PROMPT: Lighthouse Man

It was a tight-knit community so everyone knew one another. Except the man in the lighthouse, who kept to himself…

Time: 10 minutes


The man in the lighthouse was still young. He smiled a lot. But he kept to himself, even on days when the sun shone and the waves stood calm.
We thought he was a bit strange, but we let him be. Except for that one time, with my once best friend. She wanted to see if he lived there, and I was eager to let her believe I would do anything. So we snuck there during the day, hoping he’d be gone. And he was. And his lighthouse was unlocked. We snuck in and saw a little bed, and a chair and a table, and a little pile of clothes. It smelled like the sea and everything was bare.
At night the lighthouse lamp beamed across the water, spinning out into the darkness and shining over our houses, and then back again. All night it spun and spun, and I sat at my window and imagined him in there. In my mind he sat in that circle of windows like I sat here at mine, and he stared out to sea waiting for a boat that would never come. It was very romantic in my mind, but very sad, too. Perhaps he mourned a lost love, or a relative, killed somewhere in those deep, endless waves.
It was the week of the summer festival. I had friends but they were going with other people, and my once best friend now ignored me and whispered behind my back. I walked to the fair and looked out at the lighthouse on the rocky shoreline, and wondered about the man. He’d never been seen at these summer festivals. I was older than before, old enough to regret breaking into his house when he was gone all those years before, and old enough to think that perhaps the man had no friends. So I swerved my course and walked into the cool beach breeze.
The Lighthouse was stark in the sunlight, coated in chipping white paint. It looked practically deserted. I knocked on the door and for a long moment there was only silence. I felt awkward and regretted coming at all, but I’d made it this far. It would be even worse to walk away knowing he’d heard the knock and might watch me give up. So I knocked again.
Finally there was a creak, and the door opened. The man looked out and smiled.

Newspaper Post – Part 6

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It’s been a while…but I haven’t forgotten! And I’ve published quite a few work posts since the last time I rounded them up so if you’re in the mood for a bit of light reading on a lot of random topics, today is your lucky day.

And off we go:

Oak Island Money Pit — There’s a mysterious man-made obstacle pit in Canada and no one can get to the bottom

The Slave Quilt Code — It’s rumored that a code using quilts was used to help slaves escape

A Good Day for Flying — May 21 was a record-breaking day for both Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart

Animal Furniture — And now for something completely different: the strange and vaguely upsetting trend of making furniture from dead animals

A Royal Coronation — For those interested in all things queenly, June 2 was the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation

Councilman Rhino — You know the people must not care much for your politics when a rhino beats you to city council

Horse of the Century — Secretariat was a record-breaking racehorse, and June 9 was the anniversary of his incredible Triple Crown win

The Mysterious Demise of Ludwig II — Fan of unsolved mysteries? This monarch’s death has yet to be explained even today

A War Begins — On June 18, 1812, the United States entered their “second war for independence”

Rosenberg Execution — One of the most controversial death sentences was carried out on a husband and wife spy duo in the heat of the Cold War

Olive Oatman — A young lady was kidnapped for five years by Native Americans and returned with a tattooed face

Pickles the Dog — Only a dog with so noble a name would find the stolen World Soccer Cup

And last on today’s long list:

Yankee Doodle Dandy — Some historical tidbits on the well-known patriotic ditty

One of these days I’ll post something besides Newspapers posts and prompts. But for now I’m just happy this blog is being used for anything. 😀

PROMPT: Monster Apple

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Write a scene inspired by this picture. 10 minutes!


Everyone always told you

“Do not enter the Bitter Wild”

and for many years you listened.

You looked out your window, framed with climbing yellow roses, and watched the wind play tricks with the trees, bending them to and fro and dancing in the leaves.

You saw the animals darting in and crawling out as mere shadows of their former selves, grey and blue and and sharp with starvation.

And for years you resisted that strange magnetic pull that called you to the trees. But as anyone who has read a story knows, no one resists that which they are pulled to. Not for long.

You strode bravely into that gloomy place. No hesitation slowed your steps. Not when you found a wall of fog and mist surrounding the forest. Not when you heard the moans of the trees as they bent and shook. Nothing could stop you from proving your strength. You were tall and unyielding.

Not until you heard the cry did you fear.

