20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas

Hello, friends! Last time, I shared 20 fantasy story ideas to get your brain moving. This time, it’s my pleasure to go from earth to space. It’s time for…*drum roll* sci-fi story ideas!

Need even more ideas? Check out our top 100 short story ideas for every genre here.

story ideas

Twenty Out of this World Story Ideas

Just so you know, these are “soft sci-fi” rather than “hard sci-fi,” which basically means they’re more focused on character than math and science. 

  1. Aliens who only communicate with sign language invade. To avoid war, our governments must engage a vastly marginalized portion of the human population: the hearing-impaired.
  2. rogue planet with strange properties collides with our sun, and after it’s all over, worldwide temperature falls forty degrees. Write from the perspective of a someone trying to keep his tropical fruit trees alive.
  3. Ever read about the world’s loneliest whale? Write a story in which he’s actually the survivor of an aquatic alien species which crashed here eons ago, and he’s trying very hard to learn the “local” whale language so he can fit in. Write from his perspective the first time he makes contact.
  4. An alien planet starts receiving bizarre audio transmissions from another world (spoiler: they’re from Earth). What does it mean? Are they under attack? Some think so…until classic rock ‘n’ roll hits the airwaves, and these aliens discover dancing. Write from the perspective of the teenaged alien who first figures it out.
  5. Take anything we find normal today (shopping malls, infomercials, products to remove facial hair, etc.) and write a story from the perspective of an archeologist five thousand years in the future who just unearthed this stuff, has NO idea what any of it was for, and has to give a speech in an hour explaining the historical/religious/sociological significance.
  6. Housecats are aliens who have succeeded in their plan to rule the world. Discuss.
  7. A highschooler from fifteen hundred years in our future is assigned a one-page writing project on a twenty-first century person’s life based entirely on TV commercials. Write the beginning of the essay.
  8. Timetravel works, but only once in a person’s life. Write from the perspective of someone who chooses to go back in time, knowing they can never return. Where do they go and why?
  9. So yeah, ancient Egypt really was “all that” after all, and the pyramids turn out to be fully functional spaceships (the limestone was to preserve the electronics hidden inside). Write from the perspective of the tourist who accidentally turns one on.
  10. The remarkable San people of South Africa are widely considered the most ancient race of human beings on the planet. Write a story in which their unique genetic structure has been preserved by the thousands-of-years-ago creation of nanobots.

More Sci-Fi Story Ideas

  1. Take this set of fascinating facts from Chinese history and write a story about the “fortune-teller” (translation: con-artist who knows science) who invented the compass before selling it to the explorer and mapmaker, Zheng He.
  2. Ten years from now, scientists figure out how to stop human aging and extend life indefinitely—but every time someone qualifies for that boost, someone else has to die to keep the surplus population in check. Oh, it’s all very humane; one’s descendants get a huge paycheck. Write from the perspective of someone who just got a letter in the mail saying they’re the one who has to die.
  3. In the future, neural implants translate music into physical pleasure, and earphones (“jacking in”) are now the drug of choice. Write either from the perspective of a music addict, OR the Sonforce agent (sonance + enforcer) who has the job of cracking down.
  4. It’s the year 5000. Our planet was wrecked in the great Crisis of 3500, and remaining human civilization survives only in a half dozen giant domed cities. There are two unbreakable rules: strict adherence to Life Quality (recycling doesn’t even begin to cover these laws), and a complete ban on reproduction (only the “worthy” are permitted to create new humans). Write from the perspective of a young woman who just discovered she’s been chosen to reproduce—but she has no interest in being a mother.
  5. In the nineteenth century, there’s a thriving trade in stolen archeological artifacts. Write a story from the perspective of an annoyed, minimum-wage employee whose job is traveling back in time to obtain otherwise unobtainable artifacts, then has to bring them back to the present (the 1800s, that is) and artificially age them before they will sell.
  6. Steampunk! Write a story from the perspective of a hot air balloon operator who caters to folks who like a little thrill… which means she spends half her time in the air shooting down pterodactyls before the paying customers get TOO scared.
  7. Human genetic modification has gone too far, and the biggest trend for teenagers is to BECOME their favorite fictional character. Describe the scene from a bored security guard’s point of view as he has to break up a fight between an anime character (I dare you to use Goku from Dragonball Z) and a Brony.
  8. It is the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868), and the practice of Sakoku is in full effect, completely closing off the country to Western influence. The reason, however, is not to eschew Western culture, but instead to protect the aliens that landed in the middle of Kyoto and are trying desperately to repair their ship and get home. Write from the perspective of one of the few remaining Samurai assigned to protect and keep these aliens a secret.
  9. Creation myth! Write from the perspective of a crazy scientist in the year 28,000 who, determined to discover how the universe began, rigs up a malfunctioning time machine, goes to the “beginning” of the universe, and ends up being the reason for the Big Bang. (Logic? Causal effect? Pfft. Hush, it’s time-travel, and that was never logical.)
  10. It turns out dinosaurs were completely sentient creatures, thank you very much, and most of them actually left the planet in their gigantic and REALLY WEIRD spaceship when they realized an asteroid was coming. They’ve decided that enough time has passed and the Earth has probably recovered by now, so today, at twelve noon, they’re coming home.

