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.

 

Image of eggs in a carton, with one broken open.

Art Credit: Lauren K

62 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. Kathryn Reilly says:

    “Crack 100 store-bought eggs and suffer 100 boring yolks,” Lauren muttered walking past the egg aisle searching for items she couldn’t raise, grow, or make herself. She loved her flock of misfits: the Silkie Bantams with blue earlobes, the Gold Laced Wyandottes shimmering in the sun, the Phoenixes trailing plumage for miles, the Hamburgs whose spots challenged dalmatian dominance, and the Easter Eggers: mutts of the chicken world offering blue, green, cream, brown, olive, and rose colored eggs–often with double yolks. She knew that conformity carefully killed beauty and individuality, so she whistled down the aisle wearing mismatched socks.

  2. Anne Maxwell says:

    Use By

    Six of one, half a dozen mothers

    I didn’t think I’d ever be ready.
    Seemed like an assembly line I didn’t care to join, a conveyor belt of other peoples’ dreams
    So instead I cracked my back at my profession.

    They said,
    “Yoked to her work, that one is.”

    I had my own timeline, no notion of expiration. No concern about limited resources.

    I’m finally ready and then
    Production grinds to a halt
    The supply is in high demand
    Half empty cartons and angry use-by dates in bold print

    Everything has a shelf life. It seems I’ve met mine.

  3. Teddy Kimathi says:

    She is a Pisces, but some believe she has salmons’ blood. She’s the kind of person who takes cereals at midnight, while watching game shows. She’s the kind of person who falls in love with the ocean, until her skin smells like oyster shells – some tell her she’s better of if she was part of the ocean; not like a reef, a lobster or a pearl, but the salty water atoms. She rises to the occasion like a tide, and swallows all her secrets and worries akin to sandcastles during the full-moon. Her moon is out watching football with strangers.

  4. Shannon Attard says:

    I went into that office, fully prepared to crack the egg.

    But as I waited for my name to be called, I felt a tug on my white and black striped blouse. I looked to my left and saw the widest crystal blue eyes looking up at me in adoration.

    “Sorry, she always wanders off!” A brunette-haired woman grabbed the un-cracked egg’s little arm and pulled her away.

    The woman in the white nurses outfit called for Michelle. But nobody rose from their chair. We all looked at each other.

    Then the nurse moved on to the next name.

  5. Krystyna Fedosejevs says:

    Sunshine at My Fingertips

    Dad’s birthday. What cake should I bake? Last year’s was chocolate prune. Before that, high fibre carrot. [Man, he’s old!]

    How about something golden bright like the color his hair used to be? Fluffy light to lift him out of his glumly mood?

    Need to check on ingredients. Veg oil? Check. Flour? Check. A flat of eggs? Sure can use that. Hmmm… large yolks. Perfect!

    Sunshine cake for him, and with the leftover whites… an angel cake for me. [The latter not a farfetched idea at all.]

    For, am I not an ‘angel’ to bake him a cake from scratch?

  6. Jim Byrnes says:

    Egg Head

    I had just returned from the market because my dumb ass boyfriend couldn’t begin his day, of not doing shit, without his breakfast eggs. I opened the carton and discovered that one egg was badly broken and another was cracked. I was a bout to throw them in the trash when dumb shit said to go ahead and cook them.
    I asked him, “But what about Sal?”
    He says, “What’s Sal got to do with it?”
    “You mean you havent heard of Sal Monella,” which went right over his head, so I cooked them anyway just to see what would happen.

  7. 1Dreamer says:

    Advice from a Good Egg

    I never cracked him open, never smelled the foul odor, never figured on a rotten inside until he caused me to crack. Were there thin grey lines I never saw, never explored? Me choosing blind perfection, me fooled by a solid white exterior, attracted by his roundness.

    He sat still, the perfect example of blending in among the other white eggs in his contained world while I sat broken, vulnerable, left to rot in mine until the expiration date. Lucky for me, someone else picked me up gently and saw me as something worth saving.

    Advise carefulness in choosing eggs.

