My writing group’s favorite social activity has become Pint & Prompt. We science fiction and fantasy types meet at a local watering hole after work for a light meal and a beverage … not necessarily a pint but that ‘s my preference. After a bit of socializing, catching up on one another’s news, we select a prompt from a hat … all submissions are accepted.
The clock is set for five, seven or ten minutes. I’m always amazed at how many self-described unimaginative people generate interesting pieces. To those who have never tried or might be afraid to try this, I’d ask, “How did you learn to walk, swim, or ride a bike?”
Last week’s prompt was: “She appraised me, canted her head and shrugged apparently disappointed.” Ten minutes, GO!
“Take him down,” she said raising her eyebrows at the strapping blond fellow behind me.
“But I’m a, a, a sage,” I cried, dragging back on my chains.
“What’s a sage?” she laughed without looking back.
“A sage can tell you what’s going to happen. Help you with your plans.”
“Like a fortune teller? I have one of those already,” she said and asked the blond fellow to turn around.
“No, hmm, like your son’s running away.” She paused, raised a hand, and my chain slackened. I’d seen a youth’s breastplate and short sword discarded on the floor behind the dais. So I guessed.
“You know my son?”
“I do. A fine lad with great potential—but he needs the guiding hand of a sage.”
“Describe him to me.”
I looked at her and took a deep breath. “Handsome, raven hair, long-limbed, strong and impetuous. He’s rash and arrogant. He often angers you and his friends. He told me he embarrassed you in court and—”
“Stop. Bring him back.” She motioned to the gaoler then eyed me more closely. “Sage, your appearance is most unappealing, but your words ring true.”
“Thank you, your Highness.”
“You will instruct my son in the ways of manhood and good character. Is this within your ability?”
“Yes, oh yes, your Highness. It is what I do best.” I took my first even breath.
“I will be the judge of that. You have one week.”