because the person happened to be none other than Professor Jumbojoyce himself. The teaching staff usually kept away from this cafe as it was mostly filled with students who would take any opportunity to play pranks upon them. The teachers had their own unofficial "staff only" cafe, many buildings away from this cafe. Professor Jumbojoyce had to visit the library in the adjacent building. He had bored the librarian to death when he advised her on procuring certain books which he had recommended to his students. The discussion had lasted over an hour and Professor Jumbojoyce was stressed out. He was desperate for a cup of coffee. A gang of students followed him to the counter, giggling and gossiping. One girl even poured some ketchup on his shirt!

      Ginlope was an interesting character. He understood that the gang wanted fun. Though he was a metaphysics student, he had an excellent sense of humour. And this was an excellent opportunity to prank his eccentric professor in front of others. He forgot the student-professor relationship. Hell, he was a barista now and Professor Jumbojoyce was merely his customer!

      Ginlope placed four glasses on the counter even as his professor asked for a cup of coffee.

      Ginlope the Barista, smiled as he poured.  "So which will you choose? The glass with coffee already, that glass I am filling, the glass that contains only smoke, or the glass that has yet to be filled? They all cost the same, my friend."

      The gang giggled as they sat at a nearby table to watch the show!

      The professor used to address everyone in campus as: "My friend, my friend", because of which he came to be recognised jocularly as "everyone's friend" in the campus! So, Ginlope had used the same style of addressing to mock him.

      Eccentric Professor Jumbojoyce, however, didn't take offense, but was puzzled by the question his student had posed. "But I just want a single glass, my friend."

      "I understand that, my friend, which is why I'm asking you."

      "Is this a puzzle?"

      "Some kind of a metaphysical puzzle, if you want to keep it that way."

      "Okay, but I choose the first glass, the one which is full."

      "Why?"

      "What if you cheat on the quantity as regards the other glasses? Or perhaps the jug volume isn't sufficient?"

      "Have I ever cheated in class?"

      "No, but this is business."

      "Okay, I assure you that there is enough coffee for the other three glasses in this jar."

      "Okay, but I prefer certainty over uncertainty. The event of you pouring is incomplete as regards the other three glasses. What if right now you spill some coffee or the roof comes crashing down as you pour? You see there is that uncertainty because of the observer effect. The volume may get modified because of the way the light rays interact between the glasses and your eyes. There are those infinitesimal decrements, correct?"

      "Okay, you make a good point. But don't you judge coffee by it's freshness? I mean, the glass you chose is relatively the coldest. It must have lost some energy as per the laws of thermodynamics. The entropy in the filled glass cup system has increased."

      The gang laughed.

      Professor Jumbojoyce was stumped. He fixed his black spectacles properly on the bridge of his nose and gazed intently. "Okay, in that case, I choose the last one, the glass that is utterly empty, even of the smoke."

      "But, my friend," Ginlope teased, "don't you think you are ignoring the aspirations of the smoke in the third glass? It must be extra piping hot because of the inner circulation, correct?"

      Giggles broke at the nearby table!

       Again, professor Jumbojoyce was stumped. "Okay, I concede defeat. I'll have the smoke-filled, extra fresh glass cup."

      Ginlope teased yet again. "Okay, but it costs just the same, my friend. There ain't no entropy and observer effect in the pricing!" He filled the smoke-filled glass cup.

      The gang stood up and clapped.

      Professor Jumbojoyce looked around visibly embarassed before grabbing his cup. "Thanks, but remember, this humiliation in front of others  will cost one fourth of your grade, my friend."

      He reached out for his wallet in his back pocket but only to realize that it was stolen.

      Love it.  Not at all what I was expecting, which is why I love seeing what people do with prompts like these.

      Be Well.

      D.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #26 on: April 22, 2020, 08:28:45 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Joshua Woroniecki
      https://pixabay.com/photos/keyboard-computer-technology-light-5017973/

      Prompt  Katie stopped dead in her tracks.  Her laptop was open and on.  She had turned it off and closed it before she went to the kitchen. 

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #27 on: April 23, 2020, 03:21:21 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Joshua Woroniecki
      https://pixabay.com/photos/keyboard-computer-technology-light-5017973/

      Prompt  Katie stopped dead in her tracks.  Her laptop was open and on.  She had turned it off and closed it before she went to the kitchen. 

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman

      Katie was a very bright student who studied mathematics. Bold and beautiful, she was the cynosure of all eyes at her college. The pandemic had forced everyone to do assignments from home, social distancing having become the norm.

      It was another half an hour to midnight and Katie was working on Markov chains. She had to solve this last problem before submitting the assignment online to her lecturer. The deadline for submission ended exactly at midnight. Moreover, the laptop kept reminding her that battery power was extremely low. Katie was under immense pressure as she slogged on the assignment.

      Katie's parents were away; in fact, stranded at Cincinnati because of suspension of transportation due to the pandemic. She was their only child.

      "Yes!" Katie exclaimed, as she finally solved the math problem. She punched her fist in the air. She swiped her index finger from the top to the bottom of the word processor software. The entire text turned blue, and she touched the 'Copy' option popping on the screen of her touchscreen laptop. She opened her department intranet website and typed in her login credentials. She got ready to submit her assignment into the rectangular pop-up window when she heard the glass window cracking in the kitchen. Alarmed, she pressed the power button, closed the lid of her laptop, and rushed into the kitchen.

      Katie was shocked. The window pane was indeed smashed. Perhaps it was thief? Katie's mind raced fast as she peeped out of the window and tried to assimilate. But strangely, everything was quite and silent in the yard.

      Confused, she rushed back into the drawing room. Katie stopped dead in her tracks. Her laptop was open and on. She had turned it off and closed it before she went to the kitchen. Moreover, the window pane at the other side of the drawing room was opened. Katie hadn't opened it since evening.
      Even more startled, she peeped into her laptop but only to find that the word processor window and the browser window were shut down. In fact, she discovered that the assignment file she had kept on the desktop had been deleted.

      Katie turned around as she heard cynical giggles. She figured out who had been behind this mischief. Even as Katie leapt out of the window, she realized that Cindy and Mindy, her two dull-headed classmates were jumping the fence. Katie shouted curse words as she attempted to pounce on them, but her jealous rivals had the last laugh as they fled on their motorcycles.

      Katie returned back to the drawing room, furious and vexed. She slumped into a sofa as she brooded over the deleted file. She was almost in tears when the laptop turning to screensaver mode caught her attention. A thrill shot through her spine as she leapt out of the couch screaming "Eureka!".

      Katie swiped away the screen saver. The laptop showed the battery as just 1% and the time as 11:59PM.

      Just one more minute to submit the assignment.

      Just one more percentage of power left.

      Katie held her nerves as she brought out her department intranet site.

      She keyed in her login credentials.

      The submission box popped up.

      Katie pressed her index finger into it and touched the paste option and hit the submit button.

      The message "Submission successful!" flashed on the screen.

      Katie sighed and fainted even as her laptop screen turned black.

      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #28 on: April 23, 2020, 07:20:41 am »
      Katie was a very bright student who studied mathematics. Bold and beautiful, she was the cynosure of all eyes at her college. The pandemic had forced everyone to do assignments from home, social distancing having become the norm.

      It was another half an hour to midnight and Katie was working on Markov chains. She had to solve this last problem before submitting the assignment online to her lecturer. The deadline for submission ended exactly at midnight. Moreover, the laptop kept reminding her that battery power was extremely low. Katie was under immense pressure as she slogged on the assignment.

      Katie's parents were away; in fact, stranded at Cincinnati because of suspension of transportation due to the pandemic. She was their only child.

      "Yes!" Katie exclaimed, as she finally solved the math problem. She punched her fist in the air. She swiped her index finger from the top to the bottom of the word processor software. The entire text turned blue, and she touched the 'Copy' option popping on the screen of her touchscreen laptop. She opened her department intranet website and typed in her login credentials. She got ready to submit her assignment into the rectangular pop-up window when she heard the glass window cracking in the kitchen. Alarmed, she pressed the power button, closed the lid of her laptop, and rushed into the kitchen.

      Katie was shocked. The window pane was indeed smashed. Perhaps it was thief? Katie's mind raced fast as she peeped out of the window and tried to assimilate. But strangely, everything was quite and silent in the yard.

      Confused, she rushed back into the drawing room. Katie stopped dead in her tracks. Her laptop was open and on. She had turned it off and closed it before she went to the kitchen. Moreover, the window pane at the other side of the drawing room was opened. Katie hadn't opened it since evening.
      Even more startled, she peeped into her laptop but only to find that the word processor window and the browser window were shut down. In fact, she discovered that the assignment file she had kept on the desktop had been deleted.

      Katie turned around as she heard cynical giggles. She figured out who had been behind this mischief. Even as Katie leapt out of the window, she realized that Cindy and Mindy, her two dull-headed classmates were jumping the fence. Katie shouted curse words as she attempted to pounce on them, but her jealous rivals had the last laugh as they fled on their motorcycles.

      Katie returned back to the drawing room, furious and vexed. She slumped into a sofa as she brooded over the deleted file. She was almost in tears when the laptop turning to screensaver mode caught her attention. A thrill shot through her spine as she leapt out of the couch screaming "Eureka!".

      Katie swiped away the screen saver. The laptop showed the battery as just 1% and the time as 11:59PM.

      Just one more minute to submit the assignment.

      Just one more percentage of power left.

      Katie held her nerves as she brought out her department intranet site.

      She keyed in her login credentials.

      The submission box popped up.

      Katie pressed her index finger into it and touched the paste option and hit the submit button.

      The message "Submission successful!" flashed on the screen.

      Katie sighed and fainted even as her laptop screen turned black.

      Nice, nothing like a little academic sabotage.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #29 on: April 23, 2020, 07:27:01 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Rahul Pandit
      https://pixabay.com/photos/people-figure-color-silhouette-4823356/

      Prompt: The three men headed towards the boat. They didn't know each other and they didn't understand why they felt compelled to walk out into the waves towards the small bobbing craft.  All they knew was that they needed to get to the boat, now.

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #30 on: April 24, 2020, 05:31:27 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Rahul Pandit
      https://pixabay.com/photos/people-figure-color-silhouette-4823356/

      Prompt: The three men headed towards the boat. They didn't know each other and they didn't understand why they felt compelled to walk out into the waves towards the small bobbing craft.  All they knew was that they needed to get to the boat, now.

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman

      Year 3030, planet Earth:

      The sun had slightly cracked the horizon across the sea. A fleet of seagulls rode it's reddish-orange bands with tremendous power even as sea dragons flew out to attack them. The waters were agile and mighty in the middle, but the waves were small and crispy at the shore.

      Craig, Bob, and Willis, were always the only ones at the seashore. In fact, in the deserted costal city. Craig was lying on the sands, his fully formed nakedness exposed. Bob was jogging -- his wheels would keep dodging the waters every now and then. Willis, on the other hand, was wriggling his mostly withered fishtail on a rock even as his freshly formed feet provoked him to stand up.

      A purring noise made a whirlpool at a distance close enough from the shore. This was unusual  at this superficial depth and at this current strength. But it persisted for around three minutes before an object popped up a little bit. The purring sound turned to hi-tech beeping, loud enough to grab the attention of the three men. The object revealed itself fully even as dazzling bluish-red lights scanned their faces. Craig, Bob, and Willis felt stress in between their eyebrows, exactly at the location of their third eye. And before their minds cognized the event fully, they found themselves walking into the sea.

      The three men headed towards the boat. They didn't know each other and they didn't understand why they felt compelled to walk out into the waves towards the small bobbing craft. All they knew was that they needed to get to the boat, now.

      As soon as Craig, Bob, and Willis, stepped inside, the circular boat began to gyrate. It began to rotate inwards and outwards in alternate fashion -- the centripetal and centrifugal forces increasing exponentially every moment. The force of the vortex lifted the boat out of the waters. The boat was actually saucer-shaped. Automated buttons on the deck switched on and off even as the saucer took off into the sky.

      Escape velocity was breached in no time as the saucer blazed across the galaxy at the speed of light.

      350 lightyears later, the saucer descended into a planet. Upon touching base, the saucer transformed into a car-like vehicle and sped through a metallic looking desert road. Upon reaching the premises of a building, it ejected out the three hypnotized men. The vehicle now transformed itself. It revealed it's true appearance. It was a shapeshifter roboAt. It handcuffed Craig, Bob, and Willis.

      They all walked into a chamber. The roboAt was greeted by another similar looking roboAt. They both spoke in a computerised voice.

      "I've brought back the last of our species, lieutenant. Our other units have evacuated everyone from all the other beaches."