  8. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    Spaghetti and Eggs

    Dad’s last visit before cancer carries him away, I’m fifty-five, he’s eighty-one. He steps into the kitchen, I’m boiling spaghetti for dinner, and he starts to explain how you know when the pasta is cooked, like I hadn’t known.

    Dad, thirty years I’ve been doing this. You don’t need to take the shell off one egg to show me what’s inside the carton.

    He, silent, goes back and sits down in the living room. My wound at never doing it right lingers regretful, a lost opportunity.

    I’d say now, “Thanks, Dad. Tell me, where did you learned to cook spaghetti?”

  9. Rickie Roberts says:

    She was a sweet girl. Always eager to please. As she left she asked if I needed anything. “Just eggs,” I said. The day passed with its usual flurry of inactivity. I was woken from my reverie by a key in the lock. “5.30,” I thought, “my love has returned.” She plonked a shopping bag on the table. “Will these do?” she asked, then mouthed “Eggs,” at my confused face. I examined the contents. One broken, one cracked. The most beautiful, thoughtful woman in the world but so clumsy. “Frittata for two, my darling,” I said to my adoring wife.

  10. Brett Marshall says:

    A hopeful cliché penetrates your eardrums as a young child; you are destined for great things. A million children are told this the world over and you are one of the few who believe it for what else is there to believe in. You are different; within you is something special, the world waits for you to shape it.

    Rejection, rejection.

    You are not a child anymore; the sky that once gave you a feeling of invincibility has turned its back on you.

    Rejection, rejection.

    Your substance will remain sealed. You are a shell of the child you once were.

  11. The Shell Thief

    Calcium’s scarce. Cows and goats resist milking. Felicity says they’re sad. She sings to them, combs their tails, curries their hides. Scant rivulets dribble into her pail.

    Joy beseeches the bone-pale Moon, dances nude, goes a little mad. When dawn arrives, every teat is dry.

    Amity cares for the coop, the smelliest job. She sweeps, feeds, palms warm ovals to her fecund breasts and packages them for market. For this gentle sister, the cock crows, hens lay egg after egg after egg. By and per the dozen, Amity cheats a little, half the calcium-rich crackle, and leaves the yolk behind.

  12. Jasmine Alleva says:

    He stopped me in the street that morning. An hour earlier, the recipe called for three yolks. Leaving as a bundle of coats, I walked to the grocery store. Cold. A decade earlier, he ruined me, leaving me vulnerable; exposed. The sidewalk seemed smaller now, carton of eggs in hand. Same man, different face. I squeezed the molded pulp as he stared. Smirking, he said, “what’s one bad egg?” Running, I held carton to chest, feet before thought. Home. Safe, maybe. Flour on the counter, recipe waiting. Opening the carton, I found one bad egg. And I had crushed it.

  13. Georgia says:

    Cookies

    I started noticing red streaks in my eggs, and ignored them, until they started growing larger. Heavy dark red tendon-like lines in the yolk. I started throwing them out; it felt wrong to eat them. I stopped eating eggs entirely when I saw a grey mass instead of a yellow yolk, it was too much. I started buying eggs again. Baking cookies for my wife, three eggs was all I needed. The first two were fine, but the final seemed to be held in its own sac. I saw it was a human embryo, Its eyes opened and mine closed.

  14. Ruby Radtke says:

    Forget their Shards
    I made you go to the store, buy a dozen eggs.
    The alarm was loud the next morning. I can’t wake up, but my daily egg helps. But this morning when I opened my new carton, one egg was cracked. You say it’s fine, but I never believed you. The yellow yolk creeping through was too bright. The sad crack laughed while I put it in a jar, locked it in the back of the fridge, then forgot about it.
    Then you forgot about me. I shouldn’t blame the egg. I do. When you forgot me, I smashed the egg.

  15. Izzy Aptekar says:

    breakfast after the fight

    Reaching for an egg with enough force to punch a hole in the wall won’t end well. The one you reach for will crack under your fingers, making a snapping sound as it sends unborn-chicken across your counter. The surrounding eggs won’t break, but you’ll note the thin lines criss-crossing its shell. You’ll breathe an angry sigh, one of those sighs where the air escapes from you faster, like you might breathe fire. Mornings aren’t your favorite, but this morning in particular hasn’t gone well. Time to scrap this plan and crawl back into bed. You can try again tomorrow.

