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.

In the spirit of fun and fairness, please follow these guidelines:
• Post only one story per photo prompt.
• Be mindful of others’ feelings when commenting (keep it positive rather than giving feedback).
• Remember this is a shared safe space for all lovers of 100-word stories.

A 360-degree photo of a town neighborhood.

Art Credit: Mark Seton

29 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. Leilah Baumgarten says:

    Across The Water

    People always say that the grass always seems greener on the other side. But they were wrong, the water of the Salem harbor is where all things magical began. I don’t know what witch decided to place a beautiful curse on my life, but I hope I can repay her one day.

    We fell in love in Salem under the moonlit sky on a crisp fall night. Life had treated us harshly for the past two years, but a last minute decision to leave the grass pastures and head to the harbor changed our lives forever.

  2. Digging to China

    I remember, as a child, using a rusty trowel to dig down to China. It was on the exact opposite side of the world from my weed-laden backyard.

    I’d shovel my way through dirt and rocks, pausing to say “Hellooooo” in passing to the Chinese kid, who like me, was digging to the opposite side of the world to escape. Digging side by side for a while. Casting an echoey “Goooodbyeeee” over shoulders.

    I thought how fun it’d be to stand upside-down on the earth’s bottom, looking up (which was really down) at the sky from that kid’s weed-laden backyard.

  3. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    I can see it all frozen a world surrounded by sky set and light rise but it has become so small my eyeglass window I cannot touch past ripple the water lay on empty cool grass under sun setting that never turns moves just stays the same day the same quiet same distant people and cars that all look just so damn still they say it is medication but it feels like fear don’t move don’t breathe don’t laugh and we are tick tick tick waiting for a thaw a gunshot an explosion anything something to bang us moving again.

  4. Penny Ellis says:

    Picture the Scene

    The paper weight in the shop window caught my eye. A port hole to a convex village scene, where a 3D picture displayed itself; a distorted image as beautiful as it was puzzling. The shop was full of mirrors, glass domes representing crystal balls; the dazzling effect totally magical. In my hand, the dome was a clear glass sphere, my own image reflecting a huge, unnerving glass eye. The artist’s painting on the table beneath.

    I knew I could paint my own pictures, change them with my mood, create my own magical world, see into my crystal ball.

  5. Victoria Cho says:

    When the world was new, the two of them clamored over it. Scrambled around, grabbing fistfuls of the earth they could, crying, “Mine! Mine! No, not yours, mine!” They ran as far as they could, gobbling the world gleefully. It was easy. Point. Mine. Point. Mine.

    Those ardent little fools.

    When they met again, where there was nothing else, when they should have been satisfied, they wailed. Said they were hunger-panged. Famished. Each starved on a half-world. Unstoppable forces meeting unmovable objects. Unruly, wild,they opened their yawning maws to devour the other. But not before the other did first.

  6. Caianny Pimentel says:

    Jackson had lived two different lives his entire life. One had been where he spent the majority of his time, a neat all-around basic suburban life with his mom, submerged in the simplicity of everything there. Another with his dad where it was mostly lonely and secluded but all the more lively with joy. They each produced a mirage of this perfectly divided life that completed and complimented each other. Each side gives some form of joy to Jackson, a never-ending walk to the houses, The only thing that would stay the same was the division between the two.

  7. Natalie says:

    We spun and spun until the air shimmered and the horizon tilted and the world was a marble; it seemed impossible anyone could ever have thought it to be flat.

    We collapsed into a wavering heap of limbs and linen and a splash of spilled champagne, and waited for dusk to fall.

    He bowed to me and I sunk into a deep curtsy, the faded hem of my skirt covering my bare toes.

    And then we each turned, walking steadily, neither of us glancing wistfully over a shoulder.

    For though we had tasted stardust, it was time to go home.

  8. Ryan Babcock says:

    It’s mid-June. The season of the Gemini. The inhabitants spun on a rotating sphere. Orbiting residents fled manmade destruction for a new utopia in outer space. Flat-faced Colonial houses twirl around a slur of tangerine and violet cloud vapor, a rocky beach divided the land and sea, but inevitably, go nowhere. Trees rippled on the surface reflect a distorted reality—fraternal twins—the same but different. One existence looped together from start to finish. The lack of linear lines glued this neighborhood to its surface. Life without edges an infinite possibility. The great new world spins until humans pollute again.

  9. HOME

    Santiago gazed at neat rows and rows of buttons. Each painted with unique, exquisite detail and sized to fit neatly in his palm, was a portal to other worlds. All he had to do was choose one, press it firmly and he would become part of that world.
    How to choose? A clock ticked. Time was finite. Choose, or one would be chosen for him. He closed his eyes and listened, then inhaled. He reached with his hand, following the sounds and smells. Lightly he brushed the buttons with his fingertips.
    Ah! There it was. Home. He pressed the button.

  10. MERRY-GO-ROUND
    by Bernardo Villela
    Surrounded by tumbledown houses which are swarmed by CPS workers and cops, Michael forgets everything as he spins round and round.
    The wobbling world dizzies him. If Chris spins him fast enough he thinks he can turn back time like Superman reversing the earth’s axial rotation. It is not realistic, but even the most attainable dreams here are like walking on the moon.
    The merry-go-round picks up speed. He’s never gone this fast before. The world folds in on itself. He gets lightheaded. Time warps. It’s now or never. He thinks he can. He’ll spin until it happens.

  11. Susan Ito says:

    It was so hard to let the house go, her only known beginning. The house where her parents brought her after their ten-year wait, after the agency’s surprise call. Before that, her past was a blur of hospital wards, a foster home in Queens.
    After the house was sold, she made pilgrimages to gaze at her childhood bedroom window, the backyard boulder dubbed Castle. The U-shaped driveway like a smile.
    Then, a texted image came from an old friend. The smiling driveway erased. A flag of hatred hanging outside. She packed her emotional bags and departed the house of memory.

  12. Listen to these screaming children. They’re louder than cicadas in the middle of the summer, drowning out everything and demanding your attention. “Forget everything. Look at ME.” Do they not hear how discordant and shrill their shrieks sound? Are they trying to rewire my ears? Mother forces me to join them. She says it’s healthy to play with kids my age, and don’t I want to make friends? (No.) She can drag me to the playground – but I’ll wear my black dress and look above the boys who tease me and poke at my feet.
    And I’ll plot my revenge.

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