      "Good job, soldier! Take them to the de-skinning laboratory. We don't want any further devolution of our shapeshifter roboAt species as mundane mermaids, mermen, and human beings."



      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #31 on: April 24, 2020, 08:33:50 am »
      Year 3030, planet Earth:

      The sun had slightly cracked the horizon across the sea. A fleet of seagulls rode it's reddish-orange bands with tremendous power even as sea dragons flew out to attack them. The waters were agile and mighty in the middle, but the waves were small and crispy at the shore.

      Craig, Bob, and Willis, were always the only ones at the seashore. In fact, in the deserted costal city. Craig was lying on the sands, his fully formed nakedness exposed. Bob was jogging -- his wheels would keep dodging the waters every now and then. Willis, on the other hand, was wriggling his mostly withered fishtail on a rock even as his freshly formed feet provoked him to stand up.

      A purring noise made a whirlpool at a distance close enough from the shore. This was unusual  at this superficial depth and at this current strength. But it persisted for around three minutes before an object popped up a little bit. The purring sound turned to hi-tech beeping, loud enough to grab the attention of the three men. The object revealed itself fully even as dazzling bluish-red lights scanned their faces. Craig, Bob, and Willis felt stress in between their eyebrows, exactly at the location of their third eye. And before their minds cognized the event fully, they found themselves walking into the sea.

      The three men headed towards the boat. They didn't know each other and they didn't understand why they felt compelled to walk out into the waves towards the small bobbing craft. All they knew was that they needed to get to the boat, now.

      As soon as Craig, Bob, and Willis, stepped inside, the circular boat began to gyrate. It began to rotate inwards and outwards in alternate fashion -- the centripetal and centrifugal forces increasing exponentially every moment. The force of the vortex lifted the boat out of the waters. The boat was actually saucer-shaped. Automated buttons on the deck switched on and off even as the saucer took off into the sky.

      Escape velocity was breached in no time as the saucer blazed across the galaxy at the speed of light.

      350 lightyears later, the saucer descended into a planet. Upon touching base, the saucer transformed into a car-like vehicle and sped through a metallic looking desert road. Upon reaching the premises of a building, it ejected out the three hypnotized men. The vehicle now transformed itself. It revealed it's true appearance. It was a shapeshifter roboAt. It handcuffed Craig, Bob, and Willis.

      They all walked into a chamber. The roboAt was greeted by another similar looking roboAt. They both spoke in a computerised voice.

      "I've brought back the last of our species, lieutenant. Our other units have evacuated everyone from all the other beaches."

      "Good job, soldier! Take them to the de-skinning laboratory. We don't want any further devolution of our shapeshifter roboAt species as mundane mermaids, mermen, and human beings."

      Fun.  The deskinning room...oh my. 
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #32 on: April 24, 2020, 08:39:06 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Amersfoort/Netherlands
      https://pixabay.com/photos/europe-asia-georgia-caucasus-1788319/

      Prompt: Jessie knew that stupid castle hadn't been then yesterday and she was furious that it was now blocking her view. Sure it was some kind of miracle or whatever, but come on!

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #33 on: April 25, 2020, 05:24:32 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Amersfoort/Netherlands
      https://pixabay.com/photos/europe-asia-georgia-caucasus-1788319/

      Prompt: Jessie knew that stupid castle hadn't been then yesterday and she was furious that it was now blocking her view. Sure it was some kind of miracle or whatever, but come on!

      Be well and keep writing.

      D. Roman

      The helicopter whirled madly after hitting a boulder on the hill. Jessie jumped out even as the chopper burst into flames. She had managed to splash safely into a river. It was noontide but the forest was extremely cool. Jessie swam to safety and lay down by the waters. Tired and exhausted, she had dozed off for a good number of hours. It was almost four in the evening when she opened her eyes to fresh sounds. A bunch of deers were quenching their thirst. They hadn't disturbed her but she was glad that their sounds had awakened her. She knew the forest could get dangerous by the night, and so, she thought of finding a safe place to spend the night. And the best place would be on the cliff itself, for that was where she had originally planned to land her chopper. As a ranger she had originally planned to examine the cave there. Hitherto, no ranger, or anyone for that matter, had examined it, but the legend was that the cave and it's caverns, only led to another opening on the rear which overlooked a bridge naturally formed out of thick, sturdy vines. The legend, however, didn't mention where the bridge led to, inside the jungle. Ariel photography of this legendary bridge wasn't possible either as dense foliage veiled the area. 

      The forest appeared dense and dangerous on all sides. Jessie was glad that she was alive.  The climb wasn't all that difficult -- the hill was mostly a rocky area. Jessie munched on fruits and berries she found while climbing. She also stashed some in the many pockets of her khaki cargo shorts. En route, a gang of gorrilas snared her but she knelt on her knees and raised her hands in surrender. She continued climbing after they spared her, and she managed to reach the cliff before sunset.

      The view from the hilltop was fantastic! The sinking sun upon the silvery skies, and the gurgle of the river as it showcased the reddish reflections was worth dying for; or so thought Jessie as she tied her arms around her chest and reveled in the virgin fresh breeze, and in the far cries of birds as they got ready to retire for the day. Mysterious howling sounds from the denseness and the incessant buzz of the insects, the jungle inspired both beauty and fear. The night was slowly coming to life.

      Jessie walked into the cave. There was sufficient light entering through it's wide mouth. Sure, she had her gun but she believed more in the legend of this cave -- that it wasn't dangerous. She looked around. It was an empty place with little grass and some shrubbery. She explored the caverns. There were three of them. The first two from the left were dead-ends but the third cavern led Jessie to the cave's rear. A stony arch greeted her. Jessie stepped past the stony arch to find out if the legend was real. Light in this area was very feeble, but yes, Jessie was able to see a bridge, naturally formed from vines. This part of the wilderness remained extremely silent. It simply took three minutes to cross the bridge and Jessie realized that it simply merged into a bunch of trunks. Wood, wood, everywhere. Disappointed, Jessie returned to the stony archway and flattened on the floor. Past midnight, she heard chattering voices and crunch of shoes but dismissed them as dreams. As the night rolled, she even opened her sleepy eyes and saw the bridge lit in multi-colors. She even felt that her exhausted body was being massaged!

      The night passed away peacefully but Jessie woke up with surprise. And that was because she sighted a castle at the end of the bridge. It looked tiny and trivial to her. It was simply nested in the enormously large bark of a tree.

      Jessie knew that stupid castle hadn't been then yesterday and she was furious that it was now blocking her view. Sure it was some kind of miracle or whatever, but come on! She wanted to know what lay beyond the bridge.

      Jessie crossed the bridge. She was feeling fresh and strong. In fact, strong and nourished. She came close and peeped into this tiny castle. And was surprised when she heard human voices from inside!

      "The giant has woken up! The giant has woken up!"

      Hundreds and hundreds of tiny human beings, roughly the height of an index finger, peeped from all branches of the tree.

      Jessie was delighted!

      The king and queen emerged from the castle and they greeted Jessie.

      "Welcome, o great giant," the king greeted, slightly filled with awe and fear. "Please don't harm us."

      "I'm harmless," Jessie said smilingly, as she sat on her knees and spread out her palm.

      "We knew that right away," the king said, as he and his queen mounted on Jessie's palm.

      The king continued: "I became aware of you when one of my soldiers alerted me to your presence. I came along with my queen and saw what the soldier said was indeed true. We have only heard stories about giants like you. We are pleasantly surprised that it's all very real. We saw you asleep, terribly tired and exhausted. In your sleep you complained about thirst and severe body ache. So, I ordered my soldiers to feed water into your mouth and to massage your hands and legs. I'm truly glad that you have recovered in strength."

      Jessie couldn't believe her dreams were actual events! She thanked the king profusely. "Is there any help I can do in return?" she asked the king.

      "Yes, please keep our presence a secret," the king replied. "We have lives to live."

      "I promise," Jessie assured, as she placed the king and queen carefully into the castle's porch.

      A kid came out with a sleepy face. He got scared at Jessie but the queen assured him that all is well.

      "Who's that?" Jessie asked smilingly.

      "My son," the queen replied.

      "He's cute!" Jessie waved at the crown prince and turned back into the bridge.

      And as she reached the stony archway, the crown prince asked: "Mom, who's that giant?"

      Upon which, the queen replied, "That's the forest goddess, my dear son, and she's the one who protects us."


      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #34 on: April 27, 2020, 08:22:56 am »
      The helicopter whirled madly after hitting a boulder on the hill. Jessie jumped out even as the chopper burst into flames. She had managed to splash safely into a river. It was noontide but the forest was extremely cool. Jessie swam to safety and lay down by the waters. Tired and exhausted, she had dozed off for a good number of hours. It was almost four in the evening when she opened her eyes to fresh sounds. A bunch of deers were quenching their thirst. They hadn't disturbed her but she was glad that their sounds had awakened her. She knew the forest could get dangerous by the night, and so, she thought of finding a safe place to spend the night. And the best place would be on the cliff itself, for that was where she had originally planned to land her chopper. As a ranger she had originally planned to examine the cave there. Hitherto, no ranger, or anyone for that matter, had examined it, but the legend was that the cave and it's caverns, only led to another opening on the rear which overlooked a bridge naturally formed out of thick, sturdy vines. The legend, however, didn't mention where the bridge led to, inside the jungle. Ariel photography of this legendary bridge wasn't possible either as dense foliage veiled the area. 

      The forest appeared dense and dangerous on all sides. Jessie was glad that she was alive.  The climb wasn't all that difficult -- the hill was mostly a rocky area. Jessie munched on fruits and berries she found while climbing. She also stashed some in the many pockets of her khaki cargo shorts. En route, a gang of gorrilas snared her but she knelt on her knees and raised her hands in surrender. She continued climbing after they spared her, and she managed to reach the cliff before sunset.

      The view from the hilltop was fantastic! The sinking sun upon the silvery skies, and the gurgle of the river as it showcased the reddish reflections was worth dying for; or so thought Jessie as she tied her arms around her chest and reveled in the virgin fresh breeze, and in the far cries of birds as they got ready to retire for the day. Mysterious howling sounds from the denseness and the incessant buzz of the insects, the jungle inspired both beauty and fear. The night was slowly coming to life.

      Jessie walked into the cave. There was sufficient light entering through it's wide mouth. Sure, she had her gun but she believed more in the legend of this cave -- that it wasn't dangerous. She looked around. It was an empty place with little grass and some shrubbery. She explored the caverns. There were three of them. The first two from the left were dead-ends but the third cavern led Jessie to the cave's rear. A stony arch greeted her. Jessie stepped past the stony arch to find out if the legend was real. Light in this area was very feeble, but yes, Jessie was able to see a bridge, naturally formed from vines. This part of the wilderness remained extremely silent. It simply took three minutes to cross the bridge and Jessie realized that it simply merged into a bunch of trunks. Wood, wood, everywhere. Disappointed, Jessie returned to the stony archway and flattened on the floor. Past midnight, she heard chattering voices and crunch of shoes but dismissed them as dreams. As the night rolled, she even opened her sleepy eyes and saw the bridge lit in multi-colors. She even felt that her exhausted body was being massaged!

      The night passed away peacefully but Jessie woke up with surprise. And that was because she sighted a castle at the end of the bridge. It looked tiny and trivial to her. It was simply nested in the enormously large bark of a tree.

      Jessie knew that stupid castle hadn't been then yesterday and she was furious that it was now blocking her view. Sure it was some kind of miracle or whatever, but come on! She wanted to know what lay beyond the bridge.

      Jessie crossed the bridge. She was feeling fresh and strong. In fact, strong and nourished. She came close and peeped into this tiny castle. And was surprised when she heard human voices from inside!

      "The giant has woken up! The giant has woken up!"

      Hundreds and hundreds of tiny human beings, roughly the height of an index finger, peeped from all branches of the tree.

      Jessie was delighted!

      The king and queen emerged from the castle and they greeted Jessie.

      "Welcome, o great giant," the king greeted, slightly filled with awe and fear. "Please don't harm us."

      "I'm harmless," Jessie said smilingly, as she sat on her knees and spread out her palm.

      "We knew that right away," the king said, as he and his queen mounted on Jessie's palm.

      The king continued: "I became aware of you when one of my soldiers alerted me to your presence. I came along with my queen and saw what the soldier said was indeed true. We have only heard stories about giants like you. We are pleasantly surprised that it's all very real. We saw you asleep, terribly tired and exhausted. In your sleep you complained about thirst and severe body ache. So, I ordered my soldiers to feed water into your mouth and to massage your hands and legs. I'm truly glad that you have recovered in strength."

