DAY 9 – Marta Pelrine-Bacon Looks Around


Choose an object within reach of where you’re sitting. Three people desperately want this object. Write a scene or story in which the characters fight over said object. Ideally choose an object that people wouldn’t obviously fight over.


Marta Pelrine-Bacon is a StoryADay Superstar, and a participant in the challenge since 2010. Marta is the author of several published short stories in publications such as The Austin Review and Cabinet des Fees. She is also an artist and a teacher.

Read A Book, Help An Indie

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co. 



Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

17 thoughts on “DAY 9 – Marta Pelrine-Bacon Looks Around”

  1. I seem to be drawn to children’s books this month!
    I have chosen a rag doll for my object and the story is about how she comes alive when her owner a girl of 8 is in danger. I can build on this idea with a series of stories about their adventures.
    Outline of 567 words

  2. 687 words. Three siblings receive a bequest of $250,000 from their grandmother, on top of the $1M she left them in trust funds, and, an appraised, highly sought-after pipe. Rex, a banker, and middle child, pretends he isn’t interested. Steve, as eldest child, believes it’s rightfully his. Tony disagrees. And, the arguing begins. Mum, long-suffering woman she is, pours another G&T and waits for the dust to settle.

  3. This prompt to grab something from desk expanded to my grabbing a sound out of the unseasonable cool air blowing through my window. My memory bank permitted a withdrawal so I wrote an 500 word essay right then and there. Thank you for all this, Julie.

    Sounds of Comfort in Quarantine/

    I have liked distant sounds as long as I can remember.

    Memorial Day when Ike was president and I was 8 sitting on our front porch listening closely as the high school band tuned up in the playground of my school two streets away. Trumpet solos and the cavalry charge played in unison, trombone oomps, snare drums snapping out their beats in the perfect air of our small New England town.

    Car horns beeping downtown on late Saturday mornings when newlyweds and friends gunned their Chevys and Fords and Ramblers, too, down Grove Street from the red brick Catholic Church to Central Street with tin cans banging the road in a conga line of joy, hope and glad to be alive.

    Sometimes the woe-begone high school football team won a home game on a chilly fall afternoon and a spontaneous combustion of cheers would echo across the nearby neighborhoods like ripples when a flat stone skips across a pond..
    Hot summer afternoons and JFK is president. In the backyard weeding Dad’s vegetable garden buzzing with dragonflies and grasshoppers escaping repurposed mayonnaise jars traps set by my little sister serenaded by the electric guitars and drum beats of the Prevost brothers garage band far on the opposite side of town up on High Street. Two selections played in the hot afternoons when nearly everybody’s parents were at work. Louie Louie and Gloria over and over again. “G L O R I A…YAH YAH YAH G L O R I A…” and the quick transition to a horny white boys sultry version of “Louie Louie, na-na-na now, said we gotta go, oh no
    Said Louie Louie, oh baby, said-a we gotta go..”

    All comfortable distant sounds right along with the 9 p.m. baritone toot of the fire department whistle and the whining sounds of trailer truck tires picking up speed on the two-lane to New Hampshire or Boston. America sounded free then.

    Few sounds of bands practicing and cars honking in celebration in May 2020. Except on this cold May afternoon of Mother’s Day Weekend.

    I heard cars beeping distant, the sound of families and friends overcoming Covid-19 for a child’s birthday party or maybe an early Mother’s Day procession. That’s what we have come to in this season of pandemic, relying on our resourcefulness and neighborliness to share joy where we can, face masks and all.

    Many nights television news reports about these processions of cars driving by little kid’s house with homemade signs taped to the doors of vehicles offering felicitations to an otherwise disappointed birthday boy or girl. The same thing happens for front line workers coming home from two week-long quarantine work schedules while their families shelter at home. Neighbors and friends lined the street to their homes to shout ‘Welcome Home,’ ‘Thank You,’ ‘We missed you!’
    City people banging pots and pans, sounding trumpets hanging out their window cheering on the doctors, nurses, janitors, rescue techs and cops and firefighters: Thank you for standing up for us.

    Those car horns and exuberant shouts carry beyond the neighborhoods and through a cracked open window where people like me hole up and write and wait for this to be over.

    I have always liked distant sounds as long as I can remember and more now.

  4. I saw this as an opportunity to extend the mystery of the household two orphaned children found themselves living in. The two main adults in the household are overheard arguing about a seemingly unimportant object. The children then witness a full on fight. This adds to their determination to discover the dark secret harboured within the walls of this dank Scottish castle.

