Sept 1 — The Disappeared

StoryADay September 2015 Badge 440x220 pxWelcome to StoryADay September 2015!! Congratulations on making a fresh commitment to your writing.

This month we’ll be featuring writing prompts from writers within the StoryADay community, and myself. Let me tell you, from what I’ve seen already, there are some GREAT prompts coming your way.

Each prompt this month will set a scenario or scene for you to play with, or suggest elements of story that you can use. If you post your story on a blog, please do share a link in the comments so we can all see it. It’s fun to see what other people do with the same story elements!


The Prompt

Today, write a story that features people disappearing.


  • The story can be serious and traumatic or it can be fun and lighthearted.
  • Perhaps your main character is in a war zone or a dystopia and the people around them are being taken by hostile forces. What does this do to your main character? Are they under threat too?
  • Perhaps your main character is unhappy with their life and the mysterious, Twilight-Zone-like disappearance of the people around them is a blessing and a joy.
  • The disappearances can be literal or metaphorical. We’ve all had that friend who just drops us without another word, right?
  • Perhaps the main character is a pet who doesn’t understand where ‘his people’ go every day when they disappear. Perhaps he’s a dog, who forgets that they come back every day, and is equally thrilled every evening when they reappear.
  • Your story could feature a magician!
  • Maybe your main character is elderly, the last surviving member of a vast group of siblings.
  • Maybe your story is set in a limbo full of babies waiting to be born! Or in a foster home.
  • Maybe your main character is the one who is disappearing. Literally? Figuratively? On purpose?



Don’t forget to leave a comment, and come back tomorrow for more prompts!


If you want to receive prompts by email this month only, go here and make sure you select the box that says “StADa Sept 2015 – News and Daily Writing Prompts” (If you’re already on the list, enter your email address anyway and you should receive a prompt that lets you change your preferences)


47 thoughts on “Sept 1 — The Disappeared”

    1. I’m a late night writer myself, by inclination (being forced out of that pattern by Life, at the moment). That rusty feeling is familiar too. Getting started, pushing through the temptation to be disappointed with rusty efforts, is huge. Well done. Keep up the good work.

  1. Sliding in at 11:27pm I just barely made it for today. That would have been a horrible way to start off the month: “failing.” Thanks for the inspiration for a nice little shortstory.

  2. I’m SO happy this second round at Story A Day for 30 days appeared! It’s just what I needed to re-energize my writing! It took quite may hours to get the story down, but I finally got it done!
    The URL is over in The Victory Dance! πŸ™‚

  3. I always start slow with StoryADay, and this special September edition is no different. I allowed the prompt (about people disappearing) to marinate in my brain all day. By the time I started writing, what was in my head didn’t quite make it to paper. But it’s a really wonderful draft, and I had an immense amount of fun writing. For me, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. You can read my story here: https://storiesbystolle.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/day-1-finding-jimmy-hoffa. Just use the calendar date (1 for today, 2 for tomorrow, 3 for the next day, etc.) as the password. I’m trying to keep the passwords simple and yet protect my work as much as possible. Please enjoy!

    1. Oh my! All my guesses throughout this story about who or what Cyril is and who the other named “beings” were ended up being wrong! There was a darkness to this but also an air of beauty. You paint some great images in this, and I love the choices you’ve made for the characters’ names, even if we don’t meet them all. And yet the woman who comes to check on Mrs. Shepherd at the end doesn’t have a name, which says a lot about Mrs. Shepherd. I’ve very much looking forward to reading your stories this month, Monique!

    1. This was really fun to read. It felt a little rushed, but it was good to get right into the action. I liked how you had some annotations here and there, but I couldn’t figure out why those specific elements. What I love most about this is the dialogue. It feels fresh and it feels genuine. It’s different. There is humor in all the dialogue, but it’s subtle and doesn’t overwhelm. Do you think you’ll keep writing about Tanya?

    1. This was quite a roller coaster! And the ending is superb! In a way, don’t we all want to do what Julie did to someone who has wronged us?

  4. Yaaaaaaaaaiiii is finally here!!! Just what I need to get away for some minutes!!! Today’s prompt was so fitting since I felt like I wanted to disappear myself from my life right now, the prompt allowed me to let it all out and come back refresh and positive to my job! Awesome how the smallest detail can change a hole day! Thank you for this prompt!

  5. I’ve completed a short piece which currently firmly resides in the flash category. I can revisit it later, but it’s a start. I’ve gone with a child disappearing from a day at the beach, which I can probably extend at a later date.

    1. The key is just to get some words down, isn’t it? I always start these challenges with a turtle’s slowness. But it helps me work toward better things as the most goes on. And I can temper my expectations. Did you post your story somewhere?

      1. Not yet, I have a blog from last years StDa that I need to resurrect. I’ll try and post it tomorrow and then I can post subsequent offerings.

        1. I look forward to reading your stories, Malcolm. I will make an attempt to respond to them, but it’s been a busy start to September in ways I didn’t expect. But I will do what I can for as many people as I can.

    1. I really enjoyed this. I think you could perhaps make that next-to-last paragraph a little clearer. I mean, I understand it on a second or third reading. But maybe split a sentence or two into three or four sentences. Also, “Susan” and “Sally” seem too similar for me to easily keep track of who is who. I can’t tell you the number of TV shows where a little-used character will show up in a critical scene in that show and that person will have the same name as a victim or a main character or someone else. Distinct names can result in distinct characters and better impressions in readers’ minds.

    1. I love your story. It’s amazing. Simple fantastic. The best line is the one I didn’t expect: “Mabel had her mind set on settling down, not setting off.” That’s beautifully crafted!

  6. One down, twenty-nine to go πŸ™‚ I love the way a few simple words “people disappearing”, can set the mind off on a wild adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this first day, travelling to a new world of my own creation. I was able to pen a story told from a first person perspective, something I haven’t done a lot of lately. Thanks Julie, I have a feeling this is not only going to help my writing practice, but it is also going to help accumulate some content for future use/publication πŸ™‚ Keep writing everyone, stay inspired!

    1. I enjoyed your story Susan, an interesting idea. I suspected I knew how it would end with Mark. I would have liked to have learnt how it had gone with Sarah! Well done.

    2. You established a pattern that the narrator kept testing, and while I also got a feeling for what was going to happen, I didn’t quite pinpoint it as well as I thought. Don’t we all do something again and again, hoping for different results, and then one day, it works – and we regret it? Great story!

    1. That’s a good start Kristi, you have to resist the editing urge there’ll be plenty of time for that next month. It is good to leave a story a while and then revisit it. You can sometimes see so many more possibilities.

    2. Sometimes, I’ll read a story and expect a certain reaction to be in dialogue or in narration. And you didn’t disappoint with “You’re the worst wizard there is.” But the ending! Again, it was something you could sense, but I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, and I love how you twist the twist. Superb!

  7. YAY! I got up ultra early to start the first of my stories for the September challenge. I didn’t use today’s prompt as I had written my own prompt for the first day. I have completed it (2800 words) and feel great! Good luck to all those participating. Roll on tomorrow!

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