Prompt Writing - Pen and Pint

Discussion in 'Examples - General Writing' started by Nindomonogatari, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    For a while I participated in a thing we called Pen and Pint; we'd get a small group of people together at a bar, order some drinks, and come up with writing prompts. Then we'd toss those prompts into a hat, pull one out, and have a bit of time to write it!

    Normally we did 20 minute writings, but this first one was a long session, about two hours.


    Prompt: Every once in a while the stars align and…

    “Is it that time again…?” the voice calls out to the empty sky, dotted with the glittering light of the heavens. The majesty of the dark expanse above her, twinkling with thousands of stars was moving; or at least it would’ve been were it not for a blemish right in the center.

    Through the myriad of stars and randomly spaced dots, a series of brighter lights cut across the sky, each one a different color as they formed a perfect line; cleaving the sky in half. At their end was the moon, brightest orb of all, and on this night the most interesting thing in the sky.

    The glinting lights that adorned the night extinguished, one after another in quick succession. In short order, the world had been darkened; the only lights still giving visibility were the line of multicolored stars leading to the moon. As if to compensate for the light’s departure, the moon began to grow, slowly turning as its radius expanded. The light it gave off brightened, casting its brightness upon the world below. That giant orb shifted and rolled as it grew, encompassing each of the aligned stars in its wake. As it consumed the line, its color shifted to gain the hue of its shimmering victim, the lights merging and swirling along with the moon’s own brightness to cast a kaleidoscope of colors upon the distant ground.

    “It really is beautiful,” the voice chimed in again, its owner bathed in the multifaceted light coming from the heavens. Once the final star was consumed, the moon stopped its hungry growth, its colors freezing in a stunning pattern. Random shapes and swirls, almost like brush strokes upon the most glowing and divine canvas. The celestial painting sat still for a few eternal moments, doing nothing but gracing the world with its majestic colors and its glorious light.

    As though it commanded time itself to move at its own pace, the colors adorning the gigantic moon shifted once more, slowly starting to take a circular rainbow structure. Turning and swirling into a layered pattern of the colors of light, the circle in the sky looked more alien with each passing second.

    “Oi, Misaka,” a gruff call came from the distance, approaching the hill, “da ‘eck are you doin’ up 'ere, that Calling’s about ta start.”

    “I know. I’ll be there,” the female replied, finally standing from her grassy spot, turning her eyes away from the celestial event above her. As she slowly brushed the earth off her uniform, the light that bathed her turned for the worse, the beautiful colors falling to a menacing crimson. Unphased by the growing dread, the elder woman brushed a lock of her silver hair from her worn face, casting her gray eyes back up to the sky. “Shall we continue our dance?” Her sing-song question faded into the night sky, a smile curling her perfect lips before she stared off towards her partner’s side.

    Each step she walked seemed to herald a new change to the world around her. The grass, once lush and green crunched under her feet like dead hay. The red overcast painted the plains-covered hill as a field of blood stalks, swaying in an ominous wind. As she finally crested the hill, reaching the gruff man’s side she oversaw the rest of the plains.

    The trees were twisted and evil, their leaves dripping off them like vile ichor. The blood-clad tone of the night’s light changed the flowers to despicable blights upon the already darkened landscape.

    “Bout time. Ah thought you were gonna wax poetic it to death,” the man gave a hearty laugh at his own joke.

    “…Gram, that’s not the correct context of that phrase.”

    “Ahh whatevar!” he clapped his large, meaty hand on her shoulder. “C'mon, we gotta form up.” With another robust laugh he started forward, his stout body having problems navigating the downward slope of the foreboding hill. Ignoring any notion of haste, the woman made her way in pursuit, eyes forward as she watched the distant people begin to form up in a structured grid.

    One after another they lined up like a perfect platoon, hundreds of bodies dotted along the malicious plains. Some glinted with crimson flashes that reflected the moon’s light, some burst with a sudden pure white emanation. As she took more steps towards the group, she started swinging her arms and pumping her legs, limbering up in her slow approach.

