As I've demonstrated here, a good many things can prompt us.
Ambiguous pictures can stimulate creativity. For examples of this, see the "Fantasizing Fotos Fridays" series threading through this blog. (More soon!)
A short phrase that's open to interpretation can propagate a unique interpretation from everyone who reads it. Check out the "Imagination-Exercising" series for past examples. If you haven't done so in the past, or even if you have, take a moment to envision scenarios for each of the previous "Imagination-Exercising" phrases.
Why? In some ways, we're never the same person twice. Additional experiences almost inevitably prompt us to respond differently to ambiguous stimuli each time we encounter them. We grow, experience new things, learn from them, gain new insights from old experiences, make new mistakes. Our brains absorb all these events and many other forms of stimuli sometimes consciously but many more times subconsciously.
Hence the surprised delight in sudden breakthroughs--in relationships, at work or even at the ice cream stand--when we suddenly "know" that we w/a/n/t need Cherry Garcia, not Chubby Hubby. (Not to say that we don't want the company of our spouses--chubby or otherwise.)
The ambiguous stimuli of a sound that we can't identify will pique our imaginations in the same way--preferably not an ambiguous sound coming from the living room in the middle of the night.
If you see a picture or come across an evocative or ambiguous phrase, please add it to the Comments. Even better, email it to me at ScrollChamberPress@gmail.com . Naturally, you'll get credit if I use it here.
In the meantime, see what you think of the following "unstory" I shared on my Facebook page a few hours ago. I should have posted it here instead. Now I have.
Xfinity description of Criminal Minds rerun,
1. the skin disorder obsesses so relentlessly about killing people that the person on whose body it is growing commits the murders without knowing why he is doing it. Or even -that- he is doing it.
2. The skin disorder is disturbed by all the unnatural humans who don't have skin diseases When it can't let go the obsession, it attempts to bring nature back into balance by propagating itself on to other human hosts. Tragically the skin disease lacks the skill to do this successfully & ends up killing any clear-skinned human with which it makes contact.
3A. The human host, driven to desperate measures by the 24/7 ravings of his skin disease, discovers he can distract the disease briefly by murdering humans.
3B. In a fit of rage, the skin disease kills its host so that it can get back to its obsessive raving. It realizes too late that when it killed its host, it also committed suicide.
3C. The Criminal Minds team arrives but fails to come up with a viable UnSub profile. The murders have stopped, so they head back to the plane. Team members are observed scratching themselves as they climb aboard.
No one thinks anything of it until the plane lands. Everyone aboard is dead, evidently slain by a fast-spreading skin infection.
Those investigating the deaths scratch their heads... in perplexity?
What other unlikely living thing or inanimate object might be obsessing over something, even as we speak? What would happen next?