Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Prompt - Three World Salad

Arcade

Rumor

Beast

6 comments:

  1. I think the world has frozen over since NaNoWriMo started. I have to admit--I had to reach deep inside to come up with anything for the prompts even though they were good ones. Still... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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  2. It crouched in the farthest corner, behind the Skee-Ball and the rigged crane game. The bright lights somehow faded here. The jingling and clanging and electronic shrieks were muffled. One could almost hear a faint, rhythmic breathing, emanating from within the matte-black cabinet which housed the thing.

    They called it the Beast.

    No one knew how to play it. Its screen flickered black, with two words: "Insert Coin." There were no buttons, no joystick, no pedals or plastic guns. Only a dark hole, lined with velvet, like a glove reaching into the shadowed interior. The few boys brave enough to risk their quarters were unable to make the machine do anything. Strange geometric shapes passed across the screen, flashed, faded. Then, in the same bone-white letters, "Game Over," and the High Scores list.

    The rumors might have started even so. Mr. Sopherkles, the owner was oddly tight-lipped about the Beast, paling and shaking his head whenever anyone asked about it. "Try the Skee-Ball," he'd say, offering a free token. Most children took him up on that offer.

    But somehow, the High Score on the Beast was updating. Every afternoon when the crowd arrived, fresh from school, there would be a new name at the top of the list. "Belzie." "AsmoD." "Lucie."

    Even that wasn't really where the rumor started. The rumors began when Timothy and his little brother, Ben, hid out in the ball pit until after closing and stayed locked in the arcade overnight. They said they were going to find out who was playing the Beast. They said they'd learn how it worked and get the new high scores.

    In the morning, when Mr. Sopherkles unlocked the doors and turned on the lights, the machines all stood dark and waiting save for one, in the farthest, darkest corner, behind the Skee-Ball and the crane machines. A soft, rhythmic thrumming could be heard, like the purring of an enormous cat. The screen glowed in the shadows:

    "Insert Coin. New High Score."

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  3. Wow. Chilling! That was fantastic.

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  4. Oh, scary! That was great! Mr. Sopherkles...hehe

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  5. The three words are, I think, my favorite style of prompt. How are they generated, out of curiosity?

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  6. Scattercat, I think the silence of the powers that be means that:

    In the deep of night a mighty beast snarls it's way out of the dictionary, clawing aside other minuscule words and devouring others--like Pac-Man in the old arcade game.

    Carnage.

    Carnage.

    Carnage.

    In it's wake, three words alone remain in untouched splendor. Those words will go on to be immortalized forever in prose.

    That's what I've heard, but it's probably just a rumor.

    I like the prompts from the Book of Matches-- and I'm tempted to buy the book at Amazon.

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