Odd Prompts

Odd Prompts: Shortly

This is going to be an exercise in writing very short. I have a deadline coming, and this won’t fit. 


“Cor blimey.” The grimy little face wasn’t visible, but she could picture it streaked with mud already, despite the early hour. Under the layer of mud would be the too-pale skin of her young Cockney guest. 

“What is it, James?” She didn’t look up from her writing. She had a deadline, and not all the bombs in London could put that off even a little. She had agreed to house a displaced child, and he had arrived to her care, but still… She finally looked up when there was no answer. 

He was perched in the window, half in and half out, his britches hiked up to show quite a bit of thin leg. She didn’t know how she was going to get him suitably sized clothing, let alone put meat on his bones, with rationing. He was staring fixedly across the small garden that surrounded her cottage, his pale blue eyes rather popping out of his head. 

“James?” She prompted. 

Little Jemmy Blanken lifted a trembling finger. “Cor.. t’oak went out w’t’storm. Blow right over.” 

“Blew.” She corrected him as she got up from her desk. “My goodness.” 

From their vantage point they had a good view of the village’s center, where the spreading oak had stood for nigh on three hundred years. 

“Wotcher…” He turned his face up and looked at her, his mouth still open a little in shock. “Wotcher gon’ call Great Oak now?” 

“I hardly think the village will change it’s name, James.” She wasn’t entirely sure, though. People had come for miles to see the tree. It was a strange and desolate feeling to see it lying there, crumpled. Like the world was coming adrift from it’s moorings as the roots had let go, one at a time, in the face of the rushing winds. 


My prompt this week came from AC Young with “The villagers of Great Oak awoke the morning after the storm to discover that the tree that gave their village its name had been blow over.” 

I prompted ‘Nother Mike with “The headache bloomed like a nuclear cloud” 

You can read all the prompt responses, and join in the challenge yourself, over at More Odds than Ends.