Odd Prompts

Odd Prompts: Caterpillar

I have no idea where this came from, or where it’s going. 


Jeff looked into the rearview mirror, then averted his eyes quickly. Staring fixedly out the windshield, his knuckles white from his grip on the wheel, he spoke without moving his lips. 

“What did you slip into my coffee?” 

The other man in the car turned his head, so he was facing out the side window and Jeff couldn’t see his expression. The smirk he must be wearing. 

“Why would I do that?” 

Jeff pressed on the accelerator and the car lunged across the intersection. The passenger yelped and grabbed the handle at the top of the door. 

“What’d you do that for?” 

“What did you put in my drink?” Jeff asked again. 

“Nothing! I don’t need you high when you’re driving! Slow down, man.” 

“There’s a caterpillar the size of a loaf of bread in the backseat.” Jeff enunciated excruciatingly slowly, like a drunk. “A fuzzy one.” 

His passenger whipped around, his wiry frame twisting. 


Jeff slammed on the brakes. The other man grunted and clung to the seat, still looking into the back. 

“Jeff, I see it too.” 

Jeff lifted his eyes to the mirror. The caterpillar glared back, making an attempt to cross short, stubby limbs over it’s smooth underside. It was sitting on the backseat in a bizarre mimicry of a child, with the belt around it’s middle. 

“Wha… why?” Jeff didn’t try to turn around. 

“Jest drive.” The caterpillar snarled in an oddly deep voice. “Ya dummy, in da middle o’t’road.” 

Jeff took his foot off the brake as someone flew past them, leaning on their horn. He cautiously accelerated again. 

“Why is there a caterpillar, Smitty?” He asked, his voice high and plaintive. “A fuzzy caterpillar.” 

“Youse asks too many questions.” That wasn’t Smitty’s voice. Jeff stared straight through the glass of the windscreen and there was a tiny cracking sound from the plastic of his steering wheel. 


My prompt this week came from ‘Nother Mike, with “The fuzzy caterpillar was almost as big as a loaf of bread, and not nearly as pleasant to find in the back seat of the car…” 

I prompted ‘Nother Mike in return with “The woman screaming at the dark house wasn’t the odd thing, no, that was…” 

You can read other prompt responses – better ones than mine! – over at MOTE. Come, join in the fun! 

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