[Write On Wednesday] Home Town Tales

This prompt is inspired by the book 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith and by the Prairie Home Companion Lake Wobegon stories, both of which tell small (and sometimes tall) tales in sometimes-unrelated episodes, but all of which happen in and around the same setting.

The Prompt

Write a flash fiction piece about a set of characters in which something small and everyday happens. Hint that something else might be about to happen, before the story ends.


  • Give the story a strong sense of place. It doesn’t have to be a home town, but make the location feel specific by giving people a set of preconceptions, ways they talk about themselves and outsiders, distinct local expressions (this can be particularly fun if you write sci fi or fantasy, or another kind of speculative fiction.)
  • Try to end the story as if you were writing a daily or weekly serial. What can you do to make readers want to tune in again tomorrow?
  • Pretend you’re going to start posting this serial on your blog, where the whole world wide web is competing for your readers’ attention. How entertaining can you make it, to keep your imaginary readers’ attention?


3 thoughts on “[Write On Wednesday] Home Town Tales”

  1. Sheila and Marcus walked down the center of the street, accompanied only by blowing leaves and debris. “Where is everyone?” Sheila craned her neck to look up at the hotel and convention center; its windows were soapy with dirt, like all the other windows of the shops and offices they had passed on their way into the city. They had seen no people as they drove into the outskirts and downto the town center. Marcus had suggested they walk to save their valuable gas, but she thought it was more to fuel his sense of adventure. They had been on the road a long time and her brother saw each empty city as a new playground. Marcus spun and drew his pistol; a partially deflated and dryrotted basketball skittered toward them. “Where did that come from?!” Sheila whispered and pulled Marcus toward the relative shelter of the hotel entryway. Although it was dark and foul-smelling, it would keep them out of the direct line of sight of their basketball-bouncing street mate.

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