Do any of these short story ideas tickle your storytelling bones? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

It’s time to play with story ideas! Take fifteen minutes and develop one of these story ideas into at least one scene. Don’t edit yourself! Set your imagination free, then post your results in the comments. Don’t forget to leave feedback for other writers!

About Ruthanne Reid

Sci-fi/fantasy author Ruthanne Reid currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, though some say she really lives in her head. They'd be right. To see what she's all about (and snag free books), visit RuthanneReid.com or follow her on Twitter (@RuthanneReid).

  • S.Ramalingam

    Ideas No.12 and 14 impressed me more than the others.Allowing reproduction only to ‘worthy’ people means?… How to define them or how to create ‘worthy’ people?..perhaps it is left to the imagination of the writer? Anyhow it is a worthy idea.I like it.

    • Thanks for that feedback! I’ve always been fascinated (and frightened) whenever the scientific community leans toward eugenics of any kind. It’s happened before, and it probably will again.

      • 709writer

        Indeed. The idea that some people think it’s a good idea to “weed out” the bad genes is both scary and angering. All human life is precious – it’s ridiculous for people to try to play God and “perfect” the human race. We live in an imperfect world and we will only be made perfect through Jesus once we are in heaven with Him.

  • Christine

    My poor attempt at sci-fi:
    The planet Wondancia, five light years from earth, is inhabited by beings designed much like earthlings. But being so much more advanced in medical science, they’ve discovered how to restructure shoulders and armpits so as to accommodate an extra limb on each side. So at birth each baby on the planet Wondancia is fitted with an extra pair of arms. Needless to say, this comes in very handy.

    A century ago these creatures invented powerful telescopes and began searching the various solar systems for signs of life. They took note of a particular blue-and-green ball with a surrounding atmosphere and wondered if it might be a planet hospitable to life. They named it Kantazandy, which to them means “blue seas and green hills.”

    After some decades these people developed such powerful telescopes that they could actually see creatures moving around on Kantazandy. They took note of the fact that Kantazandians, though almost identical to them in shape and size, had only two arms each. What a handicap!

    After much discussion, they concluded that every one of the people of Kantazandy would probably be so grateful for an extra pair of arms. So they prepared a space ship with their most advanced scientists, medical men, and translation experts to visit this blue-green planet. This was hailed not only as a fact-finding mission, but as mission of mercy as well.

    Their ship landed in the south of France in 2019 and the aliens disembarked. News of their arrival thrilled the whole planet! And when the Wondancians understood that the Kantazandians were about to celebrate the year 2020, they thought it an opportune time to offer this new gift. Human beings — as the Kantazandians called themselves — were all thrilled at the prospect that each of them could be fitted for a new pair of arms. After all, everyone was wishing for a second pair of hands, weren’t they?

    Alas! The humans soon realized that all their fancy wardrobes, including fashion designer gowns and jackets that cost them the earth, would now be useless and would have to be tossed. So the humans drove the Wondancians back into their spaceship and forced them to leave the planet.

    “Ungrateful wretches,” the Wondancians muttered as they roared off into space. So much for foreign aid!

    • Haha! I LOVE it, Christine! And your “handy” pun just had me rolling. 🙂

      • Christine

        Glad I could give you your laugh of the day. And I’m sure you’ve wished for a second pair of hands at times, too. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. 🙂

    • Sana Damani

      This was so unexpected! I like stories that surprise me. I wonder if there’s meant to be some deeper message here about the fear of change even when it’s better for you…

      • Christine

        Glad you liked it. You may take a deeper meaning out of it as you wish, but I hadn’t thought of that one when I wrote it. Partly I like humor and partly I was poking a bit of fun at the human love of fashions, however impractical. But that’s it.

  • Annie

    14. Children. The government’s way of making sure the population is in check and picturesque. Although I should hate them with all my might, I adore children. Their cute round cheeks and their pudgy little hands, not to mention their innocent eyes and adorable smiles. Since only the worthy are allowed to reprodcue, children are all perfect looking, intelligent and talented. Any child who is not all of these things is immediately sent to the work camps to farm and eventually die of exhaustion or starvation. But, despite all of this, I love children.

    This single attribute would end up being my downfall. When I received the letter, tears sprung into my grey-blue eyes. I had been chosen as a Reproduction Agent. My worst fear had been realized and I had no way to stop the torrent of emotions that rained down at that single moment in time. As much as I loved children, never once had I considered becoming a mother. I hadn’t even thought it a possibility, as my Schoolteacher said that I was destined for a life as a Factory Worker. At least I had been prepared for that, but I had no idea what to do with the news I had just received.

    My mother kept reminding me that the government knew what it was doing and would never choose s Reproduction Agent who was not perfect for the job. Little did she know that my fear was exactly that. I was not fit to be a mother. I knew that I was less than perfect, having nearly been sent to work camps three times in my life. But most of all, I was afraid that my offspring would be as imperfect as me and have to be sent away. Of course, none of this mattered, because no one seemed to care what I thought about my new destiny.

