Writing Prompt Mondays: Prompt 9

May 18, 2020

Well done on another incredible writing prompt response! At the moment, there are so many comments and stories coming in that I know I’m missing some – so if I haven’t responded to you, apologies! I’m delighted by how much you’re enjoying these prompts and I’m very proud to watch your writing improve every week.

Last week’s prompt was all about dragons – I particularly loved Bel’s dragon banker, Niamh’s party planner dragon, Lillia’s dragon delivery worker and Amelie May’s hilariously bothersome Sir Boris. This week I’m setting a prompt that seems a bit more ordinary … but as with all of my prompts, it all depends on what you do with it.

I’d like you to write a story about family. You can use your family as a basis, or your friend’s family (if you’re writing about real people, please change their names so it’s not obvious what you’ve done). You can write about a fictional family you particularly love, or one you wish you had. You can even write about a family of dragons or ghosts, tying this story back to a previous prompt! Your family can be blended, have members who are adopted, or even be a found family, where no one is related. I think Daisy and Hazel are family, even though they come from very different backgrounds. Family, after all, is often less about blood ties and more about love.

As always, your story can be fantasy, horror, crime, sci fi – any genre you like. The family can be friendly, hate each other or anywhere in between. You can write a diary, a poem, a script … it’s absolutely up to you!

The rules …

  1. It can be as long or as short as you like, and take you as much or as little time as you want.
  2. It can be any genre (type) of story you want. If you have an idea for something that I haven’t mentioned (writing a poem! Being inspired by a song you love! Writing non-fiction!), don’t wait for my permission – just go for it! This is your creativity working!
  3. You are not allowed to worry about grammar or spelling.
  4. You are not allowed to worry if it isn’t perfect, or criticise yourself as you’re writing.
  5. You are encouraged to make a plan before you begin, to make it easier for you to get to the end of the story. This can be two words or a whole page! But if you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to.
  6. Get to the end of the story without stopping to go back and fix bits you don’t like. Once you’ve finished, read it through again. If you still don’t like those bits, you can edit them now!
  7. If you want (and only if you want!) you’re allowed to post the first 500 words of your story in the comments below. I have to moderate the comments so it may take a while for them to show up – please be patient. I don’t want to see you apologising for your story or minimising what you’ve done when you post – writing a story is a triumph and you should be proud!
  8. Please do not use your full name when you comment – first names are fine, or you can make up a username that you like! Also remember to stay safe online and not get into private discussions with anyone you don’t know in real life without telling an adult first.
  9. If you like someone else’s story, you are allowed to comment to say so! If you’d like to give them ideas that might make their story even stronger, that’s OK, but please be kind and remember how deeply we all care about our writing. A good format for feedback might be something like: ‘I loved ****! Have you thought of ****? I think it might make your story even better!’ I will delete any comment if I feel it’s critical without being constructive.
  10. I can’t promise to give feedback on any individual stories – I’m not marking them!
  11. This isn’t a competition, and there will be no winners and no prizes, though I may choose a story or two to highlight in future posts.

Good luck, detectives – and as always I hope you’re staying safe and calm and being kind to your families and yourselves. I’m thinking of you all!

More posts to explore

I’m very pleased to say that my Behind the Book video, featuring a Q&A, a workspace tour and a reading from the last two chapters of Death Sets Sail, is available to watch NOW on the Puffin YouTube channel. There’s a link below – I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve got a new video on the way! Behind the Book with Robin Stevens will premiere on the Puffin YouTube Channel on Friday 18th September at 6pm BST.
For the rest of September, your prompt will be resolutions. This was suggested by Detective Society member Neve – and it seems like a great choice, since this is the beginning of the school year, a time full of new challenges and big decisions.
I’ve got good news for Scottish fans – I may not be able to come visit you in person this autumn, but I’ll be able to be with you virtually! I’m teaming up with the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour and Book Week Scotland for a week of absolutely FREE events for Scottish schools.
You have until the 6th of September to send all of your questions about the MMU series, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, Howl the puppy or anything else you might want to know to a special email address that my publisher Puffin has set up: askrobinstevens@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk. I’m going to be answering my very favourites on a new ‘Behind the Book’ video, premiering on the 18th of September on the Puffin YouTube channel.

