Quality Writing Prompts
UK Creative Writing Prompts By Antony R James
 

To encourage and empower in all endeavours.

Welcome to my website.

The aim of the Creative Writing Beginnings series is to spark the imagination and leave the reader at a point where they can carry on once a few ideas start surfacing. Everyone has times when they look at a blank screen or a piece of paper and cannot think of anything to write, yet one still has the desire to write. The books are ideal for beginners and more experienced writers as sometimes one just needs a break from one’s own thoughts and ideas when having an off day or lacking inspiration.

My long-term goal is to provide a comprehensive creative writing resource with both my blog and my books.  I will soon be writing art instruction books too, as I am an artist as well as a writer.


Copyright free writing prompts by Antony R James.



Creative Writing Beginnings Story Prompts Book 3


Introduction.

A collection of 250 copyright free creative writing prompts

that can be used to kick-start the creative process.

Ideal for self-study or with writing groups (ages 16+).

Please note this book includes 73 new prompts.


For group use, permission is granted for the reproduction

of up to 40 copies of this material either as pages

for handouts or copies of the book in its entirety.

Antony R James.



Prompt 1: On a visit to a quaint village you and your husband are invited to a traditional Roma wedding.


Prompt 2: Your 70th Birthday is approaching. You are feeling tired and left behind by the modern world. How can you regain your spark and vitality?


Prompt 3: An ancient village is uncovered at a peat works. Wooden walkways and perfectly preserved homes on stilts together with boats are found. The area was once wetlands where the inhabitants travelled and fished in small boats. Larger vessels were also found which were presumed to be for travelling longer distances. Imagine you are a young boy or girl living within this small community on the water. The fish are becoming scarce and it will soon be time to move on to find a new area to live. Will it still be wetlands or will your leader decide to settle on dry land?


Prompt 4: He stood in the middle of the wilderness, his arms stretched outright summoning energy from the natural forces around him. Soon he would be ready to face going to the Jobcentre.


Prompt 5: Due to poor timekeeping you lose your job. You are finding it really difficult getting work without a reference from your last employer. Do you take up the offer of cash in hand work from a man you met in your local pub?


Prompt 6: At a music festival you meet a handsome younger man. You enjoy a wonderful weekend together and you would really like to see him again. He only lives a few miles down the road from you. There's only one problem, you are a police officer and your new male friend tells you he has committed crimes in the past and he takes recreational drugs.


Prompt 7: A movie producer wants to include you in his latest film. You have never acted in your life and are worried he has ulterior motives.


Prompt 8: An occult group open your eyes to the truth about our existence on Earth.


Prompt 9: You move to a new area but are suffering from loneliness. It is hard to find people you can trust as the area is blighted by anti-social behaviour.


Prompt 10: You are a test pilot and asked to fly an advanced aircraft that is located on a secret base on the moors in the north of England. When you arrive you realise that this is something a bit special and no ordinary aeroplane.


Prompt 11: Twenty-one years have passed since you last saw your dad. He's been working away in other countries overseeing the laying of fibre optic cables over long distances. Now he is semi-retired he is heading home to catch up with you.


Prompt 12: For many years scientists had agreed that the existence of great cigar-shaped objects visiting our solar system could be explained away as rare types of meteorites. However, as time went on, leading scientists began to suspect that they may well be artificial in nature and they thought about the possibility that they might, in fact, be large probes gathering data on our solar system.


A four-year construction program resulted in a finished, manned explorer ship being launched to meet up with one of these objects.


June 1st 2029 saw the explorer ship Viking 20 draw closer to the chosen object attempting to slingshot around Jupiter. With a limited window of opportunity, Captain Gina Rose set an intercept course and pressed the confirm key. The explorer lurched forward pinning the eight crew members firmly in their seats. Two days later they came aside the object. Although initially, it did, in fact, look like an elongated meteorite, on closer inspection, the crew could see that it had a hatch.


Prompt 13: After years of singing for yourself and your family you decide to go busking in your local town centre.


Prompt 14: Suffering for years with depression you finally decide you can't go on any more. You write a note to your sister and are about to think of a way to end it all when a bright light fills the room. You adjust your eyes and stare in astonishment at the sight before you.


Prompt 15: A remote cottage in the woods proves to be the ideal family Christmas getaway until it starts to snow.


Prompt 16: Taking a wrong turn on the way to your holiday destination leads to a massive row between you and your husband. Is the holiday ruined or can you salvage it?


Prompt 17: To fit in with the lads on your new estate you are asked to take an initiation test before you can join their gang.


Prompt 18: Since you gave up driving due to ill health you’ve been struggling to get around. A woman you recently met offers to drive you to appointments and take you shopping. After inviting her into your house for a drink and to use the toilet a few times you’ve noticed a few things are missing. You may have just mislaid them, but you are starting to have doubts about your new friend.


Prompt 19: Lately he’d been noticing strange cloud formations over the sea. They were perfectly square or rectangle clouds, just sitting there in an otherwise cloudless blue sky. He was sure nature didn’t make such clouds; he’d been at sea over thirty-five years and he’d never seen anything like this before. It had only started happening in the last few months, he thought it was probably a government experiment to control the weather. He tuned in his radio for a weather report and poured himself another coffee. Young Jake was the only crew member still on board, he was tinkering with the engine. The captain had dropped the rest of the crew off on the mainland to catch up on rest. It looked like it was going to be a nasty night but the weather warning had come from nowhere. He could predict a storm two days in advance, this was the first time his sixth sense had let him down. He picked up his coffee and ran his fingers through his grey beard. He thought to himself old age must be creeping up on him.


Prompt 20: A road trip across India leads a group of businessmen to throw off their suits and adopt a Hippy lifestyle.


Prompt 21: Write an account of the fire which destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster in central London, including the Houses of Lords and Commons in October 1834. J.M.W. Turner painted the dramatic scene as it was happening to leave a pictorial record of the event. Research the event on the internet to find out how it happened.


Prompt 22: Space Boot Camp 3000 was considered the safest training centre/summer camp for children of all ages. There had never been an incident in the one hundred and fifty years it had been in operation. Founder Malcolm Dexter the third was to be present during the celebrations at the end of summer junior sky race, held on the third moon of Titan Major. This year, however, things started to go wrong early on in the season, leading to a major catastrophe at the end of the summer celebrations.


Prompt 23: A short hot air balloon ride went horribly wrong leaving you and your partner dangling from a tree. It's only now, years later, that you can look back and laugh about it. Tell the story to a friend in a pub.


Prompt 24: Your husband has donated a family heirloom to your local church for their summer bazaar. How can you get it back?


Prompt 25: A minor scuffle turns into a street brawl outside your local pub. You are caught up in it and are shown in the local news coverage on TV. How can you show your face at work on Monday morning with two black eyes and a bite mark on your cheek?


Prompt 26: Your husband always takes the bait when waiting at traffic lights next to boy racers. Finally, he's made a complete idiot of himself by ending up floating down the local river in the family car. Think of the many put-downs his mates can come up with when they next see him at the pub!


Prompt 27: An Easter egg hunt nearly ends in disaster when your little one hands you a live grenade!


Prompt 28: A wine tasting afternoon with your old school friend ends up with you both extremely drunk and in the local police station.


Prompt 29: Your dream of piloting a paddle steamer down an American river finally comes true when you win a television phone-in competition.


Prompt 30: The small village of Renfield had suddenly become the centre of world attention after practically the whole village witnessed an RAF jet chasing a UFO overhead at the village bring and buy sale on Saturday afternoon. The Vicar was interviewed at length on live daytime television and the national newspapers descended on the village soon afterwards. Within the week Renfield was truly on the map.

You are a UFO investigator and your job is to determine the truth behind this UFO encounter. Using your tried and tested methods extract factual witness statements from the villagers and wheedle out any embellishments that have arisen due to the media hype surrounding this episode.


Prompt 31: You are not normally envious, but when you see a friend of yours has grabbed herself a younger man, you set out to land a catch of your own with hilarious consequences.


Prompt 32: You are not quite ready to be written off at work. You embark on a mission to bag a new job that's been advertised on the internal noticeboard. The only problem is, you're up against a herd of applicants fresh from the local university and your most hated enemy Jess Taylor who belittles you at every opportunity, is on the interview panel!.


Prompt 33: ……….The boat’s compass began to spin wildly and the electronic equipment started switching on and off. Suddenly the lights and equipment turned off completely and they were left in darkness. There was no sound at all, not even the sea lapping against the boat. Then all of a sudden a foghorn sounded in the distance. The three of them jumped then laughed. Shortly they began to hear a knocking sound coming from below the boat, it was getting louder by the second. Now they started to get really scared.


Prompt 34: A blind man mysteriously gets his sight back. He visits his optician and doctor who both tell him it will only be temporary. He has a month to see as much as he can before he will lose his sight once again.


Prompt 35: A street beggar sees you coming towards him. He gets up and gives you the money he has collected that day. He says you need it more than he does. You are puzzled, you have a good job and a family, in fact, you consider yourself to be well off, it should be you giving money to him, not the other way round.


Prompt 36: In a conversation at a pub with your friends you are asked what era you would like to go back to. You choose the 1980s. The next morning your radio alarm clock comes on and starts blasting out electronic music from the 1980s. Your newspaper pops through the letterbox and you grab it on the way to the kitchen. You look at the headlines and check the date of the paper. You think that your friends must be winding you up as you've been delivered a paper from the 1980s.


Prompt 37: ……….Elfenmere was wounded in the leg, his attacker, a knight in heavy armour hunted him down mercilessly. Dragging his leg over the rough terrain the small elf reached down into a ditch to take a sword from a long dead man lying in the shallow water. As the knight stepped closer, Elfenmere thrust the sword upwards between two plates of armour and into the stomach of the knight. The knight paused a moment then sank onto his knees with the sword still embedded. Elfenmere pushed the knight over then withdrew the sword and placed it back into the hand of the dead man in the ditch. The blood from the sword mixed with the stagnant water and the dead man raised up his sword to salute Elfenmere.


Prompt 38: Long ago in ancient Britain, a young boy did as he was commanded by his cruel family. One day while cowering in some bushes a tall stranger came upon him. The stranger took the boy who was named Raven into his care and taught him everything he knew of the old ways. Soon the boy grew up to be a strong handsome young man. His friend and saviour Draylock grew old and weakened as the years fell away. Finally, the time came when Draylock passed into the next realm and Raven took his place as the greatest warlock in the whole of ancient Britain. Soon word of his great feats and skills reached the ruling king of the north who summoned Raven to his side. Now begins the story of Raven and his secret love for the king’s daughter Isabel.


Prompt 39: The winter wind blew the fine snow up against the small cottage in the woods. Two hungry children looking for sanctuary saw smoke coming from the cottage and headed towards it. A hungry wolf spotted the children and headed their way. The boy and girl dressed in rags ran as fast as they could in the snow and reached the door to the cottage before the wolf. The door opened and they both fell inside.


Prompt 40: The winter fair came to town bringing strangers from all corners of the county. This year it was to be held on the lake which was frozen solid just like in the winter of 1740. Colourful tents were erected and boats were converted into sleighs to give the children rides on the ice. Fires were set above the ice in iron cradles to warm the crowds. No one noticed the presence of the man dressed in the colourful costume who slipped in and out of the entertainer's tents collecting anything he could sell. He entered the tent of the fortune teller. It was empty so he took his time looking around. He opened all the draws in an old chest and rummaged until his hand landed upon a mystery object that he couldn’t identify. He put it into his shoulder bag and disappeared out into the crowd.

The fortune teller arrived back and saw his tent had been entered. He went straight to the chest and frantically looked for the object he knew mustn’t fall into the wrong hands.


Prompt 41: Thomas Edbert Maroon emptied his pipe on the heel of his boot. He was feeling lucky today. The resident beast in Lake Yarrow had eluded him for too long. He was finally going to catch the famous pike and prove his sceptical, mocking friends wrong. Well, that was the plan.


Prompt 42: The harvest was in and the local hands all sat around a large fire with their flagons of cider. It wasn’t long before the older lads started picking on Jess who was a bit slow to learn. Millie the ale house serving girl held Jess against herself in mock protection. A fight started and a pitchfork was thrust into Jess and he died later that night.

The next morning a lone sheriff rode into the village to find out what had happened the night before.


Prompt 43: A majestic barge slowly sailed the narrow waterway. On board lay a Prince in fine clothing. His servant stood at the foot of his master’s golden bed.