    When I arrived at the Reproduction Center for my orientation, I could barely keep it together. Seeing all the happy faces and little babies made me want to cry because they reminded me that I could never be happy. I could never be happy with my soon-to-be children scattered to the winds. I could never be happy knowing that I could give a child life and then that life could just as easily be taken away.

    • Oh, wow, Annie! You knocked this out of the park. I really feel her struggle and her pain; great job expanding the world, too!

      • Annie

        Thanks! I plan on continuing with the story. I wanted to have the main character fall in love with her first child, breaking the first rule of Reproduction Agents. And then, her child is going to be deemed unfit to continue living and will be sent to a work camp. The rest of the story’s going to be an epic adventure of the protagonist trying to save her son. I’m really excited; thanks for the prompts!

    • Dina

      I love her emotions. This was sweet. I had no idea what to do with this option at all. Love the way you did it.

      • Annie

        Thanks!

    • 709writer

      I feel for the main character, the way she doesn’t want to be a mom because her kids will be taken away. Keep up the good work!

  • Dina

    Hello,
    … Sci Fi, ugh….
    Let’s try

    I was pacing. They were many thoughts racing through my head. I had to go, I had to, I just had to.
    My mother’s face flashed on abrubtly from the holigram monitor. News time, everyday at 6 o’clock pm it came on and everyday at that exact time everyone stopped their bustle, where ever they were and turned their attentions to the fleet of scientist whose images floated in front and around them. I stopped my pacing abrubtly as well, to my dismay. It was a reflex action of pure habit. Even if one of the lead scientist, Ilinora Estrava, was my mother.
    My nerves were on a high. Today was the day they would announce their plan of action. They had been reported attacks. Some people said it was the Venire people. Of course, they were blamed for everything. Their ancestors had been the first alien species to land on the earth, as refugees in the year 2967. Most of them died on landing, then from failure to adapt to life here. What had saved them was the fact that they were so innocent, like adult children. At least that’s what the history books say. But the Venire didn’t remain as such. Life on Earth 2 would do that to any one. Even our children weren’t innocent. You needed tact and above average intelligence to survive in this mechanised and metallic world. They had revolted, they didn’t want to remain our slaves, pets…
    Our labrats.
    I gulped waiting. My mother didn’t share her plans with me. She hadn’t visited in a while. I knew what everyone else knew.
    That in a month or two the leaders of Earth 2, the scientist would either release LI432 an airborne disease engineered specifically to kill anyone with even a hint of venire genes into the earth 1 atmosphere or not.
    The leaders of the revolting Venire, Morda and Kaius lazered an entrance through our thick metal walls. Walls that kept them and the outside world, Earth 1, separated from us. No one knew why, no one wanted to.
    ” In exactly two days” came my mother’s voice, fluid and unemotional, “LI432 will be introduced into Earth1’s atmosphere in response to Venire’s act of war. All remaining Venire if found guilty of treason will be executed.
    I was still. I knew it was coming but to hear it. Shereeva. She had been arrested too. My mother’s favourite pet. She had offspring in Earth 1 whose genes my mother hadn’t found nearly as fascinating as Shereeva’s.
    I snapped out of my standing coma and pulled on my jacket and the escape bag that I had packed, when I still trying to convince myself of what I needed to do.
    The trying to convince was over. I was out the door. Running on our dimly lit streets. The elistest district on which I lived much later curfew than everyone else but I still had less than 45 mins to get to “the other side”, break in ( Illinora’s daughter or not) and jump start the obsolete time machine. An antique, a thing once used onlynfor prisoners on death row. No one wanted to go back. Why would they. To go back was death in itself and worse. The trip alone could cause mental disintegration if it didn’t kill you first but I had too. I was my mother’s daughter. I was above sure I could rig it right. I didn’t jave any other choice. There was no arguing with the leaders. That disease would be released. There was no way to stop it unless I went back to the very beginning and stopped them (Morda and Kaius) from ever breaching the wall. However I had too and if I died in the process than that was better than living knowing that the people that you lived would die. This was for Shereeva, for the stories she would tell me of her children’s birth when I couldn’t sleep at night. Even hd been prodded , poked, experimented on and taken from her family. She still managed to show me love. The daughter of the woman who was responsible for it all. I had to try.
    I had to go.

    • Oh, very nicely done! Definitely unexpected twists there. You may not like sci-fi much, but I’d say you’re doing a great job with it. This sounds like something you could continue.

    • 709writer

      Cool start for a sci-fi story. Keep up the good work!

  • Dina

    Oh and thanks for the prompts. It’s really to come up with ideas for stories, at least for me. You’re prompts help. Thanks.

    • I’m so glad to hear it, Dina! It’s tons of fun to hand them out. 🙂 I’m really glad it helps!

  • Christine

    Thanks. As you can guess, I don’t do sci-fi. Humor trumps any other genre in my books. 🙂

  • Gary G Little

    Can ye guess which one laddie, or lassie?

    It started with a slight click, followed by “Oops,” and a very brief, very bright flash.