    As if to answer the group’s activity and growing air of passion on the ground, the uneasy peace of the reddened sky was shattered with a deathly howl, a high-pitched cry of devilish intent that originated from the moon above. Responding to the call, the earth below shuddered, pained by the haunting noise above it. Seconds passed as the shuddering increased, shaking the standing units that she approached.

    The gassy plans contorted, small mounds growing from the ground and taking various forms. Giant spiders, grotesque humanoid bodies, unnatural alien body structures; all manners of haunted nightmares slowly took shape in the vast, rolling field. Thousands of creatures stood across the landscape, stretching out as far as the bloody fog would allow one to see and easily outnumbering the rank and file soldiers.

    A short time passed and the howling subsided, while the creatures stretched and gathered themselves in their corporeal form. They turned their heads to the only non-evil things in the vicinity, and for a few eternal seconds there was nothing.

    No movement, no sound, no breath as the two groups stared each other down. Soldiers gripped weapons, horrors flexed their natural instruments of destruction. The world stood still until a bellowing growl consumed the battlefield, signaling time to begin again. The two groups charged forward, the very air around them propelling them into each other as their weapons finally clashed.

    Steal met claw; magic met magic; human ingenuity met demonic intent as the battle began in earnest. The fields started to physically bloody, the sight only accentuating the malice that the moon bathed the area in.

    Outside of it all, Misaka stopped, standing at the base of the decayed hill, watching the battle rage in front of her. She heaved a weathered sigh, tired eyes scanning her field of vision. Despite being outnumbered, humanity was showing its typical tenacity and cutting down the horrors at every turn. No matter what was up against them, they would fight with every fiber of their being; every particle of their existence. As humans do, each soldier brought their own strength to their fight, someone always filling in for a weakness of another. She watched blades swing, magic burn, alchemical concoctions explode. Guns fired and even fists flew, all in the name of survival and victory.

    Misaka decided it was finally time; she had been standing around and simply watching too long, it was about right for her to put her cards on the table. She planted her feet into the ground in a powerful stance, balling her hands into strong fists and raising them to her hips. Her breathing slowed to a disciplined pace as she channeled the aura around her. The crimson light that bathed her, that bathed the entire world started to swirl around the elder woman while she focused her energies, focused her intent.

    Her eyes stayed focused on the battlefield; watching the humans battle their horrors. Some began to fall, slowly but surely the numbers that encroached upon them were growing in advantage. Still, the humans fought; they gave everything in each swing, each shot, each cast. It was that tenacity that she related to, drawing upon her human side to grow her power and draw out her channeling energies.

    Her demon side began to react to the focused power; to the evil that caked the air through the world. It began to change her, to shift her form to something much more hellish. Her fingers merged and grew, sprouting horrible limbs as they cracked and began to bleed. Her noble stance shuddered and broke, lurching forward into a monstrous position while her body mutated and took on proportions only seen in nightmares. Her gray eyes washed over slowly with a crimson hue, taken from the very light from above as it gave her its power.

    Her transformation took only moments, but left her a hunched, eight legged mass of devilish flesh. She was ripped right one of the worst fever dreams, half spider half person, but all power and all malice. As a final procedure, she collapsed to the ground, her two human hands slamming against the dead grass. She focused upon her humanity, upon her desire for this world, and channeled her human passions.

    Her thoughts manifested, as she drew her hands upward and her spider legs raised her body. In the wake of her motions, two spears of cast their white light through the reddened tone of the air, almost purifying the area around her. She drew her hellish body to a full stand, her still human upper body grasping the two spears and wielding them in a flourish. Her wizened face was cut with demonic features; long fangs and bright red eyes, but she never lost her humanity, her passions for this world.

    Her lower body hunched down, gathering its strength before she lunged forward, legs working in tandem to give her the speed she needed. In mere seconds she reached the raging battle, one of her spears pointing and impaling a mantis-like horror upon its glowing tip. A clean thrust upward bisected the creature, its remains crumpling limp to the bloody ground. A grateful warrior gave her a nod before he gripped his massive sword, turning and finding the next nightmare to engage.

