[Daily Prompt] May 3 – Be A Tour Guide

Challenge prompt 2011

Write A Story With A Strong Sense of Place

A lot of short short stories focus on character and twists and surprise, because it’s a great form for exactly those things.

But I don’t want your descriptive muscles to get all flabby.

Why not write a story with a strong sense of place? At some point in the story, imagine you are a tour guide, pointing out the landmarks and notable features of your setting to me, your eager audience.

Be a tour guide to your story’s setting, for the reader


2 thoughts on “[Daily Prompt] May 3 – Be A Tour Guide”

  1. I must confess, I have taken something I wrote earlier and turned it into sort of a story…not much of one, but perhaps it will give a sense of place.


    We are going on a little spy adventure. There is the possibility of spies coming from the Gulf of Mexico to blow up the oil refineries near the coast. I have a special hiding place that no one ever sees. Come with me and let me show you Port Arthur, Texas in 1952.
    I feel the rough bark against my right hand, as I reach above my head for the lowest branch of the sweet gum tree. I grab it with both hands and walk my feet up the trunk until I can wiggle between the first two branches. Carefully, I straddle the upper one. I climb higher to the “V” branch where I like to sit. Star-shaped green leaves and little spiky gumballs are all around me. I can see the yard and the street in front of my house. I lean back against the trunk.
    Juice runs down my chin as I bite the tart apple I brought in my pocket. I wipe my chin with the back of my, now sticky, hand. I close my eyes and enjoy the quiet and the warm sun. I lay the apple core on a nearby branch, and take out a piece of gum. I smile as the sharp cinnamon flavor bites my tongue.
    A green Ford pickup with kids riding in the back moves slowly down the street. They’re laughing and talking. I hear a mocking bird singing his song, repeating each part of the melody three times. A cardinal sings, “pretty, pretty.”
    “Hey, cut it out! I don’t like it when you push me”
    “Oh, come on, don’t be such a wimp.”
    That’s my brother and his friend in the yard below. He has no idea I am up here.
    A boom box blares, as a yellow Buick convertible passes the house. I can feel the bass beat of that music in my chest: Thump, thump, thump, as the music to Blue Suade Shoes blares.
    The breeze ruffles my short, brown hair. It cools me and dries some of the sweat from my neck. I smell the burnt-oil smell of the refinery at the edge of town. That smell tells me that we might get rain latter today. A rain shower would really cool me off.
    Suddenly, there is a shrill, raspy, creaky sound. I look toward the tracks at the end of the block. I see sparks flying as the wheels of an old switch engine turn on rusty rails. The sound slowly dims as the engine disappears around the turn.
    “Meow, meow.” My yellow tiger-striped cat is at the foot of the tree.
    “Come on up, Butterscotch. The view is great. Here kitty, kitty.”
    She looks at me and sharpens her claws on the trunk. She starts up the trunk, then jumps lightly down to the ground, and slowly walks away, waving her tail in the air. She has better things to do than to sit in the tree with me.
    I smell the “dead fish” odor of the fertilizer plant. Gray clouds are swirling and a threatening cloud bank is building high in the sky. The breeze has become a brisk wind. The air feels heavy and I hear rumbling in the clouds. There is, for sure, a storm coming, now. I hate to leave my watching place, but it’s time to climb down and go inside.
    Spies may come in the rain storm, but I won’t be here to see. Sorry about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The StoryADay

I, WRITER Course


A 6-part journey through the short story.

Starts July 28, 2023