Sunday Writing Prompt “Asylum of the Obscure”


From the outside the Asylum of the Obscure has the appearance of a fortress or a castle. To enter you must pass through a portal. The air surrounding the blue light is warm and slightly electric, it feels oddly pleasant like the prickly, endorphin-laden rush brought on by good music. On exiting you find that tears have gathered in the corners of your eyes. Inside the building has a rather nondescript, institutional quality. Despite being occupied by monsters it still looks functional as if the former tenants had only just stepped out. You gather that it is a research facility/hospital. The casual, homey decor of the sleeping quarters suggests a mental institution or rehabilitation facility. At first glance it seems that everything that occurred behind these walls was above board. The rooms are spacious and clean and there are no locks on any of the doors. As for the monsters they seem preoccupied and your arrival goes unremarked, maybe even unnoticed. It does not seem to be in your best interest to draw unnecessary attention to yourself, better to complete your objective without drawing an audience. Moving deeper into the bowels one is confronted with technology the likes of which exceed both the realms of possibility and imagination. Although the machines are functioning their purpose is unclear and no amount of button pressing will reveal their secrets to you. You get the distinct sense that you are simply not smart enough to make use of any of the equipment. Androids meander through the passages cleaning and repairing damage as if in expectation of an honored guest. These androids are so lifelike in both appearance and mannerism that it takes you several glances to notice that they have wheels instead of feet and metal wings protruding from their backs. They ignore you unless spoken to, they appear undisturbed by your snooping/prodding and neither impede nor assist your efforts. Although there is nothing to suggest that torture has ever taken place within this vast, incomprehensible laboratory it still gives you the creeps. Just outside of the laboratory is a garden walled in by glass. You cannot see from one end to the other and it is hard to gauge the scope for all the trees and flowers. The trees have a presence that strikes you as being almost human, more than human perhaps which both unsettles and intrigues you. They do not seem hostile but you sense that they are wary of your presence.

Using the setting above write a story or poem. You can choose to focus on just one area such as the lab, the main part of the institute, or the garden or you can go through each space. You can focus on what has distracted the monsters, gaining control of an android/accessing their data, interacting with the trees instead of retrieving a main quest item that is totally up to you. You can focus on the purpose of the facility. You can focus on elaborate descriptions of one or more of the beings or a very detailed description of your adventurer or adventuring party. The monsters and trees have not been described so that you can imagine them for yourselves. How sentient the creatures are and how aggressive is also up to you. Your adventurer could even be a patient with a mental illness who just thinks they are seeing and witnessing these things. This whole thing could just be a video game/dream and be totally secondary to another plot. Take as much creative license as you want.


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