I took this photo on a hike this year. Although I know what the structures were used for, there’s something fantastic about them. If you don’t know what they are, what story could you write about this setting? If you do know, let your imagination wander and come up with a story that gives a different purpose to the structures or works with what they really are into a story.
I think they look like abandoned pyramids like the kind the Mayans and Aztecs made. What if hundreds of years before Europeans came to America, a huge Aztec invasion force slowly worked its way north, overwhelming and subjugating the native people, building their pyramids along the way. The various tribes, although they didn’t have the Aztecs’ technology, decided to band together to repel the invaders and regain their freedom. Now I’ve got the outline for an epic.
Now it’s your turn. What are these structures and how could they inspire a story? Next week, I’ll tell you what they are and where I took the photo.
Great prompt. So many possibilities.
Oooh, fun location – here’s my idea:
I kick a loose rock. I’ve always hated this place. Ever since my parents brought Brandon and me here to have a picnic. Picnic. Yeah, right. They used the “opportunity when we’re all together” to tell us they planned to divorce.
Now, eight years later, here I am, seventeen and heartbroken. What kind of boyfriend meets his daydreaming girlfriend here to break up with her? This place must be accursed.
Hurt and anger well up inside me. I grab a rock and chuck it at the brick wall with all my might. The stone knocks another rock loose. I pick it up and hurl it, too. With no regard to who protects this property or whether it’s a sacred site, I throw rocks at the brick wall until my shoulder aches. The dust settles and I crumple down, regaining my breath. I still don’t like this place, but it feels good to let out my emotions.
It’s quiet here today. No field trips or dog walkers, so I just listen to the birds, thankful that nobody saw my outburst. Next to my toe I see a piece of fabric or something, so I nudge it with my foot. It doesn’t move. I scoot forward and pick at it with my finger. It’s like an old piece of leather or something. I dig it out and unroll it. It takes a minute for my eyes to decipher letters scrawled in the old scroll, but Grandmother was adamant that Brandon and I learn our native language, so I manage to figure out the gist of the message.
Reading the message, I realize I’m not the first person to hate this place. A chief’s daughter thought it was cursed, too. Her favorite horse had to be sacrificed to beg the gods for favor in battle. She said she’d never forgive her father for commanding that all the favorite animals of the firstborn daughters be sacrificed. She signed her name and a date.
Who was this girl? Did her tribe win the battle? Did she ever forgive her father? I want to learn more about her life. I roll the scroll back up, tuck it into my jacket pocket, and start jogging down the trail to my car. The historical society might have information about her. She could even be one of my ancestors. Uncovering her hidden history will give me something constructive to think about and maybe help me hate this stupid place a little less.
Wow! You’ve got the beginnings of a dual timeline novel. Very intriguing start.
Thanks – it took me a while to come up with something, but I tried!