Free Story Prompts #1

 

Write a story about a bum who lives in an underground hovel he’s built in a run down, field on the poor side of the biggest city in the nation. He hates society with a passion and stocks his hovel with enough food and water so he doesn’t have to leave his house for months at a time. When he runs out of food he works and begs until it’s restocked and hides from the world again. During one of his retreats war breaks out between his country and another one. His city is attacked by biological weapons and everyone dies. The bodies aren’t even removed. The whole city is just quarantined. Nobody goes in and nobody goes out. The bum comes out for food and finds the city abandoned and falling apart. He celebrates the demise of society until refugees start coming into town, fleeing the war. They all talk of hope, and the bum tells them their belief in hope is bullshit because once the war ends they’re just going to go right back to their shitty old ways being shitty to each other and chasing after the petty bullshit that society wastes its life chasing. The people chase him off. So he walls off a section of the subway, stocks it with a lifetime of food and burns the whole city down.

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Write a story about an old cat lady who has like 38 cats. It turns out that all those cat ladies you hear about on television are women who have the ability to talk to cats. Some cat ladies are recruited by governments to use their cats on spy missions. Some cat ladies just use them to gather gossip around the neighborhood. Some cat ladies become prisoners of their cats.

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Write a story about a game show in which all the questions the host asks the contestant are about the contestant. The contestant has to see how well they really know themselves. If they answer all the questions right and prove they truly know themselves their prize is a lifetime of contentment and meaningful endeavors. If they lose they’re condemned to a lifetime of confusion, uncertainty, and chasing after meaningless goals.

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Write a story about an actor who has played the same character for 56 years and is desperately bored with his life. He’s suffering from an identity crisis and wants to be somebody else.

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Write a story about a hacker/psychologist who figures out how to control people’s minds by suggesting a subliminal message to them while inducing controlled epilepsy. He makes funny, high quality flash cartoon song videos for television to target children, whose minds can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy very well yet anyway. He tells the children to do something drastic. I haven’t figured out what yet though.

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Write a story that takes place on another planet where all the aliens are really cool looking and chilled out and smart and quirky and unique. An alien invader tries to attack and enslave them and stress them out and make them work harder and conform and get dumb and be assholes. Whenever the conversion is complete the cool aliens look like humans.

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Write a parable about a father who sends his son out of the house to live his life. The kid leaves, and after a time he comes back. He tells his father he’s figured out what he’s supposed to do with his life. He says that since his father gave him life he should spend his life worshiping his father. The father sends him back out into the world to figure out life again. After a time the kid comes back and tells his father he’s figured out that since his father is the wisest person in the world he should spend his life obeying his fathers orders and that he’s going to devote his life to doing chores. The father makes him leave again and figure out life. After a time the kid comes back and tells his father that he’s figured out it’s not enough for he, himself to obey his father’s orders but the entire world should be made to live according to his father’s wisdom. The father tells him to go back out into the world and figure out life. After a time the kid comes back and tells his father that he’s figured out that since his father is so great he deserves to have a house that matches his glory. So he’s going to devote his life to building a house worthy of his father’s glory. The father sends him back out in the world to figure out life again. Eventually the kid figures out that his father gave him life to live his own life.

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Write a story about a world in which the only currency is karma. The more you spend the more destitute your life becomes. The less you spend the more abundant your life becomes. When you go into debt to buy shit your life becomes utterly destitute. Money is called “Double D’s” for “Destitution Dollars.”

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Write a story that takes place in the town nearest to where Noah built his ark. The people find out that God is planning on destroying civilization. The story follows how an innocent young boy comes to terms with the unfairness of Yahweh’s anger and the threat of death. In the end it turns out the flood never comes. The people lynch Noah for causing such a commotion, but they leave his ark as a reminder of the evil of religion.

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Write a story that takes place in a gothic future.

