“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

20 Fantasy Story Ideas

2016 is a whole new year, and our goal is to create and maintain writing momentum—but you may need a tiny push to get moving.

Consider this your push. For the next few weeks, I’ll be delighted to share short story ideas with you, and you have my full permission (and encouragement) to use them as you will.

story ideas

I’m going to share these by genre, so expect a few weeks of prompts from me. I can’t wait to see how you use them.

Twenty Fantasy Story Ideas

  1. A dragon drops in for the opening day celebration of a new local health food store (let’s call it Hale Feeds). P. S: No one knew dragons were real.
  2. There’s a snail orchestra. They decide to put on a concert for the gardener who has (unwittingly) fed them for years.
  3. Bored high school wizards decide to throw a party to celebrate tomorrow’s graduation. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
  4. Weddings are stressful. They’re especially tricky when one family is magical and the other hates spells, and both mothers want to control the celebration.
  5. A bored housewife wakes one day to find all her dishes are singing Hey, Jude. (Alternatively, if you want to make this a darker story, have them sing The Sound of Silence.)
  6. A witch living secretly in suburbia casts a spell to speed up the laundry, but it backfires—just in time for trick-or-treaters to deal with dancing underwear.
  7. Capitol Hill wakes one day to find thousands of fairies protesting for better media representation. Unfortunately, no one can understand what they’re saying.
  8. A fed-up genie, sick of being over-sexualized and paid in wishes, throws a magical tantrum which turns everyone in the world into the opposite gender.
  9. One bright morning in May, all domestic pets start talking.
  10. Eating food turns one’s skin the same color as one’s last ingested item, which makes cheating on diets a challenge of strategy as well as taste.
  11. Giants are REALLY into reality TV, and one day stomp down from their hidden mountain homes to convince Hollywood to create a show about them.
  12. Mythological creatures, tired of being portrayed as Caucasian gym rats, confront their creators on a popular combative talk show.
  13. Tinnitus is actually the result of pissed-off pixies, who haven’t been properly fed in a couple of centuries (hint: it involves sugar and rum).
  14. Tomorrow morning, all kings, queens, dictators, presidents, and politicians are suddenly replaced by talking dogs.
  15. What would you do if every tree you passed began whispering your name?
  16. Medieval Italy’s most powerful wizard presents a challenge to his pupils: they must compete to prepare a delicious meal without using any magic at all.
  17. “Life got you down? Become a Centaur…today!”
  18. Mermaids attempt to install a democratic form of government, but the cephalopods are causing trouble.
  19. A young Fey prince runs away from responsibility to start a career as a street musician. (I admit I’ve used this one already, and it’s wicked fun.)
  20. Boot-wearing cats are the secret rulers of the world. The twist: their superiority is being challenged by a rising cabal of top-hatted stoats.

Need more? Check out these 10 short story ideas.

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

PRACTICE

It’s time to play with story prompts! 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

Bestselling author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel, and she is the author of the Among the Mythos series. Subscribe to her articles at RuthanneReid.com, and follow her on Twitter (@RuthanneReid)

  • Jacqueline Nicole

    I have to say the prompts are all whimsical and fun! Thank you for the ideas. Here we go! I don’t think I can choose just one!

    • ruthannereid

      Haha! Glad you like them. 🙂 I had a ton of fun thinking them up!

  • rosie

    Mrs
    Putnam woke up and sighed. “Another day.”

    She heaved herself out of bed, one foot at a time on the tiles. She winced as
    they seemed to freeze her skin, and permeate into her bones. She had washing to
    do, and then hang up the clothes—oh, she needed new pegs—ironing, and then there
    was also the pile of dishes festering in the sink. Mrs Putnam sighed again as
    she brushed her teeth and decided that it was time to face the day, whether she
    felt up to it or not.

    “Look at
    me!” Tiny Teacup said. “I’m filthy!” He winced as he noticed the tea stains all
    over his body. There were lipstick stains on his rim too, and he was starting
    to smell more of tea than he cared to smell. Coffee was his favourite—coffee—when
    would they ever learn?

    “Who’re you to complain?” said Dinner Plate. He didn’t even want to take a
    breath, because the curry stains would end up in his mouth, and all the grime
    from the other dishes might touch him too. He shuddered. “It’s about time we do
    something.”

    “I think,” piped up Mrs Saucer, “that we should sing a song.”

    “A song?” said Dinner Plate. “What good would that do?”

    “Oh well,” Mrs Saucer said, “you did see that Sunshine Liquid advertisement on
    telly yesterday, didn’t you?”

    “Oh yes.” Dinner Plate shuddered. “They were eating dinner in front of the telly.”

