Thursday, April 12, 2012


I found this awesome writing challenge today and just couldn't help myself!

The Storyteller Writing Challenge is brought to you by Shah Wharton, over on her blog Words in Sync.

You can choose to write your piece based on a word prompt or a photo prompt.

I chose the photo:

Here is my entry:

Word Count: 480

Standing at the crossroads of my life, I face my future and my past with pride. I have managed the impossible. I have rearranged the stars of my destiny. Changed my tide.

I will not go back to what was.

There is nothing for me there.

My life in modern day New Orleans turned out just the way my parents said it would. I was destitute. Alone. A grotesque scar on the face of the great city I once loved. Fighting the mangy strays for scraps of discarded food and stealing from hapless tourists along the way.

A worthless gutter punk in the city of dreams. My dreams. Or, what once were my dreams.

I can not go back to that.

When I found the keys, I can assure you I had no idea where they might fit. An old, musty attic in a carriage house up on St. Charles. Or a chest in the living room of an elegant antebellum mansion I’d only ever dream of entering. They were beautiful and ancient, tinged with patina from years of humidity.

When I found the keys, I can assure you I had no intention of keeping them. Why would I? My belongings were few. Living on the streets meant what you kept, was what you could carry. I had nothing of value left. My money had been spent long ago. My pictures and mementos bartered, stolen, or lost. My dreams shattered and destroyed.

When I found the keys, I knew not that they would alter my life, my destiny, my truth. I knew not that every belief I’d ever held true would be turned up on end. Up became down. Truth was now fiction.

The keys catapulted me through time, bringing me to a New Orleans I’d only heard about, or read about in history books.

On the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, I met him. He saw through the dirt and the piercings, the hair dye and the scowl of a broken girl. He saw through what most people just looked past.

He picked me up, took me in. We’ve made a life together here.

I will not go back to what was.

Heaven’s vultures fly overhead now, waiting for me to choose. Waiting for me to set things back. Coming here has destroyed some shred of time and space, affected the future in ways I have yet to learn; may never understand.

But I have chosen my path.

A slow smile forms on my face as I gaze up at them. I slowly shake my head, as my fingers release the only chance I have of ever going back. With a splash barely audible over the roaring chaos of the sea, the keys fall down, deep into the depths of forever.

I will not return to what was.

I will not be your street trash, your bane.

I will not.

By Jessa Russo
(C) Copyright Jessa Russo 2012. All rights reserved.


  1. omg I LOVE this!!! You're totally going to win! :D

  2. Aw, shucks. Thanks! But you already love me! ;-)

  3. You are awesome!! What can I say! You are so talented!

  4. #applauding! Love this Jessa...such a great view!!

  5. What a great build-up you have done here. The focus on the keys and the metaphor hidden within them---simply fabulous. This was a great take on the picture.

  6. My favourite so far! Well done and a big fat welcome to Storyteller's Writing Challenge. Weird though, this is the second one with a huge theme set around keys? Very different in all other ways, but the keys keep popping up.

    "He saw through what most people just looked past." Loved this. :)

  7. Hi Shah! I'm so happy you came by, and THANK YOU for your kind words!

    Keys are such a small thing in real life, but can speak so strongly as a metaphor for larger things. I think keys are a great topic for prompting creativity, so its no wonder you've used them more than once in your writing challenges!

    Thanks for the fun opportunity to flex my writing muscles! ;-)

  8. As a writer, I always work hard on the twist of my stories, not just on the plot but also on the characters' personality. Both characters and stories can have twists that will carry the stories further. Make sure to have an online proofreading or assessment from your peers to established what the audience might not want to like about the stories.

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