    “Issabout time ya show up!” the familiar gravelly voice called through the war, her spider legs cracking as they turned her around. Her partner was normally short, but he could easily walk under her abdomen at this point. His gloves were coated in the gore of the fight, a bit dripping off as he waved nonchalantly to her.

    “Have to make my entrance spectacular,” Misaka replied, her voice not having changed despite her appearance. The man gave a knowing, appreciative nod, pumping a fist to her.

    “Good. Now lets finish this up an’ put another Calling down tha drain!” he ended his order with a barbaric howl as both he and Misaka turned around to thrust their respective weapons powerfully into an approaching horror, cleaving each cleanly in twain.

    With Misaka’s entrance to the battle, humanity’s smaller numbers didn’t seem to matter. Each fighter pushed harder, the twin spears a light of hope that cut through the evil from above. Not another life was lost as one after another the demons were cut down, forcing them back into the bloodied ground from which they came. Misaka herself felled her fair share of the blights, her spider-like body giving her unparalleled agility, while her dual weapons took down any challenge that took an attempt at her life.

    An eternity passed before the battlefield was once again still. Humanity stood, breathless and worn, but victorious and in the wake of the blood moon’s attempt at their world. Death hung in the air for an untold amount of time before a cry of frustrated pain emanated through the sky, the devil moon finally receding. The howl of pain was met with resounding cheers from the people, raising their various weapons to the sky as they celebrated.

    Misaka found her power beginning to wane, as the red air lifted, the sun’s rays heralding its approach over the horizon. Her spider body cracked and crumpled, decaying under her human torso as she fell to the ground in exhaustion. Agonizing moments crept by before the sun finally crested the plains, bathing the field in its purity. The green grass billowed in a refreshing wind, as the warming trees shuddered alongside the sun’s divine blessing. The warriors each turned to face the approaching sun, the warmth upon their warn faces welcoming the refreshing calmness.

    In the middle of it all lay Misaka, face up as she gazed into the fading night, the shrinking moon back to its normal, placid size and luster. She gave the celestial orb a smug grin, huffing in superiority.

    “Such a lovely dance you play for us, darling. Let’s do it again next month.”
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  2. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    The next few are from when we were doing 20 minute prompts., so they're much shorter.


    Prompt: Beer!

    “What are you even doing with that?” the bluette asked the man hovering over his beakers and smoking dishes on the workbench.

    “I think I’ve finally found the prop- GAH!” his rather frazzled voice was cut off by the sudden boiling of the test tube to his left. What was once a clear watery liquid had spontaneously begun to smoke and roll up the sides of the vessel, hitting the air and turning a disgusting green and unappetizing snot consistence; falling out of the tube and hitting the wooden tabletop, smoking suspiciously. The woman across the table from him shot a deadpan glance at the smoldering pile before her gaze walked up to him in an unamused fashion.

    “How many different chemicals do you have here…?”

    “Look that’s not important!” the frustration could be heard in his voice; though whether he was frustrated at the situation or his ‘assistant’s’ obnoxious banter was unclear. With a gloved hand he brushed the puddle of goop and the nonessential tools aside–which made many a sickening hissing noise–until the area in front of him was clear again. “Okay, I think everything’s ready…”

    “Do you… Need me for anything…?” despite her annoyed demeanor, there was honest care in her cautious tone, her face lightening as she looked to the white-haired man. He was donning a new pair of thick gloves, taking care not to spill any of the beakers he had aligned in the edge of the table in some sort of order.

    “Just stand back and watch! Also, if you hear screaming--” he pointed over her shoulder, making her turn to look at the big bucket of water on a table nearby, “--just throw that at me.”

    “If I hear--” she turned back around with a worried look before she cut herself off; the intensity of focus coming from the apothecary was palpable, if she didn’t know better she’d say she could see his aura…

    With a sudden motion he grabbed the largest and closest vessel of purple liquid, lifting it dramatically above his head before slamming it to the middle of the table before him. Instantly there was a large puff of smoke, a hue to match the liquid’s color. His form was instantly lost in it, as the girl began to cough, but keeping her ears strained.

    She heard swooshing, sloshing, clacking of glass. It was a symphony of laboratory clutter noises from behind the veil, but she listened intently for any signs of voice.

    “EUREKA!” she didn’t know how long had passed before she finally heard him shout.


    “It worked!” after his exclamation, she heard a final loud clack of glass upon wood, as she saw his large hand movements begin to dissipate the darkened smoke and started to assist. It took them but a few seconds to clear the air, revealing the apothecary and his apprentice staring intently at the middle of the table… A simple cup of golden liquid was coming to rest.

    “Doctor it’s…” she looked from the cup up to him; as he was panting deeply and covered in science, he gave only an excited smile and nod in response. Hesitantly she took the cup in her hands, it was ice cold to the touch; surprising because of the lack of refrigeration in this lab. Slowly and carefully she rose the cup to her lips, it bore no fragrance, but she took a cautious draft.

    “Ambrosia…” the doctor whispered, looking intently in apprehensive excitement.

    “Oh…This is just flat beer,” the response made him fall flat on his back.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  3. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    This one I thought was super silly. It was my prompt too, and I had this idea when I jotted the prompt down. Though there were enough of them, I didn’t think it’d get picked. Lo and behold...


    Prompt: My life was normal until I met that talking dog…

    “You know, I thought having a talking dog would be pretty awesome,” I echoed through the small room, sitting on my small bed, looking at my small wall.

    “Hasn’t turned out quite as cool as you thought it would, did it?”

    “I dunno… I mean, I got to do a bunch of cool things of course,” I looked up to the ceiling, thoughts running through my mind about the last few years.

    “Gotta admit, the TV show you two had was pretty great,” the voice gave a hearty laugh, making me smile a little too. It was pretty cool, now that I remember it. At first it was a ventriloquist show; we’d do the classic gags and back and forth, plus those typical water sketches.

    “Yeah… I wish they didn’t cancel us after only two seasons though,” again my melancholy came through.

    “Ehh, people’s interests change, what’re you gonna do. It also didn’t help that he took a crap on television about four times.”

    “Heh, that’s the way to get kicked off TV I suppose. Hey, remember that double-platinum album we made?” my voice made it clear I was grasping for straws to pull myself out of my thoughts.

    “Oh yeah. ‘This Dog Has It All’ I think were the rave reviews. You guys had the number one song on almost every genre chart.”

    “I didn’t think we could do it, but we did!” I started to sound a bit hopeful, remembering that. Of course, it was history, and the realization came back to me pretty hard, making me sink back into my bed. I was silent for a few moments after that, going chronologically through my head.

    “I tell you what, it was only a matter of time before a talking dog became more than just novelty. He had some pretty profound wisdom in him.”

    “I guess so…” I replied, empty. Of course that was when it started slipping.

    “I can see why we elected him, I really can,” the voice was trying to give me hope, I could tell. But by this time, it was already too late.

    “Yeah well, look where that got us.” I gave a heavy sigh, as a loud klaxon sounded somewhere in the distance. Looks like it was about time for supper. Our cell doors opened in unison, as they always do at this time.

    “Hey man,” the owner of the voice stepped out of his cell at the same time I did, presenting his leash to the giant bipedal canine walking past, who took it and tugged him along before taking mine. “It’s not your fault he turned out to be an alien.”

    “I guess not,” the dog guard pulled the strap connected to the collar around my neck, and we were walked to the mess hall.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  4. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    I dunno where this one came from...


    While kayaking, I came across a deserted island…

    ‘We’ve been paddling for hours…’ the young girl thinks, her arms rocking in the back and forth motions of her paddle cutting through either side of the kayak.

    “We’ve been paddling for hours…” another girl whines out behind her, also paddling, as the two of them propel their vessel forward through the vast river. The first doesn’t reply, too focused on panting and trying to keep a heading despite her dyed green bangs falling in front of her eyes. Despite whines of exhausting and very vocal complaints from her sister, she continues in silence down the middle of the rushing river.

    'Where the hell is this stupid thing? They said it was supposed to be a ten minute trip not a three hour one.’ Her inner voice raged, as she started pumping with a frustration-fueled vigor. It was another couple of minutes before she finally spied something through the raging rapids; a small island easily miles from either coast of the river.