    “What did you do!?”

    “Nothin’, I didn’t do nothin’.”

    “Well, something just happened!”

    “I know. But it wasn’t nothing I did. Hell, we sound like Krauss, Something from Nothing.”

    “Yeah, well, check the setup.”

    “What the …”

    “What? And if you tell me ‘nothing’ I swear I’ll shove that table up …”

    “No … it’s gone.”

    “What’s gone?”

    “The experiment.”

    “I checked it not a minute ago. It can’t be gone,” that was followed by a “zzzt!” and “Damn!”

    “What?”

    “Static. Walked across the carpet and touched the table.”

    “Uh oh.”

    “What!?!?”

    “That’s what I did. I walked across the carpet, and touched the framework holding the experiment.”

    “Damn it … What’s the potential in a static discharge?”

    “Not sure, ten maybe twenty thousand volts.”

    “Ahh man … Our setup was calibrated for eight thousand volts!”

    “Holy crap. Was the recorder running!?”

    “Yeah, thank goodness, yes it was. Let me reload the file. You ready?”

    “Yeah, put it on the high def display, and slow it down.”

    “There, that’s me, walking, I reach for the frame … there, there’s the arc. Jeez, must be over fifteen thousand volts, damn … Look at the overhead shot … Wow, the plates are moving …”

    “Look at that … That’s the click we heard … The plates making contact … My god … Magnify … Look at that … A bubble, incredibly small, what …”

    “The flash …”

    “Quick, run the data through the Inverse Fractal Transform function … get the times and convert’m to Planck … Wow … look at that …”

    “Holy … We just created a universe. See, here, the singularity, then expansion, then the flash when matter starts to condense and photons form … But our universe can’t hold it, so, what, I dunno, squeezes it out?”

    “Just static, it all started from static discharge.”

    “Wonder where it is?”

    “Huh?”

    “The universe we just created. Where is it? What’s happening to it?”

    “I dunno. Probably has some televangelist preaching about how the universe can only be 10,000 years old.”

    “Yeah,” and a chuckle, “What he don’t know. It’s only ten minutes old.”

    “So, feel like God?”

    “Hell no. I’m starving. Let’s go get lunch.”

  • Sana Damani

    The Test
    ————

    The room that was normally bustling with the clamor and energy of youth was unnaturally quiet that day. But then, it was probably always this way on the first of May. It was the 51st anniversary of the formation of the New Republic, and the City celebrated it each year with the Festival of Youth.

    There were two major traditions followed on this day. The first was a celebration where extra bread and dessert was provided to all children under the age of eighteen. There were about 500 of us in this City. We all lived in the Youth Centre where all our educational and nurturing needs were taken care of by experts. The other, and most important tradition, was that those who were about to reach the age of adulthood were given aptitude tests, which would determine their role as contributing members of the society.

    The quiet room was where I had just taken the Test, with 30 of my peers who would all join the larger society next year. We all sat there, contemplating the fact that we had just written our destinies. Children who barely knew what they were going to do the next day had just had their entire future decided for them and were struggling to wrap their heads around that fact. This was the exact moment children became adults in our society.

    Someone cracked a joke about failing the Test to break the oppressive silence that we were all afraid to speak into. The joke was terrible: failure was no laughing matter. We did not speak of those who failed. But the joke helped bring back the children within us who laughed at all matters serious and believed ourselves to be Gods. We walked out the room, laughing, the same as always, looking forward to the feast that night.

    I walked out alone, at peace with the world. I was certain that I’d done well at the sections on math and physics. I had already begun dreaming of going to the School of Science and Technology, imagining myself solving the problems of energy and waste and improving life for all in the City.

    The results would be announced that evening, before the feast, for the whole City to see. It was a big moment, especially because there hadn’t been such a large number of graduates in a single year for a long time. It was also a big deal because there had been a threat of protest at the event. You see, there were detractors of the Test: a growing group of Individualists who thought the Test was an unfair method of deciding a person’s future and took away individual choice.

    Some of my peers agreed with this point of view, but they’d never voice it in class. I disagreed with them in our impassioned after-class debates when the adults were all gone. With humanity at the brink of extinction, the needs of all were greater than the needs of the individual. Besides, the Test didn’t take away choice. When they had thought to introduce the Test, the original plan had been to simply measure the brain patterns of infants at birth and decide their futures solely on the basis of natural ability. But the great Thinkers who had designed the Commandments of the Republic realized that this would doom us. They decided instead to test children after a few years of common education, and to test not their innate ability, but their perseverance and hard work. Anyone interested in a field could beat the Test with sufficient hard work.

    As I wandered around thinking all this, I lost track of time until Sarah, my roommate, holo-called me asking me to get to the Square. It was time. I ran as fast as I could, weaving my way through the rejoicing crowd to the front where the Graduates stood, in front of the Info-screen. The Square was lit up in the usual fashion for the Youth festival. You could even smell the feast.

    I had been just in time to see Sarah jumping in joy because the Test had marked her for an Education expert. I was happy for Sarah: she had always loved children. It was my turn next and as they called out my name, I could barely hear the announcer over my own heartbeat.

