Photo Prompt

Each month, we post a photograph as a writing prompt. Post your 100-word story in the comments section, and we’ll choose one to feature in our next issue. To see examples, read photo stories we’ve published in the past.

Photo credit: Lynn Mundell

142 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. Noel Lee says:

    I gave him a tie every Father’s Day.
    His favorite was the purple one with pink stripes from Nordstrom’s I convinced my mom to let me buy him when I was seven.
    His favorite color was grey.
    Every day, grey slacks. Every day, grey blazer. Every day, one of his favorite ties, from me.
    When I was fifteen, my mother told me he was colorblind.
    Going home to my parent’s house, I saw a tie by the sidewalk.
    In the street –
    Grey slacks. Grey blazer. Red everywhere.
    The driver was hysterical.
    I only noticed the crossing sign was barely lit.

  2. Krystyna Fedosejevs says:

    About Ties

    Executive. Wore stripes, dots. Predominantly blue.

    His bedroom pulsed with ties. Silk. Polyester. They pulled him into meetings. Flung him into social circles. Man of power. Distinction. He was an aficionado of man’s fundamental accessory, the tie.

    One day, a tie didn’t cooperate. It ended lopsided. He tried to retie but the tie didn’t properly tie. He arrived at work cranky. Argued with coworkers, apparently without cause.

    Scissors he took to his tie. Letter of resignation followed. He tossed the cutoff portion of his corporate tie out the car window.

    Man of ties. Minus the job that had him tied.

  3. Adam says:

    Charles was spent in the moments leading up to the simulation reveal.

    Dash across the street, careful to avoid the conduits. Always avoid the conduits. Always getting snagged on conduits.

    It had been working late, adhering to the requirements.

    Need promotion to Section 8. Must leave endless demands of Section 9. Across the street. Into the lift. Wait.

    A crowd had gathered, viewing the parameters, amused with Charles’ simulation. Urban cement, autumn authentic, red paint – all correct. But the tie was not houndstooth.

    No promotion.

    • Catherine D says:

      Dear Adam, I have read your story multiple times. I know it says what you wish. But I’m unable to grasp a sense of the content. One hundred words is a challenge so I pass my stories by three readers before submission just to be sure my ideas come through. We are all sensitive artists- I’ve gotten constructive comments here that have helped me. I hope to see more of your work!

  4. Jon R says:

    “Other things” – Ver 1

    My best friend tried to explain it the day I found dads neck tie cut on our door steps.
    «When moms cut neck ties, fathers dissapear»
    I didnt believe it first but he was right. Like black magic, dad dissapeared.
    Then, mom and her scizzors went on a rampage, cutting all photos dad was in. She began finding older photos. Her – friends – handsome boys. She gathered everything in a book. Id sit by her, and she`d stare in it like a portal into heaven, often saying with slurred, soar voice:

    “The very best times… Before your dad and… other things”

    • Roseanne Boyle says:

      interesting that you chose this topic twice. Do you write from life experiences as I do?

      • jon R says:

        Hi.

        No, these tie – stories are not something I have experienced.

        However, I can get multiple ideas for the same topic.

        I did not know that you wrote from your own life. 🙂

  5. JonR says:

    “Melons and a phonecall”

    We stand outside looking at dads cut neck tie in the grass.
    «Why your parents arguing?» Sandy asks
    «Dunno. Something about melons and a phonecall»
    «Hm.. OH MY GOSH Your dad cheated!»
    «Shut up!»
    «But Its obvious!»
    «Sandy..»
    “Im only helping!”
    “Go home”
    «MY dad cheated, so what if yours did??”
    “He didnt!”
    “2 outta 3 do!”

    In the midst of sandys babbling I hear my mother saying:
    «Think. Where can we go?? We are fucked”
    “Shh – ssh”
    My father says

    Puzzled, I turn back to Sandy, babbling on:
    «Or was it 9 outta 10»

  6. jon R says:

    “The accident story”

    My wife says the accident story is spreading house to house. Whenever shes by the mailbox, or watering the flowers, neighbours asks how my leg is healing after the stair fall.

    One said: «Hes got to be more careful!»

    After sharing this with me, my wife hugs me for minutes. Hard.

    My bandages are off, my bones fully healed.

    Yet, I sit indoors, not ready.

    I dread the eyes that might examine and look deeper.

    In our garage, half of a neck tie of mine lays on the floor. Lays where it landed when cut at the necks end

  7. jon R says:

    “Thank god she came home early that day”

    My wife says the accident story is spreading house to house. Whenever shes by our mailbox, or watering the flowers, shes asked how Im doing after the stairfall.