      Jessie couldn't believe her dreams were actual events! She thanked the king profusely. "Is there any help I can do in return?" she asked the king.

      "Yes, please keep our presence a secret," the king replied. "We have lives to live."

      "I promise," Jessie assured, as she placed the king and queen carefully into the castle's porch.

      A kid came out with a sleepy face. He got scared at Jessie but the queen assured him that all is well.

      "Who's that?" Jessie asked smilingly.

      "My son," the queen replied.

      "He's cute!" Jessie waved at the crown prince and turned back into the bridge.

      And as she reached the stony archway, the crown prince asked: "Mom, who's that giant?"

      Upon which, the queen replied, "That's the forest goddess, my dear son, and she's the one who protects us."

      Fun riff on the prompt.  I love the spin with using tiny people. 

      Be well and keep writing.

      D.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #35 on: April 27, 2020, 08:29:23 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Gerhard Gellinger
      https://pixabay.com/photos/animals-hirsch-wild-fallow-deer-5085751/

      Prompt Carol peeked between her blinds. There were five now!  One of the deer looked over its shoulder at her. Carol let the blind shut and stepped away from the window.  This called for something drastic.

      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #36 on: April 28, 2020, 04:19:55 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Gerhard Gellinger
      https://pixabay.com/photos/animals-hirsch-wild-fallow-deer-5085751/

      Prompt Carol peeked between her blinds. There were five now!  One of the deer looked over its shoulder at her. Carol let the blind shut and stepped away from the window.  This called for something drastic.
      The trap was set. A large pit was dug in the forest and it's mouth was covered with branches in a crisscross fashion. The poachers added grass and leaves over the area generously so that the trap appeared natural and inviting to the fallows. It was summer and the bucks grew their antlers very fast. It was just not the time  to hunt for shed antlers. But the poachers were impatient. Antlers sold well, and only in the black market, for shed hunting was considered illegal in the island even though IUCN rated fallows as LC, meaning Least Concern, relative to other species. The shed antlers made for good interior decors. The customers used them for several creative purposes including using them as coat hangers, for displaying jewelry, and as the base of a reading table.

      Carolina Hernandez was the Game Warden of the island. Ranger Carol, Officer Carol, as she was variously known, was a very honest, strong-minded, and animal loving wildlife official. She hated the very sight of poachers. They were criminals of a different kind, always in nexus with the island's gangsters. Everytime she ran into one such group, she would simply scare them away by firing in the air. If things worsened, she would simply shoot and flatten their car tyres. Poachers feared and hated Carol.

      Pablo, and his assistant, Rio, waited in the bushes. After fifty minutes, four fallows came along.

      "Damn, the does!" Pablo cursed.

      "But boss, doe meat would taste awesome!" Rio exclaimed.

      "You idiot," Pablo whispered back, "can't you think of anything other than food? The client is paying us a big amount."

      "Is he really smuggling antlers into Europe, boss?"

      "Yes, you idiot, were you sleeping while we were talking?"

      "Sorry, boss, my english..."

      Suddenly, Pablo got excited. "Look! One more is following them at a good distance!" he exclaimed, as he looked through the binoculars hung on his chest. "Yeah, baby! This one got real antlers! Wide and branchy! Must be an old fella!"

      And, just as the does came near the trap, a jeep came out of nowhere and blocked their path.

      "Damn that ranger, Carolina Hernandez!" Pablo cursed.

      And, as he and Rio looked on, Carol offered grass and fruits she had brought along in her jeep. The deers headed towards a stream after their meal. And Carol started her jeep and headed to her cabin for lunch.

      "Relief and riddance!" Pablo exclaimed, as he hi5ed Rio. "Now our baby is coming closer and closer!"

      They waited for another fifteen minutes. The buck had stopped around several times to feed on grass before arriving at the trap.

      Pablo and Rio got ready for action. The buck eyed the abundance in the trap area and inched closer. It fell into the pit after taking a couple of steps.

      The two men simply sliced off the antlers and fled the place. The poor, wounded buck managed to escape and ran in the direction of the stream.

      An hour passed.

      Carol heard sounds as she finished her lunch. She washed her hands and closed the washbasin tap before moving to the window. She sighted deers. The same deers she had fed. Carol peeked between her blinds. There were five now!  One of the deer looked over its shoulder at her. Carol let the blind shut and stepped away from the window. This called for something drastic.

      Carol had seen blood at the pedicle. She sensed foul play and started off in her jeep. She returned to the place where she had fed the deers and was shocked to see the exposed trap. Carol had been right in judging the buck. She also saw shoe marks and followed the trail. It led her jeep out of the woods and into a narrow road. There she found the chopped antlers along with the shredded bodies of Pablo and Rio. The blood trail led into the wayside denseness and  Carol learnt that the leading footprints were that of a Lion.

      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #37 on: April 28, 2020, 06:24:00 am »
      The trap was set. A large pit was dug in the forest and it's mouth was covered with branches in a crisscross fashion. The poachers added grass and leaves over the area generously so that the trap appeared natural and inviting to the fallows. It was summer and the bucks grew their antlers very fast. It was just not the time  to hunt for shed antlers. But the poachers were impatient. Antlers sold well, and only in the black market, for shed hunting was considered illegal in the island even though IUCN rated fallows as LC, meaning Least Concern, relative to other species. The shed antlers made for good interior decors. The customers used them for several creative purposes including using them as coat hangers, for displaying jewelry, and as the base of a reading table.

      Carolina Hernandez was the Game Warden of the island. Ranger Carol, Officer Carol, as she was variously known, was a very honest, strong-minded, and animal loving wildlife official. She hated the very sight of poachers. They were criminals of a different kind, always in nexus with the island's gangsters. Everytime she ran into one such group, she would simply scare them away by firing in the air. If things worsened, she would simply shoot and flatten their car tyres. Poachers feared and hated Carol.

      Pablo, and his assistant, Rio, waited in the bushes. After fifty minutes, four fallows came along.

      "Damn, the does!" Pablo cursed.

      "But boss, doe meat would taste awesome!" Rio exclaimed.

      "You idiot," Pablo whispered back, "can't you think of anything other than food? The client is paying us a big amount."

      "Is he really smuggling antlers into Europe, boss?"

      "Yes, you idiot, were you sleeping while we were talking?"

      "Sorry, boss, my english..."

      Suddenly, Pablo got excited. "Look! One more is following them at a good distance!" he exclaimed, as he looked through the binoculars hung on his chest. "Yeah, baby! This one got real antlers! Wide and branchy! Must be an old fella!"

      And, just as the does came near the trap, a jeep came out of nowhere and blocked their path.

      "Damn that ranger, Carolina Hernandez!" Pablo cursed.

      And, as he and Rio looked on, Carol offered grass and fruits she had brought along in her jeep. The deers headed towards a stream after their meal. And Carol started her jeep and headed to her cabin for lunch.

      "Relief and riddance!" Pablo exclaimed, as he hi5ed Rio. "Now our baby is coming closer and closer!"

      They waited for another fifteen minutes. The buck had stopped around several times to feed on grass before arriving at the trap.

      Pablo and Rio got ready for action. The buck eyed the abundance in the trap area and inched closer. It fell into the pit after taking a couple of steps.

      The two men simply sliced off the antlers and fled the place. The poor, wounded buck managed to escape and ran in the direction of the stream.

      An hour passed.

      Carol heard sounds as she finished her lunch. She washed her hands and closed the washbasin tap before moving to the window. She sighted deers. The same deers she had fed. Carol peeked between her blinds. There were five now!  One of the deer looked over its shoulder at her. Carol let the blind shut and stepped away from the window. This called for something drastic.

      Carol had seen blood at the pedicle. She sensed foul play and started off in her jeep. She returned to the place where she had fed the deers and was shocked to see the exposed trap. Carol had been right in judging the buck. She also saw shoe marks and followed the trail. It led her jeep out of the woods and into a narrow road. There she found the chopped antlers along with the shredded bodies of Pablo and Rio. The blood trail led into the wayside denseness and  Carol learnt that the leading footprints were that of a Lion.

      Oh my.  I'm really enjoying watching how these different prompts are interpreted. 

      Be Well.

      D.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #38 on: April 28, 2020, 06:30:34 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Leslin Liu
      https://pixabay.com/photos/lake-forest-nature-landscape-water-5045059/


      Prompt Michael stretched his aching back and walked down to the water's edge.  The lake was oddly quiet this morning.  He went to step into the water and his foot skidded across the solid surface and he ended up sprawled out on a very solid - unfrozen lake.

      Be well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #39 on: April 29, 2020, 07:23:11 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Peter H.

      https://pixabay.com/photos/stairs-escape-route-output-5091557/

      Prompt: Tiff and Kat looked up at the light shining down from the city above. Neither one had ever seen light like that.  As long as they'd lived in the underground the sky above had been gray, dark, and unforgiving.

      "What does it mean, Tiff?" Kat asked.

      "I don't know, Kat. I don't know. Nothing good."
      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #40 on: April 29, 2020, 07:44:37 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Leslin Liu
      https://pixabay.com/photos/lake-forest-nature-landscape-water-5045059/


      Prompt Michael stretched his aching back and walked down to the water's edge.  The lake was oddly quiet this morning.  He went to step into the water and his foot skidded across the solid surface and he ended up sprawled out on a very solid - unfrozen lake.

      Be well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      The morning was foggy and super chill. Visibility was barely adequate for Michael to drive on the bridge that ran over a creek. Michael was unsure of the direction to the lake that lay beyond the village. It was a small village, nothing much to interest Michael, and so he hadn't stopped there for shooting photos. Moreover, he had enough supplies for the day in his car. He had read about the Glass Lake on the web but hadn't met anyone who had actually been there. His research told him that it was a wonderful shooting spot but he couldn't find out the movies that were shot there.

      Michael stopped his car in the middle of the bridge. And that was because he sighted an old man sitting on it's wall.

      "Excuse me, sir, but is this the way to the Glass Lake?"

      The old man grew angry. "Yes, but please don't go into the woods."

      "But why?" the 55-year-old freelance photographer asked, slightly shaken more by the rude reply.

      "The beast will kill you," the old man warned.

      Michael produced his rifle and grinned. "You see this? I can kill that beast. Oh, and what beast is that anyway?"

      The old man's face turned cold. Instead of replying, he simply lowered his head and brooded.

      "Stupid villagers! At least the old salt had bothered to confirm the direction to the lake," he muttered, as restarted the engine.

       Glass Lake was nested in between a forest and a mountain. It got it's name because of it's appearance -- the waters remained frozen for most part of the year. The lake was a mirror -- it reflected the mountains and the trees perfectly. The villagers usually kept away from the place. And that was because of the several superstitions and myths about the legend of the lake. Some elders said that the area was haunted. One thing, however, was certain: that most unsuspecting trekkers to the lake area never came back into the village.

      Michael halted his car as soon as the long road he had been travelling upon touched the foot of the forest. He wore his backpack, slung his rifle on his shoulder, and hung his camera across his chest. "What a fantastic place! What serenity and peace!" He inhaled the virgin fresh air and rubbed his palms. "I must be the first one to shoot photos here! Surely I can get thousands of downloads at a competitive pricepoint!" Michael stopped every now and then to take snaps. The forest was filled with tall trees and they were spaciously laid out. Wading through wasn't a problem but the symmetry of the woods was confusing. Michael looked back every now and then wondering which path he had taken to enter the forest. Sighting his car was comforting initially but even that relief wasn't possible after he had trekked deep into the woods. Moreover, the GPS on his phone wasn't working properly. Michael, however, was more enchanted with the beauty and the silence of the place. "No wild animal, not even a bird chirping, I can stay here the whole day!" Happy with the food supplies in his backpack, he walked ahead briskly. After an hour of walk, he finally sighted the lake.

      "Oh, my God!" Michael threw his hands in the air as soon as he had moved out of the woods. He spun around as he admired the scenery -- the tall trees reflected perfectly by the lake; the virgin snow peaks of the mountain mirrored brilliantly; and the glint of the rising sun as it attempted to clarify the thick mist. Michael clicked around in all angles and directions with delight. He walked towards the lake after the surge of excitement had subsided.

      Michael stood in front the lake. It too was silent and mighty. No water birds, not even the ripple made by fish. He once again zoomed in his camera but wasn't happy with the angle. So, he decided to enter the lake and capture his reflection as well.

      Michael stretched his aching back and walked down to the water's edge. The lake was oddly quiet this morning. He went to step into the water and his foot skidded across the solid surface and he ended up sprawled out on a very solid - unfrozen lake.

