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.

Polaroid of a man waiting at a taco truck.

 

 

Art Credit: Yazz Atlas

36 Responses to “Photo Prompt”

  1. Bernardo Villela says:

    In the Way
    by Bernardo Villela

    Through his windshield and angry man watches an old man awaits his order at a food truck At a nearby table an old woman sits, expecting someone to arrive, perhaps it’s Death or the old man getting his lunch. Neither makes an effort to acknowledge the other.
    The sky is stark, and blown white. The surrounding deciduous trees are bare. Decay envelops the scene.
    The man exits his vehicle. His face is cadaverous. In his mind, he’s the Grim Reaper, but there’s no design to his actions, those targeted by his rage and his firearm are merely in his way.

  2. Elizabeth Stone says:

    A taco truck in pre-snow winds, jacket draped heavy over shoulders. Flurries from above; spices wafting. Coffee taste still hot on tongue; veins still warm; hands in pockets. Salsa verde from plastic squeeze tubes; chilled air and warm hearts; hoodies pulling tighter. Black-and-white film; treetops; sneakers. The ding of an order; a chair pulls out. Options written on paper plates. Steam hugs cheeks; the sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted. TACOS/TORTAS; the click of spatula against stove. The smell of pine somewhere, faintly, a Christmas tree pop-up shop on a street nearby. Bare branches sway, twist; a soft crackle against late-November skies. Smokiness in early-Sunday morning air, another ding, another order. Film develops pale, snowflakes fall faster. Spiced hot chocolate from the truck next door. Warm tortillas against fingertips. Bliss permeates.

  3. Rickie Roberts says:

    “Just as I imagined”, Martin thought; salsa dripping down his chin. Through the windscreen, or should that be wind-shield, he could see a truck driver, hands in pockets, baseball cap firmly attached. Twenty-four hours ago Martin was checking-in at London Heathrow. Now he was sitting in a hired sedan looking at a taco van. The plan had been simple, drive south to Baltimore and Washington, then the long drag west through Nashville, Memphis, Oklahoma, and Albuquerque to LA. The great American adventure had begun. What to start with, “Jungleland” or “Thunder Road”? Or maybe the big one, “Born To Run”.

  4. Anxious Homo says:

    Trum, Trum, Trum. The ferocious old motor and my frighted heart were in perfect harmony. He waited for food, but I knew his eyes were on me. His predatory instinct could tell I was planning to escape. He had locked the doors and taken the key. If I broke the window now, would people help me? Or would they believe the crazy elder Latina screaming? “Mi esposa no es bien en la cabeza.” He’d lie. They’d all believe like in all the last stops.
    But again, my clamped hands worked the lock.
    Again, I ran and screamed for help…
    Then—

  5. Gia Porter says:

    A Life’s Dream

    “Por favor Senor” she pleaded with tears in her eyes. “Please, mi abuelito and abuelita built this stand and made it what it is today. They started it twenty-five years ago building into the thriving business it is today. We sell the best tacos, tostadas and taquitos in town; everyone says so! They put their blood and sweat into this business, it’s their life. If you shut it down, they will die, they have nothing but their faith and this stand. The officer stared blankly, pretending to listen to the granddaughter’s cries. Down the street the immigrant officer waited patiently.

    Gia

  6. K.Hartless says:

    I read the menu for a second time, but it’s all gibberish: Tamarindo, tamale, taco, torta, so many of the foods start with “t” I wonder how anybody tells them apart. Eighty-eight years in Henrico county, and I’ve never once had a Hispanic happy meal.

    “Ready?” Olive skin glistens in the bald afternoon heat.

    “Don’t rightly know. What do you recommend?”

    “Pupusas?”

    Pupusas, yes something that doesn’t begin with “T” and I order one, praying no real pups arrive.

    “With frijoles, chorizo, pork or cheese?”

    Two out of four of those are English. Well, I hope dollars will be accepted.

  7. Christy Brothers says:

    Daylight Savings

    Of course it was quiet. Hiding in the car, I
    snap a photo. I want to remember. My papá waiting
    for customers who never come and my brother pretending it’s okay. I hear my sister light another cigarette. She’ll be gone in the spring. Doctor
    said so. First Tita, then Mamá, now Ana. The only
    person left I can talk to. I click my camera on and off. She asks me to stop. Anything for you my sister. Why is that stupid yellow star still smiling? Every day it just stares and smiles. Hasn’t it heard I’m out of wishes?

  8. bethel says:

    taco time

    “I can’t wait to muffle over it” mila said grinning from ear to ear jumping excitedly as dad packed his wagon opposite the taco truck.
    I was welcome by the sweet smell of fries clouding my nostrils sending me up haven,I breathe in the aroma feeling satisfied, dad moved closer to the truck to order for three tacos.