    “Yes well, the dishes sang a song,” Mrs Saucer said. “Did you hear? Sunshine
    Liquid has the power of a hundred lemons in one bottle. I propose that
    if we sing a song, just like those dishes, we might get some attention around
    here.”

    Dinner Plate sniffed. “It’s all hogwash you know. If they did have that much
    power, they’d corrode us all to porcelain dust!”

    Mrs
    Saucer had her way, and by the time Mrs Putnam dragged her way down to the
    kitchen, Mrs Saucer had planned a three part harmony. She argued that they
    should sing her favourite song—“Here comes the sun”—but Dinner Plate had a
    better idea. He argued that with “The Sound of Silence,” they might have a
    better harmony, and besides, it was a much more artful song.

    Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again, they
    began as Mrs Putnam walked in. Dinner Plate sighed because the harmony was flat
    and Mrs Saucer—as usual—had missed a half note.

    Because a vision softly creeping left its seeds when I was sleeping

    Mrs Putnam could barely believe her eyes—or her ears. She was hearing a
    song she hadn’t heard since she was a teenager, and still listened to music.

    And a vision that was planted in my brain still remains

    within the sound of silence

    Mrs Putnam sank into the nearest chair and wept. The dishes rejoiced and
    Mrs Saucer got her way. The dishes burst into “here comes the sun” while Mrs
    Putnam thought about days long past. The dishes were soon to be washed, and Mrs
    Putnam was to sing along with them, in perfect harmony.

    All was well.

    • Jean Blanchard

      I wish my dirty dishes sang first thing in the morning! Nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy and I liked your piece very much, Rosie.

      • rosie

        Thank you so much!

    • ruthannereid

      Awww! I love it! You’ve done a wonderful job with this. 🙂 I can see it like it’s a movie!

      • rosie

        Thank you!

    • 709writer

      Wow, great story. I was really drawn in and you made me feel involved with the characters. I laughed out loud at the part when you said Mrs Saucer-as usual-had missed a half note. You did a great job at creating characters – out of dinnerware! : )

      • rosie

        Thank you: I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. 🙂

    • Griffinclaw

      Cute!

  • dduggerbiocepts

    There’s a real adult reader market for this stuff?

    • ruthannereid

      There certainly is. 🙂 Don’t worry if this one isn’t your cup of tea; over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery, and more. One of these lists of prompts will surely be right up your alley. 🙂

  • Maira Khalid
  • Jean Blanchard

    I loved doing this. I have never considered fantasy before.

    A dragon drops in for the opening day celebration of a new local health food store (let’s call it Hale Feeds). P. S: No one knew dragons were real.

    ‘Oh, Hi’.

    The voice was low and fleshy and drawn out, kind of goofy. Customers craned their necks to identify its owner.

    ‘It’s me, down here. I’m only little’.

    People drew back and formed a circle around a tiny creature. It was hard to see how it could produce such a large and goofy voice; but there he was, a little dragon, all resplendent in his iridescent green and purple skin, now spotlighted by the LED lights in the ceiling of Hale Feeds, a health food store in Lincoln city. Twirling around, he showed off his exquisite feet with their pink, pearly claws; and swished his sinuous indigo and starry tail. For just a moment he rose 18 inches off the floor and the people got a better look at him.

    ‘Look, look at my arms and legs,’ he cried, stretching each out in turn. ‘I’ve got all these little red bumps on them. Not only are they spoiling my handsome looks but they itch and I can’t scratch them case they bleed. ‘Cos if I bleed, all my lovely colours will just drain away and no one will want to adopt me back home.

    He dropped his shoulders and heaved a great wet sob and a huge tears formed on the rims of his opalescent eyes: there they balanced, shimmering, until they could stay no longer. Then he blinked. The tears splashed heavily on the floor and spread and spread, wetting the shoes of the people who stood, open-mouthed at the sight of the pathetic little creature. Then they wept in sympathy as if they knew what it was like to have pimples like him. They didn’t know, not really.

    Into the circle stepped Mrs Merton, all smelling of scented candles and dandelion coffee, nuts and things in brown bottles. She scooped up the little dragon in one swift movement and examined the red bumps on his arms and legs, her glasses perched on the end of her pointy nose.

    ‘Ah, yes, I see. Not common in dragons but you’ve got k pillaris. Very common in humans and very unsightly. I’ve got just the stuff for that’, disappearing into the back of the shop.

    Presently she re-appeared with a pot of secret balm, all the way from India, and rubbed it all over him. The red bumps slowly flattened and faded away and everybody cheered and the air was filled with parma violets and soft lumps of laughter. The dragon was tickled pink but that soon faded and he was back to his normal colourful self again. And then he was gone leaving Ts and aitches, As and ens, Ks and esses behind. And the people were well pleased.