      Michael thought that the waters were semi-frozen but that assumption soon turned into shock when he saw his skin bleeding. He managed to roll and stand up yet again, but was startled to see reflections of men, women, swans, birds, and fishes...and among them the old man he had met at the bridge. Startled, Michael looked around in all directions but couldn't spot any of them. He called out to the old man but received no reply.

      The surface cracked before Michael could make sense of all that was going on. The crackling sound grew louder and louder, like the sound of thousands of glass pieces getting crushed. Ripples erupted all over the lake's surface even as a whirlpool swarmed around Michael. He fell down, his body pierced all over by treacherous glass pieces. Blood oozed from his skin pores as he screamed for help. Michael was getting desperate every moment as he attempted to fight away the demonic lake -- it was turning into a pool of glass pieces, drinking his blood.

      And, as he sank into it's depths, he heard the wails of the ghostly reflections...of all those who had died in the lake.


      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #41 on: April 30, 2020, 07:11:01 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - This one has no real attribution.  It just says Free-Photos. 

      https://pixabay.com/photos/hut-shed-house-wooden-planks-731342/

      Prompt: Markus rested his hand on the barrel to the right of the door.  He could feel the movement inside slowly beginning. It would only be a few more months until it was ready to emerge.


      Be Well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #42 on: May 01, 2020, 07:57:34 am »
      The morning was foggy and super chill. Visibility was barely adequate for Michael to drive on the bridge that ran over a creek. Michael was unsure of the direction to the lake that lay beyond the village. It was a small village, nothing much to interest Michael, and so he hadn't stopped there for shooting photos. Moreover, he had enough supplies for the day in his car. He had read about the Glass Lake on the web but hadn't met anyone who had actually been there. His research told him that it was a wonderful shooting spot but he couldn't find out the movies that were shot there.

      Michael stopped his car in the middle of the bridge. And that was because he sighted an old man sitting on it's wall.

      "Excuse me, sir, but is this the way to the Glass Lake?"

      The old man grew angry. "Yes, but please don't go into the woods."

      "But why?" the 55-year-old freelance photographer asked, slightly shaken more by the rude reply.

      "The beast will kill you," the old man warned.

      Michael produced his rifle and grinned. "You see this? I can kill that beast. Oh, and what beast is that anyway?"

      The old man's face turned cold. Instead of replying, he simply lowered his head and brooded.

      "Stupid villagers! At least the old salt had bothered to confirm the direction to the lake," he muttered, as restarted the engine.

       Glass Lake was nested in between a forest and a mountain. It got it's name because of it's appearance -- the waters remained frozen for most part of the year. The lake was a mirror -- it reflected the mountains and the trees perfectly. The villagers usually kept away from the place. And that was because of the several superstitions and myths about the legend of the lake. Some elders said that the area was haunted. One thing, however, was certain: that most unsuspecting trekkers to the lake area never came back into the village.

      Michael halted his car as soon as the long road he had been travelling upon touched the foot of the forest. He wore his backpack, slung his rifle on his shoulder, and hung his camera across his chest. "What a fantastic place! What serenity and peace!" He inhaled the virgin fresh air and rubbed his palms. "I must be the first one to shoot photos here! Surely I can get thousands of downloads at a competitive pricepoint!" Michael stopped every now and then to take snaps. The forest was filled with tall trees and they were spaciously laid out. Wading through wasn't a problem but the symmetry of the woods was confusing. Michael looked back every now and then wondering which path he had taken to enter the forest. Sighting his car was comforting initially but even that relief wasn't possible after he had trekked deep into the woods. Moreover, the GPS on his phone wasn't working properly. Michael, however, was more enchanted with the beauty and the silence of the place. "No wild animal, not even a bird chirping, I can stay here the whole day!" Happy with the food supplies in his backpack, he walked ahead briskly. After an hour of walk, he finally sighted the lake.

      "Oh, my God!" Michael threw his hands in the air as soon as he had moved out of the woods. He spun around as he admired the scenery -- the tall trees reflected perfectly by the lake; the virgin snow peaks of the mountain mirrored brilliantly; and the glint of the rising sun as it attempted to clarify the thick mist. Michael clicked around in all angles and directions with delight. He walked towards the lake after the surge of excitement had subsided.

      Michael stood in front the lake. It too was silent and mighty. No water birds, not even the ripple made by fish. He once again zoomed in his camera but wasn't happy with the angle. So, he decided to enter the lake and capture his reflection as well.

      Michael stretched his aching back and walked down to the water's edge. The lake was oddly quiet this morning. He went to step into the water and his foot skidded across the solid surface and he ended up sprawled out on a very solid - unfrozen lake.

      Michael thought that the waters were semi-frozen but that assumption soon turned into shock when he saw his skin bleeding. He managed to roll and stand up yet again, but was startled to see reflections of men, women, swans, birds, and fishes...and among them the old man he had met at the bridge. Startled, Michael looked around in all directions but couldn't spot any of them. He called out to the old man but received no reply.

      The surface cracked before Michael could make sense of all that was going on. The crackling sound grew louder and louder, like the sound of thousands of glass pieces getting crushed. Ripples erupted all over the lake's surface even as a whirlpool swarmed around Michael. He fell down, his body pierced all over by treacherous glass pieces. Blood oozed from his skin pores as he screamed for help. Michael was getting desperate every moment as he attempted to fight away the demonic lake -- it was turning into a pool of glass pieces, drinking his blood.

      And, as he sank into it's depths, he heard the wails of the ghostly reflections...of all those who had died in the lake.

      Nice!  I had no idea where this one might end up.  I like it!  Kind of a pitcher plant lake : )

      Be well.

      D.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #43 on: May 01, 2020, 08:17:44 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Enriquel Lopez Garre

      https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-storm-rays-clouds-sky-4961094/

      Prompt:  Storms were the new normal.  At 3:00 PM every day they rolled in.  The winds and rain scoured the land.  The lightning took care of the rest.  You hid or you died. 

      Be Well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman

      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #44 on: May 02, 2020, 05:24:26 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Peter H.

      https://pixabay.com/photos/stairs-escape-route-output-5091557/

      Prompt: Tiff and Kat looked up at the light shining down from the city above. Neither one had ever seen light like that.  As long as they'd lived in the underground the sky above had been gray, dark, and unforgiving.

      "What does it mean, Tiff?" Kat asked.

      "I don't know, Kat. I don't know. Nothing good."

      Year 2023, planet Earth:

      The pandemic had worsened, and many countries had started rotting. Poverty and shoplifting became rampant everywhere, especially in United States. The source of the pandemic was found out to be a virus strain created in Chinese labs due to bizzare experiments conducted on bats. The impact of the virus, wherever severe, turned affected humans into vampires. "Bat People" they were also known otherwise. This happened because of mass dumping of dead bodies which resulted in partial decomposition. The population of vampires were steadily increasing all over the economically weakened, left-leaning United States led by a sleepy-faced democratic president. The country was fast losing it's superpower status to China.

      The vampires were a menace to the mainstream American society. They hid underground in dark tunnels and sewers throughout the day times but would stalk the unsuspecting citizens during the night times.

      Detective Ned, Special Operations Bureau, NYPD, parked his car in a deserted alley. Two stalking incidents had been reported here in the past one hour. In the  first case, apparently a man had simply been airlifted by a vampire. In the second case, a cabbie's blood was apparently feasted upon before the vampire had raced away on the vehicle, playing loud music.

      Detective Ned suspected the only tunnel present on the road. He pushed aside the lid and shined his torchlight. The long passage actually led to a secret chamber that used to house spy monitoring and intelligence gathering network systems. Hitherto, the government had given the neighborhood the impression that it was a sewer system.

      Tiff and Kat looked up at the light shining down from the city above. Neither one had ever seen light like that.  As long as they'd lived in the underground, the sky above had been gray, dark, and unforgiving.

      "What does it mean, Tiff?" Kat asked.

      "I don't know, Kat. I don't know. Nothing good. I think it's because of what Ben and Ritz did tonight."

      "Gosh, now we will get the blame if they find us out."

      Tiff and Kat were good vampires. They hated their shapeshifter life. But they couldn't resist their craving for human blood. Because of their good nature, they would only feast on the bad humans -- thieves, murderers, and bootleggers. This way they justifed their actions -- they rationalized their killings as service to human society which they longed to belong to, once again. Naturally, Tiff and Kat were castaway by the other vampires and their secret congregations. They were the only one's inhabiting this tunnel.

      Detective Ned closed back the lid as he climbed down the steps of the tunnel. Tiff and Kat lurked in their dark hiding spots. The tunnel was wide, stuffed with cement bags, broken tables, and discarded hardware on either side. The pathway didn't even have a switchboard. That was how it was originally designed -- secretive, dirty, and very ordinary.

      Detective Ned flashed the light all over the place as he advanced into the tunnel brandishing oak wooden stakes. He was a master vampire hunter and killer, much feared by the species. Tiff and Kat obviously weren't interested in confronting the honest officer. Being good vamps, they only shuffled around in stealth and hid from the searching light. After twenty minutes, Detective Ned climbed out of the tunnel and closed back the lid. The next thing Tiff and Kat heard was the roar of the engine.

      Tiff and Kat emerged out of the tunnel. They were relieved.

      "Gosh, he could have pierced our hearts," Kat said.

      "But we could've killed him too," Tiff said.

      "You think we could've won against someone who holds the New York record for slaying vampires."

      "Over 2500, isn't it?"

      "2631, if you go by yesterday's newspaper."

      Tiff couldn't put down her ego. "I could've bit him when he walked past the drum, you know, but lucky him, we don't attack good folks, and that too someone who had killed a lot of our enemies."

      "Haha, most of them left this alley and the neighbouring ones fearing Detective Ned!"

      "Pity he couldn't get Ben and Ritz."

      "Feeding on poor Cabbies and their passengers! Cowards! Why can't they get some goths?"

      "Because they respect them! And because goths facilitate accommodation and victims for them!"

      "Now, I'm really starving. Come, let's find ourselves some plumpy goths!"

      Tiff smiled upon Kat's idea. Terribly hungry, they both darted past the street. They moved around the neighborhood, jumping rooftops and flying past windows till they halted at the ledge of a twenty-first floor of a residential complex. An all-goth party was underway and they were dancing to Cradle of Filth's "Nymphetamine".

      Tiff and Kat eyed the ongoings. They whispered to each other in their hiding.

      "Tiff, damn it, Ben and Ritz are inside."

      "I don't see them."

      "Over there, talking with the bloodtender."

      "Jeez, yes, I couldn't recognise their backs at first. Yes, it's them, but what are the hell are they doing here?"

      "Negotiating with the pimps."

      "Pimps?"

      "Well, I meant goths!"

      "Haha!"

      The door of the party hall opened.

      "Shush, Tiff, someone is entering the party room, and he has brought along two prisoners in handcuffs."

      "Damn, that's Dom. I thought he was like us."

      "He must've hunted along with Ben and Ritz."

      "Damn, it's the poor cabbie and his passenger."

      "We need to save them."

      The goths ran helter-skelter when Tiff and Kat flew inside and smashed Dom's face. Dom fell down unconscious. Tiff and Kat broke the handcuffs of the prisoners even as the terribly drunk Ben and Ritz charged towards them.

      "Take them, Tiff," Kat said, as she flew towards Ben and Ritz.

      "Will do," Tiff said. She flew out of the window along with the cabbie and his passenger.

      Kat grabbed the heads of Ben and Ritz and smashed them against each other. Next, she hit them in between their legs. As they both bounced around in agony, Kat flew from one wall to another before smashing their foreheads onto the floor. She then headed into the kitchen.

      Half an hour later...

      Kat met Tiff inside the tunnel.

      "I freed them," Tiff said, slightly disappointed. "It's tough to resist you know, especially when you are terribly hungry."

      "No worries, I've brought along a carton of fifty from the bloodtender's counter. Must last for a week!"

      Tiff locked lips with Kat. "I love you, Kat."

      "And I love you too, Tiff."

      Tiff pulled out suddenly.

      "What?" Kat asked.

      "Ben, Ritz, and Dom... what's up with them?"

      "I whacked them over and over again!"

      "So, they fainted or simply ran away?"

      "They are busy!"

      "What do you mean?"

      Kat winked. "I threw millets all over them before leaving the place!"


      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #45 on: May 04, 2020, 06:05:30 am »
      Today's Prompt



      Photo Credit: Enrique Lopez Garre

      https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-lighthouse-night-moon-star-5051503/

      Prompt:  Geralt shifted his heavy and elderly form in his creaking chair. He grimaced as he looked at his small group of students perched on their boxes. Fewer and fewer seek out the teachings anymore. 

