Concept Art Writing Prompt: Shark Isle

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: Shark Isle

This week's writing prompt takes us to a mysterious floating island with very big teeth. Is it a living landscape? A supervillain's lair? Or something else entirely?


Shark Isle is the work of artist Kendrick See, via r/AlternativeArt. As always, we invite you to come up with a story inspired by this image and post it in the comments.

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Lauren Davis

When the architect from Olufemi & Vile showed her the plans, Kudzu knew the place would be perfect. Clouds condensed around the dorsal fin, feeding water into the falls that ran across the island and keeping the pastoral green she enjoyed. Doc Polar's field magnets were embedded throughout, allowing the island to hover at a slightly higher altitude than most heroes were comfortable flying at. (As an added bonus, they wreaked havoc with the Hierophant's computers.) Plus, there were the teeth, which would greet any trespassers hoping to get inside with a nasty surprise.

All that, and it looked badass. She signed the paperwork immediately.

For the first six months, she hardly left her lair. Oh sure, she'd jaunt down to the surface to sic her Strangle Vines on a marshlands development site or kidnap the daughter of a pesticide company's CEO, but she was always eager to return home. She grinned at the sight of that stony shark's smile, imagining how much work she'd get done with all that peace and quiet

Kudzu was just coming back from a successful heist at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault—she promised herself she'd get around to returning the samples once she had cloned them—and she was looking forward to a hot shower. Maybe she'd have a chance to check out the Snapping Dragons she had planted near the left fin before it got dark

But as Shark Isle came into view, Kudzu noticed something floating just below it. Dammit, she thought. Had the Knights of Terra come to intercept her? But as she got closer, Kudzu realized the object wasn't the TerraJet; it was another shark island, a hair smaller than her own. Its nose was snubbier, its tail straighter, but no doubt it was a knock-off copy of her own lair. She flew the Whirlybird to the impostor island and docked it just outside the mouth.

In the hour it took for her Strangle Vines to cover every one of the shark island's teeth, Kudzu's anger grew. Was this some sort of a bizarre joke? A tactic by the Knights to throw her off her game? Had she attracted a copycat villain? Kudzu knew that Ligress attracted more imitators than nemeses and spent half of her time killing, maiming, or just spooking them out of the game. Kudzu didn't have the energy to deal with that.

She slid her thorn staff from its sheath as she padded quietly into the mouth until it became a hallway. Kudzu spotted a flood of light coming from beneath a doorway, so she crept up, grabbed the handle, and found herself face-to-face with…

"Dogfish," she said, lowering her weapon.

The skinny man started, dropping a peanut butter sandwich onto the floor. Then his expression relaxed into a grin. "Kudzu!" He glanced over her shoulder. "Are the defenses that easy to penetrate? Man, I hoped I wouldn't have to start doing renovations until after a Knights attack, at least."

Kudzu dug a thumb into one of the thorns, letting the pain distract her from her rage. "Who sold you this place?"

"Olufemi & Vile." Dogfish bent over to pick up his sandwich. "I know, I know, you had yours first, but I saw it and I figured I'm Dogfish—gotta have a shark." He took a bite and continued talking as he chewed. "Plus, when they told me about the planned community, I figured you wouldn't mind."

Kudzu straightened. "Planned community?"

Dogfish nodded. "We keep joking that it's called Supervillain Heights, because get it? We're high up in the air." He took another bit of sandwich. "But yeah, Monkshood and Basin have already put in for their own sharks and I heard Flatlander's getting a ray." He rolled his eyes. "It's like, we get it, you've got a theme."

Kudzu put up a hand to stop him. "It's been great catching up, D, but I gotta get back to the lab. Take care?"

"Oh yeah." Dogfish shrugged. "We'll be seeing a lot of each other anyhow."

When Kudzu got back to her own lair, she immediately pulled up a map and started doing calculations. She had already decided that she was going to rip every magnet out of this place until it crashed to the ground. She just needed the perfect target for it to land on.