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Here’s another writing prompt to dip your pen into, taken from last week’s session. Quite simply we each had three small pieces of paper, and on each one we wrote a ‘confession’ – real or imagined – that we or an imagined character might make. The three pieces of paper were then folded up, and we each picked one. We then used that confession as the basis for writing a story in ten minutes. This is what I wrote:

The sounds of the sirens still rang in her ears as she looked down, safe from her bedroom window, at the black mess in the garden where the shed used to be. She watched her father shake hands with the firemen as her mother leaned on this shoulder in a picture of utter defeat.

It was only a shed, came the thought rushing angrily to the rescue of her guilty mind. Her father, stubbornly optimistic to a fault at times, had insisted it could have been far worse. He’d even praised her for raising the alarm in time, noticing the smoke beginning to rise from the old dry leaves, left from winter and dried to a crisp by a brisk spring and the beginning of summer.

“Claire! Lunch!” Dad called .  She didn’t feel hungry, and tears fell onto the window sill. 

Fast feet coming up the stairs, not as heavy as her Dad’s. No knock, just an univited entrance.

“You idiot! I’m telling Dad”

She was so shocked she didn’t have time to remove the look of guilt from her face.

“I’m not an idiot,” came her eventual retort. 

“Mum’s crying.”

“It’s just a shed.”

A look of disgust, and a slammed door as her brother left her room.

“Can I come in?”

Dad. She rushed at the door to open it, and into his arms before he’d even crossed the threshold.

“I’m sorry Dad, I didn’t mean…I just, I was playing with the magnifying glass – I didn’t – I forgot – …why’s Mum so upset?”

“You started it?”

“Not on purpose.”

Her father pulled back from the hug with a sternness she’d not encountered before. She could see him trying to contain something too big for her to understand, and it scared her.


“Claire,” he paused to take a breath. “That fire could’ve…”

She tried to hug him again, because she couldn’t bear the look on his face. For a moment, he didn’t respond. Then he hugged her tighter than she’d ever felt before, and lifted her in his arms to carry her down to lunch. 


If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here:


and here: