Most of my story prompts come from the newspaper. Not too long ago, Transport for London, listed items awaiting collection in their lost property office. Some of the abandoned items are worthy story starters.
- Consider a few of the 148,000 belongings awaiting claim: a bishop’s crook, a harpoon gun, a pair of breast implants, a jar of false eyeballs, a bag of Rolex watches, a do-it-yourself vasectomy kit, a suitcase containing 10,000 pounds, and a badly stuffed eagle- complete with a half-eaten pigeon in its beak.
- As for the live rabbit, the bus driver chased the woman who left it. “Excuse me, you’ve left your rabbit!” The woman turned and said, “I don’t want it any more – I’m leaving the country tonight.”
- Invent a story that whirls around one of these lost/discarded items.
I have this cat. We didn’t particularly choose her. She was more like a door prize. I went to a graduation party where perhaps I ate or drank more than my share. I don’t remember. What I do remember is that as the guests prepared to leave, the hostess led us to the box of nursing kittens. Wouldn’t we like one?
We called her “Kitty” because we couldn’t be bothered to name her. A couple of years later, we moved to England and rented the house. Kitty came with the house – a “home accessory” of sorts. The first occupant had a toddler who tried to dress Kitty in doll clothes. The second tenant had a large, rambunctious dog that terrorized her.
Kitty has survived abandonment, toddlers, dogs, rattlesnakes, and coyotes. My heart should go out to this Charles Dickens hard-times cat. She has not had an easy life. Even now that we are back in the States, she spends months, at-home with only daily visitations from a cat-care lady.
And yet, she doesn’t hold it against us. She is always happy to see us and does not “act out” as many cats would. On the other hand, sometimes she gives me an intense stare, and I can easily believe the superstition that cats have an unholy alliance with witches. It is a witchy stare that she gives me, and I know that if I were to leave her on a bus, she would forgive me.
Something dreadful would happen. More often than not, cats have the last laugh.