    I stood behind reminiscing on mom’s freshly made tacos were the family’s favorite,barely a day goes by without eating taco fries not until death snatch ma away. now mr Odin’s taco had been our saving grace mila cant do without.

  9. NT Franklin says:

    The Taco Truck
    By
    NT Franklin

    My Tata sat in the front row crying. A photograph of his beloved 1977 taco truck stood next to Mita’s casket. Very first taco truck on the east coast, he always said. Mita bought a taco from the truck at closing. She was a stunner and captured his eye. Always the gentleman, he would not let her walk home in the dark. He drew a crowd as he rolled up to her family home in the taco truck. Her parents came out and wanted to evaluate his cooking. Today will be the first day they will be apart since then.

  10. Scott Rothschild says:

    As he waited for his order, Ricardo recalled an old memory. “I binged last night on pretzels,” Onnelly said. Ricardo smiled at her confession. Later, when he left to cross, he was homesick and full of doubts. Ricardo wished he could feel her warmth. He wished they had a house and he could sit on the patio, smoking a cigar, while Onnelly pushed their future daughter, Anna, on a swing. He chastised himself for dreaming. A red cattle truck stopped to gave him a ride. Forty years later, he waited for his order to take back to Onnelly and Anna.

  11. Joyce Peim says:

    Santiago and Lupe are the salt of the earth. They came here 30 years ago, and worked hard to take care of their growing family. Now Juan is a doctor, Carmen is in law school, Rosa and Pablo are in college, and Jaime is captain of the high school football team.

    And now I have to shut them down.

    New zoning and licensing regulations twisted their American Dream into a nightmare.

    I open the car door slowly. It’s as if someone slid a colored gel over the sun, casting a sickly green glow over everything.

    Sometimes I hate my job.

  12. Fazal says:

    THE MAKEOVER

    “Learn to cook ! ”
    I had heard this umpteen times. Well l could cook up a story, a scheme , but a meal ? What were Takeaways for ?
    I had worked late , slept badly and as l walked , the aroma of food drew me to the popular trailer.
    One look at me and the owner said ,” Girl lost smile , Rosa.”
    Rosa rushed in and returned with a steaming platter – Tacos , Burritos, Enchiladas… l dug in and was transported into warm summer afternoons, grandma’s cooking, being pampered …
    The couple smiled indulgently.
    Through my euphoria, l said , ” Will you teach me how to cook ? “

  13. Lisa Gioia says:

    “Why doesn’t he get back in the car? It’s cold out there,” Carlos asks his sister as they watch their father through the windshield. “He misses mom,” Nina said. “Last week she was standing next to him, today he’s alone.”

    When he returns to the car handing out the food, the siblings notice an extra plate. “This one’s for mi amado, my beloved Carmela,” Paulo says as he places the covered paper plate lovingly on the dash. “Tonight, I will have this enchilada for dinner in her honor. It’s her recipe they use. Tonight, I will eat with Carmela.”

  14. Kathy Whipple says:

    Fitting, by Kathy Whipple

    The service had been dignified, the condolences sincere. But stiff and empty. Nothing comforting. Nothing fitting the vitality of Luka’s grandson. The lad would have hated all of it.
    Evening shadows passed over Luka’s worn, weary face and the calico jumped into his lap. He clenched his fists. How dare Death skip him for the boy?
    Dammit.
    This game wasn’t over.
    Lukas hatched his plan for revenge.
    At morning’s light he’d walk until his bones ached. Attend the concert in the park. And hadn’t he seen a Taco Truck parked at the edge of the ball field? He’d order two.

  15. While Waiting For Lunch Dad Thinks About What’s Wrong With His Apartment

    Not an old country school turned into a house using salvaged materials, like a yellow toilet and wood-shingles for interior walls.

    No burn barrel outside, just a chute that snags trash bags.

    No space for wires, boxes, a painting found at the landfill and possibly worth something, bicycle parts, cap screws, wrenches, etc., accumulated since Mom entered the care-home.

    No water system problems providing excuses to avoid baths.

    Too much carpet to catch chair legs.

    No cats allowed.

    A door entry system that rings through to his phone and he can’t remember which number button to push, anyway.

  16. Rabab says:

    ROLE MODEL

    “It’s taco time, ” l cry out to Shelley, as we race to ‘ Taco – time. ‘ A delicious aroma wafts to us in the cold morning air.
    Carlos gives a toothless grin. Maria , slicing tomatoes, smiles , ” What will you have ?”
    Shelley is distracted. Having interviewed an award winning author and a star football player, she needs one more interview to complete her Role- Model series.
    As we dig into Enchiladas , Burritos and Tacos, she says , ” WOW !! Such delicious food !! ”
    ” And to think they crossed the border aged sixty years and began cooking ! ”
    Carlos smiles affirmation. ”
    ” Found my Role Model ! ” Shelley says with her mouth full.

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