“Help. Help me,” it said, soft and pleading. You didn’t trust it–how could you, here? The hisses and growls and groans could not stop you but the gentle whimper of pain set you frozen in your tracks. Slowly you backed away, off of the path, eyes trained on the spot ahead from where the voice was heard. Nothing but fog and tearful cries for help.

Not until it bit into your flesh did you realize that trees offer no shelter here. You tore the attacker from your shoulder, face wrinkling with disgust at the unnatural, fanged apple, already rotting in death now it’s life source had been plucked away. You tossed the apple over your shoulder and began to run.

Then you began to walk.

Then you began to crawl, your breathing heavy, your limbs stiffening with every movement. Your hands grew brown and scaly, your sight dim. Leaves began to sprout from your hair, your fingers, your nose. Your ears. Your eyes.

Then you truly grew tall and unyielding. Then you truly became strong. You grew fruit of your own, to catch those as unwary as you.

My perfect wooden child. You are the Bitter Wild.

PROMPT: Sebastian lit the match, then dropped it…

The post title was the given first line. Ten minute prompt 😀


Sebastian lit the match, then dropped it. She gaped at the tiny piece of wood as it hit the ground, the tiny flame instantly extinguished on the stony ground. Beside her the body of some unfortunate survivalist wanna-be began to smell in death.
Sebastian took the bent-up package of matches and stuck them in her bag, turning back to the man’s pack to gather what other goodies she could find. Stale crackers, broken plastic from a metal tube that clicked uselessly when she pressed the button on its side, no doubt ruined when the man fell. A rope–this she took–and a canvas-wrapped bottle. Sebastian looked over at the man in awe. It had been years…so many years since anything like this had been seen by her or her companions back home. It was as though he had fallen through time instead of off a cliff.
Sebastian slung her bag over her shoulder and stepped over the body, making her way back to the Sticks, her home since before she could remember. Jan waited for her in the distance, watching all around for any sign of danger. One had to be wary in these trees, as the dead man had no doubt realized just before his body broke on the rocks below his camp.
“We should check his site,” Jan said, nodding up toward the cliff’s peak. His eyes never stopped scanning for trouble.
Sebastian shrugged the bag into a more comfortable place on her shoulder. “Not tonight, Jan. The sun’s setting.”
“If he had anything of value, it’ll be up there. But some other scavs might have got it by tomorrow. We gotta go now.”
Sebastian thought of the match, of how the flame burst into light wtih the slightest amount of pressure. A tiny, fearless explosion. Extremely useful. If that was the least of what the dead man had, then Jan was right. They had to find out.
Sebastian nodded. “Right. Lead on.”

PROMPT: Creature Combo

WORD COUNT TO REACH IS 450.
Pick one from each list to make a creature/animal combination and write a scene in which this creature appears.

List 1 List 2
Vampire Porcupine
Ninja Armadillo
Zombie Pig
Pirate Goat
Mummy Lobster
Clown Possum
Banshee Shark
Wraith Eel