    Jean B

    • ruthannereid

      Brilliant!! I love this! 😀 You’ve got a really terrific story here!

      • Jean Blanchard

        Oh, thank you, very much, indeed. It’s got me thinking and revising.

  • Lauren

    “Mira, where are you going?” Alexandra called after her best friend. She struggled to keep up with Mira’s pace as they swam through the Coral Village.

    “I’m going to set this all straight. I’ve had enough.” Mira called back. Her voice trailed off in the distance between the two mermaids. Alexandra looked ahead and saw the golden locks of her best friend as she swam toward the Village Square. Soon her friend would be lost in crowd of sea creatures so Alexandra kicked her fins as quickly as she could. She began to gain on her friend.

    “What makes you think the Dictator will listen to you? Plus, how do you plan to persuade an entire panel of cephalopods? They hate the mermaids. That’s why we’ve been living in oppression for so long.” Alexandra did her best to talk her boisterous friend out of whatever plan she had secretly devised.

    “I’m so sick of this. I’m sixteen. I’m old enough to make my own choices and decisions. Why must I serve these nasty creatures?” Mira slowed down to look at her friend. Her blue eyes glistened in the light of the sea. They were large and round.

    “Mira, it’s all part of our history. You know why we serve the dictator and his team of tentacles.” Alexandra reminded Mira of the fact that Hostile Mermaid History was the only true subject that the girls were taught in school.

    “It just isn’t fair. You and I were not behind the nasty stories that were passed down orally for centuries about the cephalopods. Why do we have to pay the price?” Mira crossed her arms across her chest bumping the teal bra that she had made herself from shells she had found at the discount shell shop.

    “No one ever said it was fair or justified. Nothing ever is here. But, it’s their reasoning. Don’t think for one second that a head strong sixteen year old will change the way things have been for so long.” The two girls moved closer to the town square. Their tones became hushed as they feared being overheard by the average passerby.

    “Then let’s run away.” Mira’s eyes drifted to the distance as she entertained the idea in her mind. A devious smile creeped itself across her face.

    “What are you two girls doing in the square unaccompanied?” A large squid dressed in his official uniform came within a tentacle’s reach from Alexandra. She moved back subtly.

    “We are sixteen, Sir. And we’ve only come to speak with the Dictator.” Mira spoke matter-of-factly.

    “Sixteen or not the Dictator will never hear from two young mermaids unsummoned. Run along to the village and get to work.” The officer spoke haughtily toward the girls.

    Before she could respond the squid made a lunge toward the girls. Mira acted quickly pushing her friend out of the squid’s grasp. Taking Alexandra by the arm she pushed her way past the squid toward the large public square in the distance. The squid was caught off guard and soon lost the two mermaids in the sea of creatures going to and from the shops and reefs.

    • ruthannereid

      Oooh, exciting! I didn’t expect the direction this took at all! You definitely have a terrific story here with plenty of intrigue. Great job!

    • 709writer

      I felt like I was in the story with Mira and Alexandra! I can almost feel the water around me and see the ugly, nosy squid. Great job! Very descriptive and colorful prose.

  • Godfrey Coppinger

    Since I suffer from tinnitus, I’m very interested in feeding the pixies…

    • ruthannereid

      Rum and sugar! 😉

  • Godfrey Coppinger

    By the way, I consider The Write Practice my Writer’s Play Group/

    • ruthannereid

      Aww, that’s great, Godfrey!

  • kath

    “Hello, Darkness, my old friend.”
    Maureen cracked one eye open, thinking it was her husband, Bill, home late again from the bar. But he didn’t sing that well…She shook her head, turning back on her side and snuggling back into the covers. She was sure she had imagined it.
    “I’ve come to speak with you again.”
    There was more than one voice, she was sure of it. They had an ethereal quality; like the voices were singing solemnly from the other side of a canyon. Maureen straightened up and blinked a bleary eye at the blank television screen. She shook her head again, wondering how many glasses of wine she had had the night before.
    “Because a vision softly creeping..”
    The voices were beautiful, but they were loud, and this was five in the morning, and this was her house. Tugging her bathrobe on, Maureen padded down the hallway to the kitchen, awake enough to tell them to be quiet but not enough to wonder why there were people singing in her house.
    Emerging in the kitchen, she saw plates lying on the counter, everywhere. The dinner plates were stacked side by side, the dessert plates set out in a checkerboard pattern on the floor beside them, the serving dishes propped up in chairs. Maureen shook her head for the third time that morning, wiping a stray curl out of her eye and making sure she saw what she thought she saw. Surely, this was just a terrible prank from Bill, some sort of twisted apology… he did things like this all the time…
    “Left its seeds while I was sleeping!”
    The dishes vibrated. She realized where the sound was coming from. They rose again in perfect harmony, vibrating with each word.
    “…still remains within the sound of silence.”
    With that, the dishes rolled up on their sides and rolled past Maureen. Some swerved around her, others stopped for a moment in front of her feet.
    They paid silent tribute to Maureen, until the very last dish, an mismatched china plate Maureen seldom used, slid past her. Their porcelain voices rose once more in a ringing harmony, sounding even farther away,
    “Beneath the sound of silence.”
    There was a smashing, and Maureen ran to the living room amid the tinkling of broken glass to find all of her plates lying in shards and piles of powder. There was an unnatural quiet in the room. The mess was everywhere, and she knew Bill would be home soon. Maureen ran to the kitchen to fetch the dustpan, hardly believing what she had just witnessed.
    She sank to her knees beside the rubble, the sound of silence still pressing on her ears.