    “Is that it!?” the younger girl gave a hopeful cry, answered by some powerful rowing from the girl in front. Both began their hard-pressed paddling towards their destination, managing to hit ground in a matter of moments with their renewed strength.

    As the kayak pushed against the wet sand, the shorter purple haired girl hopped out of their boat, giving a loud sigh and a big stretch. Her sister tossed her an unamused glare, not appreciating how much energy her younger sibling displayed after so much work; she must’ve been getting old.

    “Ah-ha~!” the youthful sibling jumped a few jacks as her sister rolled out of the boat, collecting herself on the sand for a few moments before finally standing, looking over to see her sister rummaging through their craft. “…We didn’t forge- Yay! There they are!”

    She pulled out two large spades from the inside of the kayak, as well as a slip of weathered parchment, dripping with mystery and ancient wonder. The green-topped one gave a tired but satisfied smile, catching both one of the shovels and the slip of paper.

    'Excellent, it’s about time…’ She excitedly said to herself as she cradled the tool under an arm, unfurling the paper into a much larger sheet. It was laden with drawing in worn ink, water stains and some dark red unsavory ones. It was a map of the island they moored upon, and dead in the center was a giant X surrounded by gemstone images.

    “Let’s go~!” the smaller girl gave a loud cheer and hoisted her shovel up, signaling a charge that nobody answered.

    'I’m glad you’re excite-- Hey…“ the elder one cocked her head as her monologue was interrupted, spying a glinting light upon the beach near their boat. She started to walk towards it, as her sister curiously followed suit on her heels.

    "What is it…~?” the little girl inquired, sitting down on her heels and poking at the clear glass, buried in the sands.

    'Is that a…’ She reached down and stuck her hands into the sand around the glass, lifting the bottle to her face.

    “Wooaaah~! How cool!” her sister exclaimed while she fumbled with the cork. Luckily she was much stronger than she looked, popping the cap in just a moment. Both girls were leaning over the bottle, their full attention on the object as it was slipped out of its casing. Timidly, cautiously, the parchment inside was unrolled.

    'Behind. You.’ both girls read the parchment, the younger sister aloud as both of them, wide-eyed, turned around carefully.

    Behind them stood a small army of amazons, spears in hand and poised for the attack.

    “Um… Kara… Some of your telepathy would be good right about now…”
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  5. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    This one was supposed to be serious, but I decided to take it in a really random direction.


    Prompt: George, on the flight from LA to Sidney, was extra nervous, clutching his briefcase. Why?

    ‘This is the day!’ He thought to himself, sweating buckets. The cramped aircraft did him no favors; it seemed like the captain wanted everyone’s temperature raised to the boiling point. He could feel the sweat drenching his suit, not that he really cared. It was his favorite suit sure, but it was already so worn and stained with countless outings already, a bit of nervousness wasn’t going to harm it any farther.

    He looked around the aircraft at the LA type crowd, It was typical for the area; there were people chattering about superfluous things, people stone-faced and wanting nothing more than to get to their destination. There was muffled merriment, excitement, boredom; typical plane fare. He looked to be the only one truly nervous though, as he cradled the sleek suitcase in his lap.

    And he had every right to be! Heading to Sydney was going to change his life; for the better or for the worse. He hopped on this flight to try to make a difference in more than just LA. He wanted o change the world, to finally do something to make his family proud. His mom told him he didn’t have to go, of course, that she was proud enough of him already. His father told him that he was being foolish. He didn’t know anyone, he didn’t have the resources. His two younger siblings though, they were in awe. They wanted to be in his shoes, and they told their parents they were gonna be just like Georgie when they grew up.

    'Heh, just like me, huh?’ George thought to himself, the thoughts starting to perk him up. The plane hit a little turbulence, enough to silence most of the rumblings from the other passengers, and enough to make him clutch his briefcase harder. He was told that the turbulence was a sign of getting close, something about Sidney’s temperature and the weather patterns meant that approaches were always a little rough.

    A few silent moments passed before everyone started to get louder again. They were gearing themselves up for the approach. As a couple loud beeps echoed through the cabin, it signaled the beginning for the passengers. George and the rest of the platoon stood up, dusting off their uniform suits. Each one tossed a grizzled look to another, and finally to the rookie George, out on his first mission.

