At last week’s meeting of the local writers’ guild, we decided to play a game. Each of us drew an off the wall writing prompt out of a mug and had thirty minutes to write a short story based on that prompt. The prompts were so bizarre, none of us thought we would manage to come up with a story that used every element of our prompts. Time passed, and pretty much everyone got their story, if not most of one, down. Today’s post is my contribution to the game.
Here is the prompt I drew:
“This story is about a philanthropist who is constantly annoyed by an extraverted scientist. It starts in a small city.The story climaxes with a party. A spatial anomaly plays a major role in the story.”
The Mouth of Destiny
The city spread out below. High above the flickering lights of New Warden, Piotyr gazed out across his little empire. Fifteen thousand souls and counting. God willing, by this time next year, it would be twenty.
“Have you considered my proposal?” a voice asked from behind him.
Piotyr suppressed a grimace as he turned his back to the window. This made the tenth time this week Dr. Menzan crossed the spatial bridge to inquire as to whether or not Piotyr had made a decision. Patience, it seemed, was sorely lacking in these humans.
Still, appearances must be kept. Piotyr closed his eye and took a breath before he spoke. “My dear doctor, my time is rather divided these days. Between the Vela Sector hospice and the relief effort for the widowers of the jerra gas mines, I have not managed even a moment to visit my new cub. Rest assured that your proposal will receive its due when it’s time comes.”
Thankfully, the human had enough consideration to not press the issue. The doctor nodded and passed back through the portal to the Earth plane. Piotyr’s nose twitched as the aroma. How these apes managed to survive with that much nitrogen in the atmosphere, he would never know.
A lithe female emerged from a side corridor. Piotyr’s gaze crept along her form, and he made no effort to disguise his appreciation of her olive fur and crystalline horn. The one indulgence granted to him by his mate when they were joined was this work of art, his beloved attache Sera.
Sera stretched out a paw and beckoned him forward with her talon. “It is time.”
He smiled and locked his own smaller talons alongside hers as he slid his paw into hers. She squeezed as she led him down the corridor. The scent of her fur, spring flowers and mist with a touch of smoke, made him dizzy.
“I am so proud of you,” she purred. “Tonight, our dreams will be made flesh.”
“The array is stable. All they need is a working demonstration and we will never again have to worry about funds.”
He heard voices in the distance. Then the music. And the food. Oh, the food. It made such a delightful squeak when it was fresh, and he could hear it even now, over everything else. Despite the squirrel bats fluttering in his stomach, he felt a stab of hunger.
The light nearly blinded him when they emerged into the grand ballroom. No expense had been spared in the decorations, and the holographic representation of the newly constructed inter dimensional transit array pulsed in a thousand colors as it wove and stretched across the domed ceiling.
The assembled, friends, business associates, and most important, donors, erupted in clicking and snapping as their teeth clattered in appreciation at his entrance. Above it all, he saw his mate.
She was resplendent, draped in shimmering ribbons of red and blue leaves. Her white fur had been slicked down with oil and the platinum ring of their betrothal glinted expensively around her horn.
He released his grip of Sera and drew away to scale the barren tree at the center of the room. The holographic array wound and pulsed all around him, casting him in an ever-shifting rainbow of color.
All eyes were focused on him when he drew up to his full height so he might address the crowd. “Today is perhaps the most important day in the history of our kind. Today, for the first time, the talons of the Drenn will stretch out beyond our own world and the earth realm. Thanks to your contributions, not to mention those of the soon to be late Doctor Menzan, today marks the birth of the first Drenn Empire.”
The room erupted in clicking and howling. Piotyr reached toward the holographic representation of earth, and then he slashed his talon across it, scattering the hologram for a moment before it reformed.
And through it all, his mate’s gaze met his and her lips parted in a wide smiled filled with blood-stained teeth.
Goodbye, and thank you Doctor Menzan, he thought.
So, what did you think of my half-panicked attempt at writing a story based on this prompt? What sort of story would you write based on the prompt I was given? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!