All cars are remakes of classic cars.
Sex, music, and violence are everywhere.
Everyone is an orphan
There are lots of graveyards, gargoyles, dead people, stories/memories of dead people
There is an atmosphere of impending doom
It is always night
People have super powers that reflect a manifestation of their fears.
The rulers have wings.
Swords and knives are preferred to guns.
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Write a story about a nomadic Hebrew family in Biblical times sitting around a camp fire telling their traditional folklore stories to their kids to educate them. A time traveler appears in the distance and approaches the camp. He tells the nomads that in the future people will take their folklore literally and will fight over interpretations and oppose science that contradicts their stories. All the nomads laugh at the time traveler and suggest that he write a campfire story about how stupid that would be.

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Write a story that takes place in a country where nobody owns land. Instead, every family is allotted a certain amount of acreage. The location of the acreage isn’t predetermined though. You can pick any unclaimed acrage you want. You can even relinquish control of your acreage and pick another plot of equal size somewhere else whenever you want as long as that acreage hasn’t been claimed at the moment. You can’t increase your allotment through buying or selling. You can trade on a 1 for 1 swap though. In your will you can give someone first option to claim your land, but they will have to give up their current land to get it. If nobody takes your land when you relinquish it, it simply goes back into public holding.

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Write a story in where it is discovered that all ghost sightings were actually sightings of time travelers from the future who are visiting the past. The time travelers slide down the outside of the space-time continuum of our dimension. When they get too close to the bubble of existence they become slightly visible.

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Write a story about a kid who finds a magic book in the unfrequented back corner of an old book store. All the pages are blank. Whenever he writes something he gets sucked into the book and experiences it. A moment later he returns to the real world but can’t bring anything back from the book world. At first he writes down all of his wildest fantasies and lives them. After a time though that becomes meaningless and he starts asking himself what he’s supposed to write and not just what he wants to write.

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Write a story about Death’s best friend. His name is Larry Calahan. Larry lives in a lower middle class suburb of Buffalo, NY. The story is about Larry telling his neighbors (at a backyard BBQ) about how well he’s gotten to know Death over the years.

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Write a story about an alien who’s hobby is building lifelike miniature wind up toy robots made to resemble humans. He’s made different miniatures to represent different character stereotypes in our society.

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Write a story about a modern day office building. It has your typical office culture and office drama except everyone who works there are gladiators. Their office battles are acted out physically instead of snidely like in real life. You could actually make a series of these kinds of stories in which a mundane office is filled with aliens, zombies, monks, punk rockers, generals, wizards, demons, etc.

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Write a story that takes place so far in the future that we’ve built a machine that can do just about anything. IT’s called the hand of God. It creates anything you need. IT tells you anything you need to know. It can instantly take you anywhere in the universe. IT does other shit too. It’s the size of a button, and people get it implanted in the back of their necks. IT grows into your brain and gives you the mental power of the universe’s greatest super computer. We travel to every corner of the universe and find out that the whole thing is spinning around a black hole. Time becomes measured by the rotation of the universe. There becomes such thing as one million o’clock.

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Write a story about a brazen, wealthy aristocrat youth from the industrial era. The character is based on Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Einstein, etc. He goes into politics and is a very progressive thinker as well as an atheist and fun loving “sinner.” But above all he’s an intellectual. As a side project he invests in experimental technology. One of the borrowers he’s invested in invents time travel. The aristocrat travels to the future and looks himself up in a high school history book to see what becomes of him and how history remembers him. He is appalled by how oversimplified, twisted, and jingoistic not only his story but all of history is remembered.

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Write a story about a village of people who have allowed themselves to be tricked into slavery by a bank. A young hero comes to town and sees the travesty going on. He tries to rally the people to throw off their shackles and reclaim their dignity and freedom. 99% of the people give him excuses and jeer him. So he decides he doesn’t give a shit about people who don’t want to save themselves. So he gives another speech the next day explaining that and telling everyone else that they can’t overthrow their slavers peacefully unless everyone is involved. So their only two other options are assassination and escape. A few people decide to escape and start their own self-sufficient farm and let the people who chose slavery suffer their choice.