Prompt 44: Your boss wants to send you on a training course that’s the other side of the country. However, there is a bit of a problem. You’ve been secretly hiding your fear of travelling anywhere further than the outskirts of your own town.


Prompt 45: Your husband is acting suspiciously. You look at his phone to find he has been contacting a woman you went to school with. What could he be up to?


Prompt 46: Your family go missing whilst on holiday in an unfamiliar town. You contact the police when they fail to arrive back at your holiday park the next morning.


Prompt 47: You’ve won a makeover in a competition held by your local newspaper. When you arrive at the newly opened beauty salon you come face to face with the school bully who made your life hell.


Prompt 48: You are a member of the press and are invited to try out an anti-gravitation suit. This new invention will revolutionize personal travel, allowing the wearer to break free of gravity and fly like a superhero. Write a report on your experience.


Prompt 49: Riding the rapids in her canoe relaxed her, despite the danger. She was free of all cares and in her element.


Prompt 50: A school play fills your little one with fear. How can you work through the issues your child is facing?


Prompt 51: Your small company receives a boost when you are asked to attend a well respected outdoor event.

Prompt 52: Your child is having nightmares every night. You think this is just a normal process of growing up but you soon discover there is more to the nightmares than you first thought.


Prompt 53: Memories of Lynnchester House are surfacing more and more. You have tried to bury them deep but now you must face your demons.


Prompt 54: Twenty-four years have passed since you last visited Craige-mere. Memories of good times spent with family and friends begin to flood back. Since your accident, you have kept yourself to yourself but you are warming to the idea of meeting up with those who knew you before you were so badly disfigured.


Prompt 55: At a prestigious book signing you are confronted with your stalker who ruins the evening for you.


Prompt 56: Moped gangs have made life hell in your town. Since the police started clamping down on them in the city they have headed to the outskirts to find easier pickings. You have had enough of being a prisoner in your own home. You get together an unlikely band of old aged pensioner vigilantes to tackle this problem once and for all.


Prompt 57: The body of Marianne Hardy the eighteenth-century explorer was found last week. You are a descendant of hers and you set about finding out as much as you can about her life.


Prompt 58: Denver Close is in the news again for all the wrong reasons. You are the head housing officer for the local area and you take in a deep breath as you look in your in-tray. As you thought, you have to visit the Yosser-Jones family to discuss their latest outbreak of anti-social behaviour.


Prompt 59: You have managed to let yourself get double-booked for two pre-Christmas meals on the same day. Luckily one is in the afternoon and one is in the evening. You are feeling a bit bloated by the time you arrive at your work’s pre-Christmas meal in the evening and everyone is saying how peaky you look!


Prompt 60: Builders working on the renovation of a listed building make a horrific discovery.


Prompt 61: September the twenty-fifth is the day you and your boyfriend have set for your wedding but increasingly you are starting to have doubts it will go ahead because of your boyfriend’s strange behaviour.


Prompt 62: A quaint village has a traditional sweet shop where you can buy any sweets from the last hundred years. When you stop there for a break your coach-full of seniors disappear inside quick as lightning.


Prompt 63: A tea dance with a 1940’s theme proves a hit in your small coastal village.


Prompt 64: You’ve been a member of a slimming group for over two years but haven’t lost any weight. You see an advert online promising dramatic weight loss with a new product to the market. You’ve tried all the other products that have been advertised over the years, so you send off for this new wonder product. After a few days of taking the weight loss product, you notice some very strange side effects!


Prompt 65: The government set about building state-run factories to provide our country with the goods we needed to become self-sufficient. Wasteland was transformed into sites for food production. It was almost as if we were on a war footing. Unemployment was almost eradicated as every man, woman and teenager were called upon to return to the workplace. Soon we became the envy of the world as great minds from our universities started to invent new materials and methods. It wasn't long before we were leading the world in innovation and discovery. Then it started. A plot to undermine our great nation. It started with a few acts of sabotage that soon escalated into a full onslaught on our infrastructure.


Prompt 66: You are organising a charity jumble sale. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot one of the volunteers pocketing items of jewellery meant for the sale later that day. Should you confront them or just let it go?


Prompt 67: Write about a wounded pony who was featured on your local news.


Prompt 68: On the morning you cannot flush your toilet without it flooding your bathroom, you find out a neighbour has lost his pet boa constrictor.


Prompt 69: After numerous attempts to contact your uncle by phone proved fruitless, you decide to contact social services and accompany them to visit him in person.


Prompt 70: After a rival sabotaged a ride belonging to your fairground, you are now facing trial for negligence.


Prompt 71: After thirty years of silence a woman speaks about the events that happened on a remote island. As a small girl, she was parted from her family for two weeks and only after a nationwide search was called off, was she eventually found on the mainland two hundred miles away in a confused state.


Prompt 72: You are a sixteen-year-old girl and four months pregnant. It is 1969. Your father finds out and wants you to leave the family home. Your mother tries to talk him around and says she will bring the baby up as hers. Your father won't change his mind. The young lad who is the father of your baby wants nothing to do with you or the baby when it's born. You set off on a journey that leads you to a commune in a wood where you are welcomed with open arms.


Prompt 73: Is skulduggery afoot at your local village fair? Everyone is impressed by the oversized vegetables on show at the “Best Of The West” competition but has there been an attempt to chemically enhance one of the entries? A large wheelbarrow is rolled in with the biggest pumpkin you and the other entrants have ever seen.


Prompt 74: After moving into the house you bought at auction you eventually get around to checking the loft space. You find it full of junk except for one item that catches your eye. A Pre-Raphaelite style painting was hiding amongst the clutter. You take it to your local auction valuation day for appraisal.


Prompt 75: You are teamed up with an armed response officer who recently returned to work after accidentally shooting himself in the foot.


Prompt 76: A definite nip in the air had Carlos zipping his hoodie right up to his chin. He’d travelled on public transport all through the summer but was not looking forward to waiting about on cold mornings. Still, he had quite a few more weeks to go before the full British weather unleashed itself upon him. He fumbled for some change when he saw the bus coming, paid for a return to Tarlington and sat in his usual seat upstairs at the back.

Downstairs he could hear an argument between the driver and someone trying to get on the bus. It seemed a man was trying to bring a flat-packed wardrobe on board. Carlos could hear the driver telling the man that it was a matter of health and safety. The item was too large and he should have asked for it to have been delivered to his home. Carlos looked out of the window. The man dropped the wardrobe and rushed onto the bus. Very loud shouting could be heard and then the passengers downstairs started shouting and screaming. Carlos was the only passenger upstairs so he slowly made his way downstairs to see what was going on.


Prompt 77: <Character name> sat huddled in front of a wood burning stove in the corner of the room. His phone had lain on the small table next to him all week, there had been no messages and no texts. It was as if he had been completely forgotten by the department. He was classed as tainted, damaged goods, he’d be lucky to get a job doing school crossing patrol. The hearing was coming up in a week’s time, so he’d just have to sit it out and bide his time. No one was going to contact him before then. Later that evening when <Character name> was preparing a meal the phone buzzed. He nearly dropped the pan he was holding. He looked over and saw it was the Captain. The text message read {URGENT, need you back at work tonight!}.


Prompt 78: Playing the piano soothed her nerves. It was going to be a long night waiting for the security guard to fall asleep. He usually started dozing around three in the morning so she still had a couple of hours to go. She got up from the piano stool and looked through the telescope that she had trained on the hotel across the street. The guard was chatting to Marie Santiago the well-known opera singer famous for her string of husbands. <Character name> was sure the security guard wasn’t in with a chance, even if he thought he was. Ms Santiago, as she liked to be referred to, as she was between husbands, waved goodbye to the guard and silkily entered the rotating door and out onto the street.

The guard got an adult magazine out of a desk drawer and started pouring over the pictures and articles. <Character name> shuddered, later on, she’d have to help Ricardo lift his sweaty body into the van after the switch. Their man could almost pass as the guard’s twin brother. The gang were banking on the hotel’s clients being so self-centred that they would hardly notice if you switched the security guard with a chimp.


Prompt 79: March 13th 2035: The Mars12 space station has strayed out of its orbit. Twelve scientists and four crew members are aboard the space station and nothing has been heard from them in over a month. Two weeks ago both of the Mars rovers suddenly stopped working with a loss of feed.

A rescue mission has hurriedly been put together and redundant spacecraft have been transported to NASA control for safety checks and modification. The obvious choice for a team leader is <Character name> but he hasn’t been into space for over ten years and has said to anyone who has asked, that there was no way he was ever going to go back up there.

Brief: You are being sent to persuade <Character name> to head the rescue mission. Find out why he is reluctant to return to Mars orbit.


Prompt 80: A letter arrives to inform you that you are to be evicted from your social housing. You can't understand why. Your rent is all up to date, you haven't had any warnings about anti-social behaviour. The letter doesn't explain the reason why you are being evicted. You phone the provider of your social housing only to be given some very shocking news.


Prompt 81: Far from home with no money, Lilly could think of no other option but to accept the offer of a warm bed and food from the stranger she’d only just met that morning. He had said to her he would leave her to think about his offer and he would come back later to find out her decision. She looked anxiously at him coming towards her; she had no idea what his motives were but she’d have to take a chance, she was cold and hungry.


Prompt 82: A meeting with his accountant hadn’t gone as smoothly as it should have. The accountant struggled to tally the books. Fifty-thousand pounds was missing and couldn’t be accounted for. Matt thought it through, picturing each member of his small team. He trusted all of them but he knew one of them must have stolen the money. He knew this was far too serious to turn a blind eye and make up the difference himself, he had no other option but to call the police.


Prompt 83: Halloween has been and gone but you keep seeing a man walking around town wearing a monster mask. The mask seems to be stuck to his face. Are you seeing things?


Prompt 84: Piggleham was holding its fourth annual cheese push later that afternoon with over fifty entrants, mainly men. Denise Yen was up for the challenge and had been in training all spring. It had never been won by a woman but she was determined to be the first!.


Prompt 85: Revisiting Alex Farrington.

Link to the original idea (Story 1).

https://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.com/2016/03/story-ideas-2nd-batch.html


Two days had passed before anyone arrived back to attend to Alex. His mouth was bone dry and he was badly dehydrated. Although he couldn’t see his captors, he could tell they were well-built men; they were easily able to carry him from room to room. His blindfold was still in place when the leader of the gang entered the room.

“Mr Farrington, you still have not answered my question. Where is Lucy Everett?”

Alex could smell the expensive aftershave wafting off the man as he moved closer.

“This must be tiring for you Alex. How about you tell me what I want to know and we’ll all have a nice cold refreshing drink?”

Alex said nothing.

“You leave me no choice. Move him to the back room.”

Alex was hauled up and dragged for some distance along what must have been a passageway. He was well aware that he would soon need to drink but he wasn’t going to give them what they wanted. He would have to come up with a plan to overpower them, even though he’d never felt as weak as he did at that moment.


Prompt 86: Alex Farrington searched the classified section in the newspaper for the agreed code words. They weren’t there this week and hadn’t been in the paper last week either. Alex knew Armstrong was in trouble, he always left a coded message each week without fail. Alex sent a message to his commander at The Hub and awaited orders to be sent back. In the meantime, he grabbed his things and left his hotel room. The pokey room was starting to get to him. He needed to see some greenery and sky.

In a small park just yards away from his hotel he bumped into an old school friend who he hadn’t seen for years. Abbey Fletcher had been the school beauty with a brain and Alex was shocked to see she was still as stunning now.


Prompt 87: With a small bag filled with diamonds in the boot, Alex Farrington was feeling somewhat apprehensive driving towards the checkpoint ahead. He pulled up near the barrier and wound down his window. From a small makeshift office, a muscular man in uniform leant out of the window to talk to Alex.

“State your business!”

“Sightseeing.”

“You joke with me, eh?”

“No, I’m quite serious, you have some beautiful scenery. I’m a film director looking for locations. It’ll prove to be very lucrative for your village if I can find some suitable backdrops.”

The official thought for a few seconds then waved Alex through once he’d seen his passport.


Prompt 88: Ten years ago Alex Farrington’s father disappeared without a trace. Alex had tried to find him but he always drew a blank. A letter arrived from Paris from a man named Victor Boisson who claimed to have information on the whereabouts of Gerald Farrington.


Prompt 89: Sailing a small dinghy on your local river proves to be very exciting as you spot a rare bird has a nest in the reeds.


