Marcus let out a long whistle.

“Can you believe I used to wear this?” he asked, holding up a plaid shirt in an eye-watering shade of yellow.

“By choice?” Jack asked, goggling at it.

“Unfortunately,” Marcus said, examining the shirt with rueful affection, like it was a poem from his angsty teenage years.

“What stopped you?” Jack asked.

“You what?” Marcus asked, dropping the shirt on the pile destined for the charity shop.

“I mean, did the police get involved and ask you to stop breaching the peace or what?”

Jack ducked as the shirt came sailing towards his head.

Wordcount: 100

Prompt word: plaid

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Dante stared into the pool, watching the glimmering carp drift in circles. They were the only spots of colour in the room.

He’d thought the monochrome design was sophisticated when he’d chosen it. If he’d known he’d be trapped here, would he have picked differently? Probably not. He’d been an idiot who found the outlandish wealth represented by an office koi pond hilarious.

He turned to the window. Half-lidding his eyes, the destruction didn’t look quite so awful. The fallen sky-scrapers could just be low buildings and the billowing smoke…? Just dark clouds.

His eyes returned to the circling fish.

Wordcount: 100

Prompt: Some writer friends dared me to fit both carp and skyscraper into a story. This was the (strange) result.

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“That was a good night,” Anneliese sighed, perching on a dining chair.

“But far too long,” Daniella yawned, drifting in from the drawing room.

Anneliese hid a smile. Daniella thought pretending to be exhausted by social occasions made her seem sophisticated.

“Oh,” Daniella said. “Someone must have dropped this.”

Anneliese twisted round. Daniella was holding up a short silver chain. Anneliese stared at the tiny onyx raven swinging from one end.

“I think it belongs to that strange woman who came with Clarissa…”

Anneliese barely heard her sister. If the raven was here, then they had to get out. Now.

Wordcount: 100

Prompt word: Bracelet

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“Is there anything you can do?” she asked.

The wizard looked up from the angular scrying crystal and sucked in air through his teeth.

“I’m afraid it needs recalibrating,” he said at last. “These things can be very temperamental.”

“Will that take long?”

“Not at all.”

With that, he gave the crystal three sound whacks against the edge of the table. Her outraged yelp turned into a gasp as the stone flashed from milky white to the bright gold she was used to.

The wizard handed it back with a smile.

“A bit of percussive maintenance always does the trick.”

Wordcount: 100

Prompt: My laptop glitching, believe it or not.

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Evie set aside the Christmas card from her aunt and grabbed the next one from the stack. It had an international stamp. She slit it open and yelped as sand drifted into her lap.

She stared in dismay at the grains now covering her, the sofa and the carpet. She’d be finding it in the unlikeliest of places for months!

When Evie read the card, she found a message in familiar, sprawling writing:

“Sis

Sorry I couldn’t make it home. Here’s a souvenir of Florida that will hang around and drive you up the wall while I can’t.

Love

Jamie.”

Wordcount: 100

Prompt Word: None this week.

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Cle eased up on the thrusters, letting the shuttle drift nearer to the ancient station. It was a central orb, surrounded by many curved solar panels. The panels were frozen in the act of folding in on one another like a closing hand.

It looked nothing like the sleek stations Cle was used to. But in its day, this had been cutting edge: a station entirely powered by the light of a distant star.

The civilisation that had built it was long gone, save for a few far flung remnants. Their name for this one had somehow survived though: sunflower.

Wordcount: 100

Prompt word: Sunflower

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He jolted awake, sure he’d heard something. He lay there, breath frozen in his chest and ears tingling with the strain of listening.

Nothing except the faint swoosh of traffic. He tried to relax.

There was a faint scuffing sound, like a piece of paper drifting. Maybe something had blown off his desk?

But the window was closed…

He sat up, peering down at the floor. Something shot out from under the bed and he swore.

He flicked on the bedside lamp. A tiny scrap of darkness stopped dead in the middle of the floor, quivered, then slowly faded away.

Wordcount: 100

Prompt Word: darkness

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Anna Lodwick

Anna Lodwick is a freelance writer. She’s a lover of all things geeky, veraciously curious, registered blind and partly made out of titanium