The Collected Writing Prompts of Brian A Thomas

So there’s a group on Reddit called Writing Prompts. You are given a short sentence or an image, and this serves as something of a prompt for you to write a short story. Some of these stories people develop later on.

I haven’t written much fiction since I was in 10th grade or so (one story got published by the school, and so far as I know there’s only one copy of that book, in that schools library, if I can ever find a copy of the file for that story I might put it here), and I graduated back in 1988… so it’s been a long time since I’ve written much. Back then I mostly wrote horror, and I wanted to write science fiction, but couldn’t seem to write any and so I largely gave up.

Here then are my replies to various writing prompts (or other writings outside of the prompts). I’ll post the prompt, then my reply, and then a small comment on the prompt/reply. Newest stories at the bottom. I’ll try and keep this up to date. Last update 23 May 2017.

Most of these stories are quick, off the cuff stories with very little editing. They are just free form, stream of consciousness writing. I may, during the story, jump back to an older point to fix something that changed midstory, but few, if any, of these have been re-read and edited for flow.

1 November 2015
The Museum Director’s Day – (Fan Fiction) An Overwatch Fan Fiction
Not a writing response and added to this list on 31 July 2016 as it is still a collected writing, and this page may become more a collection of writings than just responses to Writing Prompts. There are a few breaks from the official lore here, but preserved here to be complete.

14 June 2016
[WP] You just moved to a new neighborhood and you hear the music of an ice cream truck coming down the street. As you and your family walk outside you notice all your neighbors rushing inside and locking their doors and windows.
The Ice Cream Truck
(Lovecraftian Horror) This was the first prompt I actually responded to. I had a pretty clear idea of the Gray Lands here, and those Gray Lands are part of another story that’s been jumping around in my head. I have a clear idea of the start, various bits of the middle that tell of the one characters moments in the Gray Lands when said character is there and not in our world, and the end… the rest in the middle though are basically short stories, hard to explain how and why without giving away the whole kit and caboodle, and those I am not sure how to fill out.

3 July 2016
[WP] When Humanity discovered that they were not alone in the universe, they began preparing for the inevitable invasion from above. Little do they know that the Atlanteans have been preparing for this invasion since the dawn of time.
Atlantis Rises
(Science Fiction) There is another story of mine that also wants to be told that this was somewhat inspired by. That one I’ll go into more detail about. That one doesn’t involve Atlantis though. The story is told in a mix of 3rd Person and 1st Person narratives. The 1st Person narrative is one of the last humans left in the universe. There is still a communications like device that falls to Earth, this is found by the person doing the 1st person narrative bits. Planted there by a race that sees potential for humanity to become great, in the short story they hate humanity, but here they see potential. Humanity soon learns it isn’t alone, and building off the lessons learned via the communications device (it is sort of a strange properties device that connects to the universe at large, which gives us the equivalent of TV and the Internet of the universe). Most of the races ignore our communication attempts, but a few accept our pleas for help and give us some educational boosts to reach the stars on our own. However, humanity itself hasn’t evolved past our warlike nature, proselytizing, immaturity from having reached the stars too early, and not respecting the other species and thinking ourselves something special, makes the rest of the species take exception to humanity and humanity is soon largely wiped out.

8 July 2016
[WP] You are a senior in high school. One day, upon opening your locker, you find a strange note attached to a small bag. Before you can look inside the bag, you recieve a text from a blocked number that says, “Take it and run.”
The Book bag in the Locker (working title) Part 1
The Book bag in the Locker (working title) Part 2
(Science Fiction – Young Adult) There is a 10,000 character limit when making a reply, so I had to split this up. As I was writing this, as noted in one of my replies, this started to strike me that it was heading to a typical Young Adult story with the typical romance angle involved and I was about to flip the script and make the girl friend part of the enemy faction, but in the end I decided that isn’t where the story itself wanted to go and I let it go where it wanted. From here I would guess it does indeed go to the typical Young Adult type thing where he saves humanity…

