Tag Archives: travel

Life in Living Color

Hello Radishes! As you may or may not have noticed, this story is being posted not on the first of the month. That’s because I didn’t write it on time. Or, actually, I haven’t written it yet. For various reasons both interesting and mundane, it didn’t happen, but the biggest one is that I’m in a bit of a creative drought at present. However, in the last day or so I started having an inkling for a story based on the prompt Sarah gave me (the first line of my story must be “No way!” and the last must be “You still owe me twenty bucks.”) and just now I’ve decided to let you all see what a first-ish draft for me looks like because I’m making this up as I go 🙂

“No way.”

“If you have a problem, you can keep your eyes closed. Or just watch a movie. It’s a nine hour flight and if you watch me with more than a passing interest for more then ten seconds – ”

“I get it, I get it.” Even though Nick understood Claire’s tone loud and clear, that did not make the questions about what she was doing vanish. He roughed his hand through his short blond hair and rubbed the sleep away from his eyes, leftovers from their first flight of the day.

Though her head was down giving the illusion she was fiercely focused on the tray table before her, Claire did see Nick’s perplexed expression. She assumed it was perplexed, anyway. Her glasses were of no help when it came to peering out of the corner of her eye. Still, it was more than ten seconds and he was still looking. “If you have something to say, say it.” Continue reading


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Hometown Tourist

Prompt: Tell a tale of tourism. I decided to put my own spin on this prompt. After all, you don’t necessarily have to go very far to be a tourist. This story is actually building off of an idea I started exploring in a previous SaM post and wanted to see if it has what it takes to go a little further. This isn’t the start of that idea, but in the timeline of what I’m hoping could be my next new project, this scene comes in the middle. Hence the vagueness about some things. So please pardon that, and I hope you enjoy!



“I believe you have what Southern women might refer to as a gentleman caller.” It was a statement, but the way that Jessie’s dad said it made it sound more like a question.

She looked up from her notebook and studied her father’s face. It was only recently that had the realization that Dad was aging. He’d always looked young for his age, but before college she saw him every day so she didn’t notice the changes settling in. But when she came home after months away – first at Christmas, now for the summer – his evolution was more obvious. There was more white hair at his temples, the lines around his eyes a little deeper.

But those eyes still held their sparkle, especially at the mention of a boy. Continue reading

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Blue Christmas

We’re back to using writing prompts here on Stories by SaM, and I am glad for it! Do I love coming up with my own stuff? Of course! But Sarah and I agreed that prompts are helpful to keeping us on track and challenging ourselves. So this is the picture that Sarah gave me as my prompt, and here’s the story I came up with to go with it.  Read all the way to the end to see the prompt I am challenging Sarah with for next week and Stay Radish!

girl-in-blueThe winter of 1933 was one of those times when the best thing that could happen to you was dying. Of course, every season had felt that way since the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Great Depression descended like an unforgiving, immovable storm.

Yet for the Setterfeld’s there was always a reason to hope. It was simply how they had always been. Maybe it’s because Thomas was a young doctor who had graduated at the top of his class and was always determined to find the best in people or a dire situation. Or maybe it was because Gertrude, his effervescent bride for almost two years now, was the complete embodiment of sweetness and sunshine. Together they were a perfectly balanced scale, yet hope was hard for them to find that Christmas Eve in the face of so much gray. Continue reading


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Sixteen Stops

Lately my stories have been long which can be great when they’re doing something and painful when they aren’t, so I set out to limit myself – no more than 2000 words. This story ended up going in a direction that I wasn’t expecting. If you haven’t been able to tell so far, I like stories that end with hope. But writing and life has been challenging as of late, and I took it out on my story…enjoy! haha

As soon as I sat down, I started counting. Sixteen stops. I was sixteen stops on the CTA Blue Line and a short car ride away from a long day and a longer night finally being over. I wrapped my arms around my middle, clutched my clutch with one hand, closed my eyes and took a deep breath to release some of the tension.

Then I coughed because the El car smelled like pee. The man across from me looked up from his book, his eyes expressing a silent and sad me too. For a second, we were connected, but in a blink he was back to his reading.

A group of four people probably in their mid-twenties like me sat on the opposite side of the car down by the other set of doors. Their laughter bounced around in the still, stench-filled air. One guy took pictures of the two girls making faces with his phone while the other kept glancing at me. Not in a checking me out kind of way, unfortunately, but his expression was warm and curious. Something about him was familiar, like a song that’s played in the background of a commercial. Continue reading


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