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Write a story about a boy who is raised in a monastery. The monastery has futuristic communication devices and learning tools, but the rest of their technology is primitive. The children are not allowed to watch junk entertainment. They work hard, study hard, and are trained to understand life and be masters of thinking. At the age of 30 they’re released from the monastery and are sent to their home planet. They learn then that they were all nobility all along and were being trained to be humble, wise kings and queens. The protagonist goes home and meets his father for the first time. His father continues to teach him about life, problem solving, responsibility, etc.

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Write a story that is a satirical take on the movie, “Cube.” In it a group of people realize they’re alive and panic to figure out why they’re here and what they’re supposed to do before they die. One by one they die off from common causes of death in our society.

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Write a story about a kid who is quickly and easily convinced that the world is ending in 2012. So he sells everything he owns and goes traveling to experience as much of life as he can before the world ends.

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Write a story that takes place in America 80 years from now. A Hollywood production company makes a movie based on the idea that the world would end in 2012. They try to recreate American life as it was back then. They do a bad job of it like how movies about the 1920’s that are made today are often oversimplified, stereotyped, and have anachronisms in them.

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Write a story about a steampunk world where a near planetary gas leak causes 90% of the world’s population (and all of those people’s decedents) to only retain 5 years of memory. It causes cataclysmic problems until the people develop a method of dealing with their handicap. Books become the most valuable objects in the world. People make lots of lists and prioritize everything. People really get life figured out and start living life-like it was meant to be lived. Then the 10% of the population with full memory start manipulating each generation until they’ve tricked everyone into being their slaves and letting them get away with anything they want.

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Write a parody of the Lion King that revolves around a pack of red neck mountain lions living in Texas during the Wild West.

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Write a story about 2 military policemen with the same name who keep getting stationed at the same military bases. They become friends, and after too many coincidences they go to the MPF to find out that the military only has one record of them and thought they were the same person. The MPF doesn’t know which of them their record is for. So the soldiers don’t know which person is the real one. The MPF deletes the record all together and rebuilds separate records for each of them. The 2 soldiers have a funeral for themselves and burn the expunged record. Perhaps also have another character who frequents their gates over the years. Sometimes he’s stationed at their base. Sometimes he’s on vacation. Sometimes he’s TDY. One day he dies at the gate. Later his twin comes to the gate to talk to them about his brother’s death and it freaks the shit out of them.

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Write a story that takes place in a world where early in history, mythology died out as the dominant religion because it’s stupid. Instead, math became the dominant religion.

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Write a series of stories that take place long after the zombie apocalypse. The world hasn’t been rebuilt yet. We’ve merely made a series of strongholds to survive in…hoping we survive long enough to rebuild society.

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Write a story about the military general who defeats the zombies. The story looks at the strategic planning and execution of the zombie war. It follows the general and his correspondence with his son, who is an infantry officer. Their mantra is “Logic is the strongest weapon.” The progression of the story and the strategic lessons explored in the story follow the same strategic progression and lessons needed to win any  real time strategy video game.

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Write a story about a biker who meets the ghost of his great, great grandfather, who was a cowboy with cast iron grit.

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Write a story about a normal guy who decides to grow a mustache like Salvidor Dali.

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Write a story about a working class union uprising like “Newsies” except it’s punk rock and slightly skin head. It takes place in a country that was once brutally communist until a constitutional republic/capitalist uprising overthrew the oppressive and exploitative bourgeois and created a republic/capitalist utopia. However, the industrial and political leaders began conspiring against the common man until life was no different than how it was under the corrupted form of communism they once lived under. So the working class overthrows their industrial and political leaders again and form an anarchist state based on self-sufficiency and minimal power centers.

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Write a story about 3 little boys who go camping without adult supervision in their back pasture for the first time. They travel nearly half a day’s walk to their camp site. That night two illegal immigrants wander into the camp. The kids are scared at first, but they share their food and talk with the immigrants all night in broken English. The kids come to sympathize and respect the workers, and the next day the workers leave before the kids wake up. The workers leave a gift behind for the kids.

