#164: Where I Come From
Elizabeth Brewster wrote a beautiful poem titled ‘Where I Come From’ — this is how it begins:
“People are made of places. They carry with them
hints of jungles or mountains, a tropic grace
or the cool eyes of sea gazers.”
I’ve always loved this poem’s abstracted sense of local identity, so this week I invite you to consider how your characters’ backgrounds affect their personalities and choices.
This week's prompts
Start your story with a character saying “Where I come from, …”
Middle School – 86 stories
Write a story in which someone returns to their hometown.
Adults – 82 stories
Write a story about coming of age in a big city.
High School – 14 stories
Write a story where a local takes a newcomer under their wing.
Adults – 27 stories
“Alien Jam” by Rama Shaar
“You remind me of someone,” you say to me squinting your steely blue eyes. It’s unsettling how everything else about you has changed and withered over the past six years except for those damned eyes. I say hi and you look sweetly at me, offering your hand to shake mine. I like this. No more displays of forced, fake fondness. Now we can just be ourselves.Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a handshake kind of woman, but I like my words and gestures to be a true reflection of how I really feel about someone....
“A Fly On The Wall” by Melissa Rea
A Fly On The Wall Where I come from is dark, dank and no one lives longer than a day. Except for me that is. My name is Roscoe T. Fly. I am a fruit fly, by trade and watching humans is my game. Those whose faces I now find reflected in the shiny red facets of my compound eyes, are far more interesting than most. Perhaps you will watch with me a while? I can’t read human minds, but a fly sees th...
“Breeding Coins” by Graham Kinross
Cold, crap covered cobbles assaulted Neville’s nose. Rubbing his filthy hands together, he watched his breath mist the air. “Keep up, Neville Cobbler, when the door to the workhouse closes you starve. If you want a meal, you turn the wheel.” “I know, Albert, I know. Quit using my full name. You’re my brother, not my father.” He ran to keep up with the boy whose strong gait belied years...
“The Crumble Will Survive” by Scott Christenson
My daughter Liz’s teacher sits in our kitchen, sipping tea, and coos in a Newcastle accent, “Paul Hollywood, Oh yes!”“Paul…,” I reply in a syrupy tone. “He just exudes manliness.” “He can bake my cake,” Catherine quips and we both break out into giggles.A few minutes later I will stomp out after she says “Where I come from, Yorkshire Puddings are made with beef drippings”, and wonder if I have just ruined Liz’s school year at school over an argument about puddings.<...
“I Never Knew Your Name” by Francois Kosie
I never knew your name, but I always knew that it was you.When I told you where I was going, you always replied, "I'll see you there."In the beginning, we played in a kingdom by the sea, among the toy horses and dinosaurs, collecting golden coins as we frolicked in the softness of calm meadows and coves.Stacking blocks, we built ourselves an elaborate house and everything else we could conceive, all the while avoiding the lingering creepers.Then one day, there was a c...
“In My Mind” by Alyssa Krenzer
I walk up the center aisle and kneel in front of her.“Where I come from,” I pause thinking about every memory, every tear, every ounce of pain. I hold so much hurt, too many regrets and so much resentment. I can’t say that though. I’m taking too long to continue.“Where I come from,” Think of something, anything.“Where I come from, the one who helped get me through my first soccer game,” Good. Safe. Keep going.“The one who kissed my boo-boo after falling from the monkey bars.” I can’t keep this going.“The...
“Sunlight Therapy” by Carol Sanderson
On the porch we gather – old friends and new, sages and comedians – no more than one degree of separation woven into the fabric of our town. “The Retired Teachers Brigade” meets each Thursday after four o’clock, in the sunlight, on the porch. Real life with patina. We pour words of truth – revealing the interior spaces of our lives – then drink another glass of wine. Oh, there is little that gives ...
“Rumors of Night” by Toni Suing
Where I come from, no one stays out past dark. You don’t dare look in the mirror in the middle of the night or glance out the window when it’s pitch black. There’s stories and legends that there are creatures that like to wander around during those times. I’ve never witnessed any of these rumors before, but I’ve been told that when my grandmother was little, she experienced some of these firsthand. ...
“Welcome Homeless” by P. T. Golden
Contains sensitive subjects. Complex issues with homelessness and implied not explicit abuse. Also contains war trauma.When Bob Marley sang “cold ground was my bed last night, rock stone was my pillow,” he was wealthy, but with the humbleness to sleep on the ground with “Rockstone” (now a monument) as a pillow. A pillow of any sort would be a luxury beyond my means. The cold ground, this night feels harder than ever. The rough pattern of pavement etched into my raw back. Struggling to sit upright felt like flesh peeled f...
“A Present Passed and the Future” by Thom Brodkin
Brad stood silently outside Dr. Gardner’s office within arm's length of the dark wooden door that stood between him and his future. He had been summoned but still struggled to knock. Over the years Brad had been in his bosses' office more times than he could count but never like this. This visit terrified him and he was certain his shallow breath and sweaty forehead would betray his trepidation the moment he entered the room.As a young surgical resident, he had sought out the grizzled chief of neurosurgery and practicall...
“Farewell to Knuckle Falls ” by John K Adams
The rock and roll star, Croesus Skye (birth name Albert), earned his nickname for his string of gold records. His music speaks to almost everyone. Critics take the perspective that if his music is popular, how good can it be? What could millions of fans know that the critics don’t? What are his bonafides? Even Mozart had formal training. Where is this guy from? Are idiot savants a real thing? Fans are not ...
“Ice Cream” by Amanda Lieser
“Baby, where I come from, we don’t eat ice cream like that,” Derek leans in real close so I watch every word float from his perfect Cupid’s bow shaped lips.I think about kissing them.They’d be cool and I might just run my tongue over them, tasting the hint of peanut butter from his dessert. My mind is racing over the last 90 days with him as I play back all of our dates like a movie. There was our walk around the park when the sprinkler system went off so we had to run like crazy ...
“Gold in Them Hills!” by Kendall Defoe
“Hey, kid! Good to see you! You are gonna love it here…if you have the right guide to things.” Uncle Jack was many things, but you could not call him a cynic. No, no, he always believed that things were going to get better, for all of us. The first time we met, he was standing in front of the train station, old raincoat but no umbrella on what was one the rainiest days of the year. The hat he had on his head – he ...
“The Old Philologian” by Chris Campbell
Kenneth Crook slipped his arms through the black robe of authority more commonly worn by school masters in the English public education system like Eaton, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. However, today – like every school day for the past three decades, he was preparing to teach Grammar School pupils in the heart of London’s Marylebone district at a school fighting for its very existence in the Conservative governments’ restructuring of the school class system. It was the 1970s. The era of working-class upheaval. Ken...
“It Rained That Day” by Shobana Gomes
Where I come from, the rain either poured or danced under rays of sunlight. Rainy days crept up on me in silent acceptance of the ways of nature. They resemble the ire of human nature or the gentle reflection of beauty amidst tempest. Light streamed from the rooftop of an opposite building into my hotel room. The stretched beams bounced off the adjacent walls to project a smoky ambiance to the du...
Ended on 23:59 - Sep 23, 2022 EST
Won by Lindsay Flo 🏆
Submissions must be between 1,000 - 3,000 words and will be approved and published on Reedsy Prompts within 7 days of the contest closing.
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