    I have no idea what this turned into. It got really dark and strange at the end :0

    • ruthannereid

      I freaking LOVE it. This turned just as creepy and delicious as anything I ever hoped. Great job!

  • ruthannereid

    Heck, yeah!

  • 709writer

    The forest was quiet, filled only with the sounds of leaves occasionally reaching the ground. Julia tightened the collar of her coat against the chill and quickened her pace through the dead leaves.

    A voice made her stop, mid-stride. She whirled, holding her knapsack tight to her chest. Someone had said her name.

    Silence once again settled over the woods. No flitting of sparrows, no squirrels skittering up a tree.

    Julia faced the east and set off again. She had to reach the end of the woods before nightfall. Otherwise, it would be too dark to make any more progress.

    There it was again. A voice. Speaking her name.

    She stopped beside an oak tree, her gaze darting from one side of the forest to the other. Her pulse hammered.

    “Who’s there?” she called. Seeing no one, she took a step and bumped into the oak tree behind her.

    “Julia…”

    She drew a sharp breath and spun away from the tree, holding a hand out. She felt its breath, the sap chugging through its veins, as psychic energy flowed from her fingertips into the air, surrounding the tree and flooding it.

    “Hello?” She moved closer to the tree. Pressed her hand to its bark.

    Silence. She shut her eyes as an image rushed through her mind.

    The tree… it had seen someone pass by here before. Expanding before her closed eyes and open mind, the image shifted and darkened, morphing into the shape of a figure. A man she knew all too well.

    The figure stalked toward her and spoke.

    “Julia, you are mine.”

    Thank you for the prompts, Ruthanne! I love # 15, it was really interesting. Any feedback/suggestions would be awesome. : )

    • ruthannereid

      Oh, I love where you went with this! It feels like the beginning of an awesome story. Maybe paranormal romance or horror?

      • 709writer

        Thank you! It’s kind of like sci-fi suspense. : )

  • It was a cold Friday morning in suburbia when Nancy had woken up to a loud drilling across the street. There were children rushing to school with their bags weighing them down and parents on their mobile phones trying to explain to their coworkers why they were running late. It looked like a somewhat normal end to the week.

    As Nancy pulled back the curtain, she saw a builder bent over drilling into the pavement with his crack on show. She sighed and laid back down. It was only until Nancy looked towards the poster across the room of the Hocus Pocus movie that it suddenly dawned on her. She smiled as she remembered it was Halloween! How did she forget? How did she not remember the most important day of the year? Jumping up with excitement Nancy head toward the cupboard next to the poster where her wand was and chuckled “TODAY IS THE DAY!”

    What was the day and what was going to happen? Nancy was known to be a grumpy thirty five year old living in the suburbs of New York. She wasn’t well known however she was known for her inability to exchange pleasantries in the neighbourhood.

    Nancy got downstairs and found a stack of things to do. She was a housewife. Her husband was a corporate boss working in the city and she was the stay at home wife. This was by choice so she could work her magic during the day and while he was asleep at night. Lately things seemed to be dreary in the Brown household. Her husband Quinn would sleep in their bed while Nancy would stay downstairs watching scripted dramas and drinking cocoa. Only until Quinn would head upstairs, Nancy would take out her broomstick to practice flying across the city. Her dream was to fly around America in a week.

    There was a list on the fridge. Quinn had left her chores to do. It was expected to be completed by the time he had reached home around 6pm. Quinn was rather traditional. He expected his wife to keep their home clean just incase he had to bring anyone home from work. He also thought Nancy would have nothing better to do either. She didn’t have many friends, she didn’t want children and she certainly didn’t have many hobbies as far as he was concerned. But boy was he wrong. She did want children and she did have hobbies. She loved witchcraft. She wanted to marry a wizard and she wanted to send her sprogs to a school like Hogwarts. She couldn’t tell Quinn. He wouldn’t understand. She also couldn’t perform witchcraft in front of ordinary people.