Prompt 90: You read in your local paper that a Viking sword has been found in marshland near your home. Write a story about the owner of the sword. Use the internet to research all you can about Vikings.


Prompt 91: Antarctica is often being featured on Youtube and the internet. Research the conspiracy theories. Keywords: Admiral Richard E. Byrd, lost civilization in Antarctica, Hollow Earth, the missing diary of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Operation Highjump.


Prompt 92: A lone wolf has been spotted in woods surrounding your small village. Experts think it may have escaped from a wildlife park ten miles away but you later hear on the news that the park can account for all their wolves. As you are the head ranger for your area it is your job to assemble a small team to investigate these sightings.


Prompt 93: During a visit to a country house you notice an oil painting on the wall. The man in the painting looks just like you.


Prompt 94: A woman at your local pottery group is melting your cold heart. Over the months she begins to enter your thoughts more and more until you can stand it no more. You decide to ask her out for a date at a local restaurant with a movie to follow.


Prompt 95: A 1950’s expedition to the Gobi Desert uncovers a wealth of knowledge about Dinosaurs and their eggs. However, whilst visiting the Nemegt Basin, in particular, the team are amazed to find a rich source of fossil material and cannot believe their luck when they stumble across one of the most important finds of the century.


Prompt 96: A group of travellers are reported missing in the Atlas Mountains and you are charged with assembling a rescue team. The British government has provided aircraft and equipment together with a support team. You have two days to get your team together before your aeroplane leaves for Morocco.


Prompt 97: You have met your match when a formidable new member joins your local drama group. Will you be outdone by his acting?


Prompt 98: Sitting at his work desk in a portable office in the countryside a farmer is doing his accounts. He is suddenly aware of a low vibration underground below him. He jumps up from his seat and hurries to the other end of the office as a machine drills upwards and destroys his desk.


Prompt 99: This year you are asked to be Mummy Christmas and teamed up with the most annoying man at your local social group. Do you manage to get on with Father Christmas or do you two need to be separated for fear of a fight breaking out in the grotto?


Prompt 100: Sir Isaac Brent picked up the morning newspaper and noticed his friend Nathaniel Mortimer had once again made it onto the front page, this time with his latest escapade, a daring trip to the Congo Rainforest in search of a lost city.


Prompt 101: The “Harvest Home” in your village is a week away. You have two tickets but no one to go with you. You like a girl at your university but are a bit reluctant to ask her to go with you in case she thinks you are a bit of a “country boy” and not sophisticated enough as she lives in London. Does she agree to go with you? How does it turn out? Research online to find out what goes on at a “Harvest Home”.


Prompt 102: Mysty the medium is at your local funfair. She is giving readings in her small caravan. Your girlfriend persuades you to have a reading against your better judgement. It turns out you were right, Mysty says she cannot give you a reading because of a life-changing event about to happen in the next week; she says she will not give a negative reading to anyone only positive ones. This prediction has unsettled you. You are now being very cautious and looking out for anything out of the ordinary. This prediction is like a time bomb waiting to go off; your mood has changed from carefree to careful. Your girlfriend laughs it off and tells you they are all frauds, but you're not sure. You are having a very bad feeling about getting safely through the rest of the week.


Prompt 103: Write a letter to your past self. What advice would you give?


Prompt 104: The crew of a ghost ship rescue a little boy from the sea.


Prompt 105: Your Sunday morning lie-in is disturbed by a neighbour shouting for help.


Prompt 106: Write a story that includes the character Derek Wetherby who is a detective in 1960's London. On first inspection, he comes across as a dull ageing man who seems a little long in the tooth to be contending with the rise of violent gangs in the city. However, he has a secret; he's really a shape-shifting alien living on Earth!


Prompt 107: The stranger sat in front of a fire outside his tent. He had been living in the woods for three days and his presence hadn't gone unnoticed. The local police had visited him to make him aware that the council had started proceedings to get him removed from the local amenity. He wasn't doing any harm: He used to live in the area with his mother until they were both driven away from their house by an overzealous pastor and his followers. The man's mother was accused of being a witch and their hasty house move had aggravated a long-standing mental disposition and she was eventually locked away in a secure unit where she ended her own life.

A little boy with his puppy came up to the stranger. "What's your name?" he asked.

"Seth," the stranger replied.

"I'm Harry"

"Come on Harry don't disturb the man," said Harry's mum when she caught up.

"He's OK, you've got a fine boy and a lovely puppy," said Seth smoothing the dog.

"Are you here on holiday?" Harry's mother asked.

"I used to live here, I'm just visiting for a few days."

"Enjoy yourself, it's a lovely day."

"Take care of your mum Harry."

"I will, bye."

Seth had come back with a head full of bad memories and a heart full of fight but now he was actually here sitting in the warm sun all of those feelings had left him. He didn't feel like getting his own back anymore, he remembered that this was his home and he'd every right to be there.


Prompt 108: He was walking northwards in the pouring rain but couldn’t explain why. He’d left that morning and set off with no belongings at all. The house he’d left was unlocked and the TV and lights were still switched on. Every now and again a car would stop to ask if he needed a lift somewhere; they were probably feeling sorry for him walking in the rain without a coat. He blanked them and kept walking. He wasn’t himself at all that day, in fact, he wasn’t sure he knew who he was.

His wife came home from work to find the house unlocked and empty. Her husband was. nowhere to be seen. She initially thought that he might be speaking to one of the neighbours over the fence at the back of the house. Then when this proved to be not the case she wondered if he had popped to the corner shop and forgot to lock up. This also proved not to be the case. Then she became worried.


Prompt 109: Selina woke early and drew the curtains. She looked at the lake and was surprised to see a small inflatable dinghy with frogmen sitting either side. She could see they were testing their equipment and putting on facemasks. She scanned the rest of the lake and could see a police car and trailer parked on the ramp leading to the lake. She wondered if she ought to go and talk to the officers who had now got out of the car but she realised that they were heading her way. The knock at the door was soft, hardly enough to hear it. She answered and the two police officers showed their identification and asked if they could come in.


Prompt 110: The gallery doors unlocked and Milo the manager ushered the impressionist painter inside. Next week was to be a momentous occasion for Joe Slade. His first exhibition in twenty-five years was going to re-launch his career.

Milo guided Joe into his office. "We have a slight problem, Mr Slade. Last night we had a break-in. I've got some very bad news for you, Sir. The thieves have emptied the gallery; all your work has been stolen."

"What all of it?"

"Yes, Sir, all of it."

"But that's two years worth of work! I can't knock up enough paintings for the exhibition next week."

"We can't postpone, we are all booked up till next year!"


Prompt 111: Deep in a Scottish wood you attended a class on survivalist tactics. Little did you know that a few weeks later you would be putting the skills you learnt into practice!


Prompt 112: A circus comes to town. You and your college friends go for a laugh. One of the acrobatic groups has a young lady performing who takes your breath away; she is the most beautiful girl you have ever set eyes on. How can you get to meet her? Oh, by the way, there is a poster board outside the circus tent advertising job positions for trainee circus staff.


Prompt 113: Has the Earth had technologically advanced occupants in the past?
Exercise: Research on the internet about artefacts inside rocks.


Prompt 114: You and your wife have a new neighbour. He is a bit odd and creepy and a bit of a loner. After a few months of him moving in you begin to hear scraping noises under your house. You call in a vermin control company to investigate. They can't find any evidence of a pest infestation. You forget about it for a few weeks until you hear what sounds like furniture being moved below your lounge. You and your wife had gone for a two week holiday about a month after your neighbour moved in. Could he have built a cellar that extends under your house? If he has what is the purpose of this underground space?.


Prompt 115: Sandra saw her husband's car outside the flats and her stomach churned. She steadied herself on the door frame and summoned enough courage to go up the stairs. The door to their flat suddenly opened taking her by surprise. Next, a fist met her face and she was dragged in by the hair.

"Where've you been all night?" her husband spat. "They let me out yesterday evening and you were nowhere to be found. Oh, and who's this Eric you've been spending time with while I've been inside?"


Prompt 116: The ‘Facility’, built in remote countryside in Yorkshire is causing problems for local farmers. They believe that it should never have been given planning permission and therefore should never have been built in an area of outstanding natural beauty. However, more concerning than that is the fact that their livestock has started to become unwell due to unknown emissions coming from the ‘Facility’.

You are one of the farmers still trying to make a living from your livestock. You are working closely with your local vet to get to the bottom of the mystery illness affecting your livestock.


Prompt 117: The small outbuilding had not been used for years and was the ideal hiding place for a body: it was deep in the wood and hard to reach. Inside the building, under a covering of mud and leaves, the body had been there for weeks. But eventually, curious eyes wanting to explore every nook and cranny stumbled upon the corpse.

Rance Broodberg took out his notepad and pencil from his overcoat. He was meticulous in his observations and wrote down the smallest of detail, even if it would never be called upon. Having been working for Sussex police for only three months he still felt like the outsider but it didn't seem to bother his fellow detectives; they seemed genuinely glad of the help and were willing to help him in any way they could. Leaving Iceland and taking up his one year exchange was proving a much smoother process than he had thought it would be. Now, he was in his element using all of his natural skill to assist the British police.


Prompt 118: Hester Larrin stepped out of his chauffeur-driven limo and fought his way through the swarm of flashing photographers. He entered his hotel then adjusted his eyes for a moment. He stepped up to the desk.

“Hi, Leah. Is there any post for me?”

“Loads,” she said, handing him a pile of letters.

“I'm expecting Duncan over later, let him up but head off anyone else.”

“OK.”

He pulled out his phone and looked through his messages. There were too many to read so he put it away. A couple came out of the lift and their faces showed they recognised him from the news. He said hello to them but they quickly scurried away. It seemed overnight he had become public enemy number one.


Prompt 119: Botanist Mickey Sander got straight on the phone to his colleagues at his Lab in Bristol. He stood up to his ankles in ditch water and held the phone near a plant with a lone flower.

“Can you see it clearly?”

“Yes, but I don't recognise it,” said the voice at the other end.

“I can't dig it out, there's only one. I'm going to have to take a cutting.”

“Get it back as soon as you can.”

“OK, see you later.”

Mickey found a small flower pot from the back of his van and planted the cutting in some compost. After using his water bottle to moisten the soil, he carefully propped the plant pot safely between his rucksack and the remaining compost that was in a plastic bag. He got into his 4x4 and drove across the boggy field to the gate that led to the road.


Prompt 120: Detective Inspector Ragnor Snell looked out at the snow, it was falling quite heavily and had started to bury the cars in the station car park. It looked like he would have to walk into town to interview Denise Wild. She had phoned early in the morning to report an unusual break-in; an intruder had forced the lock on the back door to the town museum, but as far as she could tell nothing had been stolen or tampered with. He’d asked forensics to go down first thing that morning to see if they could gather any evidence, they tried but said it was next to impossible due to the building being open to the public; there were too many different fingerprints, strands of hair and dry skin lying around to be able to narrow down a recent visit in the early hours by a would-be thief.


Prompt 121: Mulberry Close loomed near. Anita was dreading it; she hadn’t visited her sister in over twenty years but now she had no choice. Their mother had passed away suddenly the previous week and the journey to Scotland was mandatory. Anita parked up her car and gathered her composure. She steadied her nerves and opened the car door only to be met by Rose standing outside the car.


Prompt 122: Fortitude was docked on the west quay. Samuel checked his pockets for his boarding docket and handed it to the man waiting at the top of the steps.

“Any luggage?” the man asked.

“No, Sir. Just me as I am,” Samuel replied.

“If you need a change of clothes the ship’s doctor keeps a lost property trunk.”

“Thank you very much, Sir.”

Samuel looked for his designated bunk which was shown on his docket and once he found it he climbed in and fell asleep whilst the ship was still docked. Thirty minutes later Fortitude slowly set off for New York and a new life awaited Samuel Frost.


Prompt 123: The coach trip planned for that day was into the very heart of Southern Ireland. So far the coach party had sampled the delights of Cork, Waterford and Killarney. Now they were set for a mystery tour that would take them back in time to a lonely country pub where peat was still burnt on an open fire and the original farming decorations still hung on the walls. But they weren’t prepared for the dark force that wandered the desolate landscape with its abandoned crumbling cottages and rocky walls. This restless, malevolent spirit had been born out of the suffering and starvation during the potato famine of 1845-49. Its ferocious hunger for revenge had so far not been satisfied.