    One neighbour said: «Hes got to be more careful!»

    After sharing that with me, my wife hugs me for minutes.

    Bandages are off, bones fully healed. Yet, im indoors, not ready to face examining eyes.

    On our garage floor my neck tie still lays like left, cut close to the neck end.

    I wanna throw it in the garbage but dont wanna touch it, not even with a fingertip

    • jon R says:

      A tad better maybe:

      My wife says the accident story is spreading house to house. Whenever shes by our mailbox, or watering the flowers, shes asked how Im doing after the stairfall.

      One neighbour said: «Hes got to be more careful!»

      After sharing this with me, my wife hugs me for a whole minute.

      Bandages are off, bones fully healed. Yet, I sit indoors. I dread already the eyes out there that might look deeper.

      On our garagefloor one half of my neck tie lays, exactly where it landed, when the other half was cut

  8. jon R says:

    klutz story version 3

    My wife said we needed a story for when people would come asking what happened me. So now, Im the neighbour hood klutz who fell down the stairs and broke my foot. Its been a week since the bones healed. Yet, I stay indoors. Im not ready to go out, and meet all those examining eyes. My neck tie lays on the garage floor, untouched since that day, cut close to the neck end.
    I should throw it in the thrash but i cant touch it. Not even with a fingertip.

    Im so grateful she came home early that day

    • Roseanne Boyle says:

      Jon, I’m sure what was going on in you writers mind was brilliant but, to me, it doesn’t make sense within the confines 100 words. Perhaps you should do two parts for clarification

      • jon R says:

        I totally agree. I see this drabble is very unclear.

        I will try to make a version that is clearer.

      • jon R says:

        Better?

        My wife said she needed a story for when people would ask her how I broke my foot. So now Im the klutz who fell down the stairs.

        My foot healed days ago but Im not ready to go back to work.

        On our garage floor, half of my neck tie lays where it landed when she cut it with those gardening scizzors, right on time.

        I was so alone that day.
        She says Im never alone any day.

        As she steps on the chair, unties the other half, throws it, she demands:

        Some day I must tell her why.

      • jon R says:

        For some reason, the logic keeps failing. I think things go too fast sometimes in this writers mind….. 🙂

        But I believe this is closer to a functioning version:

        «My wife, the hero»

        My wife said she needed a story for when people would ask how I broke my foot. Whoever asks, she answers “stairfall”.

        My foot healed days ago but Im not ready to go back to work. She understands.

        In our basement, from the ceiling, half of that neck tie still hangs.

        I was so alone that day.

        She says Im not now.

        My feet ran in the air as I gasped. She came outta nowwhere, with those big gardening scizzors.

        Now, she steps on the chair, unties that half – tie from the ceiling, her only demand:

        Someday, I have to share the reason

  9. Caroline E says:

    Every morning in Paris, blue-jumpsuited street cleaners hose down the streets. A strategically-placed, rolled rag directs the flowing water into gutters concealed beneath the curbing. Each morning, this silent army cleanses the streets of sins of the night before, expressionless, cigarettes dangling from their lips.

    Awash in daylight, the wakeful, freshly-showered morning crowd knows nothing of the dark night’s secrets. No one will consider the lone stiletto, the dog collar and leash, the severed tie. The city holds its secrets close.

  10. Catherine Dietrich says:

    A Writer is Born

    “Mommy’s taking you to visit Grammy today, Carter.”
    An avid reader at eight, he hated her third person kiddie ‘speak’.
    They walk to Charlotte’s Victorian mansion. Sue Ellen knocks. The door opens to “Hello, my darlings. Come in! Anything new?”
    “Yes, Carter says. I found a man’s necktie by the curb and want to make up a story about it. But how?”
    “Just start. It’ll happen when you write, not when you think.”
    “How do you know?”
    “Google Char Harrington novels. I have something I’ve been saving for you…a black ‘Writer’ baseball cap.”
    “Omigosh.”
    Kindred spirit smiles were exchanged.

    • Jon R says:

      Really cosy written, and tight. I like

      • Catherine Dietrich says:

        Wooo Hooo – made my day, monsieur. Almost feel like I write for comments now. We artists thrive on praise. Thank you, C.

        • jon R says:

          But really: It was really cosy. I like cosy.

          Praise is important. But as is constructive feedback. I value them both. Some days, constructive feedback more than praise.

          You will get both from me, when suited.

          We have to help each other grow. Writing is a lonely thing.

