Given that deliberate practice is the most important way to improve in any activity, I thought a spate of new and quirky prompts could help you just with that — more practice. Hope you find them helpful.
A man notices all the spiders in his garden have just seven legs. He then begins to notice many other strange details. Like the way leaves always fall on the ground face down. Or the way bees fly repeatedly around the flowers before landing on them.
Message in a bottle
George buys an old LP. When he puts it on the record player, he discovers it’s not the album he thought it was. He isn’t even sure this is an album at all. In fact, at the beginning from the speakers comes the noise of distant traffic and of squealing tires. Then, after a while, he hears a voice. His own voice.
The new AI algorithms are so sophisticated they can now predict customer’s necessities with uncanny precision. As a result, one day a salesman knocks on Mrs Norris’s door to sell her something. She finds the object outrageous. She says she doesn’t want it. She would rather die than buy it. Yet the salesman says it’s only a matter of time before she does.
Harris is driving when at an intersection he notices a road that doesn’t show up on his car’s navigation system. It’s a large road and there’s a lot of traffic on it. So, out of sheer curiosity, he takes it. Just to see where it takes him. The road is just a banal road. And it doesn’t show up in the navigation system simply because Harris has forgotten to renew his subscription. However, when he calls the company to see right away to the matter, it seems his name isn’t on the list of the paying customers. Not the active ones and not those who have left their subscription expire.
A marriage of one kind
A man is speaking to you, the listener. He’s telling you about his wife and of the reasons he thinks his marriage is over. He tells you by now his wife speaks to him only in short and repetitive commands. Besides, she never bothers to listen to what he has to say. Lately, she has even begun to bring other men at home. She does all this and some more without ever a moment’s indecision, or a word of apology. Then…
Gary finds an old baton in the attic. When he weaves it about, he can feel in his head an entire orchestra playing. The music is strangely soothing, and soon he is addicted to it. He sits for hours on end in his armchair all alone at home, waving the baton about. Then, one night, after the umpteenth music binge, he discovers there’s a man who’s standing right in front of him.
Smoke them all
A new revolutionary procedure allows smokers to keep on smoking without having to endure the negative side effects, which are redirected against the people around the smoker himself.
When Billy hears about such a revolutionary solution he shakes his head and says he doesn’t want to hurt the people around him. The salesman tells him he can choose the people who must bear the effects of his smoking.
But Billy is adamant. “Even if they’re strangers… How can I harm them?” He asks.
“But are you really harming them? After all you’ve been smoking for the best part of your life and you look like you aren’t doing too badly, are you?” insists the salesman.
Malcom has bought a lottery ticket. The day of the draw, the numbers are all right but one. The week after, the same happens. And then again. There’s always that one number. Always. The lottery must be rigged, Malcom concludes.
Sex is easy. All you have to do is to connect with Neuropleasure. You can have it all, for as long as you want, and of every kind you like. No questions asked. No eyebrows raised. Just keep at it, and when you’re done…
It’s late in the afternoon. While driving, a trucker is speaking into a phone. Or rather, he is told where to go and what goods to pick up. The traffic is awful, and he’s running late. Then he sees a sign. The name of the town doesn’t ring any bells with him. And yet something about it gets him thinking. Gradually he remembers of when he was a child — of a particular afternoon, with the setting sun and droves of clouds in the sky. Just like now.
Aaron is old, and now that his wife is dead he feels even older. It’s difficult — oh, so difficult — to keep going day after day. To remember to brush his teeth. To take his pills, and on and on. But at least he never forgets where he has put his wife’s finger. That alone is what gives him the strength to keep on living.
The king of the road
Springtime is the best for Jerry. Sure. There’s nothing like driving around with the windows turned down, the music blasting from the loudspeakers, and a foaming beer in his lap. And then comes the night. The best. Frogs. Frogs everywhere. They flood the road like a fucking tide. And for him there’s nothing like squashing those brainless, jumping little monsters.