Each week, I share one of the writing prompts used in my workshops, along with an example of what was written in response. Today’s prompt (allow about 10/12 mins in total) is called Lost and Found. First, jot down a few thoughts around what it feels like to be lost and/or to lose. This can be done on your own or, if in a group, pass the paper(s) around and collect a cross pollination of ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Now, write a short story entitled Lost and Found.
This is what I wrote:
“He won’t know who you are, but don’t let that worry you. He’s a bit confused. Not his best day.”
It didn’t feel like an auspicious start. It was the first time he’d visited his grandfather since he’d been sent to the home. Mum had told him to wait, let Granddad settle first, before visiting, but he couldn’t wait.
The care worker led him through a series of corridors until Sean heard the unmistakable sound of background daytime TV over muffled chatter, and noted the smell of pink wafer biscuits.
His grandfather was sitting in a comfortable looking brown check armchair, eyes on the window rather than the TV. He didn’t hear Sean approach and shook with surprise when Sean laid a hand on his shoulder. “All right Pops?”
The old man turned a vacant stare from the window to Sean’s face and seemed to scan it in search of familiarity, Finding none, he barked “What do you want? I ‘ent buying nothing young man – I’ve all I need. Now go on with yeh!”
Sean took a step back, feeling warmth rise to his cheeks. “I’m not selling anything. It’s me Pops. I came to see how you were.”
The old man paused for a moment, getting Sean’s hopes up. Then something changed. Panic. The old eyes began to swim in a face at sea. “Where am I? This isn’t – Get away! Get away from me!” He tried to stand, but his right knee buckled and wouldn’t lift him.
Sean put a hand in his pocket and took out a pipe. “They won’t let you smoke it here, but this is yours. You used to let me light it for you if Mum wasn’t around.” He held the pipe out towards trembling hands and watched for a moment as his grandfather reached out, and came back.
“Sean? You brought my pipe. Thank you.”
If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here: