Photo Prompt: The Chair

chair prompt

Photo Credit:  GH Cheng

Here’s what we discovered with our last photo prompt: an empty, abandoned chair can hold more compelling stories than we ever imagined. We couldn’t decide on just one to feature. You’ll see why.

When we piled stones in the courtyard, the soldiers kicked them down. We planted flowers, the soldiers ripped them out. Monuments are forbidden. Monuments are memories, and that’s what the soldiers want to destroy—the past. One night we went in to Sergei’s trashed apartment: piles of urine-stained books the soldiers had pissed on; harmless canvases sliced with bayonets. We took the tattered chair where Sergei sat near his open door, welcoming anyone, sharing his wisdom and his life, and placed it in the courtyard. No epitaph. No ceremony. The soldiers ignored it, and we smiled behind their backs, victorious.

William Reagan


I can see myself in the distance; blurred at the edges. Not fully formed. I’m about as far away from me as they are. Seen from these different eyes, however, their eyes, where I sit in this chair, I’m lost in distinctness. I fill only the square boxes that fill their files: a check, a cross. I am a series of checks and crosses. I am a folder of files, I am an exam score: the result of a test I never chose to take. Maybe one day I’ll view myself with the same eyes. I don’t want to.

Greggor Metoande


Ahmed can assemble a chair in minutes, his decades’ experience. So where’s the heart in that? Each bolt and nut he tightens, re-tightens, is an attentive child seated, a mathematics lesson in some distant classroom. A Molotov cocktail not thrown. Every wooden seat Ahmed varnished two, three times is chalk dust, knowledge. Suicide vest diplomacy averted. Rubber stoppers on the legs, an undisrupted child vies for ink-on-paper applause, admiring teacher. Israelis, Pakistanis, Saudis. Sunnis, Shiites, Jews. Children now grown, seated, understanding. Ahmed’s long hours in the factory, his chairs. Battery cable electrocutes no one. Ahmed does his part.

Eric Skinner


The cloud has not shifted. Nothing grows any more. Threadbare forests of calf-high scrub whisper impulses of a garden once lush with vivid peonies and ornamental feather grass. Embossed footprints are diluted, stale memorials of picnics with deviled eggs and red wine. Apathy and disfavor have deleted the soil’s rich charity. The grey ennui of consequence. What little green there is has been trampled or at best dissuaded, flush to the earth and closed-loop like cheap broadloom. But the tiny determined sprouts broadcast, to those that will listen, quiet headlines about the sun that still floats above the hoary cloud.

Jon Magidsohn

6 Responses to “Photo Prompt: The Chair”

  1. Jeff says:

    Well done Daniel

  2. Koby Lee says:

    I have lived the years my son has not. I grow old as he stays young. My son brings me a chair, to help me rest when he is not there. He joins the war and fights real hard, only to see, we’ve grown apart. He rest forever, a mile away. So I go to see him, with the chair he brought me that day. No one is there, not even him. It’s just a desolate area full of sin. So I take out my chair, in the area of none, taking it in all as one. Water flows down my cheek, my left arm feels numb, as I join my son, in his sleep.

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