So, did you make it through the week without access to Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday?
Did you even notice they were down?
We use some related apps here at Ye Olde Day Jobbe, so Wednesday included lots of browser-refreshing and refrains of, “is it up yet?” On the plus side, we were probably more productive than usual that day.
Now that everything is back to normal (relatively), it’s time to turn our thoughts to the weekend. The persistent rain here has finally taken a break and it’s been beautifully sunny (though chilly) for a few days. I see some lawn-mowing and weed-pulling in my future.
I also see some writing in my future, though I may procrastinate my way through the weekend before I actually get to it. Like Michelle, I am a permanent resident of Procrasti-Nation. I will pull out my pen and paper eventually, however, and once I do I plan on giving today’s writing prompt a try.
Care to join me?
For those of you working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication), if you’re not feeling random, we’d love to hear a bit – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with and would like to share.
If you don’t have a story in progress, or just want to work on something new, I hope today’s story prompt and/or random words will catch your creative fancy.
What if: “Your if your character ruled the world for a day?”
Feel free to include any (or all) of the following random words:
overboard flirtation bleeding bloom
muscular sideshow ghoul tennis
hustle festival sparkler crushing
photograph serum peepshow zipper
I look forward to seeing your stories in the comments. If you’re not feeling in the writing mood today, or don’t have time, feel free to post suggestions you might have for future “what-if” prompts. Ideas are always welcome.
Happy writing to all!
Lucy Cincinnati curled her lip in digust. All these . . . plebes, pulling the world this way and that with their little protests, wasting their energy on flirtations with semantics, rather than cutting through to the center of the problem and choosing the right answer. Her answer.
Lucy crushed her herbs and blooms (bleeding hearts, pansies, love-lies-bleeding) and stirred them into the cauldron. “Overboard, overboard/ Muscular hunks./ Hustling dictators who/ Show off their junks./ Ten is the number,/ Now is the time./ Let me rule the world/ In rhythm and rhyme.” She tossed the photograph of the leader of The Freeworld into her pot, sealed it with a sigil and some healing wax, and the spell was done. This festival sideshow of a reign was on hold; she had 24 hours to make some changes to The Freeworld, and by gods and goddesses, she meant to make her time count.
Annabel Cincinnati flicked at the serum in the tube. No, it had definitely changed from a sickly yellow-green to red. “The ghoul has done it,” she told her assistant, Ricky. “She’s done the world domination spell. If we don’t get to her pot and uncork it, who knows what she’ll do?”
Ricky was at his post, peering through a telescope. “It’s begun,” he said. “There goes the first wormhole, the one to Octavius Prime.”
“Our best trading partner!” Annabel picked up her bug-out bag and shrugged it onto her back. “Ricky, step away from that horrible peepshow. We’ve got to go, and go now!” They rushed from the cavern lab to Lucy’s shiny new headquarters, with only the light of a sparkler to guide them. Lucy’s security would detect electricity or magic.
The headquarters were remarkably easy to breach, if you had a hairpin and a used sparkler wire. Ricky smirked. “Some people are just too in love with their technologies.” He threw the used sparkler like a dart, and hit the security camera right in the lens.
“C’mon, Ricky.” Annabel’s heels were killing her, and she wished for her tennis shoes, but she kept running up the stairs, anyway. “It’ll be in the penthouse!”
Forty minutes later, and panting like a pair of Huskies in Panama, Annabel and Ricky finally reached the top floor of the building. Annabel checked the tube of serum. The red had turned an evil shade of crimson, glowing in the dark room, and casting a nasty glow across things. In the corner, a flatscreen broadcast the chaos happening in the streets.
“Annabel, c’mon!” Ricky said. “She’s not in here.” They entered the lab, and in the center of an industrial-supported magic circle was the sealed cauldron. “Oh, Bel-bel, I don’t think we can do this.”
“Don’t be silly, Ricky. We have to do it.” There was a loud explosion. “That sounded like it was the Parliament Building. Only exploding Sector IV limestone makes that kind of squeak when it’s blown up.” Annabel concentrated hard. If she worked, she could match the psychic aura of her twin, and open up the magic circle. Slowly, as slowly as the drops of sweat poured down her face, the magic circle also lowered, shivered, and then broke open wide enough to allow Ricky in.
“It’s up to you, now, Ricky! I’ll hold the circle open! Un-do your zipper!”
“Try harder, you’ve got a pot to piss in, and you better do it, or we’ll not have a Freeworld tomorrow.”
Androgynous Ricky, skinny as a snake, gave up on the zipper, and simply shimmied out of his jeans. He ripped the top off of the cauldron, and peed into the writhing mess that was fueling Annabel’s twin’s magical charisma.
Lucy appeared on the television’s screen as a cameraman in the President’s Office caught her in the act of strangling the President. “You*Can’t*Fire*Me*If*I*Quit!” she yelled. The President, though, sat up straight, and pinned both of her hands behind her back.
“Hey, you guys, take this crazy lady off my hands! Why the hell did you let her in here in the first place? And what’s happened to the Parliament Building?”
“You, you can’t do this to me,” Lucy said. “I’m the Queen of the World!”
The handsome guard said as he wrestled her through the door, “Sure, sure. We’ll just put you in the royal limousine for a nice talk with the royal guards. Then we’ll let you play a little royal tennis with some nice people in white coats.” The other one shut the door behind them.
The President looked directly at the cameraman. “Godsdammit, is this thing LIVE? Have you been filming my bad side all this time? For Lady’s sake, turn the Godsdamn thing off.
The screen went black as Ricky finally finished the job, crawled out of the circle and moaned, “Never. Again. I’m never drinking two liters of cucumber juice again for you.”
Annabel slumped down next to him, and stroked his hair. “It was all for a good cause, Ricky. When she gets loose again, I may have to ask you to do worse.”
“Shhh, Bel-bel. It’ll be at least 24 hours before they set bail. We can relax until then, at least.”
Annabel buried her face into the warm crook between Ricky’s neck and shoulder. He was wrong of course. It was only beginning.
How fun, Michaeline. I can’t believe you wrote so much so quickly. Great sprinting!
I missed out on the Instagram outage; I must have been asleep! It sounds like a lot of people were inconvenienced, and I read somewhere that a lot of people were switching to a hot new app (and I tried to find the reference just now, but I can’t find it. Telegram? That doesn’t seem right.). FORBES (which I didn’t look at this morning) said it was Telegram, and that they gained 3 million new users during the outage. Based in Dubai, which doesn’t seem like the least-neutral place in the world. Who knows? Addicts don’t like losing their sure-fix.
Anyway, the world’s in a mess, and so why not write something messy? I can’t see this continuing; having a world with magic AND future tech sounds like it would take a lot of brainspace that I can’t spare right now.
Really fun story, Michaeline! I love the sparkler, among other details. I think I want to put a sparkler in a story of mine now….
I had a tough time with the sparkler! And tennis. I forgot that I got it in, and put it in twice.
One of the interesting things about using such a random word list is that I tend to feel free to put in even more random words that spring up in my brain. Limestone, hairpin, Siberian huskies and cucumber. If someone gave me those in a list, I’d be hard put to start the story, LOL.
I think this sprint would have been great as a circus setting. Maybe set in the 1970s? It’s got a lot of great possibilities . . . but every Friday, they always do!