      "Of course the lighthouses aren't for the boats," he said answering the first question of the day.  "They're for sailors of another kind altogether. And if you work hard, focus, and apply yourselves maybe, just maybe you'll be a lighthouse keeper someday."

      Be Well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      « Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 06:49:07 am by D. Roman »
      D. Roman





      Offline VisitasKeat

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #46 on: May 05, 2020, 09:32:23 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - This one has no real attribution.  It just says Free-Photos. 

      https://pixabay.com/photos/hut-shed-house-wooden-planks-731342/

      Prompt: Markus rested his hand on the barrel to the right of the door.  He could feel the movement inside slowly beginning. It would only be a few more months until it was ready to emerge.


      Be Well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      Markus rested his hand on the barrel to the right of the door. He could feel the movement inside slowly beginning. It would only be a few more months until it was ready to emerge. Fermentation was still underway in this barrel, as was the case with the other two barrels in the stack. Still, an appreciable amount of sugar in the wine had to get metabolized into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Markus bent and placed his ear on the oak barrel. He could listen to the fizzy more clearly.

      "Howdy Mark, how's it coming along?"

      The amateur winemaker turned around. It was Billy Cooper, the guy who sold  barrels to professional and home vintners. His cooperage also provided barrels to families for backyard horse racing competitions. Sometimes, the cowgirls rented or bought barrels just for practicing in the backyard. Barrel racing was the craze of this small town in Texas, and Mark's wife, Jill, and Billy's wife, Mae, were among the very best.   

      "It's bubbling." Mark listened to the hiss yet again.

      "Really?" Billy slapped Mark's' shoulder as he bent and listened. "Another two to three months before bottling."

      "Yeah, that's what I was also thinking." Mark straightened up. "But bubbling had stopped two days back and I wanted to start bottling today. But the hiss started off yet again."

      "Unless you want the bottles to explode!" Billy  laughed loud. "Stuck fermentation! It could be the hot weather that the yeast hates! Honestly, you need to buy a wine hydrometer."

      "Maybe I should."

      "Amateurs vintners like you should."

      "Okay, thanks, I agree that I'm an amateur, but true connoisseurs don't use fancy measuring apparatuses, right? I aspire to be a master!" Mark laughed. "Anyway, what brings you here?"

      "My payment for the three barrels Roy supplied yesterday "

      Mark walked to the left of the door and felt the stacked up new barrels. "Oh, these! Yep, she told me but didn't tell me that she didn't pay."

      The door opened and the ace rodeo emerged as she flashed a toothpaste smile. "Heya, Billy!"

      "Howdy!"

      "You've come for the payment, isn't that correct?"

      "Yes, that's right!"

      "I didn't make the payment deliberately!"

      "What do you mean?"

      "I thought why not have a backyard competition with Mae!"

      Billy adjusted his hat. "I don't understand."

      Mark looked on as Jill struck a deal with Billy.

      "Billy, your wife is as good as me in barrel racing. In fact, she leads me 7-6 as regards our personal scoreboard. I would like a backyard competition with her. I don't pay for the barrels if I win. But if your wife wins, you can have the three barrels getting ready for bottling. Three empty racing barrels bet against three wine-filled casks. What do you say?"

      "I'm game. Winning three wine-filled barrels is more than a deal to me! If Mae wins, I get the same-sized 55 gallons barrels plus 165 gallons of wine! And she WILL win. So, yay!"

      Jill smiled. "So, overconfident, aren't you, Billy?"

      "Yes! She has never let me down." He turned towards Mark. "So, what do you think?"

      Mark shrugged as put an arm over his wife's shoulders. "Whatever you said. I believe in Jill's abilities."

      "So, do we have a deal here?" Jill asked, as she raised an eyebrow.

      "Yes, deal," as he clashed knuckles with Jill and Mark.

      One week later, Billy and Mae arrived at the sprawling backyard of Mark's home. The three empty barrels were laid out in a triangular fashion with each rodeo having to complete the cloverleaf pattern. Mark and Billy maintained the timers.

      Mae rode out of the stable, and into the "arena", at top speed. Her horse, Luther, hugged the barrels very well -- he ran clockwise around the first barrel on the right of the start line before heading to the second barrel on the left side. He turned counterclockwise before galloping to the third barrel. He did another counterclockwise hug before heading home into the stable at top speed.

      Next, Jill rode out with equal aggression. She completed the first two barrels, but her horse, Kanon, skidded as he turned around the final barrel. Jill was thrown off the saddle and she landed flat on her back. The horse then rode back into the stable even as Mark rushed out to help his wife out of her mess.

      Two months later, Billy and Mae realized that the wine in the three barrels they won were spoilt. Terribly upset, Billy shouted at Mark over phone.

      "Who's that, sweetie?" Jill asked, as Mark hung the phone.

      Mark smiled. "Mae didn't really win!"

      "What do you mean?"

      "Mark rang up. He called me an idiot vintner! He said brettanomyces spoilt all the wine in the barrels! He said the wine tastes like nail polish!"

      Jill was overjoyed. "Woohoo! And what's that brettanomyces anyway?"

      Mark laughed. "Some microbe that screws up the yeast and the sugar. They didn't really win, did they? All they have got is three old barrels in exchange for three brand new ones!"





       


      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #47 on: May 05, 2020, 02:07:23 pm »
      Markus rested his hand on the barrel to the right of the door. He could feel the movement inside slowly beginning. It would only be a few more months until it was ready to emerge. Fermentation was still underway in this barrel, as was the case with the other two barrels in the stack. Still, an appreciable amount of sugar in the wine had to get metabolized into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Markus bent and placed his ear on the oak barrel. He could listen to the fizzy more clearly.

      "Howdy Mark, how's it coming along?"

      The amateur winemaker turned around. It was Billy Cooper, the guy who sold  barrels to professional and home vintners. His cooperage also provided barrels to families for backyard horse racing competitions. Sometimes, the cowgirls rented or bought barrels just for practicing in the backyard. Barrel racing was the craze of this small town in Texas, and Mark's wife, Jill, and Billy's wife, Mae, were among the very best.   

      "It's bubbling." Mark listened to the hiss yet again.

      "Really?" Billy slapped Mark's' shoulder as he bent and listened. "Another two to three months before bottling."

      "Yeah, that's what I was also thinking." Mark straightened up. "But bubbling had stopped two days back and I wanted to start bottling today. But the hiss started off yet again."

      "Unless you want the bottles to explode!" Billy  laughed loud. "Stuck fermentation! It could be the hot weather that the yeast hates! Honestly, you need to buy a wine hydrometer."

      "Maybe I should."

      "Amateurs vintners like you should."

      "Okay, thanks, I agree that I'm an amateur, but true connoisseurs don't use fancy measuring apparatuses, right? I aspire to be a master!" Mark laughed. "Anyway, what brings you here?"

      "My payment for the three barrels Roy supplied yesterday "

      Mark walked to the left of the door and felt the stacked up new barrels. "Oh, these! Yep, she told me but didn't tell me that she didn't pay."

      The door opened and the ace rodeo emerged as she flashed a toothpaste smile. "Heya, Billy!"

      "Howdy!"

      "You've come for the payment, isn't that correct?"

      "Yes, that's right!"

      "I didn't make the payment deliberately!"

      "What do you mean?"

      "I thought why not have a backyard competition with Mae!"

      Billy adjusted his hat. "I don't understand."

      Mark looked on as Jill struck a deal with Billy.

      "Billy, your wife is as good as me in barrel racing. In fact, she leads me 7-6 as regards our personal scoreboard. I would like a backyard competition with her. I don't pay for the barrels if I win. But if your wife wins, you can have the three barrels getting ready for bottling. Three empty racing barrels bet against three wine-filled casks. What do you say?"

      "I'm game. Winning three wine-filled barrels is more than a deal to me! If Mae wins, I get the same-sized 55 gallons barrels plus 165 gallons of wine! And she WILL win. So, yay!"

      Jill smiled. "So, overconfident, aren't you, Billy?"

      "Yes! She has never let me down." He turned towards Mark. "So, what do you think?"

      Mark shrugged as put an arm over his wife's shoulders. "Whatever you said. I believe in Jill's abilities."

      "So, do we have a deal here?" Jill asked, as she raised an eyebrow.

      "Yes, deal," as he clashed knuckles with Jill and Mark.

      One week later, Billy and Mae arrived at the sprawling backyard of Mark's home. The three empty barrels were laid out in a triangular fashion with each rodeo having to complete the cloverleaf pattern. Mark and Billy maintained the timers.

      Mae rode out of the stable, and into the "arena", at top speed. Her horse, Luther, hugged the barrels very well -- he ran clockwise around the first barrel on the right of the start line before heading to the second barrel on the left side. He turned counterclockwise before galloping to the third barrel. He did another counterclockwise hug before heading home into the stable at top speed.

      Next, Jill rode out with equal aggression. She completed the first two barrels, but her horse, Kanon, skidded as he turned around the final barrel. Jill was thrown off the saddle and she landed flat on her back. The horse then rode back into the stable even as Mark rushed out to help his wife out of her mess.

      Two months later, Billy and Mae realized that the wine in the three barrels they won were spoilt. Terribly upset, Billy shouted at Mark over phone.

      "Who's that, sweetie?" Jill asked, as Mark hung the phone.

      Mark smiled. "Mae didn't really win!"

      "What do you mean?"

      "Mark rang up. He called me an idiot vintner! He said brettanomyces spoilt all the wine in the barrels! He said the wine tastes like nail polish!"

      Jill was overjoyed. "Woohoo! And what's that brettanomyces anyway?"

      Mark laughed. "Some microbe that screws up the yeast and the sugar. They didn't really win, did they? All they have got is three old barrels in exchange for three brand new ones!"

      Wow. I could not have predicted that one! Nice work.

      Be Well.

      D.
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #48 on: May 05, 2020, 02:23:34 pm »
      Today's Prompt



      Photo Credit: Jplenio

      https://pixabay.com/photos/london-shard-skyscraper-3598951/

      Prompt: London, like most cities on Earth, was empty.  The process was supposed to be temporary, but humanity had not been allowed to return to the planet for three years.  The moon habitats were thoughtfully designed, but people wanted to get home.  Kyrie frankly hoped they all stayed on the moon.  She liked having the Great Wen to herself.

      Be Well and Keep Writing.

      D. Roman
      D. Roman





      Offline D. Roman

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      Re: Prompts
      « Reply #49 on: May 06, 2020, 06:27:27 am »
      Today's Prompt


      Photo Credit - Gordon Johnson

      https://pixabay.com/vectors/trees-landscape-silhouette-forest-5118309/

      Prompt:  Kara didn't remember when the trees turned black and died.  She looked up and stared at them even though it was forbidden.
       She marveled at their dark silhouettes scratching at the daytime sky.   The trees had died but remained standing, stiff, black, and impenetrable.  They stood as a permanent reminder of the world that was. Kara needed to get back to her list.  The medicine wouldn't find itself.

      D. Roman

      Be Well and Keep Writing.
      D. Roman





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        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #50 on: May 07, 2020, 07:41:32 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Mariya

        https://pixabay.com/photos/hobby-vintage-sew-girl-children-5114150/

        Prompt:  Rachel carefully guided the yellow fabric under the steady bobbing of the needle.  She rubbed her ancient hands and tried to ease some of the ache out of them. She went back to her work, her endless, timeless work.  As the needle rose and fell, lives and people were knitted together.  The job of the Quilter was never done.

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing.
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #51 on: May 08, 2020, 05:17:17 am »
        Today's Prompts


        Photo Credit: Peter H.

        https://pixabay.com/photos/factory-hall-crane-industry-5126205/

        Prompt: The agent spread his hands wide.

        "Really, a fixer-upper if you ask me.  You put a little sweat equity into this thing and you'll really have something."

        Sam regarded the space with disdain.  It did fit their budget, but it was rough, really, really rough, but maybe with a little work, they could get the clinic up and running here.


        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing.


        D. Roman





        Offline VisitasKeat

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #52 on: May 08, 2020, 09:03:07 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit - Enriquel Lopez Garre

        https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-storm-rays-clouds-sky-4961094/

        Prompt:  Storms were the new normal.  At 3:00 PM every day they rolled in.  The winds and rain scoured the land.  The lightning took care of the rest.  You hid or you died. 

        Be Well and Keep Writing.

        D. Roman
        Year 1920, Texas:

        Storms were the new normal. At 3:00 PM every day they rolled in. The winds and rain scoured the land. The lightning took care of the rest. You hid or you died.

        This was unusual in the history of this small town in Texas. Ball lightning was considered a myth; or, at least, very few people had actually claimed to have seen them hitherto. The church considered them as bad omens, as works of the devil, while pilots labelled the foo fighters as UFOs.

