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.

Photograph of a storm over London.

 

Art Credit: Neil Howard

47 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. P. L. Goaway says:

    I used to love the sky.

    Last month, we climbed up on the roof and just sat there. No food, no drinks. Just looked at the sky. We were wrapped in blankets, and then we started kissing.

    Last week, we climbed up on the roof and just sat there. No food, no drinks. Just looked at the sky. We were wrapped in blankets, and then we started screaming. This is all your fault.

    Last night, we climbed up on the roof and just stood there. No food, no drinks. Just looked at each other. And left.

    I hate the sky.

  2. Krystyna Fedosejevs says:

    Worked Up

    New job. First day.

    Coveralls on. Lunch packed. I felt warm all over at seeing my name printed on the certificate I was to carry.

    Work was to take me across town wherever my services were needed.

    As the truck’s engine started, I studied the day’s list of customers.

    “Great view of the city,” announced the first one. “Take a look.”

    I bolted up the winding staircase to the roof, singing “Chim chiminey Chim chiminey Chim chim cher-oo”.

    The door to outside creaked opened. My jaw dropped. Hardly a chimney in sight!

    How was a chimney sweep to work?

  3. Alyssa says:

    The Dreary Day

    The sky’s strong overcast shrouded the land in a dull, dreary, grey attire. The cold chill sent through the breeze was strong enough to freeze those who stood in its path. I felt the cool burn of the wind reach into my bones as walked down brick-lined streets of London. Tall towers of stone and concrete on either side of me as I stood alone on the street. Out of my silent thoughts, I heard small thuds of steps taken behind me. With a racing heart and a panicked pace, I turned and met with nothing but the open air.

  4. Denise Bayes says:

    The Gaps Between

    They announced on the radio that Freddie was dead. I picked up the phone.

    “Come over,” he said.

    We mourned over Australian Shiraz, vintage vinyls spinning, tearful voices joined in remembered lyrics.

    I told him about my divorce, the sadness of the end. Didn’t say that I’d married the wrong man.

    He told me about her, how she needed him, relied on him. Never mentioned love.

    As dawn rose pink over the city skyline, we crawled out of his bedsit window. Side by side, we gazed across silent rooftops.

    Into the sharp November air, Freddie sang to us about love.

  5. Jenna Glover says:

    They Stopped the Rain

    The aliens came on a rainy afternoon.

    I sat in front of my tent flap, soaked from my morning stint at the freeway intersection. I was wet to my bones and stone cold, but had earned five dollars for dinner later. A small price to pay, I thought, as I shivered and watched the aliens part the clouds.

    Cars skid to a halt and people got out, necks craning, hands pointing. It was the End Times, they shouted. We were all going to die.

    But when the aliens came, they stopped the rain, and that was all right with me.

  6. Geoffrey Morgan says:

    When The Sky Weeps

    When the sky weeps across the city, we run for shelter.
    We race from our rooftops into tenements, up staircases scurrying into back doors,
    climb from drenched Ferris wheels and scramble to coffeeshops,
    ducking under awnings along the way.

    We look up from inside past the jagged, dark clouds
    for a glimpse of blue quickly disappearing behind gray curtains.
    These days we wait longer behind the glass,
    the brick, the blinds,
    hiding in places we hope to keep dry while feeling less –
    less patient, less sure, less and less hopeful from so much breaking sky,
    so much endless weeping.

  7. Joan says:

    Oh, the immensity of life, Lily thought. She stood on the roof, turbulent furling clouds above and around her, a curtain of rain visible on her right, and in the distance a patch of hopeful blue. Believing she was alone, she rose onto her toes, raised her arms to the side and arched her back so that her face looked towards the heavens, as she simultaneously extended a dancer’s straight exuberant leg,

    Sad Harris, crouching by a wall, unseen in the shadows, saw Lily like an apparition, an angel among the clouds, and decided to give the day another chance.

  8. Christy Brothers says:

    From The Roof –

    Irene spit the last sip of afternoon tea into the street. She’s lived long enough. Stepping over the railing, she mouthed goodbye. She let the rain wash her, careful not to slip. How she survived her friends, her late husband and three children she’d never understand. When you’re young, you do everything you can to live as long as possible. For what? The sound of a big wheel across town? She kicked off her slippers and watched them fall. Will the gray man in the sky ever tell her it’s time? She watches and waits. Around and around we go.

  9. Aeron says:

    Fallen Snow

    Coffee smelled right that morning. No more shouting, no more scars. It was finally peaceful. The sky was heavy. Below was deep. The snow was tempting me.

    Man, what a life it had been. Full of regrets and hatred. What a wonder my life would have been if I had not fallen for that man.

    I let go of the knife. I held on to the snow, and I followed them. I fell for one last time, and I did it right. It was the greatest disaster of my life. The police siren stung my ear until my last breath.

