Prompt for a Short Story

Last week the prompt for a short story was a setting. This week it’s an object. Asking who, what, when, where, why, and how can help kick off your inspiration. Here’s how I answered those questions.

What?–An empty shoe with spots of wet blood.

Where?–An abandoned railway line.

When?–A hot July afternoon.

Who?—Two brothers, middle school age.

Why?–The brother are killing time in the woods near their home and find the shoe.

How?–They begin to look for the owner of the shoe and find more blood deeper in the woods.

How does the photo inspire you to answer the questions?

3 thoughts on “Prompt for a Short Story

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  1. Whoa, that’s powerful! The shoe reminds me of Pete the Cat, so my thought is light-hearted:

    What: A shoe with strawberry jelly smears
    Where: On the railroad track just behind the elementary schoolyard
    When: Picture day, when parents, teachers, and students are overly aware of their hygiene and appearance
    Who: Mr. Walters, the music teacher
    Why: He’s crossing the tracks to pick up lunch from the diner
    How: Concerned it belongs to a 3-5th grader who will have their pictures taken after lunch, he picks it up and plans to clean it for the child – but then a huge golden retriever darts up and grabs it out of his hands. While the dog licks the jelly and watches him closely, Mr. Walters sees the name of one of his 4th grade students written in Sharpie on the sole. The chase is on.

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