Stories are everywhere, observe and imagine.
An older lady would pass our house at the same time every week day afternoon, heading for public transport. A little on the dowdy side, she had a determined walk and carried the same brown bag each day; like a hand bag but big enough to hold her knitting. Always the same sturdy brown shoes with a slight heel. She wore stockings and skirt and blouse, their colours varying in shades of mauve and lilac. Where did she go and where did she come from? Did she visit a sick sister or mother? Was she a housekeeper, carer for an older incapacitated gent? What was his story? I haven’t seen her for some time now. Did she move away, did the elderly gent pass away and leave her his estate? How did he die? Under mysterious circumstances? Maybe she has simply retired to a country cottage to write her own story.
While waiting for a train on a rather bleak winter morning, I noticed a young woman leaning against a column, under the destination board. Her face was pretty but appeared marred by sadness. She stared at her dirty sneaker trod feet, her hands on her pregnant belly. Her jeans were worn, not in the fashionable way, and the tatty bag over her shoulder looked to carry everything that was hers. She let her lank brown hair full partly across her face. Why was she so sad? Was she running away from something or someone? Would someone be waiting for her at the end of her journey? What was the baby’s story going to be? How would her story end?
I used to know a young girl at work. Well, not really know her; I don’t think she allowed anyone to know her. She was almost invisible at times and we would forget she was there. Her movements were light, quick, she was there and then not. I am afraid she inspired a rather dark story I wrote a while ago. Not my usual fiction but hey when you let your imagination go…Anyway if you would like to read it here is the link. Invisible.
Stories are all around us; in old photos, newspaper snippits, obituraries. We simply need to look and use our imagination. Ask yourself who, what, when, where and how and get started.