We’re closing out our warehouse of story prompts today, running all the way up to 26, that sweet Heinlein number. There’s some Horror, SciFi, Fantasy, and even a sports story. See anything you like?
19. A teenaged girl stumbles upon a curious Youtube channel that seems to be chronicling another young woman’s life. The Youtube-Girl seems funny, adventurous, an addictively charming host, but as the videos proceed, we discover she’s also a werewolf, and the channel is documenting her coming to terms with her impulses. Our teen protagonist is smitten with the wolf-girl, and horrified when the latest videos reveal she’s being hunted by paranormal poachers. Soon our teen has to study the videos and internet records to find out where this werewolf is – if not to confess their starcrossed love, then to save her life.
20. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Every full moon, she turns into a monstrous werewolf, stalking and eating innocent people. Worse, the morning after every full moon she finds videos her wolf-self has recorded, taunting her with what she’s done. She’s tried baptisms, locking herself in basements, even suicide, but nothing stops the monster from rising again in the full moon, and the next morning she awakes alive and free, and with a new video on her laptop. Unable to directly stop her other self, she has to become craftier. By creating fake ISPs and web accounts, she hopes to troll her other self in comments and video responses, derailing her from carnage. Can you manipulate a werewolf’s ego? She’ll have to, because if the videos are right, her family is going to get a visit soon.
21. A U.S. marine races with his detail to deactivate a bomb that will devastate a small Afghani town. His detail, including the two bomb disposal experts, are killed in an ambush by terrorists. Though the terrorists are also slain, there’s no way he can stop the explosion. He has less than an hour to convince the town, where no one speaks English and many are terrified of the foreigners who’ve brought bloodshed to their doorsteps, to evacuate and save their lives.
22. Due to flagging Pay Per View ratings, a boxer agrees to take on a professional wrestler in a real fight. The wrestler outweighs him by eighty pounds, but all analysts think the boxer is guaranteed to win, being a real fighter and all. They don’t know that the boxer’s entire career has been fixed – every fight he’s ever won was against an opponent paid to take a dive. The boxer panics when our wrestler refuses any bribes. Apparently he’s got something to prove.
23. Ten thousand years in the future, human beings return to the wasteland that was once Planet Earth. Its demise is shrouded in mystery. Every city is ashes, and not a single human corpse remains – on the surface, anyway. Off the coast of Europe, their scanners detect the ancient city of Atlantis, which seems almost pristine. Why is a city that was supposed to not exist the only relic of humanity that remains on earth? And is it uninhabited?
24. A meteor bigger than any our solar system has ever seen is on a crash course with our planet. There seems to be no way to stop it. Yet it also seems the meteor has an atmosphere, and though the front has terrifying weather, its western and southern hemispheres are more habitable than most of earth. A small family is divided in the same way that the population of earth is: half want to undertake the doomed mission to stop the meteor, where the other half want to undertake the doomed mission to hop aboard.
25. This is one I gave to Peter Newman last month: “I would very much appreciate a flash fiction about a unicorn that got itself stuck in a pencil sharpener and suffering panic attacks over how to dislodge the thing.”
26. This is one appeared on my blog last year: “Make me regret the death of a horrible person based on some relationship he/she had to a living character.
There’s my twenty-six. The last two came back to mind near the end, and so I included them last, but everything else was produced in about an hour on Monday. I’m not in a story-drought right now. Anyone who is, though, is welcome to use any of the above.
If you post the resulting story in a public forum, like your blog or selling it to a zine, please link me here so I can come read it. Go as far as you want – if one of these turns into a novel, it’s entirely yours, not mine. I’d love to know what anyone does with any of these.
And sorry about the lack of a hundred bucks.