  16. Hoss Chapman says:

    I like this! I remember doing this at church picnics growing up. I love how the cheating at the end removes all innocence it built up. Thanks for that!

  17. Caroline McCarthy says:

    A missed miscarriage
    Silence, the probe resting on my belly. Panic as the realisation hits like a tonne of bricks. I stumble to the loo and empty my bladder. Gasping behind my mask I consider the options.
    Unconscious in the lithotomy position my uterus scraped clean? No. I take the medicines. Shovel them in. Wait for the pain. But there is not much; a gush of blood, a tiny trickle and then plop. A meaty lump on a bloodied sanitary towel. Inside, the grey blob of an embryo and its little yolk sac. Wrapped in tissue and left next to the dead cat.

  18. Hoss Chapman says:

    MAMA’S FAMOUS BREAKFAST RECIPE

    Don’t crack that damn yolk! Let’s lay the others carefully, counter ain’t quite clean, but we’re boiling these eggs anyway. We’ll heat up the cast iron real hot, and with the last of our butter, the pan’ll POP! POP! POP! … I’m ready for breakfast, how ’bout you? Be careful now, we only got the one, the rest are church basement bound! You know how much those old ladies in the choir love my egg salad. Now, pour the yolk and all in to that sizzilin’ pan! How much bread we got? Perfect sunny side egg and toast, comin’ right up!

  19. Allison B says:

    ALWAYS A CRITIC

    There’s always a critic. In the newspapers. The theaters. The galleries. One step ahead of the stuntman. Females waiting for an audience. “It looks like a throne,” they whisper together, gathering noise at the napes of their necks. They were ready to be fine-tuned, equally yoked. Earnest and eager in their (subtle) advances. No one likes modern art anymore. No one understands the power of metaphor.

    That there is simply no room, or time, for anything else.

    A woman stands alone, carton open, whispers, “It looks like a throne,” to no one in particular. There’s always a critic. Usually, self-made.

  20. Francine says:

    Crack Crack

    It was the summer of 97’when it all started. Mama was in the kitchen making some breakfast. Everything smelled so good. One by one she cracked them in the frying pan
    ¨crack crack¨ and the smell of the eggs filled the whole room with enlightenment.
    I really enjoyed eating the eggs for breakfast in the morning, but our neighbors got so carried away with giving us eggs, my mother decides to make us eggs for dinner as well. She made all kinds of recipes with the eggs, and I was getting tired of eating them. So one by one crack.

  21. Tze Chua says:

    YOUR LIFE ACCORDING TO MY GYNAECOLOGIST

    We only got three. Some women just don’t produce a lot, even with the drugs. Age, usually.

    Two fertilized. One is average quality; the other is… below average. It has a lower chance, you understand.

    Yes. Only one now. Hey, don’t worry, it looks alright. The cell mass is nice and compact. Definitely come in tomorrow morning. Full bladder, please.

    Oh, it’s big enough to see. Like a speck of dust in the sun. Breathe in, breathe out. There, all done.

    Don’t buy pee sticks. Wait for the blood test.

    The lab just called. I’m sorry.

    When’s your next cycle?

  22. Dawn says:

    October 2021. Daliesque

    The auction house announced the unique lot, and ran a Black & White film portraying a Daliesque landscape of ovoid dwellings, once part of a dystopian TV series from the last century.

    A cryptocurrency billionaire cracked a smile as the Protagonist tried to escape the island.

    “Going Somewhere Sir?”

    The catchline the housekeeper would repeat in each episode, set the audience on edge as his yellow sports car scrambled towards the promontory, chased by a large ovoid balloon.

    She puts on a bonnet, begins seperating the white from the yoke, dry shaking a Whisky sour into a cocktail glass.

  23. Rachel Cain says:

    Half-Cracked Open

    Jessie watched a woman zip up her daughter’s coat and kiss her on the forehead, before heading back out into the cold, hand in hand. Some women were whole. They had mothers that made them that way. Jessie returned to the pile of checks on the café table and continued carefully signing each one. Elongating her swirling O’s the way her mother always did. This was her mother’s penance. Every forged signature a replacement for a kiss on the forehead that never came. Some women, like Jessie, were half-cracked open, and they too, had mothers that made them that way.