    Flying between 2am-4am was the peak time. Other witches would also be flying and they would meet up to talk about their ordinary lives.

    Back in the house Nancy took out her wand and performed a spell to get the dishes washed, the house hoovered, the bathroom cleaned and the bedrooms upstairs. The laundry was left and there was a pile of it. Mostly Quinn’s smalls and his work wear from the week. So Nancy thought she would make lunch and watch bewitched before attending to it.

    It was 5pm and Nancy hurried to the wash room. She put his clothes in the machine including his underwear and decided to put on a quick wash. The button on the machine stopped working. Nancy had to try a spell to get the clothes washed in the quickest time possible. So she performed a spell and waited a few minutes. The machine’s door unlocked and a pair of briefs came walking out. Then another, and another. They then started to dance in sync. Nancy was gobsmacked and ordered it to stop. She didn’t know the reverse spell. She was dumbfounded by what had just happened. It was now 5:50pm and the doorbell rang. Trying to reach the door with Quinn’s pants dancing around her wasn’t easy. Swinging her arms around to get to the door, Nancy was approached by a bunch of trick or treaters. They laughed momentarily and then screamed when the underwear followed them out the door one by one. Chasing them down the street.

    Quinn and his boss were in the car watching the whole thing…

    • ruthannereid

      Haha! What a predicament! Great job with this. 😀 I wonder what he’s going to do!

  • It was a cold Friday morning in suburbia when Nancy had woken up to a loud drilling across the street. There were children rushing to school with their bags weighing them down and parents on their mobile phones trying to explain to their coworkers why they were running late. It looked like a somewhat normal end to the week.

    As Nancy pulled back the curtain, she saw a builder bent over drilling into the pavement with his crack on show. She sighed and laid back down. It was only until Nancy looked towards the poster across the room of the Hocus Pocus movie that it suddenly dawned on her. She smiled as she remembered it was Halloween! How did she forget? How did she not remember the most important day of the year? Jumping up with excitement Nancy head toward the cupboard next to the poster where her wand was and chuckled “TODAY IS THE DAY!”

    What was the day and what was going to happen? Nancy was known to be a grumpy thirty five year old living in the suburbs of New York. She wasn’t well known however she was known for her inability to exchange pleasantries in the neighbourhood.

    Nancy got downstairs and found a stack of things to do. She was a housewife. Her husband was a corporate boss working in the city and she was the stay at home wife. This was by choice so she could work her magic during the day and while he was asleep at night. Lately things seemed to be dreary in the Brown household. Her husband Quinn would sleep in their bed while Nancy would stay downstairs watching scripted dramas and drinking cocoa. Only until Quinn would head upstairs, Nancy would take out her broomstick to practice flying across the city. Her dream was to fly around America in a week.

    There was a list on the fridge. Quinn had left her chores to do. It was expected to be completed by the time he had reached home around 6pm. Quinn was rather traditional. He expected his wife to keep their home clean just incase he had to bring anyone home from work. He also thought Nancy would have nothing better to do either. She didn’t have many friends, she didn’t want children and she certainly didn’t have many hobbies as far as he was concerned. But boy was he wrong. She did want children and she did have hobbies. She loved witchcraft. She wanted to marry a wizard and she wanted to send her sprogs to a school like Hogwarts. She couldn’t tell Quinn. He wouldn’t understand. She also couldn’t perform witchcraft in front of ordinary people.

    Flying between 2am-4am was the peak time. Other witches would also be flying and they would meet up to talk about their ordinary lives.

    Back in the house Nancy took out her wand and performed a spell to get the dishes washed, the house hoovered, the bathroom cleaned and the bedrooms upstairs. The laundry was left and there was a pile of it. Mostly Quinn’s smalls and his work wear from the week. So Nancy thought she would make lunch and watch bewitched before attending to it.

    It was 5pm and Nancy hurried to the wash room. She put his clothes in the machine including his underwear and decided to put on a quick wash. The button on the machine stopped working. Nancy had to try a spell to get the clothes washed in the quickest time possible. So she performed a spell and waited a few minutes. The machine’s door unlocked and a pair of briefs came walking out. Then another, and another. They then started to dance in sync. Nancy was gobsmacked and ordered it to stop. She didn’t know the reverse spell. She was dumbfounded by what had just happened. It was now 5:50pm and the doorbell rang. Trying to reach the door with Quinn’s pants dancing around her wasn’t easy. Swinging her arms around to get to the door, Nancy was approached by a bunch of trick or treaters. They laughed momentarily and then screamed when the underwear followed them out the door one by one. Chasing them down the street.