11 July 2016
[IP] We can’t turn back. – (Image Fantasy Journey by pandumahardika).
Night of the Eggs Part 1
Night of the Eggs Part 2
(Fantasy) By far, as of 13 July 2016, my favorite story… Sadly it didn’t get many up votes. I can see even this section expanding a lot more, and indeed put a few notes where the expansion was going to happen. I’m not sure what sort of adventures they have after this area of the story yet. I might revisit this story and expand it out though. Also this was a very rough draft and got a few names wrong and need to fix a few things. Still I liked it better on a personal level than the others, even though it is well outside my usual genres of writing. That said though, this fantasy setting is slowly starting to settle in my mind…
Okay, a small aside. Image Prompts are like Witting Prompts, but rather than get a short sentience to get you going, you are given an image.
This one will likely get expanded on and posted as a full story here at some point as this story needs to be finished.
There are two more planned short stories in this, plus a possible third to pull them together… after that I don’t know. However, I might pursue publishing the first one here after the other two are done, and this one is fleshed out more.

13 July 2016
[WP] After living an unremarkable life, you die. In the afterlife you’re judged and sent to heaven. Once there you learn that across all time, only fifteen other people have made it to heaven and none of you know why.
Heaven for 16
(Fiction) Okay, so the first Writing Prompt I nearly replied to was one where you get to Heaven, memory wiped, and you have to watch the life of somebody and judge them, it turns out you were judging yourself. I never replied to that one in time. This one is another Heaven/Hell prompt which seems to be a common theme among the prompts. Anyhow, this is perhaps my least favorite of the stories as of 13 July 2016.

13 July 2016
[IP] IX Citadel – (Image – IX Citadel by flx-2).
Siege on IX Citadel
(Fantasy – Science Fiction) The original draft was a bit too heavy on the references to the Dark Tower series. I originally also wanted to end the story before it does here, but the story wanted that full first day told, but I do like the ending, how the narrator says this is it for this story, while leaving room for the story to play out in the readers mind. This isn’t to say that the story won’t get a revisit and expansion here at some point.

15 July 2016
[WP] “The servers will be going offline for routine maintenance in five minutes.” A benign sentence, considering it meant the end of everything.
Servers Will Go Offline in 5 Minutes
(Science Fiction) The ending here caught me by surprise. The rest of it though was pretty clear. A group of work friends out at lunch together, see the message and discuss. Simple enough, but the ending didn’t show up until the story was done.

16 July 2016
Contest (Not From Writing Prompts) Crossout – Unknown Survivors.
Kendra’s Story – Crossout Unknown Survivor 7
(Fan Fiction for a contest) This one is for a contest to win beta access to a game called Crossout. There was a hard limit of 3,000 characters not counting spaces, an introduction and title, which made it really hard to contain the story. While not a prompt from the Writing Prompts sub-Reddit, it is prompted. The prompt link includes a link to the image of the characters that were supposed to inspire us, and we couldn’t conflict with the established mythology as it stood. Note, I did win beta access for the story, so…

27 July 2016
[WP] Write in a fictional character’s voice without using any phrases/names associated with the show. See if people can guess it.
The Cursed Short One
(Science Fiction – Established Universe) A bit tongue in cheek, given the language the narrator uses is likely far above what the narrator would actually use, and whom the narrator is can be guessed at before the part of the story that makes it obvious.

28 July 2016
[WP] 20 years ago, a mysterious illness caused everyone to go deaf, and life has been altered to accommodate it since. You just found the cure, and decide to use it on yourself. As your hearing returns, you instantly regret making that decision.
The Curse of the Hearing Enabled
(Speculative Fiction) I couldn’t even begin to tell you where this was going to go when it started. When I started I think it was going to be 3rd person limited to the main characters POV, but then I started on his journal entries… and then part way after starting those I saw the end. The more I write, the more I often times see it isn’t the story I want to tell, it is the story the story wants to tell. Also the title may need to change after the story was told… but for now I’ll leave it under the original title “The Curse of the Hearing Enabled” if I change title’s I’ll note it here. As of 29 July 2016, this post has been, by far, the most upvoted story I’ve done. When I got started on the first journal entry in the story, I thought I might have a good story, but never expected it to blow up so well. I’m truly shocked at how well it did, especially as from that journal entry on, the story nearly wrote itself.

29 July 2016
[WP] “Thirteen minutes ago was a different time. Things were darker then.”
Thirteen Minutes Ago
(Reality Fiction) I’m going to leave this one mostly uncommented. This one bummed me out, and I don’t know why the story wanted to be told. It’s the story of a suicide survivor and their attempt. As I noted in the after part of the story, I saw the guy in the car fairly clearly and the story really wanted to be told. Perhaps it will touch somebody and help them, though not sure how as the main character doesn’t really get better himself, just moves on. Perhaps that’s what all one can do sometimes though.

30 July 2016
[WP]The Rapture happens while you are skydiving. (Un)fortunately for you, your tandem instructor is one of the chosen ones.
Rapture in Tandem
(Speculative Fiction) I go a bit tongue in cheek again for a different take on the Rapture story.

31 July 2016
The Secrets of Proxi 12
(Science Fiction – Fantasy elements) This is not a writing prompt response, as it is previously written and way too long. However, as they put up a [OT] Sunday Free Write: The Marauder’s Map Edition on 31 July 2016, I decided to go ahead and post it up. It isn’t finished and is mostly abandoned, so I decided may as well let it live and let somebody see it.

31 July 2016
[IP] Black Blade (Image – Black Blade by Vladimir Krisetskiy)
The Black Blade of Olson
(Speculative Fiction?) Another image prompt, another one where I saw where the story was going to go early. Here I ended the story on the opening cliff hanger…

4 August 2016
[WP] The first line of your story is “Even in these chains you can’t stop me.”
The Chains That Don’t Bind
(Speculative – Lovecraftian) Working title only for this section of this story. This one is a bit short and ends with a cliff hanger again, this time as I note in the ending “The Down Below city where the creature and his kind live is something that’s toying around in the back of my mind, but not sure I’m ready to expose it all yet. The nature of the Comet as well as the Threat from Beyond is also part of the same idea…” So there it shall end for the moment. In reality I don’t think the creature offers Marcus the option to follow or not, just expects he’ll follow after the assurance that Cyn would be safe, however I felt it was sort of needed for this version.

23 August 2016
[WP] Jesus: The Teenage Years
Teen Jesus
(Alternative History) In which character limits, and limits on my own creativity at the time, kept me from exploring the main point, his teenage years. In this universe (not ours) Jesus isn’t real (I’m not saying he is or isn’t in ours, this is a story set in alternative universe is all), but was a great teacher. Here his teenage years are spent in Tibet where he learns Buddhism and eventually integrates it with his Jewish upbringing to have his own teachings… this is then carried on by a follower of his, Matthias who would integrate his teachings with the Torah to become the start of Christianity in that world… however it doesn’t go into much of that detail. Overall this is perhaps one of my least satisfying stories as I really wanted to narrow in on just a few days of his time with his teacher and just sort of hint at the rest, but I couldn’t really get into any one moment during his time in Tibet to really pull the story I wanted out and ended up with having to leave the surrounding elements largely intact. As I note in one of the comments, I mostly have been wanting a story to share my vision of time travel, that one can only observe and not interact, much like a ghost, and probably should have waited for a better story for it… Meh, what is done is done.

4 September 2016
[IP]Beyond LonelyImage – Beyond Lonely by Tyson-WH)
To the Prime Gate Part 1
To the Prime Gate Part 2
(Science Fiction) – My first bit since August. I tossed in a Westworld reference more on a whim, and to be clear what the Autos were like… the world is semi-similar, though more a Fantasy MMO version… and barely connected (it shares the same basic universe, but isn’t in universe so isn’t fan fiction). Anyhow, the only thing I was clear on at the start was it was a Fantasy MMO where one of the NPCs were escaping. The story does go on from there in my mind… she gets to the hub where you see trains to other areas of the planet with other parks, then we get to the other planet where she is educated, perhaps sees another company’s area, then moves on… and that is where the story stopped in my head. However, I thought the ending, where I picture her staring right at the reader or camera, and saying yes she was, was the better ending for the story.

23 May 2017
[WP] Every year, as long as you can remember, your village has sent one person through a portal into the unknown, in order to protect the village from what lays on the other side. Nobody’s ever returned. This year, you’ve been chosen.
The Other Side of the Portal Part 1
The Other Side of the Portal Part 2
(Science Fiction) – Another long break… another Westworld reference. Somewhat similar to prior stories. Protagonist finds out, after death (sort of), that they were previously in a simulation, and one of the few to escape to the real world.

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Random Musings of Father, Gamer and occasional YouTuber, and Twitch Streamer, Brian A. Thomas.

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