Prompt 124: The satnav was leading them on a wild goose chase that took them across wild and hilly landscapes far away from their intended destination of Farmer’s Point. Somehow the machine had got it into its electronic head that they wanted to go to Craggy Point instead. The couple could not be more lost, then the worst happened, their 1950’s Morris Minor Lowlight Convertible broke down. With nightfall quickly approaching and nothing but a rag-top roof for protection Jackie and Pete huddled under a picnic blanket for warmth. The old heater quickly drained the car battery and they were both in for an incredibly cold night in one of the remotest locations in Britain.


Prompt 125: The steamboat Neptune rounded the island and moored beside the jetty on Atlantic Beach. Bi-planes flew overhead to celebrate the return of the local heroes who played such an important part in overthrowing the occupiers who had dominated the Islanders for so long. Twenty years of occupation by the Imperial Truscan Force was now over and the Island of Tranquillity could now live up to its name and once again become a place of peace. Little did the people of Tranquillity know that another invasion force was on its way from the east.


Prompt 126: Star-catcher, the fastest and most powerful fighter ship in the seventh sector was sent to intercept an unknown vessel approaching Earth. Confident Star-catcher was the ultimate weapon, the command centre was surprised when they lost contact with Dac Masoon their best pilot. Weeks later the wreckage of Star-catcher was found by long-range scout ships. The unknown vessel was still on a heading for Earth and time was now of the essence to find a weakness. A team of scientists was picked to completely redesign the fighter ship class to produce the next ultimate weapon. In the meantime, a small group of peacemakers led by Triscon Drake decide that it might be wise to try to communicate with the unknown vessel and set out on board a D-class freighter to make contact.


Prompt 127: Whilst excavating the foundations of a condemned 1940’s house the building team stumble across human remains, a stash of gold, silver and weapons. Experts visit the site to give their opinions on the find.


Prompt 128: After colonising what was thought to be a lifeless planet, a team of oceanographers who were exploring a deep sea trench make an exciting discovery. But afterwards, the colonists are left with a moral dilemma.


Prompt 129: After causing a scandal for his party. A member of parliament is in hiding fearing for his life. A safe house is set up and he is taken to a remote part of the country to sit out the backlash. A lone gunman arrives a few days later and starts staking out the farm building where the MP is being housed with his security team.


Prompt 130: After spotting a very rare coin in an amusement arcade machine, you arm yourself with a bucket full of two pence pieces and set up for a long evening ahead.


Prompt 131: Whilst working for a major international company you stumble upon a file which includes details of inventions and cures for diseases that have never been put into production. You find that the company you are working for has paid large amounts of money to scientists and inventors to stop these revolutionary products ever seeing the light of day. What do you do now?.


Prompt 132: You find a strange boy wandering in fields behind your farm. You call the police in case he is a missing person. They come to meet him in your farmhouse. They say they have no reports of a missing boy. The police ask you to accompany the frightened boy to the local hospital, as he seems to be more settled in your company. After some basic checks, the hospital doctor whispers to the local police officers who start to act in a different manner altogether. The police officer in charge radios through a message that seems to be in code as you can't understand what he's saying. Within minutes the hospital is surrounded by armed police and specialist armed forces personnel. Helicopters buzz the hospital as you sit with the young boy in the waiting room. Members of the public are now being escorted out of the hospital by armed forces and you and the boy are left sitting on your seats, waiting.


Prompt 133: Exercise: Winter flooding of the Somerset Levels in 2013-2014 created headline news. Research and write about the impact the floods had on the local people who were affected.


Prompt 134: A two-hundred-year-old bottle washes up on your local beach. There is a map inside. You and some college friends decide to go on a treasure hunt to a remote Scottish island.


Prompt 135: A family river cruise holiday in Norfolk leads to the discovery of an ancient artefact that has the power to transport the holder to a time when the Vikings sailed their longboats inland in search of silver and gold.


Prompt 136: Memet waited outside the hotel, his taxi meter ticking away. The fine looking woman finally appeared at the doorway and waved to him. He got out of the car and climbed the steps of the Imperial Langdon Hotel. She pointed to her bags and he picked them up.

“Thank you, driver, you're so kind,” she purred.

Memet hauled them down to his taxi and dumped them in the boot.

When the woman got into the back of the taxi, he got in and asked her where she was going.

“Back to London, I've had enough of Scotland. One can only take so much sight-seeing. I want to shop, meet my friends and lunch!”

“OK, lady, but it's going to cost.”

“Money's no object, just get me back, you don't have to hurry, as long as I know I'm on my way.”

During the journey, the two of them put the world to rights and by the end of the journey to London, had become good friends. They agreed they would meet up a few weeks later in Manchester. Memet would drive from Scotland and his new lady friend, Lorrie, would fly from London to Manchester.

The day arrived and Memet met Lorrie at Manchester airport.


Prompt 137: Whilst watching a monster truck show with your family, one of the stunts goes wrong. Over the noise of the crowd, you think you hear your car number plate being called out.


Prompt 138: After helping your local pub quiz team to victory, unbeknown to you, your team send off your details and enter you into a well-known TV quiz show.


Prompt 139: The young lady got off the gilded barge, lifted her skirt and headed onto the moors. The bargemen looked at each other in disbelief.

“She’ll be burnt as a witch without a chaperone.”

“Or they’ll think her a whore,” said the other.

She strode on purposefully, jumping large puddles and ditches with ease. She knew the moors well, she was raised in the area and was used to the terrain. The night was drawing in and she knew she must reach her destination before nightfall. She could see lights in the distance about two miles away. As long as she kept heading for the lights she knew she would be alright. Eventually, the village came into view. She knew every house and all the families that lived in them. The pub and shop were kept by Mr and Mrs Jennings who always had a spare room available for a traveller, so she decided to head straight there. They would know who she was once she told them of her early life in the village. They were unlikely to have forgotten about the only person to have ever left the village and they would definitely remember her once she told them she had left to become an actress in London.


Prompt 140: Late autumn in Victorian London a spate of frightening attacks by the notorious villain ‘Spring-heeled Jack’ led to a gathering of like-minded citizens who wanted to reclaim the streets of London from such monsters. The meeting place was advertised on flyers and nailed to trees around London. The evening of 27th November was the agreed date, an abandoned warehouse the meeting point. The evening arrived with one of the worst fogs London had ever encountered. Hardly an arm's length ahead could be seen, but that didn’t deter the gathered citizens. With flaming torches and dogs on leashes, they set about their business, to hunt down the deviant ‘Spring-heeled Jack’.


Prompt 141: Marge Dorlington placed her spectacles firmly on her nose. The Police Officer looked on as the elderly detective went about her investigation. She dusted the cups and saucers for fingerprints and tested the remaining tea in the cups for known poisons. She closed the doctor’s bag she used as a mobile laboratory and sat in the seat next to the table. Looking down at the two bodies lying on the carpet she declared that for once she was stumped. She was going to have to ask for help from the new pathology laboratory that had recently opened in London. The two deceased ladies would both need a proper autopsy to establish a cause of death.


Prompt 142: The Mayday festival was weeks away and mothers were busily making dresses for their daughters. The May Queen was to be chosen the week before the celebrations and as was the custom each year the Lord of the manor would spend an evening dining with the chosen girl at the manor house. However, this year when the time came for the chosen girl to be collected from the manor by a coach she was nowhere to be found. The local sheriff spoke to Lord Marchingale about the disappearance of the May Queen, Jess Turnpike, only to be told she had stormed off in a sour mood. The sheriff took this at face value and nothing more was done until she never arrived home that night or the next morning. An investigating official was despatched from London and he and his young assistant set about finding the truth behind the disappearance of Jess Turnpike the May Queen.


Prompt 143: Exercise: Continue the journal/diary.

Riding my beautiful horse along the banks of the local river was one of my favourite pastimes. Summers seemed to go on forever back then. Life was easy and carefree. Now I’m working in the city and don’t have the time for leisurely pursuits and I do so miss my small village in the countryside. Recently, I’ve been working on a project in London to help homeless people get into permanent homes so they can return to the community. One man I’ve been helping has mental health problems but I’ve found he has a love for the countryside like me. Over the past few months, I have got to know Tom really well and like him very much. We go for walks in the parks together and I now consider him to be a good friend.


Prompt 144: You had a lovely fourteen-year-old son. After he had suffered a year of torment by bullies at his school you decided enough was enough and visited the school in person; phoning them had proved ineffective. Shortly afterwards your son was set upon by bullies from his school on the way home and was beaten to death. You felt guilty over his death because you had gone to the school and they had apparently dealt with it. The same school bullies who were never sentenced often see you in the street and taunt you about your son’s death. This time you really have had enough. You know a local man who can ‘sort things out’. You go and see him.


Prompt 145: You are experiencing disturbing hallucinations. Everything and everyone you look at changes at a second glance. You see a couple walking hand in hand, the next time you look it's just one of them walking alone. Shop signage changes the moment you look away. Men become women, dogs become cats and trees become bushes. What is happening?


Prompt 146: The woods at Greengoss Spinney are set to become a centre for modern art with contemporary sculptures and installations; it’s been on the local news and featured in your village paper. Your community is split on this proposal with some in favour and some dead against it. Pick a side and write a letter to your local newspaper outlining your argument for or against the proposal.


Prompt 147: Fourteen months have passed since you lost your memory. You were found outside a bar with blood on your hands and a head wound. You haven’t remembered a thing about that night so your rehabilitation team decide to take you back to where you were found. It’s dark outside the car as the team member pulls up outside the bar. Your memories suddenly start to flood back and you let out a piercing scream.


Prompt 148: Your 60th birthday passed last week. You don’t feel old and you still think like a young person so you decide to throw caution to the wind and do everything a young person would do in a typical year. You start off by going clubbing.


Prompt 149: Detective Chief Inspector Montgomery Alexander Hughes looked at his pocket watch. He noted it was 8’ O clock when the knock came at his door. His maid introduced the caller as Sir Geoffrey Goddings calling about a most delicate matter.

“Show him in, Mrs Douglass.”

The gentleman took off his hat and stooped into the drawing room.

“What can I do for you this evening Sir?”

“I come about a matter that is most urgent, it couldn’t wait until tomorrow, hence I came straight to your lodgings, for which I can only apologize.”

“No apology is necessary. Pray, what is troubling you? You look shaken to the core my good fellow. Sit and tell me all about it.”

“Thank you. Well, last night I made a terrible mistake I spent time with a lady of ill reputation if you understand. Now she is threatening to expose me to the newspapers. I am soon to be wed to a lady of noble blood, my family will be disgraced and my reputation will be in ruins.”

“Come, come, no one has been injured or anything of the sort. We just need to silence the woman you met last night. After all, she is committing a crime by trying to blackmail you. Has she asked you for any money to keep her quiet?”

“No! That’s the thing, she said she wanted to ruin my family, I offered her hundreds of pounds, but she didn’t want the money. I asked her if a newspaper would pay her for her story, but she said they could keep their money.”

“How strange, are you sure she won’t take money?”

“She won’t. I suppose she’s not committing a crime if she’s not asking for money?”

“Well, as you’ve admitted to me you spent time with her last night, she’s not lying about that, so I don’t really see she’s committing any crime. However, I would like to get to the bottom of this, what has she got against you and your family?”

“Until yesterday I’d never seen the woman before. Sir, I am at a loss.”

You might not have met her before, but another member of your family may know of her.”

“That is quite possible.”

“Then I would suggest that we should both go to see your family and find out from them. Do they live far?”

“Two days by carriage.”

“I’ll send a messenger to have a carriage readied for us to travel as soon as possible.”

“Thank you very much.”


Prompt 150: Merit Green sat at the bottom of a tree-covered hill. The quaint houses were all mock Tudor and everything looked tidy and orderly. The small green was perfectly kept with the grass cut short and weed free. It felt as if it would be wrong to trample the uniformly cut grass even though it was obviously intended to be used as a communal amenity. No children were playing in the road that ran around the green and no play park had been provided by the developers.

A car pulled up outside number 34 Merit Green and an estate agent got out and lent against his car while vaping. Clouds of sweet-smelling vapour filled the air. It wasn’t long before another car pulled up. A couple got out and greeted the estate agent then after chatting a while they went inside the house. No one stirred, no curtains twitched. There was no sound at all.

“I’ll show you the kitchen, it has all the latest innovations, it was designed by the Swedish designer Morten Dent,” said the estate agent leading the couple through to the minimalist kitchen. “It really wouldn’t look out of place in one of those posh design magazines.”