441 Responses

  1. This is a really interesting prompt – because there are so many different ways you can interpret it. I have so many ideas and can’t wait to get writing!

  2. Hello Robin,
    This is a great writing prompt. This will be my second prompt as last week I did my first writing prompt, the dragon one.
    Colette

  3. Ok, here is my story! It is a bit over 500 words. I have taken “family” like Robin said, these people are not my blood family, but my closest friends. Even that word doesn’t explain it. This is a true story, but I changed the character tears a bit. I would really appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

    SOPHIA: “And our second team for Primary Social Sciences is…” The announcer stopped. We held our breaths. Juliet squirmed on my lap, and I clutched her hand. Anne passed over the packet of Fruchocks, and we all took some of our lucky tokens.
    “Oh, isn’t the weather nice today…” We all screamed. Why can’t she just hurry up and announce Honours already!

    KATE: I saw Juliet get off Sophia’s lap, and crouch on the grass in front of us. The tired steps were packed with people, teams and families waiting for the announcement of our division. Alice grabbed some Fruchocks that Anne had passed us, and was nibbling them quickly.
    “And for honours…LORETO COLLEGE!”

    JULIET: We scrambled off the step, the people in front of us leaning out of the way. My whole body felt numb. Did we really have the chance to go to Hobart? I stumbled, and Sophia and Anne caught my arms. The packet of Fruchocks were still squished in Anne’s hand, as we skidded on the pavement and ran to the stage. Now, all we had to do was beat the other team.

    HELENA: I looked back over the steps, and saw our families clapping and cheering for us. I saw Mrs Ziesing sitting with Mrs Basedow, both smiling as proudly as our mothers. We all curved around into a circle, grabbing each other’s hands and pulling each other close.
    “No matter the results, this will still be the best thing that has ever happened to me” Murmured Anne, as we said our prayers. Juliet added:
    “And you guys are my family, blood or not.”

    CHLOE: “Oh, haven’t these teams done so well!” The announcer spoke, her short, blue hair bouncing madly. “One of them did a play about women’s rights in sports, and the other” She was cut off, by everyone calling
    “HURRY UP!” We couldn’t wait any longer. We just couldn’t. Our whole team, all of the Gucci Gilbert’s Potatoes had put so much into Tournament of Minds this year, and we all wanted the win not just for us, but for Mrs Ziesing. And my teammates don’t know it yet, but this would be the last time I could compete with them.

    ANNE: “But now, the winner of Primary Social Sciences is…LORETO COLLEGE!” At that moment, we lost our minds. When we began TOM, the very first practice, we had never thought about the International final. On the information sheet, where it had said the dates, we had ignored that. But now, now
    “We are going to Hobart!” Screamed Helena. Chloe was laughing so hard, and that set Juliet off. Soon, we were all cracking up, leaning and crying on each other. Helena’s face still in the shocked O it had been in, and everyone hugging each other.

    IRIS: We stumbled off the stage, forgetting about the other winners to be announced. Then, we were presented with the trophy. Chloe stepped forward and took the shield out of the announcers arms, the only one sober enough to. Then, I was handed the glass trophy. Everyone crowded around us, and Mrs Ziesing jogged over. Soon enough, the award ceremony was over. The photos were shot, and we said our final goodbyes. I said goodbye to my family. Then, we couldn’t help ourselves. We just had to.

    1. Thank you to everyone who has commented, I really appreciate it and love getting feedback! Everyone’s stories have been amazing – they just keep getting better and better!

  4. this is my story I hope you like it (If you do could you please comment?)