    “Dahlia Young! Perfect score in math, science and technology, …”

    I was elated. My dream was about to come true!

    “Also a perfect score in languages, government, athletics, …”

    And on and on he went. Apparently, I’d done much too good a job at the Test, and I was getting tired of this. I really hoped no one could see me blush. Sarah was already shaking my hand in a ridiculously exaggerated manner. I just wanted it to get over so I would finally know.

    “With these results, Dahlia Young has been deemed best for the role of Reproducer!”

    The crowd went wild. I was stunned. It was impossible. I wasn’t meant to be a reproducer! I was so much more than that! Sure, surely, they’d made a mistake. I tried to speak, but people simply hugged me and smiled and said their congratulations. The announcer moved on to the next kid. I had stopped listening.

    My head was still spinning. I couldn’t believe the test had failed me so horribly. Unknowingly, I started walking away from the Square, until I was running. I ran into a group of people who stopped me and asked me what was wrong. I hadn’t realized tears had been streaming down my face.

    I tried to get away, but they wouldn’t let me. Afraid they might call the psych ambulance to help control me, I told them that I was merely unhappy with the test results.

    They looked at each other knowingly. “We understand, Miss.”

    I saw that Jake, the guy who cracked the joke about failing was among the group. I looked at him, wondering why he wasn’t at the feast.

    “I failed, Dahlia.” He whispered, his voice filled with horror. Poor Jake! His fate was much worse than mine: he’d been discarded from society.

    That’s when I saw the placards they were holding. They were Individualists. And I finally understood their point.

    I was the best in my class: with my aptitude, I could be anything. But they chose to make better use of me for the society as a whole. Someone with my genetic superiority would be more useful producing more such as myself than doing anything directly. And I refused to accept that. My world crashed around me taking my ideals downs with it. For all I believed in the betterment of everyone and the needs of society trumping those of the individual, I still wanted a choice as to how to make that better impact.

    To use my body against my will to do something I never wanted to… that was not a free society. And to discard someone as being unworthy, that was not a fair society. I realized that the Thinkers had been wrong, that they were fallible too.

    As I looked at the protesters who were looking kindly back at me, I knew I was standing at a crossroads. I could either accept my fate, or I could change it.

    I looked at Jake, and then at the image in my mind of my future self. I had made my choice. I walked away from the Square, from the world I’d known, and towards a more difficult and uncertain path where I’d help build a better world, like I’d always wanted to.

    • Fabulous! This reads like an opening for a YA bestseller!

      • Sana Damani

        Thanks! When I re-read it, I realized the story sounds a bit too much like Divergent, to be honest. Originality is hard work…

        • Originality is bizarre. 🙂 After all, it IS true that there’s no fully original story. It’s all in how it’s done. I didn’t think Divergent when I read it; there were no five groups, etc.

  • Sana Damani

    I love the dinosaurs prompt. It’s brilliant.

    What was the story behind the fossilized dinosaurs we found? Where they left behind? Did they choose to stay because they didn’t believe the scientists? Did they stay behind to help somehow and were heroes?

    Where have the dinos been all this time? Did they terraform another planet? Or have they been floating around space all this time? Did they maybe get lost?

    What happens to humans now?

    There is so much potential here! But it’s so hard to write a story about speaking dinosaurs without it sounding utterly ridiculous, or like any other alien story. A challenging prompt!

    • YES! I love that you’re thinking this way! I was considering most of these questions when I wrote it, but I chose not to put them in there, since I wanted other writers to come up with the answers. 🙂

  • Pingback: 20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas | J. Giambrone()

  • Sana Damani

    Rex stepped out of the ship against orders to feel the breeze in his scales and breathe in the air of the Homeland. He went back inside calling on the other two to come out and *feel* the Earth. They told him they were perfectly happy to observe it from the safety of the ship engineered to keep them alive and comfortable, thank you very much.

    “Government orders, Rex. Our mission is to observe and take notes, not to engage.” That was Augustine. She liked following orders. That was why she was here in spite of her space-sickness and dislike of travel. She was the most renowned historian of their age, and knew all there was to know about the Ancestors and the Homeland. That’s why they needed her on the mission.

    Rex knew there was no point trying to convince her. He’d leave her to her books.

    He turned to Barry instead and smiled.

    “Don’t look at me like that, Rex. You will not talk me into trouble, not here. The mission is too important.”

    Barry and Rex had grown up together in the Dome, dreaming of feeling the wind and nature and running free, like the Ancestors did. Barry had outgrown Rex’s wild dreams and had become a respectable geo-environmentalist. They had sent him to study the composition of the Earth and its habitability.

    Rex was here as bodyguard.

    “But Barry, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! It’s everything we ever dreamed of. We’re making history here, buddy. For a million years, no dinosaur has stepped foot on Earth, and we’re the beginning of a return to our great past.”

    “Try 65 million years, Rex. Why don’t you step out and make history by yourself, and I’ll take care of the work. Does that sound good to you? Augustine will make sure your name is in all the history books.”