“It’s lovely,” said the young woman.

“It’s quite stark, but I could see ourselves here,” the young man said as if he was knowledgeable about such things.

“Shall I leave you to look around upstairs yourselves?”

“Yes, we can measure up, I’ve brought a tape measure,” the young man said tapping a bulky bulge in his jacket.

They headed for the modern spiral staircase with its thick toughened glass steps. They hesitated slightly before stepping onto the first step wondering if it would support their weight.

“Go ahead, those steps could withstand an elephant standing on them,” said the estate agent.

Ten minutes later the couple came down the stairs and found the estate agent vaping in the back garden.

“We want to buy it,” the young man said confidently.

“We’ve fallen in love with it. It’s just what we’ve been looking for,” the young woman said.

“OK, we’ll meet back at the office and we can get the ball rolling.”

Four O’clock Sunday afternoon in early June, David and Sarah Blithe put the key into the front door of 34 Merit Green. They turned it together and listened to the sound of the lock click. The house was theirs. The removal van was due at Five so they shut the door and ran upstairs. Sex on the floor wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it looked in the movies. In fact, it was quite uncomfortable. Once dressed and with none of their possessions in the house, all they could do was wait for the removal van to arrive. It arrived at Six.


Prompt 151: (Warning: This prompt contains material only suitable for Ages 16+)

Don Brandenberg left his house and waited for a self-drive to arrive. He got in and asked to go to The Elevator. The car rose up and flew over London’s parklands and soon arrived at the glass lift in Britannia Park. He stepped out and the car flew away looking for another traveller.

The lift attendant raised his hat and welcomed him inside.

“Is it business or a vacation that brings you our way?” the attendant asked cheerfully.

“Business I’m afraid, a nasty business. I’ve been asked to assist in the investigation of the first Moon murder.”

“My word, this is terrible news for our company. We don’t want people to lose confidence in our premium destination. We have an outstanding safety rating at the moment. What will this mean now?”

“Well, hopefully, we’ll get it all sorted and your company won’t be affected. After all, crime is hardly out of control up there. This is a one-off. Not likely to happen again.”

“Well let’s hope so, but it is so dreadfully upsetting to hear of such a thing. I’d better show you to Reception where you can book your room.”

“Thank you, young man, it was very nice meeting you.”

The young lady at the reception desk looked up. “Can I help you, Sir?”

“Yes, I’d like to book a room please.”

“A single would that be? Or is someone joining you?”

“No just me.”

“Excellent, room 65 is lovely, very restful.”

“That sounds just fine.”

“Can I take your name?”

“Mr Don Brandenberg.”

“I Just need your finger on the plate. Excellent, payment’s gone through.”

“Will you be having dinner in the dining room or would you like it sent up?”

“I’ll eat in the dining room. What time is dinner served?”

“6.30 this evening. We’ll be leaving at eight o’clock on the dot. Do you suffer from queasiness at all?”

“I’m not sure, this is my first time in The Elevator.”

“We have a first-timer! I’ll get a bottle of complimentary wine sent up to your room. I’ll also include some anti-sickness pills just in case.”

Don doffed his hat, thanked the young lady and headed for the lift.

Room 65 turned out to be as restful as the lady at Reception had said it would be. He took off his hat and kicked off his shoes. He was a bit apprehensive now that queasiness was mentioned. He decided to try and forget about it and treat it like he was just in a proper hotel and not in a hotel that happened to be inside a glass lift about to propel him into space.

Dinner slid down well and Don enjoyed the entertainment that was laid on afterwards. The cabaret act was particularly good and relaxed him into a light sleep. He shook himself awake and looked at the dining room clock that had just started a countdown. It was on 87 seconds so Don made his way down to the viewing area in Reception.

The young lady at the reception desk waved at him and he nodded back. He joined a group of pensioners who were sat on seating facing the transparent glass walls of The Elevator. He stood behind them and leant back into a standing cradle and strapped himself in. The reception clock had said it was about 32 seconds to go, so he figured the launch was imminent. People started to get excited and counted the last 10 seconds down aloud. Looking through the glass, flames could be seen circling around The Elevator until finally, an explosion shot the whole structure high into the sky. Secondary rockets underneath The

Elevator fired and the glass lift left Earth’s atmosphere. The force holding Don firmly to the floor during the launch was beginning to wear off and soon everyone started getting out of their seats and standing restraints and began moving freely again.

The young lady from the reception desk was now out of uniform and came over to Don.

“Would it be too forward of me to ask you to join me for a drink, Mr Brandenberg?”

“I’d love to, but please call me Don.”

“Call me Suzy. I can just tell, we’re gonna have a marvellous evening!”

“Well, Suzy. Lead the way.”

Suzy linked arms with Don and led him to the late night casino and bar. After a few drinks and some fruity banter, she suggested they go to visit the Sex Games in the main entertainment and shopping emporium.

“Is it legal?”

“Don, you’re not on Earth now, it must be the Policeman in you, niggling away.”

“OK, let’s take a look.”

A pink neon sign above the door blazed the words ‘Sex Games’. The two of them, still arm in arm, walked in.

The dimly lit room was large and housed The Elevator’s shops. These were closed now and gave way to gyrating scantily clad young women and sexbots; both male and female who were simulating sexual acts to get the audience into the mood for more adventurous games later in the evening.

Suzy looked on with wide-eyed excitement. “Let’s find a table.”

Don signalled for a waiter as they sat down. He looked around and wasn’t sure if this was his sort of thing but looking at his young companion with her blonde bob and pretty flawless face, he thought he was willing to witness a few sleazy acts if it meant he could spend time with such a beautiful young woman. He figured he was at least fifteen years older than her and he wasn’t quite sure what she had seen in him for her to want to ask him for a drink.

The waiter arrived and took their order.

“Can I have a large Spacebomb cocktail to share with two straws please?” Suzy said.

“Anything else with that?” the waiter asked.

“Would you like some food, Don?”

“Why don’t we order some party nibbles?”

“Yes, some nuts and assorted nibbles, you choose for us,” said Suzy.

“I’ll bring that for you shortly,” said the waiter.

The sex acts in front of the shops were starting to hot up and Don loosened his shirt a little. Men joined the scantily clad women and danced provocatively around each other. A compere stepped up and asked for entrants for the sex games that were to take place after eleven o’clock.

Don blushed and hoped that Suzy wasn’t going to volunteer them. She noticed he was looking uncomfortable and told him not to worry, they’d perform their own sex games in her suite later on which made him blush even more. She laughed.

Their order arrived and they drank from what looked like a fish bowl with a floral display sprouting out of it.

When they had finished their food and drink Suzy took Don’s hand and led him out of the emporium and into a nearby lift. She pulled him close and kissed him passionately. “I’ve been wanting to do that all evening,” she whispered.

Don returned the kiss as the doors closed.

Suzy punched the button for her floor as they spun around in a locked embrace. The lift stopped and the doors opened. Suzy whisked Don out of the lift and ran down the corridor with him in tow.

They reached Suzy’s suite and crashed against the door. She touched a key panel and

the heavy lock snapped open. Inside, the large employee suite had everything needed for comfortable living. A small kitchen, a lounge area and a large bedroom with a big double bed. A separate bathroom and toilet led off from the bedroom.

Don looked around in amazement wondering how all this could be accommodated inside the glass elevator. He thought every employee must have a similar suite, perhaps a little smaller for the waiters, entertainment staff, shopkeepers and other less senior staff. But even so, it was a great feat of technological achievement to house such living quarters inside.

Suzy dimmed the lights and put on some music. She opened some wine and poured two glasses. She pulled back the bed covers and started to undress. Don looked on, unsure what to do, so she went over to him and started undressing him too. They took their time and savoured every moment. They caressed each other as if they had known each other for years. Afterwards, they lay in each other's arms like seasoned lovers. They watched TV and drank wine and fell asleep entwined.

In the morning Don wanted to know the progress The Elevator was making on its flight to the Moon.

“It takes three days to reach the Moon, so we should arrive Thursday evening,” Suzy said.

“Do you take milk with your coffee?”

“Yes, Don. But no sugar, I’m sweet enough.”

“How’s that bacon doing?”

“Nearly ready, you can start the eggs now.”

Between them, they soon had two full English breakfasts on the kitchen table and they ate heartily.

“I start work at seven, you don’t have to rush off to your room, stay here until your ready to go,” said Suzy.

“OK. Will I see you today on your lunch break?”

“Of course, I’ll come and find you either here or in your room. I take a lunch break at one if that’s OK for you?”

“I’ll look forward to it.”

Suzy kissed Don goodbye and shut the door behind her.

He ran a bath for himself and spent half an hour going through the Moon murder case in his head. The detective chief inspector on the Moon was Christopher Hopper who had requested help from Don. He had sent a briefing document by email on Friday which had given Don enough time to go through the included case notes over the weekend. It seemed until recently there had been no crime reported on the Moon at all. The murder was probably an isolated incident, but there was always the possibility that organised crime could infiltrate the holiday destination.


Prompt 152: Exercise: Complete the following children’s story.

Background.

Kyle and his friends are being bullied at school because they are members of the after-school chess club. They don’t like sports, instead, they like computers and gadgets. The sporty boys in their year call them names like “Geek” and “Wimp” because they like different things. One school morning the friends can’t take the bullying anymore and decide to escape school for the day. They set off on a journey to a nearby seaside town for an adventure of their own.

Write the beginning of the story where the members of the chess club are being picked on in the morning by the boys who have different interests and hobbies.

The boys got off the train and decided to go to the nearby beach. It was still early so no one was around. They walked underneath the cliffs and noticed there had recently been a landslip; part of the cliff was now in a heap on the beach ahead. They ran over to see if anyone was injured but could only see soil and rocks. However, looking upwards they could see a hole in the cliff which they reached by climbing up the heap of debris.

Kyle looked at the others when he realised it was a cave. “Let’s explore.”

“What if it collapses? We’ll be trapped and no one will know we’re inside,” said Nat.

“It looks sound enough, surely it would have already collapsed when the cliff fell,” said Ollie.

“Why don’t we just poke our heads in and take a look? We don’t have to actually go in,” said Morten.

“Come on, we might be the first people to have ever set foot inside. We’ve discovered a cave no one’s ever seen before,” said Kyle going inside first.

“Be careful Kyle,” said Nat.

“It’s OK, the roof’s solid rock!”

The rest of the boys followed cautiously inside. The cave was small near the entrance but opened up in the distance.

“How are we going to see?” said Ollie.

“There’s enough light from outside getting in, we won’t go too far, we haven’t got torches,” Kyle said.

Morten ran on ahead once the cave opened up. “Hey, I can see some lights he shouted, then he ran back towards them screaming. “Run, they’re after me!”

“Who are?” said Kyle.

“The robots!”

The other boys froze as the cave started to fill with all manner of robots and tiny flying drones. Morten kept running and landed on the heap outside the cave.

“Hello,” said a robot that walked upright like a human. “It’s very nice to have company. Would you like a nice cup of tea or squash to refresh you?”

“No, thanks. We had better go, our parents will be worried about us, they’re on the beach,” said Kyle.

“Oh, how strange we didn’t see anyone else on the beach except you,” said the robot puzzled.

A robot sniffer dog bounded forward and started sniffing the boys and wagging its tail.

“Do excuse Rover, he’s programmed to sniff.”

By now the boys were surrounded by all kinds of machines. There were some really quite frightening looking ones who didn’t look friendly at all but turned out to be very much like the first robot they met.

Morten crawled back into the cave after seeing the machines weren’t going to hurt them.

The first robot introduced himself as Archie and he went on to introduce each and every one of his robot friends.

“How come you’re living in a cave?” Kyle asked.

“Oh, it’s a very long story so I’ll tell you the short version. We were all made by a robotics company called Miera Systems. They made us and gave us electronic brains similar to yours. They wanted us to do mean things but we said no and because we were thinking machines they let us go. They told us we could be free if we lived underground away from people.”

“How long have you been living here?” Ollie asked.

“Twenty-five years,” said Archie.

“But robots like you weren’t around then,” said Morten puzzled.

“We were advanced prototypes back then, but we know of far superior models today.”

“Do you ever go outside?” Nat asked.

“Oh yes, we make bread and cakes for the homeless. We have to wait until the early hours before it’s safe to go out, most people are asleep, so we’re free to deliver our food to the needy. We have to buy our ingredients online, we can’t just walk into a shop,” Archie said.

