Day 25 – You And Them by Julie Duffy

Write a story using this helpful prompt from Julie Duffy

The Prompt

Write a story in the first person point of view, but include three characters

Put the characters in a position where they must make a decision and must work together to achieve something.

The point-of-view character and one other want the same thing, but the third character wants something different.

Remember that, since we are only every privvy to the person in the “I” point of view, you can’t tell us what the other characters are thinking. We’ll have to figure that out, along with the point-of-view character, from their words and actions (including body language) as they progress through the story.

Will your POV character get what they want? Will the second character back them up or switch sides? How will you show the progression of the relationships, through only words and actions?

Can we trust what your point of view character thinks, or are they fooling themselves? Are they insightful about their companions or do they misinterpret their actions?

Julie Duffy

I am Julie Duffy and this is a first-person bio. I founded StoryADay May in 2010 because I was stick of never finishing anything I started. Ironically, StoryADay May turned into an annual event and now I hope it will never end! I also encourage people to make monthly goals during the rest of the year, in our Serious Writers’ Accountability Group posts.

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!


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23 thoughts on “Day 25 – You And Them by Julie Duffy”

  1. 744 words! I spent the day on the road, so I composed most of it in my mind and typed once I settled in to my hotel room. I think what I wrote ticks the boxes of the prompt, and I feel okay about it. Definitely a rough draft, though!

  2. This prompt was a real stretch for me, so many thanks to Julie for making me think so hard. it made me see that I need to develop my characters, not only the main character, but the people around her. My story is about a studious teenage girl whose mother was always popular, who coached her daughter to try out for the cheerleading squad. Being popular has always been the most important thing in life to her mom. My main character tries her hardest to go along with what her mom’s trying to teach her, and works so hard at practicing to be a cheerleader, she even expects to get on the squad. When she doesn’t, she’s devastated. Her mother keeps at her to get popular by insisting she try other things, to no avail. Turns out she’s more like her dad, studious, not really popular, but has a few friends, unlike her mom who has tons of them. My main character finally sees she’ll never be like her mom, although she’d like to be, and is satisfied she’s like her dad. Maybe someday she’ll feel even better about it.

  3. Not too fond of what I wrote, but at least it was something vaguely short story shaped. Most likely it would be more fitting to be woven into a novel, but doubtful it ever will be. This story taught me that zombie stories aren’t really my thing.

  4. May 25 2023

    I don’t know where this came from. Very different from anything else I’ve done lol.

    Conversation with my Cellmate

    “Holy shit, Ish,” I said to my newest mentee after he put a bullet right in between the eyes of Big C. Ishmael Kamal was an easy recruit, but I didn’t expect this. He was shaking, unsteady breath, gun still pointed where Big C was standing a few seconds before. He didn’t look up.

    “You did good, Ishmael,” I told him. “Very good. Keep this stuff up, you’re gonna end up taking my place one day.” That hooked him. His breathing steadied slightly as he looked up with a hesitant smile. Andre scoffed.

    “What do we do with the body?” he asked.

    “Throw him into the harbor,” Andre said.

    “Our last one was found too quickly,” I told him. “We need to be smarter than that.”

    “Let’s drive him out to the canyon and dump him out there?” Ishmael said with an unsure tone.

    “I like that,” I approved of Ish’s suggestion.

    “Pussycats, the both of ya,” Dre said to us. “We want them to find him. We want them to know. Why you tryna hide it?”

    “Can’t run the streets from a prison cell as well as you can breathing fresh air, brother,” I told him.
    “And Ish here has a future, I can already see.”

    “Wh-what about Andre?” Ishmael asked me.

    “Yeah, what about Andre, Jared?” Dre said to me.

    “Yo, you know we’re all family,” I said. “We run this city.”

    “Oh, come on, Jared,” Dre said. “Your daddy runs this city. Big office man.”

    “Where’s this coming from?” I asked him.

    “You could have gotten outta here, bro,” he said. “You had choices. Out here runnin game with the bad side of the track bunch, for what?”

    “Andre, st-” Ishmael started to say something, but Andre wasn’t done.

    “Cuz you feelin powerful, right? I was born into the game, it’s not yours to win.”

    “What’s that mean?” I asked him.

    “That means we aren’t going to the canyon to dump this chump and we’re not going to prison.”

    “What’s your idea, Andre?” Ishmael asked him. But I already knew how this was going to end.

    That’s when Dre drew his Taurus 9mm from his waistband, pointing it at me. Ishmael put his gun back up, unsure where to point. I didn’t have one on me this time. Ishmael was holding my piece.

    “Come on guys,” Ishmael said. “Stop this, let’s go. Police are gonna be here soon.”

    Andre never took his gaze off me..

    “Please, don’t do this,” I looked into his eyes. There was nothing left.

    POP! The shot zinged into my right hip. I could feel the pelvic bones shattering. My wide eyes kept locked on Andre as I landed on the wet pavement. Blood.