    I’m Phoebe Brown and I’m 13. I’ve had to suffer 13 years of family drama and if you want to avoid having family drama just use this useful guide WARNING: it probably won’t help.
    PHOEBE’S GUIDE OF HOW TO AVOID FAMILY DRAMA
    (THIS GUIDE IS PRETTY USELES AND BORING)

    1) If you have siblings show them that your the boss(This may not work with older siblings)
    WARNING:Your siblings may think this is a joke and mock you about this.

    2) Make sure someone else always gets picked to do the chores TIP: Tell them that if they do the chores you will give them sweets(Make sure that whoever has asked you to do the chores doesn’t
    Hear this) WARNING: this may not work on adults.

    3) If you have an annoying, eavesdropping sibling (like me) make sure to lock them in the cupboard if your friends come over. WARNING: If you have two or more siblings like me it may be hard to capture them and lock them in the cupboard.

    4) Make sure you always get the largest slice of cake TIP: If you don’t have the largest slice when nobody’s looking swap your slice with the largest slice of cake.

    5) Always put your initials on your new things if not another person will claim its theirs. WARNING: If you and a member of your family have the same initials this may be a problem( for an example my initial is a P. B and so is my sister Pegg’s once she claimed my favourite book ‘Murder most unladylike’ was hers its on her bookshelf now )

    6) Make sure that someone else tidies up your room for you(maybe a sibling).

    7) Make sure to mark your territory or else some annoying person (I’m looking at my sister Pegg right know) will invade. WARNING:this rule is actually bad because if they invade they’ll mess everything up and they’ll have to tidy up your room (Ha).

    8) If you keep a diary hide it (unless you want someone to look at it and know your secrets WARNING: If its not in its usual place someone might go looking for it(if you want to avoid this get a note book and write ‘Diary’ on the front and fill it up with boring nonsense.

    9)Be nice and make peace with your siblings. (Actually ignore this rule)

    10) Follow all these rules(except from 9) )

    Hope you liked these rules and best wishes from

    Phoebe brown

    1. I love your guide Elly! It is so funny and I’m going to follow all of them (apart from 9) and some will be easier since I’m the eldest! ?

      1. thanks kyra I’m the eldest too (Though its sad that my sister knows I’m the boss because know I can’t pester her)

  5. Hi. This is a made up story. Pls comment if you liked it.

    Many people think of family easily, I don’t. I live on the other side of the globe to them. Any letters that are sent, not many, are icy and not at all what you want to read. But as I have been away from them my heart has thawed. A new family is what it took.

    They had just carted me off to England. Away. No one bothered to say goodbye, they were all wrapped up in their own self-centred lives. The chauffeur had driven me to the airport. He was the last thing I saw that would ever remind me of my dreadful family. The kind and cheery man. With happy eyes and a loving smile.

    The next thing I knew I was at the opposing airport. Stepping of the plane. Down the steps and onto the long walkway. Staring up at the building looming over me.
    “Move along please darling, the line needs to keep on moving.” The strange voice of the flight attendant drifting towards me on the waving air. I felt him touched my shoulder. I jerked him off. I didn’t like the feel of that. It reminded me too much of home. The looming mysterious home. I started walking. Slow and uncertain at first then more confident and faster, until I found myself running head over heels, rushing into the cold air of the terminal. I saw between my tears a blurry figure stepping in front of my convulsing body.
    “You okay love?” The asked in a deep masculine voice.
    I mumbled an incoherent reply. Pushed past and collected my luggage.

    That brings me to now. I have created my own family at school consisting of my friends, Sophia, Rose, Daisy, Kitty and Eloise. Once I made that family, I vowed never to return home.

          1. Yeah I know but I wasn’t sure if it made sense. I did that kinda story before and i wasn’t whether I actually liked it myself. So, it’s nice to know that others do.

      1. Thank you so much Kyra and everyone else who has commented. This has really improved my confidence cuz my teacher likes my stuff but then they kinda have to and so does my mum but well she’s my mum.

