Every so often it amuses me to come up with ideas, conceits, and props upon which a story may hinge, even if I have no intention of ever writing such a story. Sometimes I have to brainstorm them, and sometimes they simply tap me on the shoulder politely.
Case in point: while out and about shopping with my spouse, we happened to pass an off-license (liquor store, to those of you in the US) which had a window display of amusing beverages. One of which was a bottle of vodka in the shape of a human skull. "Cool bottle!" Remarked herself; "I wonder if it tastes as good as it looks?" (Said with the cynical tone of one who recognizes marketing aimed at late-teen goths when she sees it.) "I doubt it," I began to reply. And then my muse grabbed me by the ear. (My muse is not a frail willowy thing; they're a bit like this (NSFW cartoon) when they're not AWOL and engaged on a massive bender. But I digress.) "Oi!" roared the Muse, "Get down and gimme an Iain Banks style black comedy plot trope, and do it now!"
"Got it," I said. "Opening chapter of novel: our protagonist has got hold of one of those skull-shaped bottles. He's a bit depressive and is considering suicide, so he fills it up with Polish 80% spirit and then adds mushrooms to make a liqueur. Using Death Cap—Amanita Phalloides. Then in the last chapter someone else drinks it by mistake."
"They misread the label as Liberty Cap!" Suggested she who can read my mind too damned well after all these years. (Psilocybe.)
Well, okay. If I was planning on writing a noir Iain Banks mainstream novel, that bottle would find a way into it for sure, now. But anyway, this prompts me to suggest a blog game. To those of you who can be arsed playing: pick an everyday object you see in your day to day routine, be it shopping or cooking or at work or at play. Then try to come up with a grand guignol story idea anchored by it! C'mon. Show me what you can do ...