        As if the winds and the rains weren't enough, the fireballs poured out of the sky and they exploded on the fields, tore through rooftops, and set houses and buildings on fire. They would smash through chimneys and explode like cannons once the winds and the rains subsided. The folks in town had very little choice but to hide. The fireball rampage would last for exactly fifteen minutes and the town would smell of sulphur after that.

        Gillespie was out of town since these mysterious events were haunting the village, 3 PM everyday, for six straight days. The tall, arrogant cowboy was riding a brand new horse he had purchased at a neighbouring village. He had met some old friends--thugs, all of them--at that place and had spent the greater part of his stay, drinking, gambling, and womanising. Gillespie was a bad*ss cowboy, feared in his hometown where he stayed alone in a dirty farmhouse.

        Gillespie was surprised as he rode into the town by 2:45 PM. And that was because the roads were deserted and the shops were closed; even Brady's Saloon where the boys gathered every evening to drink and brawl as they bragged about their guns and produce.

        Gillespie left the horse in the barn and entered his house. Time was exactly 3 PM. Storms emerged out of nowhere, as usual, and they had started to tear apart the town. The trees swayed as though in booze to the howls of the winds. The numerous little farms and the narrow country roads were fast getting inundated. The front door began to rap even as Gillespie attempted to shut it. And he nearly fell back when the winds slapped the door against his forehead. Startled, Gillespie balanced himself as he bolted the door, once and for all. He peeped through the window overlooking the patio and was surprised by the intensity of the storm. Again, he was surprised to find that he couldn't sight anyone hurrying on the road outside his gate. "Damn, the storm," he fussed, as he dumped his cigar into the ashtray. He crossed the living room and sat at the dining table as he watched the downpour on the window opposite his chair. Gillespie tore a pack of bread and laid a bunch of slices on a platter. He then took a can opener and peeled the sealing of a can of baked beans in sausage. He emptied the contents in a bowl. Next, he got up and heated the bowl in a stove. Side by side, he also toasted a bunch of breads. After a couple of minutes, he returned to his table with the piping hot beans and toasts. Gillespie  sandwiched some beans in between two breads and fed them into his mouth. And just as he got ready to relish the first bite, a crackling sound startled him...

        Gillespie saw a fireball fly towards him. And before he could react, the fireball landed on the platter and exploded. A piece flew and hit Gillespie on his forehead, just above his left eye. He winced as he pushed back his chair, all in an attempt to escape. Gillespie fell sideways and crawled underneath the table when one more fireball flew right past the table. The sound of the explosion was followed by a crashing sound of a photoframe. Gillespie watched the window for a minute before slipping out of the table.

        Gillespie stood up and noted that the storm had subsided, but was shocked to find fireballs raining down the sky. They flew in crazy trajectories as they smashed into buildings. His horse was neighing incessantly, and Gillespie attempted to jump the window and head towards the barn when one more fireball came straight towards him. Instantly, Gillespie jumped left, into a couch. The fireball, however, reversed it's direction at the wall. It curved around as it once again moved towards Gillespie, but he ducked just in time. The fireball moved out of the window before turning back inside, yet again.

        Terrified, Gillespie crept underneath the dining table once again, and, in reaction, the fireball grounded itself as it bounced on the floor.

        Gillespie saw the fireball clearly as it meandered around the table. It was bluish orange and had a diameter of nearly eleven inches. The fireball was shrinking and expanding continuously.

        Gillespie realized that he was clearly trapped. He knew that there was no way to escape the deadly fireball.

        The fireball came closer and closer before stopping at a table leg. It shrunk and expanded even as it intimidated Gillespie.

        Gillespie was petrified. His teeth started clicking and the color was drained off his face. He had never prayed his whole life but now he suddenly started chanting, "Our Father who art in heaven..." 

        A flush of energy and confidence...and Gillespie pulled out the Holy Cross from underneath his shirt and flashed it even as the fireball flew towards his face.

        Lo and behold, the fireball charred right before the cross and black blood oozed out.

        The 3 PM storm and  the ball lightning miraculously stopped in the next two days. The town folks were relieved and happy, especially, Gillespie, who rid himself of all his bad habits after his strange encounter. He became a famous preacher, well known throughout Texas, after that.

         

        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #53 on: May 11, 2020, 08:07:26 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Enrique Lopez Garre

        https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-lake-night-star-sky-5055384/

        Prompt

        "Tell me a story, Grandpa."

        "Which one?" Grandpa asked.

        "The one about when the stars fell."

        "Ah," Grandpa grumbled, "I suppose."  He took a deep breath and began.

        "On the night the stars fell, everything changed."

        ---

        Be Well and Keep Writing.

        D. Roman
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #54 on: May 12, 2020, 04:20:50 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas

        https://pixabay.com/photos/cyprus-paralimni-ayios-georgios-5147276/

        Prompt

        "That's it.  That's what I want." Tim smiled broadly as he looked at the ancient stone church.

        Megan took a deep breath and looked at the ground. 

        "You want to build a replica of a Cyprian church from the 1800's as your tool shed?"

        "Yeah!  Look at all the room I'll have."
        D. Roman





        Offline VisitasKeat

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #55 on: May 12, 2020, 08:42:32 am »
        Today's Prompt



        Photo Credit: Enrique Lopez Garre

        https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-lighthouse-night-moon-star-5051503/

        Prompt:  Geralt shifted his heavy and elderly form in his creaking chair. He grimaced as he looked at his small group of students perched on their boxes. Fewer and fewer seek out the teachings anymore. 

        "Of course the lighthouses aren't for the boats," he said answering the first question of the day.  "They're for sailors of another kind altogether. And if you work hard, focus, and apply yourselves maybe, just maybe you'll be a lighthouse keeper someday."

        Be Well and Keep Writing.

        D. Roman
        It was the icon of the seashore. Legendary and setup on the highest land point on a massive rocky structure, it was two hundred and eighty foot tall. The lighthouse was the lone structure along the deserted part of the beach, flanked by tough bushes, a row of palm trees, and a building comprising the residence alloted for the wickie. There was also a boatyard and a power maintenance office.

        Geralt Harwood, the wickie, had been light keeping  for the past ten years. He stayed upstairs in the alloted residence. The downstairs of the building served as the office.

        The morning was shiny and bright. The seagulls screeched in the waters at the foot of the rock as they made merry with the numerous lazing seals. The sun added a steady dose of warmth to the office where Geralt was writing on his table as he listened to Otis Redding's "Dock of the bay". He looked at the front door every now and then as he anticipated visitors.

        The visitors were a small bunch of teenagers, all schoolmates, who had been given an assignment by their teacher to visit the lighthouse and write an essay about it. The teacher had booked a slot plus lunch with Geralt.

        Geralt turned off the music and came to the door. He stood and watched the waves for sometime before getting distracted by fresh voices.

        A group of four students made their way towards Geralt. The old wickie smiled at the youngsters -- the expressions on their faces were earnest, as if their noses were attempting to twist into question marks.

        This was not the first time Geralt had given tours of the lighthouse. In fact, he had given tours to adults, even old people, who were charmed by the solitary giant of a cylindrical tower, always part of the beach, but never part of the lounging crowd. These kinds of people were more awed and wowed by the lighthouse than by the bikini clad Baywatch girls. To these people, the lighthouse appealed as a gigantic hero and a protector; a symbol of pride bearing a mystic aura, always lonely and aloof yet kind and caring.

        The students introduced themselves as Patrick, Ryan, Ginger, and Melanie.

        "Good to see you all on this fantastic morning!" Geralt exclaimed in conclusion after he shook hands with all of them. "Where do we start now? You want to come inside for coffee, or, you want to climb up rightaway?"

        "The lighthouse!" they all chorused, their faces beaming with enthusiasm.

        "Good!" Geralt exclaimed, thrilled with their overwhelming eagerness.

        They walked along the shore, dodging sharp rocks, past palm trees, before climbing up the rocky structure. Geralt opened the door to the lighthouse and led the students in. The kids were wowed as they looked upwards in astonishment. Geralt smiled at their excited voices.

        "1, 2, 3..." Ginger counted the spiralling steel bends.

        "20 spiralling bends!" Geralt informed her.

        "Wow! Twenty!" she exclaimed, as she put her palms to her cheeks.

        "You think you can make it to the top?" Geralt asked with a dash of humour.

        "Of course, I can, Mr. Harwood, but I doubt if Melanie and Patrick can."

        Harwood laughed as the gang of four broke into friendly arguments. "Okay, you all have the energy and courage to climb the steps," he said in conclusion. "Let's start climbing! But be careful and avoid inserting your leg in the gaps between the steps." 

        And so, they all started climbing the steps with Geralt following the four.

        "You afraid?" Melanie asked innocently. "Is that why you are the fifth and the last?"

        Geralt laughed. "I'm following you all as I watch your legs, so that you don't trip. And while climbing down I will be the first, again for the same reason."

        They all reached the end of the stairs without any hassle. The kids were surprised that they were staring at a twelve stepped ladder.

        "Mr. Harwood, but I thought I would see the lights here."

        "No, Patrick, you need to climb this ladder and open the lid at top. Again, I climb behind you. Which one of you goes first?"

        "Me."

        "Okay, good, Ryan, and open the lid and just help your friends."

        "Will do, Mr. Harwood."

        In no time they had all climbed the ladder.

        And Geralt closed back the lid.

        "But where are the lights?"

        "Up there, Ginger,"  Geralt smilingly said, as he pointed to another ladder. "But first, this..." He opened a door in the circular platform like space.

        Lo and behold, the kids were overjoyed! And that was because the door led to the balcony.

        The kids were thrilled as they tied their hands to the rush of cold air. The panoramic view was simply fantastic! The roar of the sea, the distant ships, the dotted people on the beach, the toy-like traffic near the promenade. 

        "Now, let's go and see the lights," Geralt said after sometime.

        Finally, the moment they all had been waiting for had arrived. They all climbed the ladder to the next level, to the light room.

        Lo and behold, they saw a giant rotating mirror made of numerous prisms around a source of light. It rotated slowly.

        The kids were stunned at the beauty of the light! They admired the glasswork uttering "Wow!", "Awesome!", "Beauty!", and so on.

        "These are Fresnel prisms, named after a French physicist by the same name," Geralt explained. "And there are three hundred and fifty such prisms. In early days lighthouses used fire and candles but once bulbs came in vogue, the scientists realized that they can maximize the reach in the dark waters. Hence the Fresnel prisms which refract light at its entry and exit points, thereby spreading out the throw of the light far and wide. And since the mirror is nearly fourteen feet in height, the reach in the waters can be as far as twenty five to thirty miles. Our lighthouse also flashes a red light at the far right end, and that is because there are rocks in that region. So, mariners will note that they should avoid navigating in that region."

        The kids spent ten minutes before Geralt lead them down carefully.

        And back in his office, he sat them in a row of chairs, and offered them their lunch boxes.

        The kids whispered seriously as they ate.

        "Any problems with the lunch?" Geralt asked, slightly concerned.

        "Oh no, Mr. Harwood, the food is good, but we have questions for you," Melanie said. "I want to be a lighthouse keeper when I grow up. I want to know for whom the lighthouse is meant. Surely, they cannot be for the boats these days."

         Geralt shifted his heavy and elderly form in his creaking chair. He grimaced as he looked at his small group of students perched on their boxes. Fewer and fewer seek out the teachings anymore. He was glad that these four students were keen.

        "Of course the lighthouses aren't for the boats," he said answering the first question of the day. "They're for sailors of another kind altogether. And if you work hard, focus, and apply yourselves maybe, just maybe you'll be a lighthouse keeper someday. A lot has changed with the advent of GPS and telecommunications. Most lighthouses have merely become museum stuff, but still, they are useful."

        "Useful for what kind of sailors?" Melanie asked.

        "For the poor fishermen who know nothing about technology but still venture into the dark waters in their old-fashioned boats; for shipwreck victims who cling to a piece of wood as they drift through the waves helplessly; for water bound adventurers who had lost their way in the middle, navigation systems having failed them due to severe weather conditions...the lighthouse is for them."

        "But what if they are stranded during daytime? How will they know?"

        "Good question, Ginger! Which is why the tower is painted in black and white stripes. They are known as daylights. Thus mariners can recognise a lighthouse by the patterned stripes." Geralt leaned back in his chair. "You are all very wise for your age. Twelve, I guess."

        "Fourteen," Ryan said. "And I got a question for you."

        "Yessur," Geralt said, as he leaned forward.

        "Can a lighthouse stand in water?" Ryan asked.

        "Of course it can, if the sea is shallow and if there isn't a suitable high point in land."