  6. This is exceptional! ? It was really emotional, too. Mabye you could write a sequel, explaining more about her blood family.

  7. This is my story. It is based on an orphan who has to discover the secrets of her past. She also makes a new family out of her closest friends.

    Cold, dark, lonely. Those are the three words that basically sum up my whole life.

    Abandoned.

    Unwanted.

    Lonely.

    My life has always been like that. My parents are dead. All my relations are also gone where I can not talk to them. I am alone. I am alone in this busy world where no-one cares a bit for me. But that is all in the past. I am in the past. And by that I mean that the cold, dark and lonely part of me is gone. I have a family. But they are not the same. They are proper. They would not desert me. They would faithfully stay by my side until my dying day.

    My whole life I have wanted to discover the secret of my past. I finally know it but I can’t bear to tell anyone. Well, I couldn’t bear to tell anyone before I met my new family. My new family is all I could have wished for. They are really my best friends but they are so close to me that they are like a family. Eloise is really my first ever friend but slowly I acquired more and more friends. There is just a small group of us but Eloise, Naomi, Autumn and I have become as close as any group of 13 year olds could become. And now I have summoned all the courage I own to say this. I fear that it might be my last act but it means so much to me. It is this: my father was murdered by a man. This man is unknown but dangerous. He is called the murderous dragon. This man is so evil that he vowed to kill every last member of the Cravendish family and I am that last person. I fear that he has pulled my family apart for so long that I have been pulled apart myself. I thank everyone who has helped me in my quest to revenge the murderous dragon. I am finished. I am dead.

    1. I like how your story is kind of mysterious but not so mysterious it’s hard to understand. Could you post a part 2?

    2. Hello Nancy,
      Wow! The description you’ve used is amazing. I especially like the short sentences you’ve used for effect, it really makes you emotional.
      Colette

      1. Hi Colette,
        I am really glad you liked it. I think that this is my favourite story so far in these prompts.

    1. Your welcome I’m writing a mystery book at the moment its set in an orphanage that’s why I loved your story it was so amazing I felt like I was there

    1. I am really glad that you liked it. I was going for an emotional story and that seemed the best way to end it.

  8. Family
    They are all different
    but all the same

    All happy
    but all sad

    All fun
    But all boring
    They’re everything
    If you wish you wish for them
    If you wish you wish for you

    Never for another

  9. Here is my story! It is inspired by the family from ‘The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. I hope you like it! (Also, everyone has written amazing stories!)

    Everything changed when my sister brought a Nazi to our home. We lived in a small house in a small town, where people didn’t like our faces. The deep brown of our skin was different. Different was never good. People are scared of anything different. That’s what mother always tells us. It’s what father would say if he were here. If he wasn’t forced to fight. It’s what my brother would say if he were alive. It’s what my sister said when she helped the injured German soldier through our door.

    “Please, mama.”
    “No. Absolutely not.” I could hear my sister and my mother bickering in the kitchen, while I was forced to watch over the German in our living room. He clutched a wound at his side. There was blood coating his clothes and body. It was splattered on his face and all over his hands. I shuddered, wondering whose blood he wore. I realised I was staring and looked away. “My name is Luis,” he said suddenly. I jumped, startled by his voice. He had a strong German accent, but his voice was hoarse. I turned to face him again. A smile appeared on his face. I opened my mouth, ready to finally say something when my sister appeared in the room. We both stood from where we were seated. “You can stay here Luis,” she said. “Come, I’ll take you to the bathroom where you can have a shower and I can clean your wound.”
    “Thank you, Anvi,” he said. I hated the way my sister’s name sounded on his tongue. She helped him as they walked to the bathroom. I stormed into the kitchen where my mother was seated at the table, drinking a glass of water. “How could you allow this?” I hissed. She turned to me with a kind smile on her face. “Anvi made me realise that if we turn him away we are no better than them.”
    “I could argue strongly against that. We will always be better than them.”
    “If that is true, we must help the German. Remember, we can’t judge him based on his country’s actions.”
    “We can.”
    “We won’t.”
    “What are we going to tell Emma, Zach, and James? They are coming over tonight, in case you’ve forgotten.”
    “How could I forget? I’m cooking. And we will tell them the truth.” I hated the truth.