          Keep up the good work. Jon

          • Catherine Dietrich says:

            I agree – feedback is golden. I appreciate yours and if I need it please be constructively “mean.” Hahaha.

          • jonr says:

            no worries. im never mean in my feedbacks. 🙂

            i tell the writer what can work better and what i wouldve cut/abondended if i were him/her.

  11. jon R says:

    “The klutz story” ver 2

    My wife said we needed a story for when people would begin asking her what happened.

    I am now the neighbour hood klutz, who fell down the stairs, breaking his foot.
    Its been a week since the bones healed.
    Yet, I sit indoors, not ready to go out and meet my neighbours examining eyes.

    Inside our garage, on the concrete floor, that tie of mine still lays, cut close to the neck end, reminding me. I wanna throw it in the garbage but cant touch it, not even with a fingertip. Again, she is my saviour

  12. Jason Taylor says:

    Mr. Jenkins retrieved a tie from his desk drawer. “It’s kind of like algebra,” he explained while wrapping it around my neck. “You can see the steps better when you get to the end.” I promised to return it.

    That night at the dance, Mr. Jenkins touched Katie on her shoulder. She wasn’t startled and had the same look she had when she told me about Julie Cantu’s yeast infection. I thought about that day Mr. Jenkins’ door was locked, how Katie started wearing perfume and the way she’s been more protective of her phone.

    I didn’t return the tie.

  13. Jason Taylor says:

    Mr. Jenkins retrieved a tie from his desk drawer. “It’s kind of like algebra,” he explained while wrapping it around my neck. “You can see the steps better when you get to the end.” I promised to return it.

    That night at the dance, Mr. Jenkins touched Katie on her shoulder. She wasn’t startled and had the same look she had when she told me about Julie Cantu’s yeast infection. I thought about that day Mr. Jenkins’ door was locked, how Julie started wearing perfume and the way she’s been more protective of her phone.

    I didn’t return the tie.

  14. Rhonda Trunnell says:

    I let the tie slip out of the bundle of dad’s stuff. It fell like a breadcrumb on the path to the witch’s house. By this point, mom was past the point of caring. It was down to grab what you can and throw it into the car. Dad had messaged mom earlier with the signal. He didn’t even hug me when he got home. He made us get into the car right then and there and we left without turning on the headlights. I don’t know why I left the tie, but I doubt it’s how they found us.

    • Rhonda Trunnell says:

      Version 2

      I let the tie slip out of the bundle of dad’s stuff. It fell to the curb like a breadcrumb on the way to the witch’s house. By then, mom was past the point of caring. Just grab what you can and throw it in the car. Dad had messaged her earlier with the signal. He didn’t even hug me when he got home. He made us get into the car right then and there and we left without turning on the headlights. I couldn’t explain to you why I left the tie and in the end, it didn’t matter.

  15. Anna Sapp says:

    Upcycle

    I traverse suburban back alleys full of half-trashed artifacts early in the morning when I can still smell the wet dirt and ironic chained links; and still hear my footprints, and the cluck-clucking of illicit backyard chickens. Before all the morning travelers in their morning cars make it hard to hear anything but my mourning breathing as I hike through all the things everyone else threw away. Hints of some other life. I pick apart scraps of clothes and old shelves looking for the insides – something that can be stripped, reformed and made to live again. I like redemption stories.

  16. Anthony Mina says:

    I am trapped in a prison, a prison that holds me back from what I love my family. Yet I can’t escape. I here that I need to finish I need to see it through, WHY can’t I just quit, I don’t care I want to find myself. I’m having panic attack everyday can they let me leave can they let me go. The best times in my life I have been AWAY FROM THIS BULLSHIT JOB. so I’m done I quit. As I walked out I took off my tie and left it in the gutter where it belongs.

  17. It was a usual rainy day, save for the fight was had. You accused me of cheating, yet I said my relationship is simply platonic. Our throats were soar from screaming over the downpour. Why don’t you trust me, I asked. You run a hand through your hair. My phone rang, and you saw the face flashing on the screen. That’s why, you scream and snatch my phone and throw it on the ground. We are done, you say. You take your tie and whip it to my face, the birthday gift I gave you, and walk away.

  18. Catherine Dietrich says:

    Tiny Tome for Ties

    Metaphoric tie tales from the October’s
    Flash Photo, Hundred Word Tournament.
    The starting pun fires: Tyler dashes
    from the gate writing on Alliteration.
    In the backstory meet Tie Bar, Tie Clasp,
    and Tie Tack. Set in their segment,
    Tied Up and Tied Down get all entangled,
    misquoted, then Lost in Translation.

    Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round an Old
    Oak Tree, takes the phraseology lead.
    A twosome snatches it back: Tie Beam
    and Tie Strap go swiftly fleeting by,
    Trailed by Titanic, Tightrope, and
    Timeline, perfect thoroughbreds indeed.
    By a scant paradox, the silvery
    textile finishes; the photo tells a tie.

  19. Catherine Dietrich says:

    Tiny Tome for Ties

    Metaphoric tie tales from the October’s Flash Photo, Hundred Word Tournament.
    The starting pun fires: Tyler dashes from the gate writing on Alliteration.
    In the backstory meet Tie Bar, Tie Clasp, and Tie Tack. Set in their segment,
    Tied Up and Tied Down get all entangled, misquoted, then Lost in Translation.

    Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round an Old Oak Tree, takes the phraseology lead.
    A twosome snatches it back: Tie Beam and Tie Strap go swiftly fleeting by,
    Trailed by Titanic, Tightrope, and Timeline, perfect thoroughbreds indeed.
    By a scant paradox, the silvery textile finishes; the photo tells a tie.

  20. Ethan H Gaskins says:

    – A Long Day at the Office –

    A long day. That’s what we’ll call it. A long day at the office.

    She normally went along with it, smiled, laughed at the jokes. Normally, everything was fine.

    She didn’t care, she never cared, when he grabbed her ass or breast. She never said anything before. No, she was fine.

    But, today was a long day. Today she was not fine. Today his cell buzzed, a lawyer was calling, not his. Today, his face was on the news.

    He walked home that day, untied his tie and threw it in the gutter.

    He’ll lose everything, a victory for humankind.

  21. Roseanne Boyle says:

    Discarded (2)
    The Observed

    He threw me out; bare-assed, wearing only a
    t-shirt! Pants thrown at my feet, all witnessed by a passerby.
    Dressed, I headed for my Honda, where I saw a necktie by the curb, discarded, just like me. Humiliation distorted into rage, as a plan formed. I still had a key to his apartment.
    A week later he texted, ‘Come over tonight’,
    x-rated emojis following. What an idiot!
    I let myself in. Delighted, I found him dead on the floor. About time! I planted those cookies days ago. Death by nuts. Brilliant! If I do say so myself.

    • Catherine D says:

      Very primo and the first 100 word sequel I know of – “death by nuts” – this is toooooo cool (a literary term)!

    • Jon R says:

      Fun stuff, but i really preferred the first version.

      Im a honest guy.

      I believe in honesty, as a means to help each other grow(writing – wise. Im not talking about spiritual mungo jumbo)

      You focus on emotion in your prose, in a way ive seen many pros do. <- thats a compliment.

      I liked the prose in the beginning. Funny, and refreshing character voice. It is in no way a bad drabble. So dont misunderstand me.
      But the first was best.

      From your, trying – to – be – honest, writing bud, Jon.

      Rock on.

      • Roseanne Boyle says:

        Don’t ever apologize for being honest, Jon. That’s what gives your opinions value.
        This wasn’t meant to be a different version, just a sequel to the the first story from the other’s perspective. I had fun with it because it was my first attempt at a murder mystery. Thanks ever so so much for your interest.

        • jon R says:

          Then I misunderstood. Regardless, this wasnt bad. I did like it. Especially its tone. 🙂

          No need to thank. I enjoy your stories.

    • Anna Sapp says:

      I like this one too! It’s edgier!

  22. Elizabeth Stone says:

    “Fissured”

    It was fitting, the way they ended. Cordial agreements, children swapped between weeks, assets split directly in half. A relationship built upon respect, rather than passion, ending in the same regard. No heated fury, no boiling arguments, just the remnants of an ember slowly fading to the final sizzle. An orb of warm comfort turning cold. He brings the children by, 5 p.m. Sunday, as they agreed, and wonders if, in all their years, he was ever once so overwhelmed with zeal for her that he too wouldn’t bother to retrieve a discarded tie. He nudges it, unable to remember.

  23. Susan Settje says:

    How am I to blame for what went down?

    I was his rabbit’s foot and four-leaf clover wrapped up in one understated tie. I was there for that first job offer, the promotion, and when he landed his first big client.

    Today, he was made redundant and then so was I.

    As he cleared out his office, he pulled out his scissors and vowed to sever all ties with Corporate America. He cut me loose and placed me on top of his box of personal possessions, a damaged token.

    Driving home, the window went down and here I lie, forsaken.

