The ABC’s of a Short Story

This piece is a response to a writing prompt.  The prompt suggests writing a story where every letter that begins the sentence follows the next letter in the alphabet, so that the story has a loose structure while still allowing creative freedom.  In my opinion, the use of prompts in the writing world depends on the prompt itself.  I have read some prompts where I am just so appalled and confused as to why someone would go about writing in that way (and maybe that’s the point). However, there are intriguing prompts- like this one- that get me excited and anxious to begin working on it.


All I see is an abandoned cottage. Below the towering maple trees it seems so sad. Could this really be the place? Dancing in the corner of the yard is a swirling pile of maple leaves. Everything seems so peaceful and lonely. Finding the old bronze key inside my satchel, I begin to approach the cottage. Gold. Hmm. I think about how I had always envisioned the key being a beautiful magic gold color. Just then an ugly screech demands my attention to the left. Keep your cool Jasmine; it’s just a crow. Leaving the yard behind, I step onto the rickety old porch. Maybe I should go, walk away from here and never come back. No, I need this closure for her and for me.   Okay here we go.  Placing the key in the rusty keyhole feels so right, like it’s finally home.  Quiet, it’s so quiet all of a sudden.  Right in front of me, on the thick hardwood coffee table by an ugly patterned sofa I find it.  Sitting so comfortably out of place is the black steel pistol exactly where she said it would be.  Tip toeing across the noisy old hardwood floor; I pull down my purple sweatshirt sleeve over my right hand and anxiously grasp the gun with my thumb and pointer finger.   Under the dock at the lake out back is where she told me to hide it I remind myself.  Very stealthy and quick I make my way to the dock and drop the mean weapon into the abyss.  What seemed like such a burden only seconds before has been swallowed as the last ripple of water disappears along with my dignity.  X marks the spot, a spot I will hopefully never return back to. Zipping up my sweatshirt to hide from the cold and the guilt surrounding me, I turn and leave, never to come back again.

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