Often while toiling away in my daily life, whether I’m at work designing custom art for industry musicians or knee-deep in a pile of dirty laundry, I’m struck by a flash of sudden story inspiration. SSI for you folks who like to abbreviate everything.
(No that’s not my head. I do many things to my hair- the current expression being chocolate with a literal blue-streak, but if I shave my head my spouse would probably give up entirely!)
Don’t chuckle at my affliction, please. It is a real and depressing condition. Seriously. Harvard is giving away grant money to studies that are actively seeking a cure. I promise! Merck already has an expirimental drug. I’m all over that… just as soon as they eliminate a few of the “explosive” side effects.
But I digress. Imagine, if you will, being a writer without enough time to get all of those delicious stories out of her head. They crowd and jostle. It feels like when drank too much Kool-aid as a kid. I can practically feel the sloshing-around. Can you feel my pain yet? Of course you can. You’re probably like me: a voracious reader, writer and overall busy person.
So, without the ability to clone myself or the funds to hire a maid, I’ve decided to set some of my little gems free. So without further ado, here’s my inagural Writing Prompt #1:
I heard someone say that every seven years, the human body goes through one complete cycle of replacing its cells. The person you were seven years ago is physically an entirely different than the one you are today. Now, I have no idea if this is actually true, but think of the literary possibilities!
What if, instead of genetic replicas of the former cells, a virus is activated. Maybe it’s a curse unleashed by a relic. Or a deadly consequence from clandestine experiments. Whatever the cause, slowly your body’s cells are replaced by these mutants. So slowly, that none of your friends or family notices until that crucial tipping point is reached. You begin to act completely out of character. Maybe you are discovered gnawing on a fluffy little bunny-wabbit in the back yard. Or maybe you begin to lose your memories one at a time- one for each cell that’s replaced.
What if the affected person is your spouse, your cherubic toddler, your boss? What if it’s the ruler of the free world? Or that sweet little old ladie that always gives you her peppermints?
What does the “replaced” person want? How has the cellular switcheroo affected them? Do they crave human brains marinated in tobasco sauce? Do they go off on an altruistic journey?
Are they even human anymore? Is it contagious? If so, how is the virus (or proton, amoeba, etc.) spread?
Now that I’ve given you some food for thought, what will you do with it? If you decide to craft a story or novel from this prompt I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave links in the comments below so we can all see how one idea can spin off into infinite directions!