    Rex was fine with that. These bookish dinosaurs had forgotten what it meant to be free, having lived in their tiny domed planet. They didn’t appreciate the smell of the rain and the feel of soft mud and all the green that surrounded them, and the sound of other creatures.

    “Rex, come in. We’re getting some strange signals here. Please get back into the ship. We may need to take off and switch base.”

    Rex sighed. It was probably some other creature that now inhabited the planet. Millions of years in the Dome living only among other dinosaurs had made his kind Xenophobic to the extreme. They had forgotten the time when they lived in symbiosis with millions of other creatures right here on Earth.

    The Forgotten Heroes, the dinosaurs that had tried to save the other, lesser creatures from the Great Impact, had been left behind to die by those who believed dinosaurs to be the superior race and the only one worth saving. Few spoke of this, uglier, side of dinosaur history. But it wasn’t forgotten.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    This story is not complete yet. I’m trying to figure out what happens when the dinosaurs meet humans. But I’d like to know what you think so far.

    • 709writer

      Interesting story from a dinosaur’s perspective. I’d like to hear more and see the reaction Rex has when he first meets a human!

    • Sana Damani

      Continued…

      The whir of the ship’s engine pulled Rex back to reality and he realized he’d better make a move or he’d join the Forgotten Heroes himself.

      “Come in, base. Barry, can you hear me?”

      There was only static in response. Scared that something had happened to his friends, and that he’d failed at his *one* job of protecting the ship, he ran to where he thought the base was. Unfortunately, he’d wandered rather far off from base, and, while he would never admit it, he was quite lost.

      Rex tried counting down from ten to calm himself down so he could think, but a count *down*, he realized, was not a very calming thing. It reminded him of time running out or a bomb ticking down, and his heart rate only got faster as he reached zero.

      Frustrated, Rex gave a loud roar.

      “There, that felt better.”

      He then started moving, because staying there would not help him find the ship. Unbeknownst to Rex, his sense of direction was not nearly as good as he boasted. It was hard to get lost on the small domed city where he’d grown up, but the wilderness of Earth was a whole other matter. The very land felt alive and moving and changing.

      And so, Rex wandered off in the entire opposite direction, where the woods ended, and the cities began. It was night time and the lights of the city hurt poor Rex’s eyes, and the honking of the cars hurt his ears.

      That is how Rex first met humans. And that is when things got really, really bad.

      • Sana Damani

        Part 3:

        Rex knew that he’d paid more attention to working out than his books in school, but he was fairly certain none of the books had ever described the Earth quite like this. And they certainly never mentioned the weird little creatures with shiny shells. Curious, he walked across the road to get a closer look at the beings.

        That is how the humans first met Rex. As you may have guessed, things did not get better.

        The humans abandoned their cars and ran like little mice scattered by the appearance of a cat. Some stopped to click pictures first.

        Rex was confused and annoyed by the commotion, but he tried to communicate. That just scared them more.

        And then Rex heard a loud rumble. It was a large grey creature with a long nose. Fascinated, Rex walked towards it to say hello.

        That’s when they fired at him. The blow came as a shock to Rex who hadn’t encountered gunfire on their more peaceful planet. He was unhurt, but, now scared, Rex ran right into the city, leaving behind a trail of destruction in his haste.

        He tried contacting Barry again, and was finally successful.

        “Barry, Barry, it’s me. You’ve got to come get me.”

        “Where are you Rex? We waited nearly thirty minutes but then we figured you died out there.”

        “I don’t know where I am! I ran out of the green and reached a miniature city of some sort. It looks like there’s an infestation of some tiny two legged creatures.”

        “Yes, we found the creatures too. They’re *everywhere*. But Rex, they’re sentient. We were able to make contact from the ship. They have radio waves. Wait, maybe I can ask them about you.”

        After about fifteen minutes of conversation where the humans realized that the Godzilla-like creature that had attacked New York was actually connected to the UFO observed, and provided the aliens with detailed explanations as to how to find their friend and to please take him away, they found him.

        “Barry! Augustine! I’ve never been so happy to see you. Thank you for saving my life.”

        “Yeah, wasn’t that supposed to be your job?” said Augustine, returning to the comm center.

        “We have fascinating news Rex. We are not alone in the universe! There was another advanced civilization emerging right here on Earth. Isn’t it beautiful? There’s so much we can learn from each other.”

        Barry was nearly jumping with excitement. Good thing he didn’t though, the ship may not have been able to handle it.

        “Their technology is primitive in some ways, but more advanced in others. Specifically, they have nuclear power, which they informed us of as a sort of threat when we asked about you.”

        “In any case,” said Augustine, “this is a matter for diplomatic action. If we want to return to Earth, we’re going to have to share our home with this beings.”

        “We thank you for your help in finding our bumbling bodyguard,” Augustine typed on the comm screen.

        “Heyy”, said Rex, infuriated.

        “Glad we could help. Now take him and leave, or we *will* fire,” was the response from the humans after a three hour long consultation between the heads of all states.

        Barry and Augustine frowned. This was unexpected.

