Tag Archive: writing prompt


Another writing prompt from Ermilla’s Picture it and Write.  This one was actually the prompt from May 26, and I’ve been stubbornly trying to plug away at it ever since.  It was more difficult for me than the last.  I’m now a few weeks behind on the prompts.  Haven’t decided yet it if I’m going to try to catch up on every one, or skip ahead to the current one, after this.

“There it is.  That’s where she was born.”  The ocean breezes carried away her voice, since there was no one else to hear.  As she  took a tentative step forward, the planks of the old bridge shivered from the unexpected burden.

She was glad to be alone, and even happier that the old house was empty.  No telling how a homeowner might have reacted to a complete stranger knocking on their door, especially in a place as isolated as this.  At  the very least, they might have laughed in her face when she said, “Hey, my grandmother was born here, a hundred years ago.  Mind if I look around?”

Funny how the woman who had raised her could be such a mystery after her death.  Grandmother had never spoken of her family.  No one had even known that she had a brother until he sent a memorial wreath to her funeral.  Father had never asked about her past, saying that he’d understood from a young age that it was too painful for her to talk about.  There were  rumors of abandonment, after her mother remarried, but nothing that could be confirmed by documents.  Even the identity of Grandmother’s parents was suspect.  On her birth certificate, her father’s occupation was listed as a candy maker.  In the census records from the same time, he was listed as a gardener.

She peered into the window, through one of the tiny spots of glass not covered by cobwebs or dead bugs.  Nothing.  It was too dark to see inside.  She tried the door, and the knob spun uselessly in its seat before falling off into her hands.  There was no way in, short of breaking it down.

Back to the window.  As she tapped on the filthy glass, the debris appeared to swirl before her eyes, coalescing into images from her past.  Memories of her grandmother.  Her unyielding honesty, even if it meant paying a little more.  The way she cooked without measuring a single ingredient, yet somehow managing to pass on her recipes to anyone who truly wanted to learn.  To the very last, she had been a force of energy.  Even when she was fighting the cancer that had weakened her bones, leaving her so fragile that a small fall had resulted in a broken arm.  Arm in sling, she had still been able to outrace her sons and her grandchildren up and down the stairs, as they chased her in a desperate attempt to make her slow down and take care of herself instead of everyone else.

She turned away from the window.  Away from the house.  She no longer needed to seek the truth by going into the old building.  Everything that was important about her grandmother was inside her.  In her memories.

I came across this writing prompt from Ermilla.  A photo is posted on their blog, and readers are encouraged to write a story or poem based on the image.  I thought it would be an interesting challenge.  This is going to be my first attempt at an online writing prompt, so hopefully I do this correctly.  I have to admit, I’m a little nervous to see what you think of my attempt below.

*****

“Don’t.  Don’t bother.”  Tears slid down the bride’s face as she snapped her phone shut and stepped down from the pedestal, excess fabric tangling around her legs.  Trapping her in tulle.  “This doesn’t matter any more.”

The tape measure slipped from the seamstress’ fingers, coiling into useless loops on the showroom floor. She watched the bride disappear into the dressing room, only to emerge moments later.  Long thin red marks marred her arms, tracings left behind by the pins that had marked the first of many alterations.

She looked like an ordinary woman, out of the gown.  No longer the white lace entity that made up a little girl’s wedding dreams.  She held up the ring that had circled her finger, drew her arm back as though she meant to hurl it away.  Far away.  Then something in her face changed again, and she tucked it into the pocket of her jeans.  Her silent entourage followed her out of the shop: mother and sister and friends.

The seamstress turned to the dressing room, and found the discarded gown crumpled on the floor.  She placed it on a hanger, removed the pins, and smoothed away the creases.  She tucked it away, to be pressed and cleaned before being offered up to another bride, another dreamer.

It swayed on the rack.  Alone.