  24. Vickie Lee says:

    They’ll tell the police I’m tall. Brown hair, gray suit and tie. The suffocating jacket sheds like a cocoon. My pocketknife- one of two things I’m never without- cuts the coordinating silken noose. Cash, the second thing. Stolen off their dresser. I walk hunched into a thrift store, buy the cheapest faded sweatpants, shirt, and ball cap. Dodgers, this time. Now I am myself. They all expect a fawning, grateful kid they can mangle to fit their mold. Cracked, concrete streets suit me better. Because I’m broken– just like every promise made to me. No one gets adopted at seventeen.

  25. Catherine Dietrich/Saffron Jones says:

    Blood Ties
    “Mom’s a slacker, Stevie. Her closet resembles a log jam of Dad’s suits and ties – nothing moves.”
    “Logs! Remember the Lumberjack Special Dad devoured at Denny’s? He’d say, ‘I chopped a cord of firewood before breakfast’ to impress our server and make her smile.”
    “Stop reminiscing. Ideas?”
    “We commission a ‘patchwork’ tie quilt she can snuggle under?
    “Negative. They need to be taken out.”
    “Maybe Dad’s ties help Mom grieve. They hugged his neck and covered his heart.
    “Focus.”
    “Okay, you lack empathy, Eric! Throw the fuckers in the street for a hit and run sequel. Sorry……that wasn’t me.”

  26. Catherine Dietrich says:

    Fit to be Tied
    Inconceivable! I’m dead in the gutter. My name, Ermenegildo Zegna. I’m a tie of distinction. I hang around very affluent necks to impress and empower the wearers. So what went down? I didn’t even make it to the fancy consignment shop, and await “suck up” by the street sweeper.
    But then, expensive personal gifts like myself can be pulled into domestic fallout dramas. Cheap ties have a calmer life. They’re just ties. But me, I was not JUST a tie. I was an expression of how intensely she loved him until she caught him cheating and threw him out, too.

  27. Roseanne Boyle says:

    Discarded
    (The Observer)

    Her hair was black. Wearing only a t-shirt, she stepped out into the predawn stillness; pants, shoes and purse thrown at her feet. The man behind her closed the door. 
She spotted me jog past while reaching for her jeans. Sensing her humiliation, my gaze went to the pavement. By the curb, I noticed a discarded necktie among the leaves in the street; unwanted, castoff, eerily paralleling the foregoing scene.
    A week later a body was rolled out of that apartment. The woman stood calmly in the doorway.
    Disposable is as disposable does.
    But how did she do it?

  28. Rickie Roberts says:

    At 10 I received a phone call; “go to Meeting Room B, immediately”. No-one else moved but several half-recognised faces joined me in the lift to the fifth floor. Our names were ticked off. Jolyon Carter stood at the front. Impassive. A nod. We were being “let go”. Collect an envelope from the desk and leave the building. We could not return to our desks. No goodbyes. Our belongings would be sent on. We could keep our company cars until the lease expired. We met at the Pig and Prune. Resigned smiles. Compensation? £125,000. Contacts made. Formal tie, ties, discarded.

  29. Ken Gosse says:

    What Came Before, Transposed ~
    “Hangover! Why’d it have to be a hangover!”
    “I really killed the alarm clock this time.”
    “The jerk told me—ME—never to come back!”
    “One on the house. We’ll be seein’ you a lot more.”
    “Hands Off!”
    “You heard her. Them. Time to go, bud.”
    “Who put the damn wall where the door should be?”
    “Won’t need this tie for a while.”
    “Damned curb! Ughhh … “
    “Tie looks OK. Now for Pauly’s dumpster. Oh my god!”
    “911? He looks dead.”
    “License has a local address. Not homeless. Now he is.”
    “I’ll call you back. Someone’s at the door.”

  30. Leslie Welch says:

    A sharp wail shook our thin walls. Usually, it would have blended in with the city chaos, but this siren was different—louder. I looked at my brother.

    “Dad should be home any minute,” Nate said. I could tell he wasn’t sure. I think he heard it, too. I pictured dad stepping off the bus, smiling as he unwound his “good luck” tie.

    Two hours later, the knock. I ran down the street. I saw his tie laying limp against the curb. His ritual celebration distracted him. He didn’t see the car. I grabbed it and held it to my face.

  31. Jon Remington says:

    Voices shouting from inside the house. A little boy and girl sit outside of it.
    “Do you know what that means» The girl nods at the cut neck tie laying in the grass.
    «No?» The boy asks, soar voice.
    «That your dads leaving you, forever»
    «Idiot!»
    «Oh, really? I never see my dad. My mom said she cut ties»
    «Neck ties?You mustve misunderstood something»
    The boy gets no reply.
    «it doesnt make sense!» He adds, eyes getting watery.
    «Dont be mad at your mom when he dissapears.She did it because he cut something important of hers. Like… A dress»

  32. Dean Okamura says:

    It started as a robbery.