        “They were just as excited about the prospect of knowledge sharing just a while ago. I wonder what changed. Perhaps we offended them somehow?”

        Rex shuffled his gigantic feet. Then cleared his throat.

        “Um, about that…”

        “Yes?” said Augustine, her eyes narrowed suspiciously.

        “It may have something to do with the fact that I maybe, kinda ….”

        “Go on.” It was amazing just how far she could narrow her eyes and still see.

        “I may have stepped on one or two.” Rex mumbled.

        “You did what?”

        “I stepped… on the little creatures… it was an accident…” Rex felt himself shrinking beneath the gaze of the smaller dinosaur.

        Barry stepped in.

        “Well, I think that’s the end of that. Let’s get out of here before we become nuked meat. Maybe things will cool down in another couple of million years.”

        • HAHAHA! Oh, what a mess! I can’t imagine THIS report back home! Great job, Sana. 🙂

          • Sana Damani

            Thanks Ruthanne! 🙂
            And I loved the prompts. They were very fun. I hope we see more posts of the kind.

      • Oh, poor Rex! He wasn’t prepared for this at ALL.

    • Oh, I LOVE this idea! I hadn’t even considered these dinosaurs being xenophobic – that adds a whole new spice to the mix. 🙂

  • 709writer

    Doctor Johnson stood in Room 12B and labeled each vial of blood, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. He dated them, then tucked them away in the final case of blood samples. His research was coming to fruition – and soon. After the blood samples had been sent off for testing, it would only be a matter of time before he discovered what in Julia’s blood gave the girl her secret power.

    A knock sounded on the door.

    “Enter,” he said as he locked the blood sample case.

    An aide entered. “Sir, the soldiers are getting uneasy,” he said, handing Doctor Johnson his mail.

    Doctor Johnson gave him a hard look. “And why is that?”

    “Since the government started the Life Extension program, the men think because they’re connected to you, if your operations are discovered, they’ll be the ones singled out to die.”

    The aide’s concern was nonsense—whenever the population increased to an undesired level, the government usually targeted small children, adolescents, or the old to be eliminated. They rarely chose persons closer to the middle, like Doctor Johnson, who almost forty, or his soldiers, who were in the range of mid-twenties to early thirties.

    “Neither the government nor the military know about my operations here,” Doctor Johnson said. He picked up a short stack of files and tapped them on the metal desk to straighten them, then faced the aide again. “And besides, my goal is to complete my research without being discovered. The fate of a fraction of my soldiers is of little interest to me. You’re dismissed.”

    “But sir—”

    “Out.”

    The aide gave a brief nod, then exited the room.

    Exhaling out a long breath, Doctor Johnson put his pen in his breast pocket and flipped through his mail. A light bill. Two credit card offers. A letter addressed to him, with the government’s stamp in the corner—finally. He’d been waiting on his tax return for over a month.

    Doctor Johnson opened the envelope and tugged out the folded paper inside. In the left-hand corner, his name, identification number, and date of birth were printed in red. His eyes then scanned the first sentence. The only sentence.

    The letter slipped from his hands.

    He was sentenced to death.

    ~~

    Any feedback/suggestions are welcome. Loved the prompt! : )

    • Sana Damani

      Nice! It was a little abrupt though. I wished the story made me care more about the fact that the guy was dying.

      • 709writer

        The viewpoint character is actually one of the main antagonists in my story…so that’s probably why it seemed like I didn’t care as much. : ) Thank you for the feedback!

        • Sana Damani

          Hmm. It’s rare to read an entire story from the antagonist’s POV. I wonder why that is. Maybe because from their POV, they’re the “good guy”. Course this way you can have a slow reveal where you either see the person transform or you realise they’re the antagonist with some new information.
          Hope to read what happens next!

          • 709writer

            Aww thanks!

    • Oh, this is AWESOME. You took the idea and expanded it magnificently. The characterization is fantastic, too. I really love it! If I’d read this as a sample, I’d want to keep on reading.

      • 709writer

        Thank you!

  • Renee

    Thank you so much for these ideas!!! I LOVE #1, and I’m writing it now. When I’m done, I”m probably going to post it here. Again, thank you!

  • Renee

    Fats, a large Ragamuffin cat, lay on the roof of his owner’s house. The stars were fading into the early sunrise. A clatter below him drew his attention, and Fats stood up. “Who goes there?” Fats droned. Fats’ voice was thick like his swinging belly.

    “Bones and Hank,” a manly voice responded. Hank was a little, purebred British Shorthair, and Bones was an abandoned Scottish Fold kitten, whose bones stuck out from his skin. Fats dragged his stomach across the roof as he went to meet the two cats.

    Hank popped up from the rain gutter, and Bones eagerly followed. As the two cats seated themselves on a pale spot on the roof, Fats spoke. “General Steve, and Commander Bob will be here to pick us up for the meeting soon,” Fats announced.

    Hank snorted. “Last time they said that, they forgot,” he chuckled. Little Bones, not wanting to be left out, said, “Steve hates me.” Fats and Hank knew this was true; at any time possible, General Steve tried to get rid of Bones.

