Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Second Prompt

It has been suggested to me that, as an exercise to warm up the creative juices, each day before I sit down to work in my current work in progress I should spend fifteen minutes writing in a "stream of consciousness" manner on a given prompt.

What this means is ... find a writing prompt, set a timer, write whatever comes to mind based on that writing prompt within the time allotted. Don't worry about editing and you go. Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Just write it and allow your creativity to flow.

(I should mention, this type of "by the seat of my pants" writing is the complete opposite from how I normally work. I am a very strict and rigid outliner.)

So ... this is my plan for the winter of 2016-2017. Each day before I go to work on my work in progress, I will select a prompt at random and write whatever comes to mind. I won't edit, I won't worry about typos, grammar or punctuation. I'll just write.

Then I'll post what I write here.

It promises to be an interesting exercise. So without further ado, here is today's prompt:

Earth was originally an intergalactic zoo that was abandoned after the enclosures broke down and the organisms began to mingle. Give a brief summary of (this) history of Earth and an explanation of it now from an alien's POV.

The tour-ship slowed pulled out of warp drive and instigated thrusters. A blue and green world filled my window on the port side of the ship. The overhead PA system crackled and Mwaktaub's voice filled the compartment.

To your left you should be able to make out the shining blue of planet Earth.

So this was Earth. I'd heard stories ... hell, we've all heard stories. It began as an empty rock. Not even vegetation grew there. Then, one day, the great scientist Orktaphab, while on a mission to Darklon 7, collected a species of amoebas that were to volatile to bring back to our home -- Ymidleban Q. But the amoebas, they had the potential to be the cure we were looking for ... the cure for the degenerative disease every Ymidleban male suffered, a disease that stripped away our manhood in slow tortuous nihilism.

So, Orktaphab brought the amoebas to Earth -- the desolate planet. He built a habitat for himself and his team (and the amoebas, of course) and went to work curing our disease. The allowed the amoebas to grow and thrive within the habitat, and several Ymidlebans traveled hundreds of light years just to gaze upon the microscopic creatures that saved our species.

From that day, as our kind roamed the universe, we would collect species from other worlds and bring them to Earth. We built them all habitats which replicated their own planets and the Orktaphab Foundation collected a fee for any Ymidleban curious enough to visit Earth and gaze upon the creatures. (The Orktaphab Foundation donated all its proceeds to young, aspiring scientests on Ymidleban.)

The first creatures to occupy habitats on Earth were small. Microscopic. Bacteria and viruses. Just larks. You had to take turns at the microscopes to be able to see them, and the Orktaphab Foundation wasn't even pulling in enough to support the expense of feeding the animals. So, the traveled to a distant planet and returned with giant lizards. Beasts four times the size of an escape pod, but just as stupid as the bacteria.

These beasts were quite an attraction. It seemed as though every Ymidleban child came to Earth in those days to see the great lizards. Of course, the Orktaphab Foundation shuffled in other creatures at the same time ... other attractions for people to see that weren't the great lizards. Short, squat mammals, for example -- furry creatures with short legs and wide black eyes. These were small enough you could cradle them in your arms.

They were in the "small animal" section, right next to an enclosure of a winged and feathered creature. Where the mammal had a soft pink nose and a tongue caged behind a row of squat teeth, these winged creatures had some

-- TIMES UP -- (but I'm going to finish my thought)

these winged creatures had some kind of hard protrusion. No tongue. No real nose. Just a ... I forget what they were called ... a bill of some sort planted on the end of its face.

We should have known the planet was doomed the day the forcefields failed and the small mammal creature and these winged bill-faced creatures interacted.

A year later, the habitat for small animals was crawling with this hybrid creature -- it was a small mammal covered in brown fur, but on its face was this horrible-looking abomination. A bill in place of its nose and mouth.

-- Good beginning. This is a fun experiment. The time keeps me from getting too invested in the story. I don't have to really care about what I'm writing because none of it is serious, so I can just write and let my imagination run wild.   463 words before the time, for those keeping track. --