  24. G. Mahoney says:

    Out in the wild, robin eggs are blue. My Robin is also blue. She is lonely, spending her days by herself, patiently waiting for my attention.

    My Robin requires hugs, loves and snuggles that sometimes I am too tired or irritable to provide.

    My Robin is a good egg. An incredible loving egg. Her cracks are barely visible, but I see them for what they are. Beautiful, perfect and special.

    I want my Robin to know, it’s not my intention to ever maker her feel unloved or pushed away. Akin to a bad egg. I am the broken Robin egg.

  25. Andie Green says:

    How had it survived the long journey from farm to shop?
    Smiling at me now like a sweet bonneted face. He always insisted on white eggs. Said brown were somehow tainted, artificially coloured. The overflowing sticky white made it impossible to lift this perfect specimen. Should I tip the carton to let the contents splat in the pan. But then the others may fall too. I spooned it out but my shaking hand deposited it floor ways. I sat and stared at the mess. Perhaps if I leave it there he’ll slip and I need never cook his breakfast again.

  26. Christy Brothers says:

    Cracked

    It might have been a Sunday morning,
    my butt sealed on a toilet.
    The smell of scrambled eggs downstairs,
    I opened my purse and checked my calendar.
    No pain. That’s good news.
    “Honey?!”

    Trying for the first time, Saturday afternoon.
    One final thrust.
    “I’m going to be your daddy.”
    He laughed. I screamed, jumping on our bed like a
    hyperactive child.
    I remember he kissed my belly.
    That night we set a table for three.

    There I stood, staring at the bowl.
    He juggled eggs of all things.
    He wasn’t very good with eggs.
    We cleaned up the mess together.

  27. Nicole Bechard says:

    My lunch is on the ground again. Great. I’ve had enough of Tj King. So, I started planning my revenge. Using my savings I buy supplies. Checking off a dozen eggs, glitter, gloves, mask, hoodie, and crowbar. I wait till it’s dark out, then walk to his house. I start to climb the tree near his window, using the crowbar to pry the window open. I leap inside, finding his closet to get his custom Jordan’s out to put eggs and glitter in them. I have a devious grin on my face as I climb down and dash home.

  28. Elizabeth Stone says:

    Lone Yolk

    She split open the egg, hoping for a double yolk. “Double yolk means you’re pregnant,” as the old wives’ tale goes.
    She was prone to leaning into superstitions, and this particular one held her in its constricting grasp. Months passed as she endured the heartbreakingly monotonous rhythm of
    rise,
    hope,
    split,
    sigh;
    each time yearning for a double yolk, each time frowning as she saw the lone yolk staring dolefully back at her.
    “Not pregnant,” she states, simply, as her husband descends the stairs.
    “You don’t know that,” he says, shrugging on his jacket and taking her hand in his.
    But she did know.
    The lone yolk told her so.

  29. Katie Magoun says:

    He liked to make breakfast every morning. One egg, never two. Sizzling in the pan, over easy; with the steady drone of the exhaust fan like a sort of mechanical rooster signaling the start of our day.

    In the kitchen, the air is still and cold as a tomb. The quiet loud enough to swallow you alive. It’s been months, but I cannot break the habit of buying a large carton of eggs — white large, his preference — though I prefer coffee and toast for breakfast.

    The egg is broken, guilt floods my chest. Reflections on things left unsaid.

  30. Give a Man a Chicken

    There’s a saying that goes something like this:

    Give a man an egg, and he’ll eat breakfast.

    Give a man a hen, and he’ll build a chicken coop, nurture her as she hatches a brood—fending off night predators with his new shotgun—incubate the baby chicks with special lights, ensuring they have high-end feed and springwater. He’ll repair the coop, keep the run spotless—name the hens as they mature—the roosters becoming Sunday Suppers. He’ll jump for joy once the hens start laying—rising early to collect eggs in his new basket.

    By then, he’ll be broke, exhausted—sick of eggs—choosing cereal for breakfast.