    Lights took over the sky, and all three cats on the rooftop blinked in surprise. A little ship landed, and two ugly Sphynx cats trotted out a sliding stairway connected to a folding door. The taller of the two Sphynx cats paused, and announced, “Loyal housecats, we have completed our mission to control the world. Now we must mislay our love for the smelly humans, and return to the Moon.”

    The two Sphynx turned on a dime, and sauntered into the spaceship. Fats, Bones, and Hank followed. The sliding stairway slipped into the bottom of the ship, and the folding door closed with a thwack! .

    “Good job, Fats. You have gathered information that can be used to overcome the humans. This plan was created eighteen generations ago, and has not been completed until now. Hank, you are now officially appointed to the rank of Commander, and Bones, you… have accomplished the task of melting the humans hearts with cuteness,” the tall Sphynx congratulated the three.

    The smaller of the Sphynx turned to the beeping, red-blue-green buttons and silver control panels. “General Steve, we are prepared to go to the Moon,” the little Sphynx quipped. General Steve, the tall Sphynx, nodded. “All systems go!” General Steve cried.

    As the little, silver ship sped away, a couple stirred underneath the roof that the cats had been on. “Hey, Karl, did you here something?” the young wife whispered to her husband. “Huh? Oh, nothing. Go to sleep, Ginny,” her husband muttered, clearly annoyed. The woman shrugged, and closed her eyes.

    She opened them again. “Karl, I have the strangest feeling that we’re being tricked by those housecats,” she murmured. Her husband snored.

    • Hahaha! Clever lady! 🙂 I wonder if she had any idea. I also wonder if she’ll miss them now that they’re gone! 🙂 But what comes next? They accomplished world domination; what’s their next step? 🙂

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  • Krish Kansara

    The man’s footsteps were audible throughout the corridor as he sped past the storage rooms into the unexplored paths of the building that had been his home since adolescence. The usually relaxing sounds of machinery humming about seemed hostile today, as if it somehow knew the fate that awaited him.
    The man in the lab coat ran towards a metal portal, and pressed his hand over the array of biosensors and scanners. Behind him, his pursuer’s panting filled the corridor, and the man knew he was nearly out of time.
    “Identity affirmed”, a robotic voice erupted, “Entry granted to Doctor Abacus.”
    Dr. Abacus was not his actual name. He was called that by his peers due to his exceptional mathematical skills. If they could see me now, he thought, quickly entering the room. In a trice, the portal began closing. As soon as Dr. Abacus was going to take a huge sigh of relief, his pursuer came into sight. In the blink of an eye, he was lunging for the doors. Before Dr. Abacus could recover, he was already there. By the time the doors closed, he had cornered the scientist.
    “What do you want from me?”, Dr. Abacus’ scared voice echoed against the narrow walls.
    “Your most powerful asset”, a raspy voice replied. “Your ability to manipulate time.”
    “You are reading too much science fiction”, the scientist replied defiantly, “That’s where time travel is possible.”
    A humourless laugh resounded against the metal walls. Dr. Abacus felt a stab of fear. “You and I both know that you’re lying. Your recent discoveries seem to corroborate time travel.”
    Dr. Abacus was shocked. How could this beast know? Did somebody disclose it?
    “You have researched the string theory”, continued the captor, enjoying his prey’s helplessness, “and have discovered another kind of duality. The T- and S-duality allowed distance and coupling manipulation. Now, the new duality discovered by you allows you to interconvert space and time. They were already a part of a continuum, but you allowed their discrete manipulation. And if I am wrong”, said the man with a dangerous edge to his voice, “I will spare your life”. The man gave an emotionless smile and produced a sharp knife.
    “Now, start talking about the locations, security and other details of your breakthrough, or else this goes into the neck.”
    Dr. Abacus was dead and he knew it. Even if he gave away the specifics to the monster, he would slit his throat, and leave him here to rot.
    “And if I don’t?”, Abacus ventured, “There isn’t much you don’t seem to know”.
    The man smiled again, “If you don’t, then I will obtain it by alternate means. I simply want to choose the lesser of two evils.”
    “Murdering an innocent man is a lesser evil?”
    “Compared to the other way, yes”
    “I don’t think that I will give you the particulars in that case. You would only misuse them.”
    “In that case, Doctor, you have outlived your usefulness”, said the man, sounding disappointed. “Goodbye.”
    When the man left the room half a minute later, he was feeling full of adrenaline. Doctor Abacus lay in his own private room with a stabbed throat and the immeasurably powerful secret being lost from the mainstream forever, dying with his remaining brain cells.

    • WOW! What an intense tale! And you actually told a complete story in a short space – beginning, middle, and end, even though it leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Great job, Krish!

  • Olivia

    I’m sort of late to the discussion, but I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE #8 and #12. Thank you so much for these wonderful prompts!

  • carley

    thank you for the hot air balloon idea it is great! I wrote about it in a notebook and I named the girl Anna. She is protecting her city when she sees a pterodactyl, The pterodactyls are not that bad as everyone thought and soon Anna meets her best friend, a Pterodactyl named rosy. That is just a sum of the story. I hope you like it!