        "But what if the waters are deep?" Ryan asked.

        "Hmm, in that case, a lightship -- which is a ship acting as a floating lighthouse -- would be the solution. Good question!"

        "But isn't that risky?"

        "Yes, Ryan, it is. Many lightships have been lost to hurricanes."

        "Thank you, Mr.  Harwood!"

        "You are welcome, Ryan!" Geralt looked at Patrick and said: "What happened? You were so chatty when we climbed but have gone silent now. No questions? Feeling tired?"

        "And that's what I was wanting to ask! Don't you feel tired with the lightkeeping job? When do you sleep?"

        Ryan, Melanie, and Ginger laughed.

        "I sleep during the daytime," Geralt said smilingly. "Sometimes I stay awake during mornings if I have to take passionate people like you four for a tour. I lead a different kind of nightlife. No dancing and partying with friends, the way it's for the people in society. I love the company of the giant. I'm a loner in life. Started off poor. Lost my parents when I was your age. No wife, family, and kids. I worked hard to become what I'm today." Geralt quickly wiped off his moist eyes as he attempted to speak in a cheerful voice. "Whenever I get lonely, I go to the lighthouse balcony and just gaze around like you all did. It renders the city life trivial...well, life in general as meaningless, as a toy play, at such a great height. In my career I have rescued seventeen sailors and that is what gives me the greatest satisfaction. At least their children won't meet the same fate as me."

        The telephone rang. "Excuse me, my dears," he said now in a clear voice. "One more booking for a lighthouse trip underway."


        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #56 on: May 13, 2020, 08:48:23 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Gerd Altmann

        https://pixabay.com/photos/house-property-hand-keep-3963987/

        Prompt:  The instructions had been simple enough.  Take the tiny house out of the box, place it on the ground, add water, and step back.  In two to three hours, a fully furnished home would be move-in ready.

        "How do you think it works?" asked Sara.

        Kyle had no earthly idea.  He put it on the ground and dumped his bottle of sparkling water over the tiny roof and marveled as the miniature gutters did their job.

        "No, idea."

        ---
        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing.
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #57 on: May 18, 2020, 06:48:32 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit - Hans Braxmeier

        https://pixabay.com/photos/puzzle-pieces-of-the-puzzle-55873/

        Prompt:  Harold read the directions one more time as he wiped the sweat off of his brow.  This is not what he was expecting for an interview.  The new suit and tie itched like crazy and he adjusted his outfit as he read the directions aloud to the empty windowless room he'd been ushered into for the "interview."

        "This interview is quite simple.  If you'd like to meet your future boss simply complete this 500 piece puzzle.  That is all."

        He looked back down at the pieces.  They were all the same color.  He gulped and picked up a corner piece.

        "Got to start somewhere, I guess."

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #58 on: May 19, 2020, 07:49:53 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Diane Olivier

        https://pixabay.com/photos/nature-insect-wasp-nest-summer-2850945/

        Prompt: The pain from the sting had subsided weeks ago, but the transformation had started almost immediately. The reduction in size had been the most startling part.  At first, he'd thought he was just losing his mind, but day by day he was getting smaller.  At this point, he was about four inches high.  The other physical changes had been much more painful, the wings, the extra legs, and the shedding of his skin, but it was the changes to his mind.  His almost unbearable desire to get back to the hive was ever-present. The hive, home, sanctuary.  He had to get there. One way or another.

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #59 on: May 20, 2020, 07:01:49 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Hubert

        https://pixabay.com/photos/the-horse-nature-animals-horses-3679357/

        Prompt:

        Cam spat out his coffee all over the window.

        "Uh, honey.  There's a horse in the yard."

        No, answer. 

        "Theresa! There's a horse outside!"

        Theresa walked into the kitchen in her robe and yawned. 

        "I thought it was coming till tomorrow."

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline VisitasKeat

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #60 on: May 21, 2020, 05:20:07 am »
        Today's Prompt



        Photo Credit: Jplenio

        https://pixabay.com/photos/london-shard-skyscraper-3598951/

        Prompt: London, like most cities on Earth, was empty.  The process was supposed to be temporary, but humanity had not been allowed to return to the planet for three years.  The moon habitats were thoughtfully designed, but people wanted to get home.  Kyrie frankly hoped they all stayed on the moon.  She liked having the Great Wen to herself.

        Be Well and Keep Writing.

        D. Roman
        Year 2200, planet Earth:

        A world government is administering Earth with Washington DC as it's capital. Science and technology had vastly advanced and made life of humanity extremely comfortable. Wars were almost obselete with the exception of the occassional separatist forces who continued to believe in supremacy doctrines of the past. Peace and prosperity everywhere, humanity was basking in a golden era. That abundance and happiness would soon become the jealousy of a human race from a faraway planet, Arkgon, who, hitherto, had been keeping a close watch on the developments. They decided to invade the Earth.

        War soon ravaged the Earth. The Arkgonians had better military might and were better organized than the soldiers of the Earth, whose aggressive instincts had never been tested in wars for several decades. Naturally, the soldiers of the world government were sloppy in the war.

        As human casualties increased with the progression of the war, advisors to the president suggested shifting a bulk of humanity temporarily to the moon.

        Human settlement in moon had become possible because of the interaction of the oxygen-rich lunar rocks and the hydrogen generated from the solar winds over the past three decades. This prevented photodisassociation, and thus, water became aplenty in the marias which hitherto were massive basaltic lavas.  Moreover, advances in lunar mining which was originally sanctioned by the government for the United States Geological Survey, 180 years ago, during 2020, had resulted in a massive haul of minerals. This had led to a large number of subsequent Apollo missions and other manned lunar expeditions from the then "other countries". The people exploring the moon stayed in areas of lunar rilles, inside lunar lava tubes, which were caves tunneling underneath the lunar surface, each roughly 3 kilometres long and 400 meters in width. The communication systems were set up on the hilly terrains of what used to be volcanic domes, and the moonships were grounded in basaltic plains. Majority of the human settlement was around the Marius hills in the oceanus procellarum region.

        London, like most cities on Earth, was empty.  The process was supposed to be temporary, but humanity had not been allowed to return to the planet for three years. The moon habitats were thoughtfully designed, but people wanted to get home.  Kyrie frankly hoped they all stayed on the moon.  She liked having the Great Wen to herself.

        Kyrie was a separatist, the leader of a fringe extremist group, who wanted London to become a nation, independent from the rest of the world. She had a following of just over 80,000 Londoners. However, they were all very aggressive and hideous in their methods of propagating their extremist literature. They often had secret underground meetings, away from the preying eyes of the detectives belonging to the world-state government of England. Kyrie saw the evacuation of Londoners as the perfect opportunity to create a nation. She waited for the Arkgonians to strike.

        Meanwhile, people relocated to moon were facing practical difficulties. It was not just about food, clothes, and shelter, but the overall lifestyle itself. Most of them were without jobs and were simply bored with nothing worthwhile to do. Their kids' education were completely derailed. Very few men got jobs but those were mostly thankless mining jobs and housing development projects. Most of them missed mother Earth. They grew restless and got into frequent arguments with the authorities who
        kept their hopes alive with false promises.

        And finally it happened.

        On 21st September, 2200, the Arkgonians struck London. The deadly zap-bullets that shot off the fingers of the Arkgonians' alien armours, their only weapons, were to be deflected by special shields. The shields had sophisticated reflecting materials inbuilt that equated the value of the coefficient of restitution to 1. Hence, the fired array of bullets reflected back after a perfectly elastic collision, towards the Arkgonians, at the same speed and destroyed them.

        Ron, the boss of the weapons manufacturing company which supplied this new technology to the world- state government, was a member of Kyrie's secret society. The government was way too dependent on Ron. Hence, this proved to be the perfect opportunity for Kyrie.

        Ron and Kyrie came with a master plan.

        Ron bugged most of the manufactured shields with nitrocellulose that increased the coefficient of restitution to a value greater than 1. He supplied thousands of these defective shields to the government while handing out the good ones to Kyrie's men.

        However, Kyrie wouldn't know that Ron would double cross.

        During the course of the battle, the defective shields exploded in the face of the government soldiers, due to the excess energy as a result of the high value of coefficient of restitution. The government's army was getting nearly defeated when Kyrie's army entered the battlefield. In no time, their shields were deflecting and exploding the bullets on the face of the Arkgonians. All their commanders were killed even as the decimated government soldiers looked at Kyrie's self-styled amature army with awe. Just one more Arkgonian commander was still dictating the battle but his craft too came crashing down.

        Kyrie grabbed the commander from behind and asked Ron to bring along the journalists covering the war. Ron, however, provoked the Arkgonian commander by rushing towards him with his shield. The commander reacted by firing zap-bullets. Ron's shield simply deflected them back. And the bullets exploded on the faces of Kyrie and the commander.

        Later, Ron posed before the media with his leg over the slain Arkgonian.

        He became the war hero and the president of the new nation called London. 




        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #61 on: May 21, 2020, 09:47:55 am »
        Today's Prompt



        Photo Credit - Peter H

        https://pixabay.com/photos/room-space-gloomy-horror-fear-5180253/

        Prompt:  Like all empty buildings, places built to shelter people from the oscillations of nature, this one longed for company.  It was desperately, achingly, lonely.  More than that though, something inside of it had begun to turn.  It had a new sensation, it pondered what the word would be for it, this empty, hollow, ache.  Hunger, yes, that's what it was. Hunger.

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #62 on: May 22, 2020, 03:15:17 pm »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Valentin J-W

        https://pixabay.com/photos/house-architecture-city-sky-clouds-5148865/

        Prompt

        "Please, let me go."

        Kyle looked out the window and pressed the bat back into his left hand. 

        "Please!" screamed the captive man in the chair.

        Kyle turned back towards the man he had trusted, trusted with everything, trusted with things no sane person would.

        Kyle waked back over the chair and this old friend, this confidant, this person it turns out, he never truly knew, winced at his approach.  The man wincing had been his first call after the birth of his daughter.

        Kyle crouched in front of him. 

        "Dan, Dan, Dan. Dan, you yell all you want.  I own the whole building, but you know that.  You helped me acquire it."

        Kyle stood back up and stretched his back.  He raised the bat back up into the air to deliver another blow. 

        "I have so many questions I need to ask you."

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline VisitasKeat

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #63 on: May 26, 2020, 08:56:59 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit - Gordon Johnson

        https://pixabay.com/vectors/trees-landscape-silhouette-forest-5118309/

        Prompt:  Kara didn't remember when the trees turned black and died.  She looked up and stared at them even though it was forbidden.
         She marveled at their dark silhouettes scratching at the daytime sky.   The trees had died but remained standing, stiff, black, and impenetrable.  They stood as a permanent reminder of the world that was. Kara needed to get back to her list.  The medicine wouldn't find itself.

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing.
        They were often spotted in singles or in pairs but never in groups. Not even in threes. The little village that lay in the neighborhood of the forest was never the same. What used to be a happy and prosperous village was now a sight of apathy, fright, and terror.

        Normal activities of the villagers came to a grinding halt, slowly, slowly. The folks were mostly farmers and weavers. Factories hadn't been set up by corporates here as the village folks were mostly self-employed and self-sufficient. Moreover, transportation and logistics wasn't possible through the poorly laid out narrow road which didn't even have a lamp post for night travel. That only road would connect to another village after several miles. Otherwise, the village was flanked by the forest, mountains, and a lake.

        The forest was usually deserted but the woodcutters would encounter the occasional gypsies wandering around. Usually these vagabonds got chased away by the highly conservative and god-fearing villagers, for they found them annoying and suspected them of indulging in occult practices. Hence these gypsies camped in the woods for some days before traveling to the other village. However, some woodcutters would oblige them and even help them with money in return for a fortune telling session.

        During one such session, a gypsy had informed Byron, a woodcutter, about a danger that would consume the village. "What would be the danger?" Byron had asked, to which the old gypsy had talked about the children of the devil making appearances which would spark terror and fright amongst the villagers. "Bad incidents would happen and things would take a turn for the worst." The gypsie woman was in a state of trance--her hands trembled and her body swayed--when she uttered her prediction before fainting right in front of Byron.

        Byron forgot what the gypsy had said after a few days. She and her tribe had even vacated the forest when he went there the next time. He, however, wouldn't know that sinister beings would stalk the village after a couple of weeks.

