Looking at the prompt, most people would go with something pretty dark or dismal or something that evoked a sense of hopelessness. I went the other direction. After all, something’s got to break up all that gloom. I was also able to prove to myself that yes, I can think outside the box every once in a while.
It’s nice to have a prompt that allows me to stretch my creative muscles on the silly side. I mean, most prompt make that allowance, but my brain doesn’t always want to work with silly. But this prompt? Once I stopped thinking along the lines of dismal, this prompt just begged for silly.
I had a lot of fun writing this short story and I hope you have as much fun, if not more, reading it. Welcome to the City of Dust.
Prompt: In the City of Dust (from the Tale Foundry writing group)
A Visitor’s Guide to Undur-da-Kouch
Oh, hello there. You’re looking a bit lost. You must be new here. Mind if I show you around?
Welcome to Undur-da-Kouch; a place where dust bunnies like us can work, play, and relax without fear. Over there you can get stale crumbs and other food staples. Over here is our Museum of Forgotten Knick-knacks. Tuesdays are discount day, so it’s the perfect day to take the whole family.
Do you have anywhere to stay? No? I’m sure you’ll find a snug corner of our lovely city to occupy soon enough. Until then, however, there’s always room at the Missing Sock Inn. It’s just two fluffs past the Ribbon Tangle and then a right at Kouch Leg Tower Three. You can’t miss it.
If you need a job, the employment office is in the Wrapping Paper complex. Make sure you have your resume ready. They can get very cranky if they have to help you make one. However, if you’d like to skip that mess, I heard they’re taking walk-ins at the Fuzzy Collecting Factory. It’s not a cushy office job, but it pays well enough and management doesn’t ask too many questions.
Before I forget, there’s something you ought to know. See that line of light? Looks inviting, doesn’t it? Wrong. Never go out there. There are dangerous creatures outside our fair city’s borders. They can eat a thousand dust bunnies and still be hungry. Sometimes, the monsters prowl the edges of Undur-da-Kouch and suck up entire neighborhoods. If you’re looking for somewhere to settle down, I’d recommend a place closer to the downtown district. Sure, there’s a little more crime and the cost of living is higher, but at least you won’t have to worry about getting gobbled up every time the creatures get peckish.
Ah, here we are. This is the place you were looking for, right? Wonderful! I’m glad I could help. I hope you like it here in Undur-da-Kouch. See you around!