Sunday, July 19, 2015

Writing Prompt: Running With the Girls

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a photo prompt. Write whatever comes to mind, be it a description, a story, or even a poem.

Write something inspired by this photo. 


Skill Tip: Try writing a scene in a different POV style you usually write in.  Pay particular attention to the details used to create that different style. What would you use in first person that you wouldn't do in third person? (besides the obvious pronouns)

Extra challenge: Make the POV character someone other than the two girls running.

Share in the comments!


  1. She was browsing when Joel first saw her.

    No, that isn’t how their story begins; not really. It truly began when Joel became a security guard at the museum. That is, security guard for the gift shop. Kids don’t dream of going into gift shop security, but it was the beginning of a road Joel hoped would someday lead to being the head guard of the entire museum security staff. Someday, Joel would be a hero. Someday…he promised himself while busily standing behind the counter, waiting for a customer to approach him.

    “How much is this mug?” a wizened elderly lady asked him, squinting up through her glasses. The skin of her face was wrinkled, like crumpled paper.

    “There should be a label on the bottom of the mug,” Joel suggested.

    “Oh, I know,” she chuckled, her laugh quickly becoming a ragged cough. She shuffled around her large purse for a handkerchief, and Joel waited awkwardly. “I’m afraid I can’t read those itty bitty numbers,” she finished after quieting down. “Things start to go when you get to my age. First it was the eyes; next week I have a hip replacement.”

    “That will be eight fifty,” Joel interrupted. The old lady dug around her bag again, this time retrieving a ten dollar bill.

    “Keep the change,” she smiled at him. “You seem like a nice boy.”

    “Thanks,” he replied, unsure whether he was thanking her for the money or the compliment. Joel watched her walk away, shoving the mug into her purse as she went.

  2. That’s when his eyes landed on her. She was browsing the fruit stand, absently tucking a stray light blonde hair behind her ear as she contemplated which banana seemed better. Changing her mind, she dropped the fruit she had been holding in exchange for a bruised apple, shining it against her white sweater. Joel almost didn’t catch it when she dropped the banana into her satchel.

    Another girl walked up to her, this one wearing a striped shirt. Her dark blonde hair fell in ringlets, shielding her face as she whispered to who Joel assumed was her sister. This time, he was watching carefully when the sister placed a shirt in the bag, emblazoned with the trademark I <3 DC.

    Yes, these girls were definitely thieves.

    Unless, of course, they were just shopping. But Joel severely doubted that they would actually come up to him to purchase the items before making a run for it; his instincts were screaming at him that those were girls were not. Honest.

    Much to his disappointment, the sister in stripes promptly brought the bag up to him, asking, “How much for two apples and a T-shirt?”

    “Nineteen twenty.”

    “Jeez. Are you sure that’s right?” She bit her lip.

    “The shirt is fifteen dollars, plus two bucks per apple and tax. Nineteen twenty.” It was lucky that Joel was still looking at the sister near the fruit stand because at that moment, she took an apple in each hand and calmly walked out of the store. “I’m sorry; your sister just stole two apples. Could you please tell her to bring them back into the store?”

    “Of course,” the girl said agreeably. She didn’t fool Joel—he could smell lies a mile off. So when she exited the store in search of her sister, Joel was sure to follow in pursuit.

    “I’m on break,” he told the bewildered customers as he rushed past them.

    The sisters met up, and once they made it past the doors of the museum, they ran off into the street.

    “HEY!” Joel yelled, sprinting after them. The girl in white clutched the apples, while her sister jogged alongside—

    The world tilted, and the biker who’d run into Joel went flying over his handlebars. Not meaning to be rude, Joel pushed the bike off of him, wincing from various cuts and half-formed bruises. The girl in white glanced behind to see what the ruckus had been about, laughing when she saw Joel sprawled on the ground.

    “JOEL!” A voice from behind him screamed in anger; his manager. “You left the store unattended?!”

    “There were thieves—” he tried to explain, pointing forward only to realize the sisters had disappeared.

    “Do you know how many more people you left in the store that could’ve easily walked out with the merchandise?” she demanded. Joel flinched.

    “I hadn’t thought about—”

    “No,” she agreed, fuming. “You didn’t think. Joel, I know how much this job meant to you but after this display…You’re fired.”

    Joel stared at her. His hopes, his dreams, his life goal, shattered in the space of three sentences. And all because of those two girls.

    But he would survive. Some of the best heroes went underground; this was just his tragic back story. Every hero had one. Joel Hornbeck, the unsung hero of Washington D.C…

    Yes, he would survive.