    “Don’t worry Georgie, that’ll keep ya safe!” his captain shouted confidently as the back of the plane opened, the rushing air drowning out the end of his sentence. George tossed a nervous smile back, as the forward company started leaping out of the plane with their tried and true war cry. Just a moment passed before it was George’s turn, as he and his captain gave their shout and threw themselves out of the plane into the twilight air, plummeting down toward the Australian landscape. They pulled their nanotech weaponry from their briefcases and, in their decent, started laying suppressing fire upon the giant radioactive spiders that terrorized the countryside.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  6. Nindomonogatari

    Nindomonogatari Administrator

    This one was probably my favorite. Not only did I want to challenge myself with the second person perspective (I managed all three perspectives in one session!), but I had the fan-fic-y idea about halfway through and kinda liked how it went.


    Prompt: You notice a glinting object in the gutter…

    “What the heck is that thing…?” you say out loud, standing on the middle rung of your tallest ladder, propped up against the house. Almost done cleaning the gutters, you didn’t notice that thing catching the sun rays until just now. You give a deep sigh, it’s far enough away that you need to either move the ladder, or crawl along the roof to grab it. Given that the entire reason you’re cleaning the gutters is because the roof leaks, it’s probably best not to trust any kind of life to that shoddy woodwork, you walk yourself carefully down the steps to re-position the thing.

    This whole day had been shitty. First the dreaded work call comes, telling you the company’s cuts have included your job. Then the SO says the extra-dreaded ‘I think I need a break’ line. It’s just one thing after another. With your luck that stupid thing is probably a proxy grenade.

    You give a morbidly amused little scoff at the idea as you push the ladder across the house. Maybe that kind of thing would be welcome. Heck you could blame it on the house and collect some insurance or suit money from that lazy oaf who calls himself your landlord. A sigh washes the thoughts away though, as you position the ladder securely and again start the trek upward.

    Popping your head above the level of the roof, you look to where you saw the shiny glint, but it’s gone! With a dry look an annoyed huff, you curse yourself for you crappy eyes and seeing things. Giving the roof one final look-over, you see the glint again, but this time where you just were! Your eyes narrow and you stair at the location for a good long moment, making sure it’s not some figment of your tired, frustrated imagination. Sure enough, there’s definitely something solid there, something white and shiny and big enough to clog your gutter. Under your breath you give a silent curse and lower down the rungs, making to move your ladder back again.

    For a second time you crawl up the vertical steps, eyes moving instantly to that spot, but it’s gone again! Okay, now something’s just fucking with you. Whether it’s the wind, or your mind, or just the sheer force of the universe, something wants to annoy you. You don’t even want to examine your roof anymore, just closing your eyes and stepping down your ladder with hard and angry steps.

    In your fury though, your footing slips on the last rung, sending your body weight careening down to the soft grass next to your house. Landing flat on your ass, you shout a string of deep-seeded curses and angry things and nobody in particular. It takes a good moment or two of seething on your back before you finally sit up, trying to calm your breathing at least a little bit.

    That’s when you see it, sitting next to the water spout connected to the gutter, that white glint again. Like white-hot fury, you waste no time clambering to your knees and scrambling for that stupid piece of shiny thing. As you approach the object, a flash of brown fur comes from behind the house, so fast that it’s just a streak, but it knocks the thing away! You recoil back at the same second, only noticing the glints of white and red rolling into a nearby bush along with the retreated brown streak.

    Despite your better judgment, and without the time to process the situation, you continue crawling into the bush. As you push into the greenery, your sense begets you, and the thought of danger runs through your mind. The curiosity is too great though, and with extreme caution you push your way past the bush.

    “Vwee~” A cute little cry welcomes you as your eyes adjust to the hampered light from the canopy trees above. “Eevee~” The glinting of the Pokeball sits on the dirt floor, at a rest from where it had rolled, as the Eevee is standing proudly above it, its long brown ears twitching in amusement as it looks you over.

    “I… I…”

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019