“Can we see where you live?” Kyle asked.

“Of course, I’d be delighted to show you around our home.”

Archie and the other robots led the boys deeper into the cave system and they eventually came to a metal door. Archie waved his hand and the door swished open. Once inside they could see how the robots spent their time. There was a kitchen area and a nearby games area with table tennis tables and pool tables. A large library with comfortable seating was situated down a small corridor. A room full of batteries and charging points led off from the library and a television lounge was the final room they were shown.

Continue the story which ends with the boys going back to school in the afternoon with their new mechanical friends in tow. Who are the cool kids now?


Prompt 153: Exercise: Use the notes below to continue this story idea I first posted 7th July 2016. (Story 2) http://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/science-fiction-extravaganza.html?view=magazine

The entrance to the underground base looked nothing special and was easily overlooked, and it almost certainly had been for thousands of years. Patterson looked back at his men, they had no idea what the mission involved, and as far as they were concerned it was just another hunt for terrorist cells hiding in the mountains; but this was much more of a threat than that, the underground base was found by locals a week earlier, who had entered the cave system when a sinkhole opened up. Little did they know the danger they were in when they entered. It seemed from information gathered by British intelligence, that they had stumbled upon a stasis chamber holding a handful of giants in suspended animation, together with a vimana, held in a time well. The last time Greg Patterson had come across a vimana was in Egypt and that didn’t end at all well: Over fifty troops were killed trying to break through the force field to get to the ancient craft. Now, it was all well and good reverse engineering alien technology that drops from the sky – Roswell for example, but this posed an altogether more difficult problem. How do you release a spacecraft that’s essentially been locked by the owners, who happen to be sleeping nearby?

Major Marcus Santini walked over, “Sergeant Patterson, are your men ready?”

“Ready as they’ll ever be Sir.”

Santini looked nervous, “Well….good luck with your mission Sergeant.”

Patterson saluted and then shook hands, “Thank you, Major.”

Now was not the time for nerves. Patterson had a job that needed to be done, and he mustn’t show his men he was afraid. He picked up his pack and swung it over his shoulder. “Johnny, leave the radio, it’s not going to work in the caves. Andy, get the PE-4 and detonators, we're going in.”

Notes:

Sergeant Patterson and his men place plastic explosives around the ancient flying craft. They fall back and detonate. Patterson is the first to get close to the vimana and signals to his men to stay back as the door opens. The giants are still in suspended animation outside so he boards the craft. The rest of his men watch on as the craft powers up and disappears. The craft’s hull becomes transparent and Patterson, who is alone on the craft, sees different landscapes flash in and out of existence as the vimana travels dimensionally hopping from one version of Earth to another. Finally, it arrives at an alien looking land that is scientifically more developed than the Earth Patterson just left. The door opens and Patterson climbs down onto orange sandy soil. The air is breathable and he heads towards a great city in the distance just as the sun is setting. Flying orbs hover above him lighting his way as he slowly picks his way onwards.


Exercises: Sean Tanner adventures.

Prompt 154: (See Story 4) http://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-story-prompts.html?view=magazine

And

(Advanced Exercise 1) http://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/february-writing-prompts.html?view=magazine

The airship silently cruised above the clouds. Tanner sipped his orange juice and looked over to the British delegates. The thin one was Arthur Reegan the ex-tycoon who once owned the biggest chain of casinos in Europe until he sold them all for a pittance to a wealthy unknown buyer. The other was Maxwell Dunce who lived up to his surname. He had managed to lose most of his fortune buying racehorses that failed miserably and ended up being sold as pets for rich kids. Tanner wasn’t here to judge them, he was here to look after them. The summit in China was one of the most important events in the last 100 years: It would tie all the countries attending into a deal on climate protection for the next 50 years. Things had taken a serious turn for the worst in the last 2 years what with the flooding of Venice and the disappearance of some coastal towns in England. This mission was crucial to the safeguarding of stable weather systems that so far had mostly saved us from an end of time scenario.

“Hello Tanner, how are things with you nowadays?”

Tanner slapped his friend and fellow spook on the back. “I can’t complain Rod. How’s life treating you at Berdbeck?”

“They’re working us hard, but the money’s better. You know the saying; work hard and play hard, that about sums up our team. We’re living the dream.”

“Well, looks like the move was right for you buddy. Are you looking after the Spanish delegates?”

“They’ve got their own guys in charge, I’m just here as a consultant. I’ve done a few jobs for them in the past and they trust me.”

An alarm sounded overhead, it wasn’t very loud but crew members started running in all directions. It seemed they were manning pre-planned positions which worried Tanner and Rod. They sought out the delegates they were with and tried to find out what was going on. It didn’t take long before they knew as they could hear a jet buzzing the airship.

“I thought this was a stupid idea, travelling in a ‘balloon’. We’re a sitting duck!” said Tanner to Rod who now had his Spanish delegates and their minders with him.

The small jet was clearly visible out of the windows as it repeatedly circled the airship. Tanner was taking no chances and suggested they look for a means of escape.

“Apparently they’ve got gliders held in the lower section of the airship,” said Rod pointing the way.

Tanner looked out of the window. “How many gliders?”

“Two I think.”

“Do you mean those?”

“Yep.”

The small jet came into view and launched a missile at one of the gliders. It hit and the aircraft broke up in a fireball.

Tanner didn’t wait to watch the other glider being destroyed. “These guys mean business. Let’s find some chutes!”

Notes: Tanner and the others find emergency parachutes and escape the airship before it is hit by a missile. Look at a world map and find a suitably remote spot for the group to touchdown. Now they need to find a settlement with food, warm clothing and shelter!


Prompt 155: When Sean Tanner found out ‘Agent X’ was a woman it hadn’t lessened his determination to track her down and carry out his mission. However, now, with her in his sight he was unable or unwilling to pull the trigger. He tracked her through the rifle scope as she put on her skis and got on a ski lift. It shouldn’t matter to him how beautiful a target is; he should be able to pull the trigger and eliminate them. For some reason, this time, he couldn’t do it. He packed his rifle away and slipped into the nearby wood for cover. His snowmobile was parked on a ledge overlooking the pristine western slope. No-one dared ski down this side of the mountain because of the risk of an avalanche. Tanner started the snowmobile and launched himself over the ledge and onto the mountain slope. He knew the way ahead would be free of skiers so he was able to negotiate the trees with ease without fear of setting off a few mini avalanches along the way.

In his hotel room, Sean powered up his laptop and started looking for anything online about Serina Kovisko. He now had his own mission brief; to find out why she had been targeted for elimination.


Prompt 156: An abandoned shack in a wooded glade was the perfect resting place for the injured spy. The bullet had grazed his arm badly but not enough to warrant urgent attention. Sean Tanner just needed to rest overnight before seeking help. He found some bottled water in a cupboard and drank half of it in one long gulp. The bed didn’t look very comfortable so Tanner pulled up the rug and placed it on top before crashing exhausted onto it.

It had been a restless night but Tanner was glad to be up and about without too much discomfort. The shack had some tinned food in one of the cupboards but he couldn’t find a tin opener. He opened the shack door, placed two tins on the ground and pulled out his gun from his holster. Two shots later he had a breakfast of cold ham and beans.


Prompt 157: The sleeper train to Scotland was proving to be more eventful than Tanner had expected. A woman a few bunks down had woken everyone with a piercing scream in the early hours. Apparently, a drunk man mistook her bunk for his and he tried to clamber on top of her. Sean still had a few hours left to rest before his meeting with Major Burnsted of the newly formed Civil Protection Party. Tanner’s brief was to get close to the leader of the group and find out what he was planning. It could merely be that the group members were no more than a collection of misfits who met once a week to play at being bully-boy soldiers. On the other hand, Tanner had come across enough jumped up leaders over the years who turned out to be extremely dangerous both in thought and action. These types should never be underestimated.


Prompt 158: The small plane lay in shallow water just off the coral reef. When Tanner arrived he could see no-one was on board; the plane had suffered severe damage to one side and he was able to take a good look from his jet-ski. Sean had already checked for people and belongings in the water on his approach but he was at a loss; there should have been things in the water around the plane. He began to suspect that the passengers and other items may have been removed by locals who were loyal to Dwight Hershaw the owner of the island. Tanner didn’t know if anyone had survived the crash but if they had, he needed to find them quickly; he had to recover the stolen hard drive before it was sold to the highest bidder. Hopefully, Dwight hadn’t got his hands on the drive; he would be more than capable of using the data to construct a weaponised satellite.


Prompt 159: Sean Tanner was briefed about a team of private entrepreneurs who came into possession of a hoard of NASA photos of the moon that had not been airbrushed. A scientist passed away two years previously and his daughter found the photos in a metal tin. Since then the photographs had been studied by leading European scientists who declared that the moon had been occupied in the past and was most likely currently occupied by non-terrestrials.

The photos had clearly shown towers, bridges, domes, abandoned bases, mining equipment and activity that was current at the time in the late 1960s and early ’70s. A team had been put together after a year-long race between leading private organisations all over Europe. Tanner had been requested to join the team to revisit the moon using a new type of re-useable spaceplane that was fitted with a prototype nuclear propulsion system.


Prompt 160: Tanner's phone rang. He was dreading answering it, but he knew he had to. Minott was seriously ill in hospital with pneumonia and not expected to last the night. Antibiotics had not worked and apart from draining fluid away from his lungs, there was nothing else the doctors could do for him except make him comfortable in his final hours.

Sean answered. “OK, I'll be right over”. He switched his phone off and got into his sports car. The engine purred then roared as he put his foot down. Ten minutes later he was at the hospital and saw Minott's secretary waiting for him outside the front entrance.

“Amanda, take my jacket, you look frozen,” Tanner said, wrapping it around her.

“Thanks. I'm glad you're here,” she said, her eyes filled with tears.

She had stayed overnight by Minott's bedside holding his hand until it was obvious that she needed to call his closest colleagues. They would have the chance to say their goodbyes to their boss for the last time. Tanner guided her into Minott's room and they joined the other agents and workers who counted Steve Minott as both an employer and a dear friend.

Sean Tanner was not often moved to tears, but leaving the hospital he wiped the last of them away. It had felt like someone had plunged a dagger into his throat; every time he swallowed it hurt. Devastated, he got into his car and drove.

He seemed to have travelled nearly a hundred miles before he became aware of his surroundings. He could make out the familiar farm buildings and the quaint church in the twilight. Subconsciously he had driven himself to 'Dark Stream' the safe-house he used when he needed to remove himself from the fray. He supposed now he was here, he just as well set up a temporary headquarters of his own. He needed some time to himself. He couldn't face talking at the moment. It would be like clawing at an open wound; Minott's death had hit him hard, harder than he thought it would. He didn't want anyone seeing him in this lessened state. He was vulnerable and weak. Open to attack from anybody who was intent on revenge, and Tanner had a long list of people who would fit the bill.

Sean set up his laptop on the desk and connected it to the internet and printer. A message flashed up straight away. He opened it and quickly read it. Minott’s replacement had been found and was already sitting in his office. Sarah Serking was calling for a meeting to be held on Monday morning. All operatives were to attend for new assignments and training.

He was expected. But he wasn’t going. How could he face dealing with new management when Minott’s funeral hadn’t been arranged. The poor man was barely cold.

Tanner picked up the phone and started writing a text.


Prompt 161: Sean Tanner checked his compass. The cabin was south-west about seven miles into the forest. The remote location was proving very effective cover for the terrorist cell. So far attempts to destroy the cabin had failed due to the densely planted trees. The black budget was now a little lighter due to the recent loss of an experimental drone that impacted high above the cabin and put the cell on high alert. This was going to make Tanner’s job a lot harder and for once he was apprehensive. The area surrounding the cabin was likely to be booby-trapped so he was going to have to tread very carefully.


Prompt 162: Sean Tanner drove to Hiltgate House with his previous mission still on his mind. Although everyone said it wasn't his fault that Victor Sparks was killed and he should rest up over Christmas and forget about the mission, he still had loose ends that needed tying.


Prompt 163: Lying on the flat roof of a delicatessen Sean Tanner could get a good view of the warehouse a quarter of a mile away in the distance. There hadn't been much activity yet but the night was still young. The two prototype missiles were expected to be delivered sometime in the next two days. Sean came well prepared with supplies and a small tent. Luckily it wasn't windy, he wasn't sure if the tent could withstand a strong gust of wind without being staked into the ground. He didn't want to end up in a mangled heap three stories below.


