Writing Prompt: Puzzling Zygomatic Arches

I thought it would be fitting to end the A-to-Z Challenge portion of the Beauty of Decay run with a prompt that featured a skull.

The zygomatic arch includes the temporal process of the zygomatic bone and the zygomatic process of the temporal bone. Together they make what we otherwise refer to as the cheek bone. Isn’t it lovely?

Zygomatic Bone (I got this picture here)

Writing Prompt: Puzzling Zygomatic Arches (F/T), (M/B), (A)

Here are three scenarios to try:

(F/T) 1. Write a story in which your main character is a forensic scientist investigating a case. Only the zygomatic arch (or arches) of a missing person have been found in a park or someone’s back yard. Have your character gather clues about what happened to the victim (is the victim still alive?), who did it, what they did exactly, and why only the cheek bones have been recovered. Was it foul play after all?

(M/B) 2. Write a heart-wrenching story in which your main character suffers significant trauma to the face–particularly their cheek bones. Perhaps they have some kind of bone disease or their face was smashed in an accident. You could even throw in a paranormal element and make it a curse. How does your character cope? Is there a cure–whether surgical, magical, or otherwise medicinal? Bonus points if the cure isn’t a perfect fix, but it makes the condition much more bearable. More bonus points if your character learns something important about themselves and overcomes a fear that’s part of their personality but has nothing to do with the condition of their face in the process.

(A) 3. Write a story about a futuristic society in which people have their cheek bones artificially altered in some way after a certain age, perhaps for personal beauty and social acceptance or to honor the gods. Perhaps this alteration sets this society apart from other civilizations around them or provides a class distinction: maybe only the warrior class has this alteration to make them look more fierce. Without completely copying the premise of The Uglies series, have your main character go against this cultural norm when he or she is expected to endure (or not partake in) the procedure with both good and bad unforeseen consequences.

4. Alternatively, choose some other small and unusual–or ordinary–object, tool, or body part and come up with your own ideas for world-building, questions, and conflicts centered around it.

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