Prompt: realization vs. reality
There once was a god who figured things out as they went along. They made planets before space, plants before light, and animals before food. This god’s world was a slow moving disaster, but it was too late to stop now; it already rolled across the gravity they’d put out like a carpet. All they could do was their best as they watched trees grow tall before their leaves showed up, families give seasonal gifts before the children were born, and wolves lick their lips before the hunt was even on. Continue reading
Prompt: Someone makes you an offer you can’t refuse. You refuse.
Those five streets always sounded like there was a train just under them, something clicking rhythmically against the tracks. I never saw a station anywhere, but after compartmentalization I was out of the loop. There didn’t seem to be much point to reading the news from different compartments or looking at their layouts when nobody was allowed to visit them. Continue reading
Prompt: A young man wanders the Earth on an epic quest to make himself ‘normal’, but when he finds the cure he realizes that loving himself was all he ever needed.
When I was younger I thought a lot about the story with the lion who had a thorn in his paw. If you’ll recall, he needed a mouse to pull it out. At least, that’s the way I heard the story. Maybe I’ve wandered so far that it’s different now. Things like that are changing, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I was going somewhere with this story, the same way I’m always going somewhere. Continue reading
Prompt: A wise-cracking super silly young genius space pilot wants to become captain of his fleet.
Max Intinny struggled to keep his eyes open, even with a gulf of stars before him. He hadn’t trained to look at stars, but to fly by them on the edge of human bravery and ingenuity. Right now his vessel, the Bonbon, coasted through the darkness and the purple nebula vapors lazily. Continue reading
Prompt: The origin story of a mighty berserker wearing a wolf hood and wielding two axes.
One of Barliot’s hands was empty. He stared at his palm in the dying light, sitting there next to the placid lake. He saw the calluses and the chips in his yellow nails. He saw all the lines. They angered him. He should never have to see such things, never address the signs of his aging. The wolf hood hid all his gray hairs under its own. Its amber glass eyes drew the attention of his foes, drew it away from the crow’s feet around his eyes. Continue reading
Prompt: In a world with integrated A.I., a badass female detective tracks down a brutal serial killer.
The lights flickered in Car Seven, causing two of the five passengers to glance up. Each and every car had its own intelligence, they proliferated like mad these days, and it apologized to the passengers with a soft voice through its speakers. The apology was appropriate, as even minor disturbances like that were out of character for any programs in that line. They ran a tight ship when it came to the public transport lines of Old Guard City. Continue reading
Prompt: An elf boy and his fairy boyfriend are abducted by aliens.
The leaves of the the shy shoot plant were supposed to be excellent cover. It was a magical bit of flora, utterly invisible to human beings and their mechanical lenses, but still solid enough to hide anything under it. All sorts of magical tribes had relied on the tree to act as either neutral ground in times of conflict or safe bunkers for secret keeping. Continue reading
Prompt: You enter a house with a dark hidden secret; when looking around you see a painting moving faintly. You lean closer, and an arm pulls you in. You’re stuck in a world of paintings; how do you get out?
It was always the quietest house, which was why Michael Roslinger hated being there when he was a child. It was older than his grandparents, even back then, but it never creaked or moaned in the night. It had no personality. As an adult, as a patron of the arts, he knew everything was supposed to have one. That meant the house was like a comatose person, or that it had brain damage somewhere in its dark cellar. Continue reading
Prompt: Fallen rock, as any fool could tell thee for a fact, was a terrible omen for our town of King’s Tact. Yet would any such fool believe I did see, grey of skin and black of eyes, from cursed rock little men emerge, three, upon my stride long ere sunrise.
Inspiration is difficult to find in King’s Tact. It’s a very literate town, one of the reasons I never left, but the literacy is in all the wrong places. We’re drowning in lawyers, essayists, and religious scholars. They know all their rules, they copy everything so perfectly, but they rarely think about why anything gets written in the first place. Continue reading
Prompt: Your goal is to create and protect a network of planetary colonies and defeat a computer adversary trying to do the same.
There didn’t seem like much reason to guard it. It was just the last experiment of the mad genius who’d spilled his mess across the entire galaxy and expected the rest of humanity to clean it up. The ship inside the launch facility, just under its exoglass dome, was the government’s final attempt to make him clean it up himself. Continue reading