    Quinn and his boss were in the car watching the whole thing…

  • Dragons’ Geas

    These are are great. I do live writes for practice all the time using a story generator that Robyn Chambers has on his website for use. Great fun tool.

  • Pingback: 16 Story Ideas to Change The World()

  • Griffinclaw

    “But you absolutely must enter! I shall certainly do so. It should be quite enriching.”

    “Corelia, be you sick in the head? An entire meal? With no magic? That cannot be possible!”

    “What folly!”

    Corelia sighed. Men could be so exasperating. She and her three friends, Leonardo, Bartolommeo, and Angelo had been bickering for several minutes as they walked down the cobbled streets from their sorcery lesson. Their magic teacher, the most learned wizard in all of Italy, had presented them with a new challenge: to compete to prepare a delicious meal using no magic at all. She had expected that at least Bartolommeo, being the oldest and maturest amongst them (sixteen years of age), would enter the contest. Trying new things was hardly a bad idea, in Corelia’s opinion.

    “Boys like you are always over-exaggerating everything! Perhaps this won’t be as hard as you think.”

    “That’s easy for you to say,” said Leonardo, youngest of the four and always a bit of a jokester. “You could easily fry anything on that flaming head of yours.”

    Corelia flipped her red hair self-consciously.

    “If we enter this foolish thing, will you cease your frivolous babblings?” said Bartolommeo.

    “Yes, yes, so be it,” said Corelia, rolling her eyes.

    The contest started one week later. Corelia’s parents were both fairly successful chefs, so she approached the cooking arena with confidence, whereas Leonardo, Bartolommeo, and Angelo were baffled by what they saw before them.

    “They have everything!” exclaimed Corelia. “Fire pits, cooking pots, ingredients, utensils…”

    “We are to build our own fire?!”

    “What use are these?” said Angelo, holding up some flint and steel.

    “What have you dragged us into?”

    A bugle sounded. “Hear ye, hear ye!” The magic teacher was seated in front of the arena. “You shall have two hours to complete a delicious meal using no magic at all! I have assigned a trustworthy judge to inspect your completed products! Let the event begin!”

    Corelia rushed toward a fire pit. Lying next to it was some flint and steel needed to light a fire. She smiled and immediately set to work. Soon the fire was blazing. Corelia ran to the receptacle where meat was kept and grabbed a slab of hamburger to cook.

    The boys, however, were not doing so well. Bartolommeo was hitting together his flint and steel furiously, with no result. Angelo was hurriedly adding more and more sticks to his fire pit. Corelia caught Leonardo with his wand out, trying to surreptitiously light a fire with magic.

    “Hey, no magic!” Leonardo jumped. Upon seeing her, he grinned sheepishly. “Look,” said Corelia. “This is how you do it.” She grabbed Leonardo’s flint and steel. “You strike these together, like this, over the wood. It makes a spark, which sets it aflame,” she explained, demonstrating as she went.

    “Thanks.”

    She smiled amusedly and went back to work.

    “Yes!” Angelo looked proudly at his fire. After struggling for several minutes, he had finally figured out how to use his flint and steel to light the wood.

    Hmmm… Now what?

    Angelo sat by his fire and thought. He had a fire, but what now? What was he to make?

    He got up. His father had told him once before to trust his instincts when all else failed. So he would do whatever random thing popped into his head. Perhaps it would work.

    Corelia’s meat was nearly finished. She mixed a dough to make noodles and looked over to see how the others were doing. She heard Bartolommeo swear and saw him frantically ripping off his apron, which was on fire.

    “Are you in need of assistance?” she asked him.

    “No,” he said indignantly.

    She raised an eyebrow at him and turned away.

    Leonardo’s meat was burning. He had put it straight in the fire, with no cooking pot, and now realised that he could not get it back out without burning his hands. In a panic, he tore through the cooking arena in search of a tool that could help him.

    Finally, he came upon some tongs. After spending three minutes learning how to use them (Bartolommeo sniggered at this, being a blacksmith’s son and having more experience with simple things like tongs), he quickly pulled out his meat, which was now blackened and covered with ash. He let out a frustrated huff and glanced over to where Corelia was.

    She was doing very well. She had two fires going, one for her meat and the other for noodles. She was now chopping some vegetables.

    Leonardo discarded his ash-covered steak and hastened to copy what Corelia was doing.

    One hour had passed. Corelia was shaping her cooked hamburger into perfect, round little balls. Leonardo was feverishly cutting dough into noodles. Bartolommeo was throwing away a lasagna that looked more like a strip of rubber with chunks of tomato and cheese on top. Angelo, however, had made something very odd-looking. It was a circle of dough with tomato sauce smothered all over it. He was now topping it with cheese, peppers, and little round pieces of meat.