    Ishmael pointed his gun at me now. I didn’t blame him. He didn’t want to die. He wasn’t betraying me. He just wanted to live. I smiled at him weakly.

    Andre wiped the gun, put it in Big C’s hand. He took my piece from Ishmael, wiped it clean and put it in my hand. I could have fought it at this point, but I let him. I didn’t want the power. I wanted the brotherhood. But I realized none of it was ever real.

    They ran off into the sunset together, to run this godforsaken city without me. And that’s how I got here. Cops came. Hauled me off. Saved my life just to lock me up. Daddy Mayor spit in my face. I wish I would have bled out quicker. No, I wish Andre was a better shot.

  5. All my stories are continuation of each other (except May 4th & 5th they were separate and May 22nd the only day I didn’t write.) In May 1st story my character lost her husband but I didn’t reveal how he died. In May 14th I revealed he died in a car accident and the other driver came forward to tell her about her husbands last moments. In today’s story my character had to decide whether she could forgive the other driver or not. Her best friend agreed with her but her husband’s mother disagreed. This is one of those stories that I actually made myself cry while writing. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 days bring.
    Im looking forward to June when I go in and edit all of these and put them together. I thought this year I would just write 31 short stories but this is actually turning into a mini novel.

  6. I wrote from the POV of a supporting character in a story I am revising. Two sisters had been living together for five years and when one chose to go in to work on her first vacation day the other sister blew her stack and moved out for a couple of days. When she ran out of clean clothes, she decided to go back to select from some still hanging in a closet. But she finds her older sister and a new love interest finishing the basement apartment.
    They block her access with gestures, but she persuades them to let her have a peek. She admires the renos and decides that she wants to move in. She tries to find out about the rental price, but her older sister is evasive. Even a dog is strutting about the scene, something her sister always discouraged. Now who is stronger? Family ties or new love?

  7. Again, I managed to write a story at the last minute (hour) I had today.
    This time, I rewrote a scene from my novel, from the POV of my main character’s used-to-be best friend. The two are in a band together and Joëlle, my story’s narrator, tells the band members that she is going to leave. The bass player is happy about that, because he feels he has reached his goal of destroying the friendship of Joëlle and his girlfriend Lisa. However, this is the last bit that makes Lisa realize that she has to leave him and the band to join her friend Joëlle again.

    It was very helpful for me to narrate the story from Joëlle’s point of view, because she helped me to observe Lisa (my novel’s main character) and think about the reasons for and the realization of her decision.

    Thank you, Julie, for this task!

  8. Thank you. A good prompt. It took me a little while to come up with the idea, then wrote a 713 words story about a mother, father, and teenage daughter sitting at the breakfast table. Their world tumbling out of control, the parents try to find some normalcy to cling to. The “I” character was the mother. She’s mostly silent as her husband defuses their daughter’s outburst.

    “How can you two sit there and talk about the price of eggs when Grandma is dying? Don’t you love her anymore?”

      1. Julie, thanks for reminding me to remember to use a teaser line at the beginning of a story, I usually forget that’s what I need to do.

    1. Gabriele, thanks for posting the way you went about using the prompt, very helpful and good story too.

  9. Like Rathin, this prompt led me to think of crime. Unfortunately, my story was not so good, but still, it WAS a story, so I’ll do a subdued little victory dance. My narrator was the father of a kidnapped child. The goal of the police negotiator was to get the child back safely, the goal of the kidnapper was to get the ransom, and the narrator’s goal was not to pay the money.

  10. I wrote a 378 word story of Ronan and Muiren wanting to spend some time together, but their youngest child does not want to go to sleep(the other two are at a sleepover, so not involved in this story). Just a quick, low-stakes little story.

