During the MT. SAC Writer’s Weekend Fiction Workshop led by Paul Tayyar, we were given a picture prompt of a man holding a red umbrella and being swept up. Tayyar wanted us to use the image as a springboard to our story. The following is a draft of what I came up with.
The Red Umbrella
Landon stood there, staring at the cedar wood door with the flower wreath hung over it. He thought of the things he told his wife and wished to take back, but it was too late. She wasn’t going to hear his side of the story, only the remarks made by nosy girlfriends claiming they saw him with another woman. Yes. He held the woman’s arm. Not as a couple. As a long-time acquaintance.
When the rain stopped, Landon’s wife tossed out a red umbrella, shouting that it belonged to him. Nothing else belonged to him. It was true. He had married her five years ago. She came from a wealthy family and had moved in to Rancho Robles. Though, he owned nothing, she found something in him worth loving.
Loosening his tie, Landon dragged his feet to the umbrella, sprawled on the wet ground like a beating heart from the sobbing clouds.
At least he still had his job at the firm. He picked up the umbrella and shook the droplets off. Turning it over, he opened the umbrella, and a strong gust of wind almost blew it out of his hands.
Like a leaf floating up, his body and the stresses of his life disappeared. He held firmly to the one thing he could as he joined the gray ashen clouds in the sky.
You can try a similar exercise by choosing postcards, magazines, books, or online images as a prompt to write a short story or more... You never know what you're going to get!