    The dwarf went between George’s legs, taking a giant leap shorty grabbed the tie, sending him into a forward Western Roll, popping the cheap accessory from Eastern Europe. Tires screeched before flattening his body.

    George was dead. The dwarf threw the fragmented tie and sprinted as fast as those little legs could move.

    Witnesses said many things:
    “He rolled into the street.”
    “Someone pushed him.”
    “He saved the dog.”

    Thieves used to pull one’s tie to trip them and exploit the quarry’s disorientation to rob them. Or was it one’s leg?

  33. Erin Snedeker says:

    The Job Interview

    He’d felt like a superhero, and his tie was his cape. When the woman at the thrift store had let him try it on, he’d beamed in the mirror, as if this tie had lifted his shroud of invisibility and had cast neon letters above his head that said: HERE I AM.

    Then, the job interview.

    The store clerk took in his frayed tie, the blank line on his application for his address. She politely asked him questions and then sent him on his way.

    Shame burning his throat, he threw his tie in the gutter, invisible once again.

  34. erdey/remington says:

    “The “Klutz story” Im the neighbourhood klutz who broke my foot last weekend when running down the stairs at the same time as doing my tie. According to my wife this story is spreading, thanks to neighbour Jerry. Jerry saw me throw a cut neck tie into the garbage bin outside. He asked if my broken foot and the tie were connected. I didnt answer. At evenings i hear him raising laughter from the neighbourhood, Imitating me falling down the stairs.

    My wife reassures that the true story behind my broken foot, and that cut neck tie, will never leave this house.

  35. Derey says:

    “The “Klutz story” by Jon remington/david erdey

    Im the neighbourhood klutz who broke my foot last weekend when running down the stairs at the same time as doing my tie. According to my wife this story is spreading, thanks to neighbour Jerry. Jerry saw me throw a cut neck tie into the garbage bin outside. He asked if my broken foot and the tie were connected. I never answered. At evenings i hear him raising laughter from the neighbourhood, talking about the klutz i am. Imitating me falling down the stairs.

    My wife reassures, the true story behind the broken foot, and cut neck tie, will never leave this house.

  36. Catherine Dietrich says:

    Ties by Design

    Over a bottle of Bollinger, Bianca says “Yes” to Stefan’s proposal to tie their marriage knot.
    Feeling blissful, leaving the upper west side restaurant, Stefan notices a silver flash float down from an overhead window, accompanied by ear-splitting screams of “My biggest mistake was tying up with you.”
    Startled, they simultaneously recognize the object is a Christian Lacroix tie exactly like Bianca’s birthday gift to him. It lands and dies curbside. Overcome, Stefan proclaims, smiling, “Let’s promise never to loosen our ties. Forgive my pun on witnessing a tragedy, but darling, what a timely, unexpected gift from above…literally.”

  37. Jim Byrnes says:

    A Tie’s Lament

    “I can’t believe that bastard just unceremoniously threw me into this gutter, as if I were some sort of filthy rag. Power tie my ass.”

    “He had always referred to me as his magical power tie. He unfailingly wore me to important interviews and special occasions and I always did my best for him, even though I was only a clip-on. His expectations for me were always much too high.”

    “I feel like crap laying here in this gutter, but not as crappy as him. He should have known better than to put so much faith into a cheap clip-on.”

  38. “This it…?” Johnson asked, kneeling down and looking at the tie. He took out his pen and poked it.
    “Yes, sir. Woman called it in this morning,” the cop said.
    “That her?” Johnson asked, nodding at a woman nervously fingering a string of pearls around her neck while giving her statement to a couple of cops.
    “Yes, sir.”
    Johnson stood up and sighed.
    It was going to be a long day. Somewhere out there was a man without a tie. Some uncivil, indecent bastard with no self-respect left. And Johnson was going to find this fella and set him right.

  39. Last Night at the Office

    There isn’t going to be someone on the way to an interview that forgot his tie but magically stumbles upon the one I discarded. Yes, he got the job. But that was the dream of last night, now gone, in the blaze of a new day as seen from under rumpled sheets, in need of a wash that will go wanting, on account of the situation that was for a few glorious hours a solution. She’s going to ask if it was worth it, to storm out like that. I don’t bother practicing my yes. It’s not really a question.