A salty sea spray washed across Jeremiah’s face. He blinked it away, but couldn’t do much else in his current…compromised position. Behind him a crew of sun-baked seadogs smirked as the ship’s first mate held Jeremiah precariously over the edge of the ship, letting him teeter just on the edge of balance.
“You guys could stand to clean a litle better,” Jeremiah grunted as his face was forced closer and closer to the salt-crusted planks of the ship’s exterior. “She’s looking pretty rough down here.”
In thanks the first mate shoved him harder against the rail. Jeremiah grinned through gritted teeth.
“You can beat me against this ship until my ribs break, my fish-eaten friend. But you and your crew sunk my ship and imprisoned my men. I’ll not be telling you anything.”
Jeremiah’s captor pulled him back without warning and threw him down on the deck.
“Ye’ll talk, and ye’ll talk soon, or m’name ain’t Bloodbath McGee,” said the first mate, a giant of a man with a greasy, black beard that lay in scraggly ropes against his chest. Yellow sweat stains seeped from his armpits, adding to his excessive charm.
Jeremiah quirked his head, eyebrows raised. “Is your name Bloodbath McGee?”
Bloodbath opened his mouth to roar a fearful response, and paused, looking confused.
“Well, no. It’s Errol. But people call me Bloodbath, or I break their arms off.”
“Ah,” Jeremiah nodded with the utmost respect. “A pleasure to meet you, Bloodbath.”
Bloodbath shrugged back his shoulders impressively.
Somewhere behind the scumfold of pirates that gathered to watch his torture, Jeremiah heard the significant slam of a door—the door to the captain’s cabin. At the sound the men began to scuttle away like spiders, hurrying to their stations. Only a handful remained, looking full of trepidation but unsure whether it would be worse to stay or to go. Bloodbath alone looked confident with standing in his place, hovering over Jeremiah like a girthy, sweaty bird of prey and blocking Jeremiah’s view of the captain’s quarters. But even the massive first mate gave himself away. His eyes widened like a goldfish’s, and his sausagey fingers trembled.
Jeremiah heard the approaching steps of the captain moving across the deck. They were strange, and sharp, and too fast.
Understanding began to wash through Jeremiah like a glacial tide, freezing his blood in his veins. He thought frantically through the events of the last several hours. Were there clues that could have alerted him to the danger? Had he seen the telltale flag as it heralded its captain? If he had only paid attention… if he had only thought….
Dread hung heavy in his throat as Jeremiah raised his eyes, looking beyond Bloodbath’s hulking form, beyond the criss-crossing ropes and pulleys, beyond it all, until his eyes focused on the black flag, snapping above him in a strong eastern wind. Time seemed to slow to a sickening crawl as he watched the flag unfurl, revealing, at long last, the only image Jeremiah would fear to see.
“The Black Goat,” Jeremiah said. The words seethed from his throat in a horrified moan.
“Yaa-aa-aa–aarrr.” Captain Goatbeard clopped into view. His eerie rectangular pupils gleamed, and Jeremiah knew he had already lost.

PROMPT: We Are Gonna Be Kings

Chose a song to inspire your prompt:

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO9Wvzl2nTM

or:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUXBznFy27w

or: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn_qCV25glU

Use this starting line: We are gonna be kings.

Time: 10 minutes

(I used option number 3, “Frayed Legacy”)


“We are gonna be kings.”
Geoffrey looked sideways at his brother over their discovered treasure. The glittering contents shifted, clinking and clattering over each other as Adrian grinned through a dirt smeared face.
“We’re going to be gods.”
Adrian’s prediction proved true enough, for the brothers new-found fortune propelled them into power and glory beyond what they had ever dreamed. They found themselves in the society of nobility, and their kindness endeared them to the royals. The old, graying King Rupert was especially fond of Geoffrey, and the young man inherited the superior title, much to Adrian’s displeasure.
Pride, and greed, overruled Adrian’s jealous heart, and he killed his brother, taking the throne for himself with none the wiser. The kingdom, once shining with promise and life, began to decay under the rule of a king with a rotting heart.
In the shambles of the town below the gleaming castle–the only thing still untouched by the wear of time–another emerged. A young woman with fire in her eyes and hope in her heart. She roused the people to fight against the injustice of their new ruler, King Adrian, who wore a crown on his head but his soul was that of a poor, shriveled thing.
Her younger brother, Garrett, was not as keen on the idea of revolution.
“We’re nobody, Elya. We’re just kids.”
Elya took her brother’s face in her hands. The wind blew against her raven hair, lifting the tendrils around her face like blackened flames.
“Perhaps we are nobody, dear one. But we are an army nonetheless.” She lifted her hand to the crowd gathered, their worn, sorrow-lined faces looking grim and determined, and hopeful for the first time in many, many years.
“This is our chance to fix this broken world. We can make it better, make it what it should always have been.”
Garrett nodded, reluctant. But his sister was strong, and good.
The battle was fierce. The courtyard around the castle wept with the blood of the fallen, poor and rich alike. And at the end, in the cloud of settling smoke and ash, stood Elya and Garrett, the body of King Adrian at the girl’s feet.
Garrett looked over the shattered kingdom, and the broken bodies, and he wept.
“We are going to be kings,” he said.

A Note on Prompts

I should have mentioned this before, but now’s as good a time as any: I would LOVE it if you wrote something based on these prompts and left it as a comment. I would 100% read it. So if you are the writing type and feel a certain spark from one of the prompts I post, please do it! That would be amazing. Also if you have prompt ideas you’ve loved, send em at me. I might use them in my daily prompt exercises and post the results here. I can always use more inspiration from all sides.

And of course feel free to leave feedback if you like. I know my responses aren’t perfect but I still try to do a good job, and would love to hear any thoughts on these, good or bad.

That’s it for now. Now to awkwardly bow out….