Writing Prompt 3

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5 Objects and a Character

The challenge: write about five objects that are important to a given character, including what they are, what their purpose is, and how and when they were acquired.


The character: Shirley, a 44-year-old manager, who is smart and imaginative. She is motivated by spite and out to avenge the death of her father.

The objects: undefined.


Please don't touch that. It's Papa's pipe. He used to fill it with cherry tobacco and clench it in his teeth while we played catch in the driveway every night. He hated when he missed the ball, and the tobacco spilled out as he leaned down.

I picked it up from his pooling blood as soon as I could see clearly. It was the only thing small enough to carry past the detectives.

No, not that, either. The Hobbit was one of his favorite books. That copy he got me when I was five. We read it together every year for his birthday.

Don't worry: that's not what it looks like. I mean, it's not real. It's a plaster skull, I swear. It's weighted artificially. There was this, um, Halloween store. With a dark alley behind it.

Papa was a big scifi fan. He went on this trip to Africa before I was born, got this big piece of ivory, and carved it to match the big knives in Dune. You know, the book by Frank Herbert with the blood-thirsty desert people? That knife hasn't been christened yet. Not fully.

Of course I wouldn't ever.

You don't need to see that.

Well, if you insist. That's a lock of hair found at the crime scene. Yes, it does look a lot like yours.

Doesn't it, Mother?


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