Prompt 164: Six years ago Sean Tanner had crossed swords with Paul Delonge and only just escaped with his life. The crime baron was now out of prison and word on the street was that Sean was well and truly in his sights. Entering the logistics centre in Manchester, Tanner was met by Greg Marsdon who briefed him on the intelligence they had on Delonge and his associates.


Prompt 165: The small passenger jet was mainly filled with German tourists. Sean opened his phone and pressed an icon on the screen to eject the small keyboard that was housed inside. He quickly typed in his access code to obtain a secure link to HQ. He held up his phone and scanned one of the passengers sitting two rows forward to his left. HQ matched the man's face from a database of known international criminals and terrorists. The screen flashed the name Franchesco Draco. Sean had not heard of him before but from his file, it looked like he was their man. Tanner's brief was to stay close once they landed but not to make it too obvious that he was following him. That was the plan until the man got out of his seat about half an hour later and held a plastic gun to the flight attendant's head. Sean Tanner was used to such situations but that didn't stop the lurching feeling in his stomach. He would need a few seconds to steady himself before acting. He needed time to read the situation, it was no good wading in and ending up with a hole in the plane or worse still, a hole in the flight attendant or one of the passengers.


Prompt 166: Sean Tanner got into the boiler suit and packed a bag with suitable work tools. He wasn't quite sure about every tool a plumber would need but it looked convincing enough. HQ had provided him with a suitable van which he was to collect from a multi-storey car park down the street. The van looked just like any other white van on the road but it did have a few modifications. He looked at his watch, it was ten minutes past three. The schools would be turning children out onto the streets within minutes so he set off and switched on the detector to wide sweep the immediate area. After twenty minutes circling, he was sure that the tip-off must have been wrong. Suddenly a flash momentarily blinded Tanner. He stopped the van to clear his eyes but when he tried looking around he found his vision was still impaired. He fumbled for his phone but couldn't see the display properly. The van door opened and Tanner was dragged out.


Prompt 167: A fly fishing holiday had refreshed Sean enough to ease him back into work. His broken bones were mended and physically he was as good as new. However, those who knew Sean Tanner well enough saw a change in him. The trauma he'd suffered during his imprisonment had left psychological scars that would take longer to heal. HQ took things slowly with him. To begin with, they insisted on retraining missions and virtual assignments until they could gauge his mental fitness for active duty in the field.


Prompt 168: A letter had arrived in the post the day before that had shaken Sean Tanner's world. A female acquaintance had written to tell him he was a father to a one-year-old son.


Prompt 169: Sean Tanner checked his equipment one last time. He was the lone occupant in the back of the army transporter plane. A Jeep was to be pushed out first with him following shortly after. The pilot had a remote control switch for the Jeep and Sean was meant to jump out thirty seconds later. He had a locator on him in case he couldn't find the Jeep but that was the least of his worries; he didn't relish the thought of being bashed in the head by a three-ton vehicle.


Prompt 170: Deep in an underground bunker, Sean Tanner and other agents are briefed on the situation that had arisen overnight. A small nuclear missile was mistakenly fired by one of our allies and had to be destroyed by British fighter planes. There was some fallout over a small area in the North of England. Britain was immediately put on heightened alert due to the possibility of another country using this incident to their advantage.


Prompt 171: Tanner lay flat on his back embedded in the muddy riverbank. He was not sure how he had survived but he was definitely alive. Being thrown out of a plane at three-thousand feet should have killed him instantly, but he remembered the saying "falling in shit and coming up smelling of roses". He slowly sat up with every nerve in his body screaming from the fall. He was not only alive, but nothing was broken.


Prompt 172: Sean Tanner was beginning to believe that the day must have been cursed. In the morning he had managed to lose an automatic pistol during a fight with a local gang that led to the police being brought in to recover the firearm. Now he was handcuffed to a pole in a sewer somewhere under the streets of London. He remembered watching the local weather report that morning which reported the high chance of flash flooding. It was not often that he was out of ideas but today was a rare exception.


Prompt 173: A laboratory in east London was flagging up on HQ's computer surveillance system. Purchases online were so out of the ordinary that the system ran a model of possible uses for the biological materials that were bought. Sean Tanner was assigned a tactical team to enter the laboratory after dark to check for possible ethical breaches.


Prompt 174: They were being driven to a secret base somewhere in the mountains. The windows were covered with black duck tape but Sean could make out some landmarks through the gaps. The other members of his team were not faring too well. Smithy had a bullet wound in his right shoulder and was losing blood fast. Collins didn't look good at all; he had been hit in the stomach and Sean was not sure if he was going to make it. The new recruits were pretty much unscathed, but they looked like they were both going into shock. Tanner thought it was a mistake to send them into the fray with only eight weeks of training. Minott would never have allowed it.


Prompt 175: Sean Tanner punched the wall then cradled his bloodied hand with the other. What were they thinking of to leave Susan Milligan there as bait? How was he going to find her now? She could be anywhere in the country. The jet probably had enough fuel to reach North Africa and he figured by nightfall she could be in the hands of white slave traders. He kicked the waste bin across the room and then sat down at the bedside table. His laptop was charging so he opened it and signed in to HQ's mainframe. He'd need to calm down and use his head if he was going to be of any use.


Prompt 176: Targeting the speedboat was proving to be very tricky. Sean had a rifle but he needed to steer his boat as well. It looks a lot easier in films he thought to himself. Claiton DeMorgan was frantically weaving from left to right in a bid to escape. Tanner decided to head toward him at full speed to take out his boat. Tanner's speedboat was within feet of DeMorgan's when DeMorgan turned around pointing a flare gun. Tanner dived overboard and from underwater, he could hear his boat explode. He waited underwater until the fire burnt itself out and then surfaced. DeMorgan was nowhere to be seen.


Prompt 177: Revisiting Don Brandenberg & Suzy - character development.

Link to the original idea.

https://creativeblockbuster.blogspot.com/2018/09/to-get-you-in-mood-for-sci-fi-fest-ive.html

It's the second story and contains material only suitable for Ages 16+


Dressed in a long green trench coat and trilby hat, Don Brandenberg walked through the pouring rain towards Suzy’s apartment. The streets were deserted apart from the few taxis that were still flying. Suzy wouldn’t mind him calling this late as he was in London for a few days and she would scold him if he didn’t come straight over. He arrived at her building and was greeted by Bob on the front desk.

“Good morning to you Mr Brandenberg. Are you in London for long?”

“Just a few days Bob, but it’s nice to be back.”

“I’m sure Suzy will be glad to see you, she talks about you all the time!”

“Only good things I hope?”

“Oh, she’s smitten, hasn’t got a bad word to say about you.”

“You take care Bob, you’ve got your vacation soon haven’t you?”

“I sure have, I’m looking forward to it. Next month the wife and I will be lying in the sun in the Caribbean.”

Don clapped Bob on the shoulder. “You deserve it, enjoy every moment, all my best to Alice, send her my love.”

“I will Mr Brandenberg.”

Don climbed the stairs to Suzy’s apartment which was on the second floor. He had a pass key so went straight in.

He could hear Suzy stirring in the bedroom.

“Is that you Don?”

“Yes, I know it’s late but I thought you’d want me to come straight over.”

Suzy came out of the bedroom looking bleary-eyed. “Of course I would want you to come here to see me first. I love you, Don Brandenberg, you’re my man. I’ve been counting down the days all month. I hate it when you’re on assignment. I know you’ve got an important job to do and you’re one of the best detectives in the country, but I need my time with you too. I hate sharing you.” She wrapped herself around him and breathed him in. “You’re mine now for how many days?”

“Two, maybe three at the most.”

“Then I’m going to get my fill Don Brandenberg. I’m going to wear you out so you won’t be able to go back to work!” she joked.

Don lay in bed with Suzy fast asleep next to him, he didn’t want to move his arm which was draped across her for fear of waking her. The early morning sunlight was shining on them both and he felt at home. Suzy Cross was the daughter of wealthy parents originally from America who moved to London almost thirty years ago. Suzy had only known life in London; her parents didn’t go back to America with her for visits or holidays and they had no living relatives left there. They made Britain their home and fitted in well with the wealthy upper echelon. Suzy’s father Hugo Cross was well equipped with a background in finance and slipped straight into the London financial sector eventually becoming CEO of Darlington Finance, a leading provider of multiple financial services. Suzy’s mother Fran, was a well-known fashion photographer in America and carried on her career when they moved to London. Now in their late sixties and semi-retired, they were both spending more time helping out with charitable causes. Don had met them both on a number of occasions and they both seemed to accept him as a suitable choice of 'boyfriend' for Suzy.


ALL NEW MATERIAL

Prompt 1: Cedric Bosh checked his shirt. It was covered in blood splatter. He threw his handgun down the nearest drain and got into his car. He hadn’t intended to shoot his tormentor, he had only intended to frighten him off. However, seeing his smirking face set something off inside that must of lay dormant; the months of torment Raymond Baker had unleashed was enough to make the calmest person snap.


Prompt 2: The dark alley was becoming a regular resting place for her. She wasn’t on view and open to all sorts of abuse from the other homeless people on the streets or from drinkers on their way home who liked nothing better than kicking a 'homeless bum' for fun. At least she could sleep soundly in the alley with the narrow walls affording her some protection from the elements.


Prompt 3: The two girls watch a figure slowly emerge from the sea and walk up the beach towards them.


Prompt 4: Working in the flower shop was proving to be therapeutic for her. The troubles of the previous year were starting to soften in her memory. She was beginning to make friends and get her life back on track but she still had a niggling feeling that something wasn’t right.


Prompt 5: His destiny lay in his hand. He blew on his closed fist and threw the dice down the table.


Prompt 6: A housemaid is led away from a stately home by police surrounded by a crowd of villagers who cry out “Thief!”. What has she stolen and why did she do it?


Prompt 7: At a boarding house in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century a young artist is struggling to pay his way. A couple of unscrupulous villains take him under their wing with the promise of great riches.


Prompt 8: A tall tree is felled for use as a mast on a great ship that is being built. Write a story that follows the tree from the forest to the dry dock and then out to sea.


Prompt 9: The maiden flight of a new aircraft encounters difficulty.


Prompt 10: You are shocked to hear that your ex-neighbour has passed away. You are even more shocked to find that you are the sole beneficiary in her will despite the fact she could have left her fortune to close members of her own family.


Prompt 11: A New Year’s Eve party ends on a sad note.


Prompt 12: The last train of the night breaks down after travelling just half a mile. You and the other passengers walk back to the train station to wait for the morning train. The small café is opened up by the railway staff and they start to serve hot drinks and sandwiches. It’s going to be a long night, but it isn’t long before the café stove begins heating up and someone starts a sing-song.


Prompt 13: You take a day off work to go fishing but witness a brutal attack on a young woman by a thug. The thug looks your way and starts walking towards you.


Prompt 14: Having won an award for your first novel you are invited to an award ceremony in London. The only problem is you suffer from acrophobia.


Prompt 15: You settle down on your sofa with a mug of coffee and a book to read. The weather is damp and cold outside and you have a crackling fire going. Suddenly the phone rings which disturbs your relaxation. Your mother has left your father and wants you to pick her up at the train station.


Prompt 16: The mist rolls onto the moor from the calm river. A one-armed man walks his dog towards a small white-washed cottage. The man is worried about his children. They are about to start work at the mill aged only 6 and 7 years old. He lost his arm in an accident at a watermill in the past, but now the industrial revolution is in full swing and news of terrible accidents involving young children are abound. He and his wife have no choice but to send their two children to the local mill. They are poor and can hardly feed themselves. He cannot work because of his injury but is worried sick at the thought of his precious boy and girl being injured like he was.

Exercise: Research the Industrial Revolution and complete the story of the two children having to go to work at such a young age to help support their family.


Prompt 17: Hundreds of miles of countryside lay before him, but that and his injuries from the battle weren’t going to stop him reaching home and his darling Laura. The war was now over and he had dumped his musket days before. His heart ached to feel the warmth of her body against him and to lie with her. That was what had kept his spirits just high enough to get him through the bloody battles he’d fought, but now he had to reach her, it was going to take every ounce of his remaining strength.

Exercise: Research about the English Civil War. Continue the story of the man’s journey home to return to his wife.