    Corelia took her noodles out of the fire and placed them in a wooden bowl. She made a tomato sauce and carefully spread it over the noodles. Then, she added her chopped up vegetables and meatballs and mixed them together.

    “RRGH!” Bartolommeo swore as he dropped a plateful of potatoes into his fire. Time was running out and he had nothing to present to the judges.

    Corelia finished her meal with time to spare. Using leftover scraps from her noodles, she decided to add a slice of garlic bread to round off her dish. When they were finished, she stepped back to admire her work. It certainly looked delicious.

    Suddenly, she had an idea. Mother always told her that a good garnish could work wonders. She ran to the herb rack and grabbed a handful of parsley. Just as she laid the sprigs on the plate, a bugle sounded.

    Judging time.

    The four contestants walked up to the judge. Bartolommeo, it seemed, had completely given up. Stepping forward, he presented his repugnant dish.

    “My haggis,” he said. Corelia stifled a snort with difficulty.

    The judge gave him a disgusted look and began to eat. With the first bite, he gagged and spat onto the ground.

    “It’s revolting!” he exclaimed. “Uuugh. I think I may be sick.” He drank deeply from his goblet, then said, “Bring me the next dish, and may the Lord have mercy on me this time.”

    Bartolommeo stepped back, looking very sullen indeed.

    Leonardo brought forward his plate. “It’s, erm, spaghetti. Yeah.”

    The judge raised his eyebrows skeptically at the undercooked noodles and began to eat. It was obvious that he was not impressed. “Well, at least it was not so dreadful as the haggis.”

    Corelia smiled smugly at the boys and stepped forward. “This is a spaghetti pasta primavera, with garlic bread.”

    The judge took a few bites and gave her an approving nod.

    Angelo went last. “I’ve prepared this,” he said, gesturing toward his strange food. It appeared to be a circle of dough with tomato sauce, peppers, meat, and cheese piled on top.

    “Indeed,” said the judge, puzzled. “What… What exactly is it?”

    “Erm… It’s an original creation of my own.”

    “I see.”

    The judge took a bite. As he chewed, his eyes widened with delight. “By gar!” he shouted. “This is wonderful! Spectacular! What will you call this amazing creation of yours, lad?”

    Angelo’s face lit up. He thought for a moment.

    “Pizza.”

    • Wonderful! How creative! Rodrick, I had a blast reading this. I think you did a terrific job turning this prompt into a full and delightful story!

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  • Rodrick Rajive Lal

    Some of these ideas are rather funny and strange, I guess I could use a couple of them for my next couple of short stories.

    • Go for it, Rodrick! I was aiming for something a little “different.” 🙂

      • Rodrick Rajive Lal

        Yes, Ruthanne, I have got your list of ideas, and whenever I have a writer’s block, I look at them for some inspiration. Thanks for sharing the list!

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  • Kalenz

    1. A dragon drops in for the opening day celebration of a new local health food store (let’s call it Hale Feeds). P. S: No one knew dragons were real.

    Hey Ruthanne and others,

    I wrote this in a few minutes and am looking for some constructive criticism. Thanks a bunch! I hope you enjoy it as much as I had fun imagining it.

    The sun shines over the silhouette of a tiny shadow, the darkness created by the light blocked by a newborn hatchling flying over a meadow of flowers holding a randomly assortment of vivid colors, lush with dazzling brightness and varying shades in all hues of the spectrum. Exhausted from the long flight, alone and somewhat scared due to being separated from his spawn, he’s flying close to the ground just a few feet from the surface and able to smell the flowers nectar, he’s preparing to land and walk to conserve energy. The smell of flowers begin to get stronger, in reaction he realizes a gust of wind is about to blow underneath him and decides to ride the wave upwards to get a clearer vantage point of his location to survey which direction he should head towards. His wings pull back to confront the oncoming pressure, tilting them upwards from the back in preparation. Wind catches his wings as they inflate open like a sail just grabbing a headwind lifting him up while pushing him back. He adds some flutters into the mix and escalates in altitude, above the tree line, his shadow shrinking into oblivion in almost an instant.

