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Image Props for Stories #1: All That Was Left – a Stapler, a Money Bag, and a Bird Ornament

“Image Props for Stories #1: All That Was Left Behind Was a Stapler, a Money Bag, and a Bird Ornament” by Joan Y. Edwards

Stapler Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Money Bag Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Tweety Bird Ornament – Bird Ornament Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Linda Andersen, June Phyllis Baker, Brenda Madole, and Elaine Green wrote passages for this post using one or more of these props: a stapler, a money bag, and a bird ornament. Thank you for participating. You made this a fun post to read. You made it very entertaining.

This is called: “Image Props for Stories.” I thought this would be a fun way to use photos of things in my house or places I visit. I love taking pictures. This will enable you to use props as a way to improve your writing skills. Actually you can write your own first page using the three props. Write freely. Write what you think came before my paragraph or afterwards. My purpose is to get you to think outside the box. I want you to get your creative juices going. Perhaps one of these props would add depth and meaning to one of your stories. Try it out. See what you think.

Joan Y. Edwards said: At the end of the storm, all that was left was: a stapler, a money bag, and a bird ornament.

The wind waged a war with Beth’s small apartment near the railroad tracks. It shook so much the walls vibrated like a dentist drill in her mouth. The last train had gone by ten years ago. She looked out the window and saw a black funnel coming toward her. She picked up the afghan from a chair and ran to the bathroom. She climbed over the sides of the porcelain tub and knelt down in it. She covered herself with the afghan and prayed.

June Phyllis Baker wrote: Holding on the side of the tub, Beth lifted one wobbly leg over the tub at time. Shattered glass from the mirror  covered the floor. 

How would she get out of here without cutting herself? She felt  her way in the dark. She pulled the piece of loose plaster that was dangled from the wall onto the floor like a trail of bread crumbs.

Beth put one foot in front of the other and entered what was once her living room. She wrapped her arms around herself. She was alone and scared.The windows had been blown out. The Christmas tree laid on the floor.  All her favorite ornaments were destroyed. 

“Merry Christmas!” she said. Her eyes filled with tears.

A voice from somewhere called  her name.

“Beth? Thank God you’re alright.”

Linda Andersen added: The air grew quiet and still, like the beach in December.  Beth saw clipped trees, walls flat on the ground, and debris everywhere.  How could she possibly think of a vacation at a time like this?  She checked herself.  No broken bones, no bleeding.  She was alive, even though she stood in a pile of shattered glass. She shook out the afghan that had covered her during the storm and discovered two large holes.  How had she escaped unharmed?

Brenda Madole added: Had it really been 10 years since she left family and friends in Sacramento for this? What was she doing in Ashland, KS anyway? Beth’s questions and thoughts made her mind as dizzy as the twister ravaging her apartment building. The next thing she remembered was seeing the worried look of her elderly neighbor Mrs. O’Cleary closer than Beth would have liked. It seemed all the tenants were gathered in her apartment, or what was left of it. Of course they were just going through looking for survivors and anything that may be a reminder of life before the twister.  As Beth joined in the dazed effort, she couldn’t believe the devastation. She aimlessly looked around when the glare of a reflection caught her eye. Upon closer look, Beth realized it was her favorite stapler from Jr. High sparkling in the post-storm sun. She quickly ran to it as you would an old friend. When she grabbed her stapler, she found next to it her father’s old money bag from the bank he worked in for over 20 years and the tacky Tweety Christmas ornament Grandma sent four years ago. Only those three items remained of her earthly possessions. Beth laughed to herself at the irony of the only things she now had were from her past. The same past she had spent the last 10 years trying to forget. At that moment all the confusion left Beth as surely as the storm had left and she knew what she must do. Go home. Regardless of who or what she would find, Beth knew she must return home to Sacramento.

Joan Y. Edwards said: But how could she just take off and leave these people. They were her family now and they needed her. But the chasm between her and her Mother had gone on long enough. She’d come back here, if she needed to. However, she had to go talk to her Mother in Sacramento. Ten years of not speaking seemed like a long enough cooling off time. Perhaps they could make amends.

What was the best way to get there? She looked at her car…what was left of it, looked like a flattened soda can squished by a giant. It wouldn’t be that car.

She felt a hand on her shoulder. “Are you all right, Beth?”

Elaine Green added: Beth turned around to see Crain’s sweet face. He was still as handsome as ever even with all the soot and dust in his hair. Looking at him, she actually caught a glimpse of what he would look like twenty years from now with salt and pepper hair. His eyes proved he was shaken and scared. However, his grip on Beth’s shoulder was tender, yet firm. He wanted to prove to be as strong and comforting to Beth like she unknowingly had been for him throughout the years. He had adored Beth since the day she rolled into Ashland in her two door coupe stuffed with every last one of her belongings. To Crain it was like yesterday watching her open her car door and basically fall out of the tiny space she had left herself to drive across country to start her new life. Yet, despite her disheveled appearance, to Crain she looked like a tall angel with her golden hair, long legs and scruffy jeans, flip-flops and plaid untucked shirt. Beth never knew what a breath of fresh air she had been in Crain’s life over the years. Her California beauty and sweet temperament is what got him through most of the long hours sitting on his tractor going round and round sowing his wheat fields. They had become dear friends, but he had never found the right time or courage from within to tell her how he really felt.

“You all right.” he asked again.

Beth without thinking fell into his chest and became as limp as a rag doll, yet somehow maintained the tightest squeeze around his neck. It was the first time since the twister turned their small town into rubble that she was able to release all of her emotions. She didn’t feel so alone and scared about standing in a pile of broken glass and fallen walls or as anxiety driven about the future she was about to endure seeing her mother. At this particular moment she felt safe and for her that was all that mattered.

Now add your part. Thanks for joining in the fun.

Good luck. Have fun! If you want to leave a whole story about this in your comment, that’s okay, too. Whatever it inspires, go for it! It is fun to hear from you. You are important to me. Without you, I wouldn’t have a blog, it would be more of a log. You are the biggest part of my blog. Thanks.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Changed name from Finish the Story to Props for Stories 4-2-2012. Change name from Props for Stories to Image Props for Stories 5-30-2013.

Updated November 21, 2019