The woman standing beside me in at the auction smiled and said hello. We were waiting for the auctioneer to begin the sale. He had set up his auctioneer stand at the back of the white clapboard house close to the clothesline.
I asked her, “Isn't this fun? I love to look through dead people's things.”
She looked at me, paused, and said, “It's my mother's things.”
For today's writing prompt you don't have to go to an Estate sale or an auction and say something awkward or embarrassing to family members of the deceased, unless you want to; your local thrift store has your writing prompt.
Every Item Has a Story
Every item has a story: The true story of where the item was acquired, who owned it, and where it traveled, and the story you are inspired to write about the item.
Last year I found a plate at a thrift store. The name Meda Young was written on a piece of medical tape stuck to the bottom of the plate. The plate was made in Nashville, TN by Sanders Mfg. Co. It was a copyrighted first edition of the Lord’s Supper, Warranted 23 K Gold.
Meda Young wrote her name on the back of the plate. Perhaps it was her treasure. When I searched on Google, I found an obituary for a Meda Young who died on April 26th, 2010 in Eatontown, New Jersey. From my town to her town is 105.8 miles. A two-hour drive.
Maybe the Last Supper plate belonged to the Meda Young I found on the internet. Maybe I have the plate of the women who “had a warm smile and a generous spirit that brought joy to those who spent time with her.”
Meda Young’s plate is bringing me joy.
The Thrift Store Writing Prompt
This is an Adventure Prompt. However, this is not the television show Mission Impossible, starring Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, and Greg Morris, a popular series from the late 60's to the seventies. This blog post will not self-destruct in five seconds.
Even so, we will pretend we are going on a real adventure.
Here is your Writing Prompt, as though you are Mr. Phelps, a secret agent, in the television show Mission Impossible.
Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Your mission, Jim, if you decide to accept it, is to go to a thrift store and find an item that inspires you to write a fifteen-minute fiction story. You will post your story in the comments section on The Write Practice. You will also read and comment on other Thrift Store stories. As always, should you or any of your force be caught or killed the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.
Remember, this is not Mission Impossible, the television show. We are only pretending. There should be no danger involved in undertaking this mission. Please have fun, remember to look both ways when you cross the street, obey all traffic laws, and don't fall on a sharpened pencil.
Have you ever written a story about a found object? Let us know in the comments. I would love to hear your found object stories.
- Go to a thrift store and find an item that interests you. You may purchase it or just take a photograph of it.
- Take fifteen minutes to write a story for the item with a beginning, middle, and end.
- Post your story in the comments section.
- Read and comment on other writers' thrift store stories.