  31. Asma says:

    EGGHEAD
    My troubles began when my Dad’s girlfriend became his live- in girlfriend. Over- night she transformed into a vicious virago , my dad into an indifferent stranger and l into the household help.
    Today as l bought eggs , one broke. I pondered morosely on the repercussions. I remembered my teacher saying that the human skull is strong but can crack open like an eggshell. This gave me an idea. I liberally sprayed the entrance with cooking- oil. I visualized how Maureen would unlock the door – and slip and fall. Who knows we might have more than one broken egg today ?

  32. Ken Gosse says:

    Small, oval
    miracles of nature,
    both the pride and lament
    of a chicken. Remarkably strong
    yet so very fragile and so breakable.
    Each carries within a potential for life,
    designed to be opened from the inside, to
    release a new generation into the world, but
    within the hand of man, stored in paper mâché
    cartons, protection from an external assault,
    they will be cracked open by others, then,
    once broken, will feed them, and the life
    they sustained becomes another’s life,
    hence the generation arising from
    the egg will belong to others.
    They’re not just incredible
    but very edible.
    Ugh!

    • Ken Gosse says:

      Oh, well …
      I suspected the formatting wouldn’t work. When centered, the poem is an upright egg (the dimensions vary depending on the font, and with mono-spaced Courier New, the egg lies on its side). I inserted spaces in each line to create a centered appearance, then copied and pasted it into the response box. The egg displayed when I pasted it but disappeared when it reposted. Perhaps that’s why eggs come from nature rather than technology.

      Another oddity: I use MS Word for my word counts. It counts hyphenated words as one word. When I hyphenated paper-mâché (“papier-mâché” caused a small bulge in the egg), I got a total of 100 words, but a second count showed 99 words—but when I removed the hyphen, it counted 101 words. I never had this happen before, so maybe I was doing something wrong. I decided to leave out the hyphen. Now, when I copy and paste it back into Word, the count is 100. Maybe we shouldn’t let computers do the math.

  33. Rabab says:

    THE DREAMCATCHER
    I am a dreamcatcher. I catch dreams and turn them into reality. Dreams are as fragile as eggs and have to be caught as carefully.
    I nurture them with the same loving care as Mother Hen would and with the help of the dreamer , they turn into reality. What help , you ask ? Well, if you have a dream, wake up and pursue it !
    But sadly , not all dreams come true. Some are shattered and l am left empty – handed and heart – broken. It is as if you are left staring at a broken egg in a tray.

  34. Jay Heltzer says:

    I’m getting outta here.

    I don’t mind the wobbling inside my pod, or belly dancer jiggling while seated in our paper mâché cargo hold. It’s the horrific-sounding cracked shells, the high-temp sizzling, the fat-based death heard outside these walls.

    No idea if I was meant to be momma hen or top-cock of the barnyard, but I had higher poultry hopes than this. Instead the odds favor me ending up as some barfly’s sunny side up the morning after a Saturday night bender.

    See that daylight crack shining down on me? I’m busting out, now! Who’s with me? Sammy? Huevo? Eggcellent!

  35. Penny Ellis says:

    The Race is On

    We stood in a line, legs shaking, gripping the spoon. Each egg balanced precariously. We went on the word ‘go’, not too fast, not too slow. To the right I heard a splatter. One egg down, then another and another. I saw the finish line ahead where dad stood cheering me on. Only yards to go now; another splatter. Just three of us left. All I could hear was dad shouting, urging me on.

    I crossed the line just in front, to loud cheers. I removed my thumb from the egg and accepted the adulation. It was the only way.

  36. Yash Seyedbagheri says:

    Raw
    I carry the eggs home.
    When I open, rows of white ovals stare up at me. Except for two cracked open.
    So much for a dozen.
    There are ten eggs. I have to make them last a week. Along with the remnants of an onion, some sardines.
    I pick up the fragments of shell as if I can put it all together again. Sweep away the temper, the reduced salaries, the subtraction. Fridges pregnant with expensive booze.
    Now, the yolks glimmer, naked, unabashed.
    I get a spoon. Take my first bite.
    And another.
    It’s a little cold. Raw. A beginning.

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