Snakes in a Mall

I was sitting on a table in the mall with my laptop at my fingertips, looking for a story. Something beside me near the shuttered door of the flower shop ticked in a gargling sort of way. It only just started. Was there something there? A monster story, a gargling ant-person? A hidden rattlesnake? Snakes in a Mall didn’t have the same ring as Snakes on a Plane. “It’s Dawn of the Dead, but with snakes!” I pictured myself pitching to publishers.


I did some people-watching. People were always good inspiration for stories. To watch a person’s mannerisms, to catch a piece of their conversation, you can make an entire character from that.

But the only people nearby were teenagers with selfie-sticks in one hand and Starbucks cups in the other. Did they have stories? Was there anything there worth telling? Have they struggled, have they suffered, have they faced loss? Have they accomplished great deeds against insurmountable odds? Or were they the background characters who would take pictures of themselves with the heroes?

It was no use looking down on the young. There are innocent, unimportant people the world over. I’m no different. A writer looking for heroes in a mall. The greatest challenge I’d ever faced was the blank page. A page that would be easily filled if I’d had a single greater challenge in my life.





Day 261’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Writer’s block,” “‘Kids these days…,” and, “Judgement.”

Oh the unfair self-criticism and anxiety of the writer…

– H.

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