  11. The Aborted Robbery

    “This is the easiest way to get rich,” I told Dipak and Tapan. “I’ve studied his movements for the last few months. On the 7th of every month at around 12 when there is a heavy rush, he steps into SBI, CIT Road Branch. The moment he hands over the chaque, the cashier, counter 5, asks him to wait. He counts the five hundred bundles very meticulously before arranging them in the attache. He then bares his all but one of the teeth at the cashier and comes out. He then gets into the back of the car waiting outside. Do you get me?”
    Though Tapan nods his head, Dipak looks doubtful as I continue.” The car then takes a U-turn through the gap in the median strip and drive up along CIT Road before turning left at Philips. It turns right again up Middleton Row past the Entally Police Station. I want to you to stop the car outside the Police Station..”
    “Are you nuts or what? How can you think of stopping it outside the PS?” Dipak, with his fatsy body and crewcut hair, interrupts me at this point while Tapan, sitting on the plastic chair, one leg raised over the other, continues letting out rings of smoke through his nose thoughtfully.
    “There are two reasons why I want you to stop the car outside the Police Station. Number one, you hardly see the police outside these days due to the extreme heat. They are always to be found sitting on a bench under the shade near the entrance. Number two, normally no one, in their right senses, wants to rob anyone, anything outside the Police Station.” I answered heaving a sigh of relief.”
    “How much did you say, would be there inside the attachee? Nearly twenty three lakhs, right? So, if your or should I say, our plan goes well, we’ll be richer by some seven and half lakhs. When do I bring my bike for the collision?” Tapan, tall with a sharp nose and keen eyes, with that scar around his right eye, cuts in.
    “When the car starts plying along Middleton Row and is about to turn right towards the Police Station, you come to the scene with your bike.
    Where you can perk your two-wheeler is your choice but please make sure that you don’t arouse anyone’s suspicion.” I reiterated my earlier request. “Let Dipak stop them next by playing his part as a pedestrian to perfection. Do whatever you have to to get both the driver and the man come out of the car. You can depend on me to steal the attachee from the back seat while Tapan is getting back on his feet there with the others trying to help him. By the time the man gets back into his car, I’ll have been miles away.” I coughed up here thinking of the attachee with the money under my arm.
    “Everything has been chalked out nicely, I agree,” Dipak exclaimed,”but what if the noise brings a couple of policemen outside? Why don’t we do the usual stuff – pickpocketing a couple those sharks?”
    ” But for how long? Pickpocketing will fetch us some thousand at the most. Now, regarding the first part of the question – my advice to you will be to try to do things as noiselessly as you can. The whole accident thing mustn’t take more than two to three minutes. This is very important as how we escape from the scene will entirely depend upon your execution of the pre-planned ‘accident’. Say something to remind the man of the attachee left in the car like feel for your purse in the back pocket before muttering: Where did I leave my purse? He will hurry back to the back seat while you, Dipak, disappear towards the Number 2 Bridge and Tapan,” I said looking at him,” the best course for you will be to run back to CIT Road.”
    “I see a major loophole there. That road near the PS is frequented by traffic all through the day..”
    “I’ve thought of that too. Around 12 to 2 in the afternoon, there is a decrease in the number of traffic plying on the road. In case, there is a car or scooter, you know how you have to divert their attention.” I was talking quite confidently now. Even if one of the two gets caught, I’ll be far away disguised as someone else with another pseudonym, by the time the police have an inkling about me.
    I found Tapan looking intently at me,” Suppose, Biju, the noise of the fake accident brings one of the policemen out, what then? Do you think it will be easier for us to escape in that case?” I avoided his eyes by fixing mine on the less smart of the two, Dipak.
    “Don’t be a darpok (coward), yaar. No policeman will come out in the scorching heat. But, yes, a lot will depend on how you react to the situation, your instinct and intellect.”
    Dipak looked questioningly at Tapan, who had stood up from the chair by then and sauntered upto the window.
    Then turning back abruptly, with a smug look on his face, he gave me the thumbs-up sign before asking,” How are YOU planning to escape?” The glint was back in his eyes.
    “I won’t.” I blurted out almost immediately before I realised that he couldn’t have known about my plan of outwitting both of them to keep all the loot to myself.
    Our plan of robbing the man was carried out to a T. As the car carrying the money moved up along Middleton Row and was about to turn right towards the Police Station, Tapan, waiting on his bike, made the collision look real. The driver parked the car a few yards ahead by the side of the road and raced to Tapan limping back on his bike. Dipak appeared just then from nowhere and started badmouthing the driver and the man. He made the first mistake then by slapping the driver. The driver, a ruffian (I deliberately didn’t say that to my mates), gave Dipak one back. Next moment, Dipak was lying on the road, his mouth all bloodied.
    As both the driver and the man had their back to me, without wasting a second, I stepped out of my hiding place to pull the back door open. I grabbed the attache and was getting into the waiting ambulance in the opposite direction when I felt the tearing pain at the back of my right leg.
    There was a story in the next day’s papers about how heroically the Entally Police had aborted a robbery attempt and arrested all three of the ‘wanted criminals’.

    1. Thanks for sharing your stories Rathin..I am enjoying reading them 🙂

      I wrote a 980 word story inspired from my own day at work. It was almost therapeutic!

      1. Thank you so much, Parchi, for the kind words. Means a lot to me. The problem with me over the years, has been that I try posting my story as soon as I have finished making the first draft. And it doesn’t take me a lot of time either. Once the story gets posted, I find lots of errors in the story.
        You can edit/correct your mistakes at some other places but it is different here. Earlier I requested Julie to edit some of my writings. But I believe that she has a lot of other pressing issues to be taken care of. Naturally, I feel remorseful every time I happen to look at some of my stories.
        I came across your name a couple of times hete but I don’t remember having read any of your stories yet.
        Please keep writing and making a difference. Best wishes.

      2. Excellent. Glad it was “almost therapeutic”. I often wonder what terrible fate would befall the world if someone took away all the writers’ pens…

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