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Write a story like “Liar, Liar” or “The Yes Man” except the protagonist decides to doubt everything. At first this turns his life to shit as his whole world is torn down, but towards the end he realizes he’s just been stripping away the bullshit of life and leaving what’s real. By the end of the story he’s the happiest and most real person in the world.

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Write a story about a modern Arab prince who spends all his oil inheritance building a flying fortress that is practically invincible. It never has to land because it’s hung in geosynchronous orbit by a huge satellite and tether. He can grow all the food he needs to survive up there. The people of the world are angry that he can live at peace how he wants to without having to obey any of the laws of the world. They riot and demand he be held accountable.

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Write a story about a regular suburban street kid who gets a princely inheritance from a distant relative he didn’t know he had. He doesn’t know what to spend the money on, and since he’s always had a sort of fetish for killer mercenary movies he decides to hire a real life squad of ex-military war criminal mercenaries.

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Write a horror story about a mad doctor who figures out how to splice robotic parts and animal parts together to make mutant killing creatures. Eventually he starts experimenting on children captured by his mutant animals who view him as their mother or alpha male. He combines animal, robot, and child body parts to make even more monstrous mutants. Eventually a group of high school kids stop him and the police seize his laboratory and all his creations. The story ends 60 years in the future when those high school kids are now elderly. The medical field has been revolutionized by the doctor’s research, and now everybody has robots and animals spliced into their body to help them live longer.

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Write a story about a sea captain of a medium sized cargo vessel during pirate times. He’s a drunkard who is exasperated with life. His crew is comprised entirely of lovable monkeys (maybe sock monkeys) who enthusiastically and obediently carry out his every command. They’re richly rewarded with bananas. The captain sails his vessel around the Caribbean with his crew of monkeys running rum as he drinks himself into oblivion and contemplates the futility of life. Maybe he flirts with a mermaid and visits his zombie parents in their voodoo graveyard.

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Write a story about men in black who hunt illegal extra terrestrial aliens who have just come to earth to work to support their families back home and don’t want to kill anyone or steal anything.

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Write a story about a group of neighborhood kids who build a club house in the woods behind their neighborhood. They make clubhouse rules and a friendship pact. They refine their rules and clubhouse philosophy into a full mission statement. They’re so proud of what they came up with that they show it to their parents. Their parents turn the document and their children over to the CIA, which ahs formed a branch devoted to catching communists in America. The children are taken to an American military-run  terrorist holding camp in South America. The camp is in the middle of a massive cocaine plantation. If you escape the camp the cocaine farmers shoot you. The kids are interrogated about where they learned their communist ideals and are sent through a re-education boot camp.

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Write a short story about a woman who gets a phone call from her life. She barely starts talking to her life when work calls. She puts her life on hold to talk to work. She ends up talking to work so long she forgets she put life on hold. When she’s finished talking to work she hangs up and realizes life was still on hold. Excitedly she tells life that she is glad life waited for her, but they just start talking again when her life says it’s out of time and has to hang up. When the woman hangs up the phone she dies.

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Write a story that takes place in a future where the only buildings allowed to be built (and that haven’t been torn down) are skyscrapers.

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Write a story about a family of flying clocks who live in a nest perched high on a skyscraper. The story is about the parents hatching, raising, and watching their baby flying clocks leave the nest and grow old.

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Write a story about a world in which every corporation is given the status of a government. They are the sole source of law on the property they own and for the people they employ. All regular governments and political borders are dissolved. Corporate governments that work best and fight dirtiest can grow and take over more land. Corporate governments that are inefficient, lack intelligence, and/or fight clean go bankrupt and disappear.

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Write a comedy about a kid growing up in the early 90s whose only dream in life is to become the world’s greatest “Yo Mamma” joke teller.