        One late night, Byron was reading in his living room when he heard a knock on the front door. Initially, he dismissed it as nobody in the village visited each other during these dark hours. However, Byron heard the knock once again. He presumed it could be a scurrying rat or a rabbit and turned towards his book when the knocking came off yet again. Byron got up. Once again, the knocking was heard, but this time more persistent and urgent. Byron tiptoed into the bedroom. His wife, Mary, and his twenty year old daughter, Kara, were fast asleep. Byron closed the bedroom door and went to the window. He opened it partially and glanced outside and saw two kids--a boy and a girl around ten years of age--standing before the front door. It was shivering outside but the kids just stood around with their heads bent. Their clothing appeared ancient and their hairdo appeared weird and clumsy. "Who are you, and what do you want at this time of the night?" he had asked. It was a small village and everyone knew everyone else. Hence, Byron was easily able to ascertain that these kids didn't belong to the village.

        "Hey mister,
        We want water.
        Can we come inside please?
        We'll go away after quenching our thirst."

        Their voices were a metallic chorus, a wavy melodic chant, pausing briefly after each sentence as though they were singing a rhyme. Their voices appeared odd and eerie, piercing through the silent late night hour, but Byron felt compassion as he presumed them to be runaway kids. He questioned them further from the window side, but was puzzled as they kept saying the same thing in an innocent singsong manner.

        "Hey mister,
        We want water.
        Can we come inside please?
        We'll go away after quenching our thirst."

        Finally, Byron opened the door and allowed them in. The lights flickered. The kids entered with their lowered heads and sat on the sofa. Byron closed the door, went to the kitchen, and returned with two glasses of water. Strangely, he felt uneasy as he sat opposite them and offered their drinks. The kids didn't speak but simply emptied the glasses. "Do you want some more?" Byron had asked, to which the two remained silent. Puzzled yet again, Byron asked them once again about their names and where they were from. The kids, however, continued to remain silent with their heads lowered. Byron, by this time, felt an overpowering silence, one that was unnerving and unsettling, but he presumed the kids were utterly frightened and shy, and so, he asked them to at least look into his face and thank him.

        And look, they did, finally.

        The kids were black eyed.

        Byron was spine chilled. Strings of fear soared from his tummy as he hastily stood up and gathered the empty glasses from the coffee table. Profusely sweating, and at a loss for words, he simply retreated into the kitchen with trembling legs and dumped the glasses into the sink before returning back to the living room.

        Everything was as it was but the front door was opened and the kids had disappeared.

        Life changed for Byron from the next day. Problems began to manifest in what happened to be a happy family. There were frequent arguments in the house for no reason at all. Byron became easily irritable and vomited after every lunch and dinner. He suffered from frequent stomach aches. Hitherto a man of good habits, he took to heavy drinking and would often beat up his wife and his daughter.

        One late night, Byron returned home terribly drunk, swung open the front door, and charged towards his wife and daughter waiting for him on the sofa. He dug his axe into his wife's stomach and smashed the head of his daughter, Kara. His wife died on the spot while Kara slipped into a coma. Byron laughed like a mad man as he smeared blood all over his face. He once again encountered the black eyed kids at the porch.

        They had pleaded in the same innocent, singsong manner.

        "Hey mister,
        Take us to the woods,
        And teach us how to chop,
        Give us your axe,
        And we'll learn how to grind."

        Byron followed the black eyed kids into the forest, and there he dismembered the fingers of his legs before cracking his skull repeatedly with the axe.

        Byron's bloodied carcass was found in the lake but the villagers themselves began to experience problems in their lives. They began to encounter strange children requesting things during late night hours, and sometimes even during the dayhours. Nightmares and insomnia became frequent among the villagers but so were murders, infightings, and health issues. Many became blind. Deaths also happened in bizzare ways in the form of suicides with notes written as poetic verses. And none in the village was capable of composing poetry. Water problems began to manifest -- taps dripped foul smelling waters continuously and cisterns overflowed for no reason at all. The lake itself was contaminated with black slug. The trees turned dry and black and the forest appeared as though it had been ravaged by a forest fire.
        Dead bodies floated in abundance in the lake, and they were not just of the villagers but also of dogs, cats, swans, and birds.

        However, crows, hitherto unseen, flew in abundance all over the village.

        Only very few villagers were still alive.

        And Kara was one of them.

        Kara recovered from her coma miraculously, one afternoon. And that was because she had a fascinating surreal dream.

        An old woman wearing a long colourful glass-studded gown, large earrings, and beautiful bangles had touched her forehead and uttered a list of words. She also said that crows were demonic souls and that they shouldn't be looked at.

        She had concluded the dream thus:

        "Remember this list, my dear, and gather them from the woods,
        For the cure,
        It lies in the juices of the roots.
        Grind and squeeze them into the eyes of the ill,
        For the medicine shall heal and rid the demon's will."

        Kara walked towards the woods as though mesmerized. She didn't even bother about the dead bodies, the circling crows, and the disturbing scenario that the village was now.

        Kara arrived at the forest. Here too, crows were hovering, and they were circling the tree tops.

        Kara didn't remember when the trees turned black and died. She looked up and stared at them even though it was forbidden. She marveled at their dark silhouettes scratching at the daytime sky. The trees had died but remained standing, stiff, black, and impenetrable. They stood as a permanent reminder of the world that was. Kara needed to get back to her list.  The medicine wouldn't find itself.

        Kara moved to the foot of the mountain with the list uttered in the dream clearly registered in her memory. As though due to intuition as a result of the good dream, she was able to gather all the herbs mentioned in the list. She carried back dozens of each herb and returned to her house. She ripped off the roots and blended them to extract the fine juice. She then went from one home to another and added droplets of the juice into the eyes of the suffering people. Lo and behold, the blind got vision and the crippled became normal. And the sick turned healthy. Even diseased cats and dogs became healthy and playful. Overjoyed, Kara then intuitively added the droplets to the lake and around the trees of the forest. Again, miraculously, the lake became purified and the trees came to life. And the entire village became it's beautiful old self.

        The hovering crows shed their feathers and dropped to death.

        Black eyed kids were never ever seen again in the village.

        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #64 on: May 27, 2020, 09:40:52 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Carola

        https://pixabay.com/photos/robin-bird-songbird-feeding-place-5215950/

        Prompt

        "No, Rebecca, it's fine!  Why don't you fly up here and see for yourself...What's that?"
        Indistinct bird muttering.
        "Oh, I see.  Fine. Fine, we'll do it your way.  Starving to death is way better."

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline D. Roman

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #65 on: May 29, 2020, 05:48:54 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Alexas

        https://pixabay.com/photos/better-world-motivation-encourage-5219880/

        Prompt

        Derek stared at the polite, upbeat, and utterly infuriating multi-colored sign God had left on his desk.  "Make this World Better," it gleefully crowed.  Okay, he got it.  Maybe a planet filled with elephant-sized cockroaches wasn't "ideal," but according to the training, he had total freedom to design it as he saw fit. 

        This was the creator's way of giving "uplifting and inspiring" feedback.  Derek stared back down at the planet he was in charge of and watched the various multi-colored armies of cockroaches launch missiles at each other. Sure, it looked bad, but what's a planet without a little war?

        He watched in horror as a much larger missile took to the air and hit its target ending in a tidy little mushroom cloud.  Okay, it needs some work. 

        ---

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing
        D. Roman





        Offline VisitasKeat

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        Re: Prompts
        « Reply #66 on: Yesterday at 05:30:57 am »
        Today's Prompt


        Photo Credit: Mariya

        https://pixabay.com/photos/hobby-vintage-sew-girl-children-5114150/

        Prompt:  Rachel carefully guided the yellow fabric under the steady bobbing of the needle.  She rubbed her ancient hands and tried to ease some of the ache out of them. She went back to her work, her endless, timeless work.  As the needle rose and fell, lives and people were knitted together.  The job of the Quilter was never done.

        D. Roman

        Be Well and Keep Writing.
        Rory Montgomery was an extremely cruel old man who had recently purchased a cotton plantation. He would punish his slaves in the harshest possible ways if they faltered in their work or if they hadn't achieved the daily quilting targets that he had set. He would beat them with a cane, crush their knuckles with his shoes, throw boiling water on their faces, or simply deny them their daily wage. The quilting slaves suffered for several months together ever since he had bought the plantation from Brian Pettway.

        Brian Pettway, the previous owner, and his wife, Bethany Pettway, were generally kind and empathetic.

        This community of black quilters alongside the Alabama river, hitherto were used to only hand sewing. But Rory had purchased commercially available sewing machines, which were new technology to the cotton state and to America itself. In fact, Rory was also planning on bringing more slaves to work in his cotton plantation.

        Initially, the quilting women found it difficult to transition from hand to machine sewing. There was a large learning curve that they needed to master. They would panic and tremble before their sewing machines whenever their new master came around for a random inspection. Many times, Rory would even pierce a needle into their necks if he got upset with the quilted materials.

        Interestingly, the quilting slaves loved and respected Rachel. And that was because she was a very kind and empathetic woman. She reminded them of their previous mistress. Rachel was a good quilter, as good as the slave women themselves, and for most part of the week she would quilt alongside them and assist with the new technology.

        Rory, for all his cruel nature, would keep away from the quilting office whenever Rachel joined them. He had entrusted her with the job of managing them in his absence.

        The slaves never once complained to Rachel. They would go about their jobs very quietly and sincerely. They would cover up their wounds and their sorrows. The civil war was ongoing but the government saw the scope of the cotton industry with the advent of the new technology and hence hesitated to free the quilters at the bend from slavery.

        One night, Rachel woke up as she felt terribly thirsty. The weather was hot and sultry. She was surprised that her husband was missing. She presumed that he might have gone for a walk, the way he usually did. Many times, she would even spot him sleeping in the patio.

        Rachel walked into the kitchen and gulped half a bottle of water before moving to the front door. She opened the door and was pleased by the rush of fresh air. She stood around for sometime before deciding to join her husband in his walk. And, as she took a couple of steps, she was alerted to pleading and moaning sounds. Rachel was puzzled but figured out the sounds were coming from the basement. So, she climbed down the steps and peeped through the door.

        Rachel was shocked.

        Rory was forcing Rene Powers, one of the quilters, to make love to him in disgusting ways. He also slapped her and threatened to sew her mouth if she screamed or didn't oblige.

        Rachel was horrified but was too scared to interfere. After all, Rory used to beat her up whenever he drank too much or found fault with her cooking. That fear made her to move away from the basement.

        The next day, Rachel visited the quilting office as usual and was surprised by the fact that Rene was working with full concentration and dedication. She noticed scratches on her face and neck. Rachel greeted the quilters and they too greeted back with warmth, especially Rene. A pleasant smile was on her face but Rachel could see the trauma it was attempting to hide.

        In the following days, Rachel grew more and more suspicious. She observed her quilters carefully as she worked with them. She noticed that they were are covering up their wound marks very cleverly. It was then that she fully understood the physical and sexual abuse they underwent at her husband's hands. Tears welled up inside her eyes. Rachel was overwhelmed by the humble nature of her quilters. They had never complained to her all these months, not even frowned at her. They had simply judged her for what she was -- a good natured white woman who never looked at them as slaves.

        Rachel decided to end it all. She opened her heart to the women and spoke frankly about her husband. She also admitted to peeping into the basement. Rene broke down but so did all the others. Rachel, however, said that she wished to help them. She came up with a plan.

        Three days later, Rachel brought along pattern papers to the office, which were usually catalog sheets and newspapers, only this time the batting were personal letters from Rachel herself, recommending the names of her quilters, and asking the boatman to free the quilters from Alabama. A handsome amount of money was also embedded along with each batting.

        And the plan worked.

        Rory was very pleased with Rachel's new client when she had talked to him about the bulk sale. Rory was impressed with the money mentioned in the invoice. Enthused, he left the plantation in order to bring along more slaves to work for his booming business.

        The next evening, a boat was scheduled to collect the factory produce. Each slave carried large stacks of quilts to the shore with the ones containing the personal recommendation letters at the top. And they were accompanied out of the premises by Rachel herself, right before the watchful eyes of the factory's security personnel, who frisked the slaves and examined the quilted materials before logging the entries in the register book

        And when the ladies reached the shore, the boatman verified the top quilts and pulled out the recommendation letters from the loose stitching in the backing materials, along with the money, before admitting the quilting women onboard.

        And Rachel watched them float away to a free land.

        The day after that, the door at the quilting office opened.

        Rachel looked up.

        Rory had brought along thirty more fresh slave women for work.

        Rachel bent her head and smiled.

        Rachel carefully guided the yellow fabric under the steady bobbing of the needle. She rubbed her ancient hands and tried to ease some of the ache out of them. She went back to her work, her endless, timeless work. As the needle rose and fell, lives and people were knitted together. The job of the quilter was never done. Rachel knew that she needed to come up with thirty more letters at the appropriate time.

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