    Thinking to himself, about half a mile in the sky now looking frantically in all directions, *There’s a small village over there… perhaps they would be courteous enough to share some food and water with me.* He begins to glide downwards, increasing his speed while using practically no energy other than holding his body straight using his tail as a rudder against the wind to prevent him from straying off course. Halfway to his destination he internalizes the reaction of the people, he knows dragons are a new thing only recently created in this world but his fatigue has gotten the best of him. He can’t hunt due to his empty stomach; there are no lakes around to his knowledge, but he doesn’t care assuming all people are like those he’s been in contact with and thinks back to the few years of the ones who had raised him with gentle care, he remembers the joy of learning how to speak and fly. Thinking again, *besides… there’s only about 50 people.*

    He lands on top of a building in order to get a feel for the area, looks around and notices a sign on top of another that reads, “Hale Feeds.” Thinking yet again during the surveying *Hale feeds huh? Well… sounds like they serve grain and oats right? Um… If I remember correctly, feed is for cattle and chickens and other domesticated animals so hopefully they’ll at least have some water. I was told to avoid most food other than meat but that I could eat almost any type of seed. I can only hope they’ll point me in the direction of some meat.*

    He jumps off the building; his wings catch the air just before landing on the ground outside the rotating door of the feed store to stall his descent momentarily. He walks in, pushing the revolving door open, and looks around to see what’s going on in the store. He sees not many people are looking around; they’re all focused on the products they’re eyeing. He see’s deal signs plastered all over “grand opening” here, “buy one get one free” over there, enjoying the chilling breeze of the air conditioning unit and smelling the fresh livestock foods. The thinks again, *should… should I steal? I have plenty of time…* pausing; considering the option he returns into his train of thought reminded by his master telling him, “You should never steal anything, there are circumstances that contradict this statement and you should use your own judgement if ever found in such a predicament.” *He’s right, I shouldn’t steal here, I could at least ask before…* He walks towards the counter hiding alongside the aisle in which nobody is currently in confused on how to confront people he’s never met, and those same people who have never heard of a dragon. Crawling to the edge, focusing his footsteps slowing, making absolutely no sound, he can see someone behind a cash register and he instantly realizes *THIS IDEA IS STUPID* *I SHOULD JUST STEAL, OMG WHAT WAS I THINKING!? I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE* as he frantically turns around and his muscles contract to start a dash out of the store as quickly as possible. But, as he turns around picturing the empty aisle in his head straight to the rotating door, there’s a human staring directly at him on the other end. Frozen in fear he is unable to make any movements other than lowering his head in a bowing motion to signal intelligence, and appear non-aggressive. The teenage kid, roughly 17 years old walks a little closer slowly crouching downwards to seem as least threatening as possible with his arms outstretched to his side like he was grasping a large boulder on the ground. Halfway down the aisle, he stops, nearing the ground and asks stuttering, “Are?.. are you a dragon?” The dragon replies, “Yes, I am.” The kids mind screams in excitement and understands his situation quickly. “The old people here would probably have a heart attack and a massive uproar if they see you. You should get out of here ASAP,” the kid states quickly and softly in a whispered tone looking out for the dragon’s well-being. The dragon responds, “I’m too hungry and thirsty, I’m just so confused and terrified to think rationally… I’d have never come here otherwise,” as he walks along the edge trying to find an escape route from this situation. The kid says, “Get out of here without being seen, I’ll try to follow you to the edge of town so we can talk safely.” The dragon nods in agreement, and swiftly heads towards the corner of the aisle next to the door. Looking down both ways to make sure he’s safe, double checking to be certain. The kid walks past him and walks out the door looking around as well and motions that there’s nobody around.

    -Mike

    • Aww! I love what you did with this, Mike! This is pretty good for a quick one-off!

      I’d suggest adding a few more paragraphs for readability next time, but I really hope you keep creating like this. Good job!

  • Alice Sharp

    9. One bright morning in May, all domestic pets start talking.
    “My…” Lucy peered out through the window in which the birds had made their nest. The old cat was unaware of this, so she was delighted but far too lazy to even try to paw at the window. “Birds? That’s quite unusual…”
    “What is it now, Lucy?” Sam growled, obviously annoyed. “You’re waking all of us.” The dog snorted. “Why don’t you go back to sleep?”
    “But Sam,” Lucy protested. “Birds have made a nest. On the windowsill!”
    Hazel yapped, “No one cares about birds! Go to sleep!”
    Hazel’s surprisingly loud yap had woken the owner, who was not very happy to see all her pets fighting. It was a while before she realized the animals could really talk, after only thinking she was hallucinating. Not wanting to have none of this, she lazily dragged herself to bed and left the animals to argue.
    Lucy, though old and fat, was a good fighter. She fluffed out her gray fur and unsheathed her claws, snarling at Hazel. “Say that again, pup.” She said the last word with such anger that she’d scared the little pup away, leaving him to hide under the coffee table.
    Sam stood, revealing himself to be much taller and stronger than Lucy, and he leaped at the cat.
    The two writhed in battle, Lucy having scratched Sam roughly on the cheek, leaving a small wound. Sam had the cat pinned down in no time, but Lucy had faked being defeated and leaped at Sam, raking his belly with her claws. A few hours later, Sam had given in, and Lucy was back staring at the birds on the windowsill in peace.

  • Griffinclaw

    rubbish ideas.