Imagine a character who is older (interpret that as you like!) who returns to a place they visited once when they were younger.
There should be some emotional importance to the place, but this prompt works best if it’s a place the character only went to one or two times (not anywhere they’re super familiar with).
Start the story with the character returning to the place. When they arrive and see the place in its present state, have them either be:
a) greatly disappointed or
b) greatly delighted.
Then weave in memories of the place (or memories associated with the place) from when they were young.
Try to jump back and forth between them in the present and the past. By the end of the story, try to show a change in how the character views the place, either in the past or present. (for ex: if it started with them being delighted, have the story end with them being disappointed–or vice versa.)
Meghan Louise Wagner
Meghan Louise Wagner lives in Northeast Ohio. Her work has recently appeared in such places as Nashville Review, Cutleaf, Story, AGNI, Okay Donkey, and The Best American Short Stories 2022. More about her can be found at: meghanlouisewagner.com
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