  40. Lisa Miller says:

    Not Guilty

    Jailed for seven years, Tom’s granted a new trial. “Not Guilty,” said all twelve jurors. Perfect forensic science finally cleared his name.

    Tom knew the real rapist: his brother Evan. His parents and friends were puzzled by why an innocent man would run off and hide in the first place. Tom knew if he didn’t find his brother, he’d always be guilty in everyone’s eyes.

    But trying to find a job with his prison record seemed futile. Discouraged, he was last seen throwing his tie to the curb and boarding a city bus. A search is on for both brothers.

  41. Rima El-Boustani says:

    Finder’s Keepers.

    The gutter has seen better days, but never been so well dressed. I’m sad you’ve lost your tie, such a wonderful piece of art, matching the gray allure of the sidewalk. People will step on it, leaving their footprints and staining the fabric with dirt from their shoe. The wind will blow it around and the rain will dampen it. The Sun will dry its tears. You must have been drunk out of your mind to have forgotten it here, in no man’s land. As I sit waiting, I wonder if you will ever come back for it? Finder’s Keepers.

  42. Patrick G says:

    Yard Sale

    The plastic weaved lawn chair creaked under his weight and the wind. Chimes jangled foreboding darkening skies. Late with their warning, he thought, the storm had already blown through, raining insults and desperation. A single thunderous slam punctuated the tempest path from curb to front door, the once organized stacks of clothing scattered with her whims.

    He hadn’t wanted this to be an ambush – some kind of forced reconciliation. But it was time to move on, or at least to make a start. He didn’t know. Nothing could be known, only that they couldn’t keep his room a shrine forever.

  43. Ken Gosse says:

    What Came Before ~
    Before they searched him for ID to notify someone;
    before police called for a body pickup;
    before a caller said he looked dead;
    before a mumbled cry was overheard;
    before he hit his head on the dumpster;
    before he ripped off his stained clip-on;
    before he left the back exit, sliding along the wall;
    before the bouncer told him to call it a night;
    before the third lady spilled her drink when she shoved him;
    before another drink or two, so he could tell his wife;
    before leaving, permanently, at the boss’ request,
    he arrived late again, with a hangover.

  44. Ross C says:

    The Walk to Work (100-Word Story)

    The autumn wind blew through me, my whole body trembling in it’s wake. I sipped at the scolding cup in my hand, hoping to warm my body, even for the briefest of seconds with the burning coffee that slid through my system. Anything to fight off the cold. The heavy duty raincoat was doing nothing for me.

    With my nerves on end, I press on, some going numb, while others bring out brief spasms in odd places. It doesn’t matter, I have to keep going. Just get to work I tell myself. Get to work and into that toasty office.

  45. Angela Green says:

    Connor sighed as he packed the last box into the moving van, oblivious to the gray necktie that had slipped out and had fallen onto the sidewalk. He wished that he could stay longer at the New York City apartment that he had called home for the past five years. Here, he had a great job, a loving girlfriend, purpose…a life.

    He closed the back and trudged toward the cab. Duty, however, called. His aging parents needed him in Florida. He had no idea what awaited him in “Heaven’s Waiting Room”. Perhaps, there, he could find a life once again.

  46. Matthew Hefferin says:

    Kicked to the Curb

    Freddie picked up the drab necktie. His disheveled hair flopped down in his face; one button kept his threadbare jacket from flapping open. He carried the tie as if it were made of silk up the stairs of the homeless shelter. He glanced about his room and reached under the cot, pulled out an old metal Prince Albert tobacco can. Inside was his one cherished possession he couldn’t part with – his Dad’s tiepin with his initials. Freddie put on the tie, fastened the pin, and gazed into the cracked mirror. He heard his Dad’s voice behind him, “Welcome home, son.”

  47. Emma Burke says:

    Noose

    “No Honey, choose the other one. Colors are for children.”

    He stared into an empty reflection, a monochrome rope flung over his head and was tied ferociously around his neck, too tight.

    “Excellent!” She approved, then guided him to his briefcase and the door, like a child going to school, the dark tie hid nothing.

    Outside he realized he wasn’t breathing. He tugged at the knot around his neck, then in a fit of panic, pulled out his pocket knife and cut it loose, tossing the evil thing away. He knew there must’ve been good reason to carry the knife.

  48. Zion R says:

    “An Autumn Walk”

    It was two days after the annual Halloween parade. The holiday passed just as quickly as the weather had grown cold. I shook as the chill pervaded my athletic jacket and crossed my arms to preserve my body temperature. As I turned by the tree we used to meet at on the corner, I gazed up at its bare branches before exhaling a breath of foggy air. The green spring leaves had fallen to the wind, scattered, and dried beneath. Leftover debris was still laying around from when people in costumes walked the streets. Was it really that long ago?