  5. Because of this prompt, I wrote a 4,000 + story entitled “A Bag of Feathers.” It is about an auctioneer in England who is auctioning off Lord Hayworth’s estate and comes across a bag of feathers that seems to be gaining a lot of unexpected attention. In the story you find out why this bag of feathers is so coveted. If you are interested, I can post the story…

    I am a teacher who is teaching from home leaving me a lot of time to write. So far I have really enjoyed the journey, but I am also looking forward to returning to classroom in the future.

  6. I keep getting these prompts while I’m still in bed. So my object was….a pillow.
    It’s Tina’s special pillow. It smells good. She can’t sleep with any other. Her sister fights her over it because she’s a jealous brat. Their mother rushes in, afraid it’ll be destroyed (they’ve already busted one pillow and they’ve got to the teeth and nails stage over this one).
    Mother goes nuclear, takes the special pillow back. Blue for a boy. Tina’s twin brother lived and died on that pillow, all five days of his life.
    She gives it to Tina.

  7. This one was interesting because I don’t have anything within easy reach that someone would want, except… A thumb drive. A thumb drive with the details of an offshore money laundering operation and the numbered accounts where the money is hidden. Three brothers meet after their fathers death and reveal to the youngest what their father had been doing. One of the brothers has a thumb drive with the data on it and he’s been tipped that the FBI is going to raid the old man’s house and freeze his assets tonight. All they need is the key. 889 words. I started at 10:15 p.m. and finished at 11:08.

    1. That sounds fabulous! Kudos for doing it so quickly and packing so much plot into something so short!

  8. I wrote about two ladies fighting over a beautiful mug with an awesome cat on it. It is called “Mug of Discord”.

  9. This was fun! I wrote a scene about three people fighting in a space museum gift shop over the last 50th Anniversary Moon Landing postcard (I have such a postcard on my desk). One of these people is Buzz Aldrin and another is a moon landing denier…and I worked in the real story of Buzz punching a denier in the face 🙂

    1. Ooh, love this one. Thumbs up for the Aldrin punch. It’s one of those moments you wish you could see.

  10. This was fun to write, 551 words:

    Maribelle, George, and Alice, the top three finalists in a baking competition, have just presented their final baked goods to the judges for scoring: a dozen French macarons. The first-place winner, who will receive one million dollars, is to be announced at a televised beach party celebration in two hours.

    As everyone prepares to leave the stage, Maribelle spots a cleaning crewman tossing an empty parchment paper box into a giant trash bag.

    “I want that empty parchment paper box,” Maribelle screams, before she dives headfirst into the trash bag and emerges with the box, knocking down the cleaning crewman in the process.

    George dashes over and yanks the box out of Maribelle’s hand, ripping the main flap off the box during the struggle. He holds the box close to his chest with both hands and looks sheepishly about at the stunned cleaning crewman, judges, and other contestants.

    “It-it-it is my parchment paper box to begin with,” George announced. “I’m only taking back what is rightfully mine.”

    Calmly, slowly, Alice approaches George with a smile, and outstretches her hand.

    “Give me the box, George,” she says softy. “Come now, George, give me the box and I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise,” she coos with a smile and an eyewink as she gingerly pries the box from George’s fingers.

    The cops arrive. They corral the three baking competition finalists and confiscate the now-tattered, empty parchment paper box.

    “I don’t get it. Why would the three of you fight over a beat-up piece of trash?” Officer Ryan asks George, Maribelle, and Alice.

    The three contestants remain silent.

    Officer Ryan continues, “I will find out because if any of you refuses to tell me exactly why you pulled this stunt, you will all forfeit your chance to win the baking competition and spend the weekend in jail, where they do not serve French macarons with meals.

    As the acknowledged initiator of the trash-picking episode, Maribelle speaks first.

    “One of the judges is always making suggestive comments to me. I was going to rip up the cardboard box and stuff my bikini top with it to make myself even more attractive, so he would vote for me.

    George is next.

    “I am the token man in the baking competition and far from the best baker. I know I won’t win. To save face, I asserted myself hoping the television producers would find me macho enough to recruit me for The Bachelor show.”

    Finally, Alice has her turn.

    “I came here to do whatever it takes to win a million dollars. Maribelle is a narcissistic little tart, but a superb baker. She is the likeliest person to win first place in the competition. I didn’t care that the parchment paper box was beat up by the time I got it, because I was going to use the perforated blade on the box to ‘accidently’ bump into Maribelle before the beach party and scratch up her face. She’d risk infection if she tried to cover up fresh cuts with makeup. I believe she would give up the chance to win a million dollars and withdraw from the competition, rather than be seen on television with scratches all over her face. George, the faux he-man, can’t win, because he cannot bake anything edible. That leaves me!”

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