A Troubled Return

For Christmas I got a set of Rory’s Story Cubes. I currently just have the original set but will probably get more in the future. I thought it would be a fun exercise to use them as writing prompts to generate ideas for short snippets of stories or maybe even longer ones as time goes on.  A common type of post that I had envisioned for this blog in getting it set back up was to be my writing exercises and stories I develop along the way.  And that was before I got the story cubes.

So here’s the plan, on a regular basis (as yet to be determined, but possibly daily eventually), I’ll pick 3-5 cubes at random from my bag of nine and roll them.  The images will form the basis for some sort of short story snippet.  I might try to weave them together to form a continuous (or at least related) setting or they may just be random.  It just depends on how I’m feeling that day.  For this first attempt I just used three dice and I ended up with these images:

three dice showing a shooting star, a castle tower, and the letter L in a box

Now, I have to admit, I had no idea what the L in the box was supposed to be or represent.  So I went and looked it up and it turns out it is a representation of a sticker that is common in the UK and hung in cars that have beginning drivers.  To the creators of the cubes, it represents the idea of learning or training.  Once knew that I was ready to go.  The following is what sprung to mind as I started typing.


Sara and her team were returning from their last training mission.  It had been a long exercise and the team was exhausted.  Ahead in the distance they could see the walls of the castle glistening in the light of the setting sun.  The castle had been their home for the last six months while they had trained for the soldiers and scouts for the King’s Army.  It was a welcome sight that cheered them greatly after two long weeks in the forests and marshes of Talnok.

As the sun set and the stars began to appear, Sara noticed something unusual in the night sky.  Hanging over the castle was a faint comet, just on the horizon and poised as if hurtling toward the castle to destroy it.  She shuddered as an uncomfortable premonition ran through her.

“Captain,” she called out, “have we seen that comet before?”

“What comet?” Captain Atlair replied, scanning the sky.

“There, hanging low over the castle,” Sara said as she rode up beside him and pointed.

“I don’t see anything.”

Looking again, Sara realized that it wasn’t visible any longer to her either, but there hadn’t been enough time for it to set.  And it was in the south, not the west anyway.

“I guess it was just the fatigue, sir,” Sara added after a moment.  But the feeling of the premonition still lingered with her and she wondered what it meant.


I realized as I was writing this that I need a name generator.  Or to generate a list of names that I can draw from as I need them as I’m horrible at inventing names on the fly.  I’ll just have to add that to my to do list.

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