  10. Nina Miller says:

    Zephyr’s Plea for Climate Consciousness

    It was easier to avoid my brother when the world was young. We shared continents, dancing around each other as seasons changed. Once the occasional bluster, now all we do is fight. Battles, fierce and dangerous, storm high above, bringing down unwelcome precipitation. My light cumulus clouds and warm, gentle breezes are no match for Boreas’s angry squall. The Earth’s changing climate is empowering him. Will all those buildings still stand if Boreas has his way? Will his ever-growing power consume me? I hope we all can bathe in the honeyed light of Mother Dawn for a few more eons.

  11. KB says:

    “The Party in the Sky”

    Everybody knows there is a party going on up there in that muddled gray horizon over that red-bricked city. A party of the deceased. Those who die in crashes or in their sleep or to illness–they aren’t unhappy or mourning. Do not fret.

    Everybody knows that when thunder booms, it is merely the stereo of the speakers in that concert up there. Some wish that they were in the dead’s shoes. No worries. No responsibilities. No pain.

    All a perfect paradise. Even the living yearn for it. “Just take your time,” everybody reminds. “You’ll get there soon enough. Patience.”

  12. C.B May says:

    “The Telescope”

    When I finally see Mike’s telescope, I know it’s every bit as awesome as he said it was.

    He loved to tell anyone who would listen about the thousands his parents spent so he could spy the heavens. “Anyone who would listen” was usually just me, with a high IQ and a drug addicted family in poverty.

    Well, finally, I’d had enough. I want to spy the heavens, too, MIKE. I know more about them than your self-important ass, anyway.

    But looking out his window, at the clouds closing in, I realized I should’ve waited until tomorrow to kill him.

  13. Amy O'Halloran says:

    The Eye of a Hurricane

    When the wall of the storm hit’s everything changes. The thing you have been preparing for has finally arrived. You have heard about it for weeks and did everything in your power to ready yourself and your life for the blow. When the wall has passed everything goes silent. It’s the quietest the word has been in weeks. But the only emotion felt throughout your body is dread. “In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment, a yellow sky.” In a few short moments your world will erupt into chaos when the second wall arrives.

  14. Tyler Thomas says:

    The gray smog sky now has now been illuminated by some crazy light and is illuminating the city with a fiery blaze. Is this the rapture, is this the end for me. These thoughts just keep racing throughout my mind and I just can’t seem to get my composure back because of the imposing giant fireball in the sky. “Oh hey the sun is out, it’s been a while,” says the stranger calmly as he walked past me. “The sun,” I say with a shocked expression, I have never seen the sun before because I live in England. I’m British.

  15. Victor K. says:

    It’s finally happening, The sun is showing itself once again. We haven’t seen it in so long. The storm is coming to its treacherous end. These last few hours have been The worst since the start of the storm. I hope it will never come back. This was a storm that will never be forgotten. It destroyed people’s homes and lifted entire vehicles off the ground. The winds were close to 100 miles per hour. The storm started with rain but by the end, it was golf ball-sized hail coming down with enough force to go cleanly through windows.

  16. Jules Pizzo says:

    I look into the distance and see the Ferris wheel that no longer spins around. It no longer brings happiness to families. Old and run down the town sits in silence as the rain fills the sky. As I sit in my tiny one-bedroom apartment I think about how much I want to get out of this town because it is so depressing. This was the town of my happy childhood but that is no longer the case. Now it’s sad and it is just the place where my parents closed their eyes and became a place of memories.

  17. Sienna says:

    The winter world swirled around me. It was March 22, the first day of spring. Sadness enveloped the citizens of Boston, Massachusetts. We had all wished the day of spring weather would bless us after being faced with the frigid brutal winter. The flurries had begun to settle down, now looking like small little blurs in the sky.
    The winter sky opened up above, illuminating the streets of the busy city below. Warmth spread amongst the cold concrete. Spring was coming, and soon the long winter would be shoved aside, allowing the warmth of the new season to seep in.

  18. Veronica LaBelle says:

    “Even a Huge Deluge Has Its Limits”

    I will the rain towards Becky’s house. Becky gets big everything; big house, big chest, big praise. Big mouth that told Claire who told Mike who told Terrance. I grit my teeth and feel the clouds swirl in my fists.

    The storm fights at one spot. I squint and twitch at the cumulonimbus-framed Ferris wheel. When we were eight and unencumbered we got stuck up there, Becky and her big birthday dress and I. Becky had looked down at our small world below. “Let’s not go back,” she said. Big smile.

    I roll a shoulder; fine, that could be spared.

    • Rabab says:

      THE PRICE OF WAR

      A ghost town. An abandoned town. Everyone seems to have left in a hurry. Some lights are still visible. This is what happens to border towns in a war. Always vulnerable. Always under threat.
      When l bid farewell to my family, l never thought l would never see them again. Dad’s smile, Mom’s hugs, little Emily ‘s hero – worship…etched in my mind. Even Lucy, my love. Where are they ?
      But l will keep returning as long as l live. Perhaps someday l will get lucky.