  49. Jacob Alwitt says:

    Paint Red on Black

    A man walks along a bleak sidewalk. Clutched in his trembling hand, is a bouquet of roses, soaking from the rain. They would have looked so beautiful next to all of the white; however, they would have to make due with black. The rain falls harder, and the man casts his coat-tails, and his silk tie away. The coat is blown away, and the tie lies in the gutter. A car drives by, and the man flinches. He remembers the events of that morning. It really was quite a bummer to have to attend a funeral on your wedding day.

  50. Anthony Mina says:

    I want to go back I want to be where I belong. I’m trapped in a prison.I here that I need to finish I need to see it through, WHY can’t I just take I quit, I don’t care I want to work in the restaurant and leave I find myself having panic attacks everyday. can they let me leave can they let me go. The best times in life have been AWAY FROM THIS BULLSHIT JOB. So I’m done I quit. I walked out I took off my tie and left it in the gutter where it belongs.

    • Ross C says:

      I could really feel the emotion in this story and it builds with each sentence until it explodes. Nice link into the photo prompt as well.

  51. K Wood says:

    Keys clacked all around him, obscuring his thoughts. He didn’t want to be here, long legs cramped beneath the chipping white desk, bare walls of the cubicle pressing in on him, and this stupid tie that seemed to get tighter and tighter with every passing minute. Through the distant windows he could see the Autumn leaves falling, people strolling as he slowly worked his way through an endless pile of paperwork.
    He just couldn’t take it anymore.
    Ignoring his peers, he sprinted through the waiting doors, pausing only to chop his dreaded tie off and throw it into the gutter.

  52. Abby B says:

    Broken Pieces of History

    A little girl walked, scuffing her toes when she saw an old checkered tie laying on the ground. Abandoned.

    Who would have left it?

    Was it a businessman worried about meetings and with a life too lonely to realize that he had never secured his tie?

    Was it someone who had lost it in a moment of pain? A breakup or a fight? Where they ripped off the tie and threw it to the ground?

    She picked it up and carried it home where she placed with her collection of lost things, muddy pieces of broken history placed on display.

  53. I new that has something bizarre in this shop.
    All this pungency around.
    One day I just dived into.
    At the back a mirror shone like a pond.
    I stepped in front of it and started to fix my shirt and tie.
    The landscape behind started to change, saw a muddy river and heard a flute started to play.
    I saw how my tie isn’t already a tie but a dark silver snake and her fizzle maw was getting closer to my face…Run.
    Suddenly a girl jumped from somewhere, cut her off and threw it into the ditch.
    “Chai?”

  54. DavidErdey says:

    “They just like to cut things” – version 1.

    “Why did your mother do it?” Sandy asks.
    I look at the tie laying cut in front of us.
    “Because she was angry, I guess?”
    “Yes! But WHY was she angry?”
    “HOW should I know?”
    We sit on the sidewalk. The voices scream louder behind us. Both of us jump.
    “Theyre doomed” She says.
    I look at her, trying not to panic.
    “I know. Mom said: She cut all ties, when leaving dad. I never see him”
    «why cut the ties?» I ask confused
    “Sometimes they cut other things as well. Family pictures, gifts. They just like to cut things»

  55. DavidErdey says:

    “The “Klutz story”

    Im the neighbourhood klutz who broke one foot last weekend when running down the stairs doing his tie simultaneously. My wife says this story is spreading, probably thanks to our nearest neighbour. He saw me the day after. I had crotches, throwing a cut tie into the bin. He kept asking if the two were connected till I gave him the finger. I hear him at evenings raising laughter. Mystially, that cut tie, slipped out the bin, now it lays on the sidewalk reminding me of my most shameful moment.

    My wife reassures, the true story will never be known

  56. Amy Hester says:

    Abandoned

    “You can’t just leave, we have to talk about this!” Jenny shouted, grabbing at Marcus’s tie as he turned to go. The tie was an ugly, cheap clip-on; when it came off in her hands she stared at it, laughing.

    Not crying. Never crying.

    “I don’t have time for this,” Marcus said. “My boss is….”

    “Screwing you,” Jenny snarled, her lips curling in disgust. “Just like you’ve screwed me, too.” She dropped the ridiculous tie into the gutter and walked away. Her appointment at the women’s clinic was in fifteen minutes. She didn’t expect Marcus to follow.

    He didn’t disappoint.

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