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Write a story about a martial arts instructor who teaches a form of martial arts he’s invented called Sloth-Fu (or something like that). He has a whole philosophy around being lazy. All of his fighting techniques revolve around tricking the opponent and weaseling your way out of conflict. Should a conflict come to blows, all of his attacks revolve around sucker punching the opponent.

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Write a story about a robot butler who just retired and doesn’t know what to do with his life now.

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Write a story about an android whose body is made out of nanobots and can shape shift into anything its own size. It can also split its body apart, and each part can change into anything of its size and operate independently of any other part of the body. Each nanobot doubles as a solid state hard drive/RAM/CPU that shrinks and expands when electric current is passed through it. The shrinking/expanding allows each piece to behave like a muscle relaxing and contracting so the robot can achieve locomotion without the use of motors.

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Write a story about a village of mushrooms who live on the mossy floor of the deepest, darkest part of a forest. They have an articulate philosophy about why the daylight sucks.

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Write a story about a family of walking, talking trees. They live in a society where everything is made from wood. They consider themselves good Christians who devote their lives to serving God and helping people. But they don’t really do anything. They just go through and endless routine pattern of going back and forth to and from work and home and buying wooden crap they don’t need for their large wooden home. They barely put any leaves in the collection plate at church and hate trees that have different kinds of bark or grow their branches differently.

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Write a story that takes place in an Alaskan looking sea port village. The people are Viking-ish. Narwhals migrate past their coast and are known for their magical horns. Poachers try to kill them but the villagers patrol the seas and try to protect the magical narwhals. Legend has it that narwhals carry the souls of children to Heave, which is a warm, tropical place. One little kid’s sister dies of pneumonia, and the kid follows his sister’s soul to the passing narwhal migration and follows them to the North Pole where there’s a gateway to Heaven. The story follows his hazardous journey there and his climactic experience when he gets to Heaven and how it changes him after that. Of course both the poachers and his parents chase him the whole way to Heaven.

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Write a story about a biker gang that lives in a Mad Max desert land where there is no government. Pure anarchy is the rule. To one side of their territory is a town that’s trying to organize itself bureaucratically. To the other side of their territory is a land controlled by ruthless bandits.  The bikers are trying to keep a balance between having good, core rules and values whole not becoming too bogged down with rules and not having so few rules you do stupid, self-destructive shit. Maybe the bikers live in mine shafts.

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Write a story about a Merlin-ish wise old wizard who lives alone in a giant hollowed out petrified mushroom deep in an enchanted forest. He’s a genius and needs lots of time alone to work on his experiments and projects, but sometimes he gets lonely. Unfortunately there are few visitors and fewer colleagues he respects. When he goes into town he gets aggravated by how stupid everyone is. He begins to suspect he’s too uptight. Around the same time he just happens to meet a town girl who he is attracted to. She tries to loosen him up, and it almost works, but in the end he decides she’s not as smart as he thought she was and he was just projecting his expectations onto her. It turns out she’s actually quite dumb and has no idea what’s going on in life and was just dragging him down. He dumps her ass before it’s too late and goes back to working on his research alone and fucking prostitutes and being happy without some needy, daffy bitch dragging him down for the rest of his life.

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Write a story about a Tim Burton-esque zombie who lives at the edge of zombie town. He finds being dead terribly boring because the dead lose all their survival urges like hunger, horniness, love, etc. These zombies don’t want to kill people and/or eat their brains. They just mope about all day. Anyway, one day the zombie meets a black cat (who is the FOIL of Jimminy Cricket). The cat convinces the zombie that he can become a live person again. So they go on a quest to make that happen. At the end he becomes a real person again and returns home to zombie land. Home again he enjoys life to its fullest and indulges all his living desires without feeling guilty about them (like he did the first time he was alive). He even gets a zombie wife who he has necrophiliac sex with and she does anything he asks her to do around the house because she’s a zombie and doesn’t give a fuck. He thinks about bringing her back to life but decides to put it off for an undetermined amount of time.

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