  19. Situational Myopia

    Louisa usually saw a cat in the clouds. Sometimes its mouth was open, sometimes its paws were tight around something…a fish, a ball of yarn, a bird. When her mother asked her, “What do you see in the clouds?” Louisa almost always answered, “A white cat.” After weeks of cloudless skies, a month of terrible news, and a year of being inside, the shapes in the sky suddenly returned. Louisa’s mother found her at the window staring up and asked her what she found there. “The cat is gone now,” she said, “I only see a hole it left behind.”

  20. “Bob Enjoyed People Watching”

    The view of the Ferris Wheel was spectacular from the rooftop, especially when watching through his telescope. Sometimes it was quick and sometimes it could take months; but one thing was certain, he’d always find his next love interest.

    He’d focused on the girl with the yellow braids for a while. She was terrified of heights, it was evident, yet there she was again—white-knuckling the safety bar—screaming as her friend laughingly kicked her feet, causing the car to rock maniacally. He enjoyed her silent screams. Mime-trapped-on-a-hellish-wheel screams. Soon, he would bring her home where she would truly understand fear.

  21. Rickie Roberts says:

    I open the door, climb the metal steps, and soon I am in my private place. A shared roof garden no one else knows about. I look out over the rooftops. Dark clouds build ominously. In the distance, if you stand in the right place, is the Eye. The all-seeing Eye. Only 20 years old but as much a symbol of London as the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace. The warm rain pitter-patters on the asphalt. I stretch to get a better view then take out my phone. Perfect. Almost perfect. Just a little further. Then. Falling. Darkness.

  22. Ela says:

    Suspension

    There are moments when the wheel of life stills and the sky turns grey with weight of memory. Where you remain suspended between land and air, unable to move forward yet grateful to be alive. Where your body is trapped but your mind is free to roam – latching on to a past that no longer exists. Where uncertainty is king as you glimpse other lives, other cages, other suffering through panes of glass and raging below on the street. Where a sliver of blue sky invites you to focus on what you can do: remain in the present and breathe.

  23. Bernardo Villela says:

    NO BETTER TIME
    by
    Bernardo Villela

    The Eye came to a stop. London’s rooftops greeted John and Paul. This is what Paul had been waiting for: A romantic moment with his crush since grade school.

    However, an eerie foreboding fell over them now. Paul was reminded how long the queue to get on the Ferris wheel had been. Now looking across the city they were struck by its unusual emptiness, as if their section of the world had ended while they whirled to these lofty heights. For a moment Paul hesitated, fearing the worst, then he realized there’d never been a better time. He leaned in.

  24. Penny Ellis says:

    The View

    ‘Hi Mum, this is the view from my bedroom window. Not much to look at, but plenty of sky to let the light in. I’m at the top of the house, so it’s very quiet. The others haven’t arrived yet. We’ve all got our own room with a little kitchen area on the landing, so Nana’s kettle will be very useful. That’s the back of the hospital you can see, so not far to walk. Will keep in touch. Don’t worry. Love Daisy.’

    I close the attic skylight and feel the dark room closing in. Time for my first shift.

    • Ken Gosse says:

      I really enjoyed this, Penny. Thanks.
      It reminds me of our 5th-floor walk-up efficiency apartment in Indianapolis in the ’70s. That was our first apartment—after living in a tiny, somewhat decrepit old trailer (also university-owned) our first six months of marriage. My wife or I probably wrote letters home very much like this.

  25. Ken Gosse says:

    Sky Patches ~

    An eye of blue in sky of gray,
    the other patched by downpour’s fall,
    seen through windows far away
    where darkness hasn’t cast its pall.

    The distant Ferris wheel was stopped
    as rain and lightning took their sway.
    The midway’s patrons’ fun is cropped
    on what had been a holiday.

    Meanwhile, at home, where he must stay
    a disappointed child is ill.
    Staring out where siblings play
    as mother warms him through a chill.

    They came home early, toe to head
    were drenched from rain—their joy, dismay.
    “Next year, for sure,” their father said.
    “Tomorrow is a brand-new day.”

  26. Janet Stevenson says:

    Inspiration And Interpretation

    I’m not a daydreamer, but today my head is in the clouds. If I spend enough time looking at storm clouds, I identify faces, animals, or objects. At this moment, far right and downward, I’m convinced I recognize the contour of Uncle Henry’s face.

    I grab my camera and press the shutter button. Then, a cold chill runs down my spine after clearly seeing Henry’s nose, heavy bottom lip, and crooked grin in the clouds.

    Honestly, I’m gobsmacked. Thanks to a London thunderstorm with Henry’s jaw-dropping image, I got the best housewarming gift. Certainly, there’s
    no photo manipulation needed.

  27. All the planes have stopped. No more contrail striations or 4 am wakeup calls through the casement’s single pane. Only the brindled monochrome of a Constable sky, occasional cerulean splashes tearing a hole through the grey, to offer any of this city’s recognisable behaviour above the horizon. It’s an introvert’s dream. You can hear the birds again; walk peacefully across Westminster Bridge midday on a Tuesday and watch the pandemic’s invisible waves wash quietly out to the estuary. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ The planet raises its fist while the world’s on furlough.

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