Prompt 18: The sun disappeared behind the distant hills and the clouds took on the appearance of flames in the sky. The spectacle lasted twenty minutes. All this time he sat in an old rocking chair smoking a clay pipe. The stream babbled before him and he was at one with nature. His woman came out to hand him a tankard of ale and sat down beside him on a bench. The man drank his ale and turned to his woman to speak but was suddenly struck by a sharp pain in his head. He closed his eyes and slumped forward onto the veranda. All was dark. An hour passed and he was now in his bed with neighbours and his woman gathered around the bed as if he was about to expire any minute. He told them he was quite well, but he wasn’t telling the truth. He was suffering a strange optical abnormality, he could see different things out of each eye; if he closed his left eye everything was normal it was what he was expecting to see – his familiar view. However, if he closed his right eye and looked through his left eye, he saw something completely different. He found it hard to comprehend, but it was definitely not his homestead.

Exercise: Think of things he could be seeing, choose your favourite and continue the story.


Prompt 19: Friends over from America joined the folk musicians in the small public house to blend their not so dissimilar music styles and a wonderful evening was had by all. Evelynne Kelly linked arms with her oldest friend Michael Murphy and they walked back to her place. Michael was over for a few weeks from New York where he had now made a life for himself. She was lost for many years when he decided to leave Ireland, but she eventually got used to the idea of her best friend and potential husband leaving her life for better prospects abroad. She had no choice but to forget about the idea of them ever getting together. He had never shown any sign that he was interested in her in that way and it seemed he was happy to let their friendship remain as it was.

Now that he was in the same room with her, face to face, she couldn’t suppress the latent feelings she had buried so deep. The excitement she had felt all those years ago was beginning to surface again. She hoped she wasn’t giving herself away by her exuberance, she couldn’t help herself, she was just so delighted to see him.


Prompt 20: The sailing ship came into port and its cargo was off-loaded onto the quayside. Denver King showed his import slip to the Harbour Master and they both searched for his crate. The Harbour Master found it and opened it up with a crowbar. Inside surrounded by straw was the most incredible Chinese porcelain vase. The two of them looked at each other, both realising the item didn’t match the one that was expected. The import slip clearly stated that the crate should contain a ship’s compass and not a vase. This mix up was to lead to an exciting adventure for Denver king that would take him across two continents and on numerous occasions nearly cost him his life.


Prompt 21: A retirement cabin at White Gull Bay turns out to be very traumatic for a quiet couple. They inadvertently upset a local gang member and suffer the consequences.


Prompt 22: A broken arm meant your job as a factory machine operator was given to someone else while you recovered. You were put in the office to work as an additional receptionist. This move started a chain of events that shut down the whole factory when workers called for a strike.


Prompt 23: A homeless woman turns up at your workplace and claims to be your mother. You attended your mother’s funeral twenty years ago after you were called back from Canada.


Prompt 24: After being struck by a lorry and hospitalised you realise you made a mistake divorcing your wife.


Prompt 25: After years of charity work you are invited to a special tea party at Buckingham Palace.


Prompt 26: Hitching across America you are picked up by a handsome young businessman in a convertible.


Prompt 27: All your local children’s services are cut to the bone. Playgroups are hit especially badly leaving only a leaky wooden community centre available for under-fives. You are so angry about this that you decide to take action.


Prompt 28: Your favourite band are coming to a large town near you. You have a ticket but no way to get there. A friend offers to lend you his motorcycle. You have no insurance. Do you take a chance? If so what are the consequences?


Prompt 29: A strange submersible is washed up on your local beach. Authorities quickly visit the beach and set up a cordon around the mystery machine.


Prompt 30: At lunch, with a friend, you are told that she wants to end the friendship. You are in shock. You have been friends since school. You ask her why, but she is unwilling to explain her actions. You contact her sister so she can help with an explanation.


Prompt 31: You are invited to a party together with fellow workers from your factory. You suffer from Anxiety but are determined to attend.


Prompt 32: The pressure of your university course is becoming too much for you to cope with. You don’t know where to go for help as you can’t talk to your family. Eventually, you can’t take it anymore and you go missing. Write about what happens next.


Prompt 33: You are the Mayor of a small town. A woman has gone to the press with a made-up story about your private life.


Prompt 34: An eccentric Neighbour likes to set up camp in his garden during the summer. He erects a tent and has a campfire every evening throughout the warmer months. You didn’t mind the first year this happened but it’s now the fourth year of this ritual and you’ve had enough!


Prompt 35: From a European satellite in space, a heat signature from a fiord is detected. The shape suggests a sunken craft of non-terrestrial nature. Lead a team of scientists and European Space Agency staff on a reconnaissance mission to discover the true nature of this anomaly.


Prompt 36: Your long term boyfriend suddenly breaks up with you over the phone. You want to speak to him in person to find out the reasons behind his decision. However, when you go over to his flat there is a police officer guarding his door. He asks you who you are and then goes on to inform you that your boyfriend has committed suicide. You spend the next two months piecing together the events leading up to this tragic event.


Prompt 37: A tram journey leads to a new friendship when you find a lost purse.


Prompt 38: At the end of a rainbow you find a beautiful young lady. However, the sky suddenly darkens and before you stands?


Prompt 39: You are a fearless knight ready and willing to prove yourself worthy to marry a fair lady. A rich merchant has three daughters who are renowned for their beauty and quick-witted minds. The merchant sets you a most unusual task that will test not only your strength and courage but also your guile.


Prompt 40: A new spacecraft needs testing by a seasoned astronaut. You are chosen to take a small team into the unknown as this craft can travel so fast it is able to leave our known universe and reach beyond. Will you enter a neighbouring universe or a parallel universe similar to our own?


Prompt 41: Somewhere in Antarctica a borehole is drilled deeper than ever before tried. After months of drilling, scientists hit a large pocket and decide to send down a camera attached to an all-terrain drone. The drone is lowered down the borehole attached to miles of high tensile steel cable. This operation takes days until finally the drone can be released from the cable to explore the cavity using onboard Artificial Intelligence to make sense of what it sees. Pictures soon start appearing on giant monitors placed around the borehole. A technician fine-tunes the display and everyone gasps at what they see.


Prompt 42: You are brought in to help with the investigation into the murders of a teacher and her daughter. They disappeared two days before Christmas and were found after the New Year celebrations washed up on a small beach in Devon.


Prompt 43: You are swept out to sea on an inflatable lilo. After spending eight hours surrounded by water you spot a small island in the distance. You paddle with all your remaining strength and land on an exotic sandy beach. The island looks nothing like the British coastline you left eight hours before. If you’re no longer near Britain then where have you ended up?


Prompt 44: Severe sandstorms in the Sahara Desert uncover a buried city.


Prompt 45: Your daughter commits suicide after regular visits to a website that offers encouragement to troubled teenagers. You find out that she was encouraged to end her life by 'Trolls' running the site. You join the site as a volunteer, but instead of encouraging young people to end their lives, you secretly encourage them to find something to live for.


Prompt 46: Your first son is born. The hospital where you are staying is having to turn away strangers bearing gifts for your baby.


Prompt 47: A school trip to a safari park nearly ends in disaster when one of your problem pupils goes missing.


Prompt 48: Your ex-husband contacts you after seven years living with his 'girlfriend'. He says their relationship is over and he would like to come home to you.


Prompt 49: You are a new employee at a bank. After working there for three months you realise that a bank robbery is being planned by two of the bank’s employees who are working on the inside.


Prompt 50: Your best male friend suddenly passes away. After the funeral people start to talk about him. It seems he had a side to him that you never knew about.


Prompt 51: A new airline company has set up in Britain offering short haul flights. The first day of business ended badly when all their planes were grounded due to mechanical problems. The newspapers had a field day. You are a public relations guru brought in to hold a press meeting. Can you convince the media that the airline company can get back on their feet and deliver the service they promised?


Prompt 52: (A Sean Tanner adventure). Brandy got into her wetsuit. The fine weather was not going to last so she had a tight deadline. The wreck of the Jupiter lay about a quarter of a mile from the beach so she didn’t need a boat. She checked her equipment one last time and set off towards the sea. HQ had given her a locator to find the ship in the murky water. It wasn’t going to be easy finding Tanner once she got there though. It didn’t help he had dropped his communicator when the ship rolled over. She knew he had enough air for the rest of the day; the boat was now stable and no high winds were predicted until later in the week. Sean Tanner was locked in the engine room and she presumed his captors had all perished when the ship capsized. She entered the water and tested her cylinders were working. She then made sure her small cutting tool was to hand, she’d need it to open the engine room door to free her colleague. HQ had promised a full backup team would arrive by 10.00am but they didn’t come, so she had no choice but to attempt the rescue on her own.


Prompt 53: The scariest theme park ride to ever be conceived is about to be opened at a disused coal mine in Wales. Testers have reported disturbing side effects lasting weeks after going on the ride. You are the safety officer employed by the theme park and are at loggerheads with the owner over the side effects the ride produces. The owner wants to go ahead regardless but you want to postpone the opening and try to figure out what is causing these problems.


Prompt 54: Men are planning to come back. Last time they were here they tried drilling into the structure of our world, when that didn’t work they set off charges. Then they crashed one of their craft into our home. We politely warned them last time to stay away but now we have learned they have plans to set up their own bases. If that happens it won’t be long before they start mining operations and then begin to send up their kin to live on our surface.


Prompt 55: The latest cargo shipment of waste plastic on its way to the Sun for incineration, experiences problem after problem and the crew on board are starting to think that this latest mission is cursed.


Prompt 56: Carlton De Morgan head of Earth evacuation sits at the head of the board meeting table. Leaders from across the globe wait patiently to hear the quotas for their countries. He takes a deep breath as he knows they are not going to like what he has to say.


Prompt 57: Molly sits looking across to the meadow. If only she could crawl in the long grass and look at the pretty wildflowers. Music emanates from the cottage behind her. Her daddy has picked up his fiddle, the first time in ages.


Prompt 58: A land speed record attempt goes horribly wrong. The wreckage of the vehicle is spread across an area about a mile in radius but there is no sign of your son who was driving. You set out to find what happened to him. Is there a chance that he escaped alive?


Prompt 59: The pleasure barge drifted slowly in space. The captain lay slumped over the control panel on the flight deck. His crew were missing and the passengers were partying in the main lounge oblivious to their predicament; there was nobody on board who knew how to pilot the spacecraft.


Prompt 60: A private company wants to start trips to the Moon. NASA contacts them with a warning.


Flash fiction exercises:

Prompt 62: Write about a relationship breakup and the outcome in no more than 500 words.


Prompt 63: Write about a ferry crossing in bad weather in no more than 1000 words.


Prompt 64: Write about your first trip to the dentist in exactly 400 words.


Prompt 65: Research and write about “Foo Fighters” (not the band!) use no more than 1500 words – this could be a story set in World War 2, or it could be a factual piece examining the phenomenon.


Prompt 66: Write a brief story in less than 300 words detailing a day in the life of an unemployed person.


Prompt 67: You are the leader of a mountain rescue team. You are based in Scotland. A college group are known to be climbing a nearby mountain and a report has come in that there has been an avalanche in the area. Gather all you need to lead a search and rescue. Your finished account must be written in no more than 800 words.


Prompt 68: One of the UK’s leading banks ceases trading which leads to a financial meltdown with other banks closing soon after. Write about life in the months to follow the breakdown of the financial sector in the UK. Your story should be no more than 1000 words.


Prompt 69: You are taken into care by social services. Write an account of what happened and how your life has changed. Use no more than 1000 words.


Prompt 70: Your father wants you to join a youth football team in your town like he did when he was a teenager. You are not keen on sports. Can you convince your father that you’d rather pursue other interests? Write him a letter as he won’t listen when you talk to him face to face. Make your letter no more than 200 words long.


Prompt 71: You live in a large country house with your parents and a brother and sister. It is the end of the 1960s. Your parents are finding it difficult managing the house and gardens financially. They decide to open up the house and gardens to the public. This will increase their earnings and go towards the upkeep of the property. Write about the impact this decision is having on you and your siblings. Please use no more than 800 words.


Prompt 72: A robot has been developed that is so smart that it has some leading scientists worried. Could a machine outsmart its creators and leave us evolutionary behind? Write an essay that examines the possible outcomes of us creating such machines. Please write no more than 1500 words.


Prompt 73: Imagine you are sat around an open fire in a roundhouse. All the children in your settlement are gathered around with you. You are the village storyteller. Can you conjure up a story for the children using less than 500 words?