    Dinner was silent. Except for Emma’s occasional question. And even then the seven-year-old was quietened by her grandfather, James. Zach sat next to me, eyes focused on Luis. He had been our friend since we were kids. His fists were clenched around his knife and fork. I placed my hand on his tense forearm. He looked at me, his eyes angry. But they softened and his arm relaxed. I continued eating.

    “Little Women!” James declared. I smiled and nodded. It was Emma’s turn to pick a game. She chose charades. “I was going to say that,” Zach mumbled.
    “Of course you were,” I said before sitting down next to him on our worn sofa. After dinner, James started talking with Luis. Emma did too. Soon they were engulfed in conversation. Zach didn’t offer a word. Not after the Nazis were the reason for his father’s death. But eventually, I found myself talking with Luis too. Zach stayed by my side, offering only harsh glares towards the German. Then my mother had announced it was time for games. James made the sign for a book. He showed us that it was five words. And then a knock came at the door. The knock turned into a relentless pounding. I went to answer it. I opened the door and standing before me was a soldier from the British army. “How may I help you?” I asked, my throat bobbing. “There have been rumors of a German soldier traveling around this area. I have to take a look inside your house.” My heart thundered. I knew this was a bad idea.
    “German soldier?” I asked, raising my voice slightly. “I haven’t seen a soldier.”
    “Nevertheless I must take a look inside.” Before I could deny, he shoved past me and marched into the living room. “Hey,” he said, “You shouldn’t be here.” I rushed into the room. But Luis wasn’t there. “It’s beyond curfew.” I then realised he was talking to Zach, Emma, and James. “We are sorry, sir. We’ll go back home right away,” James said. The soldier nodded, “I’ll take you three home,” he turned to me, “Report any unusual sightings.” And then he had left our house, with James, Emma, and Zach close behind. But before he left, Zach took my hand and whispered in my ear, “Be careful. Please.” I gave him a small smile. “I’ll try.”

    1. This is such a powerful story, Inaya. I agree with everyone else, all of your stories are amazing. You are such a great writer!

    2. I love all your stories Inaya! You’re a really incredible writer! I can always imagine them so clearly in my mind, and I love how in this story they accepted Luis as a human being who needed help!

    3. Thank you to everyone who commented! I really appreciate all your comments! Everyone has written brilliant stories!

    4. Hello Inaya,
      Outstanding. An important reminder that we are all humans, all individuals, and the kindness of humanity.
      Colette

  10. And Then There Were More
    Asha, hurry up!” Yelled Allegra. “They’ll be here in 20 minutes, and you know that if Aunt Ariana doesn’t have chocolate in her room again sparks will fly!” “It’s not my job to do her room, it’s George’s job.” “Oh sorry, he must have ran away to go play with his friends again. Why couldn’t he have just finished first.” Sighted Allegra, who was tired of getting the house ready. In fact, George hadn’t gone playing, but was in his tree house hiding from the arriving bothersome relatives and his mother. His house was about to become a hotel for the annoying, with Mum deciding that it was time for a family reunion. ‘It’s just for the weekend.’ She had said. They all knew they would be lucky if it lasted a week, if not a month. She had decided to remain oblivious to this, though, nd had decided that the perfect way to ruin their holiday would be to see all their crazy family. One of them kept alligators in his house. Not in the backyard, but inside the house, where they had a room with beds! ‘Well’, decided George, if I have to put up with them, Mum can do my job.’

    “Hello Aunt Beatrice!” Said George in his best fake happy voice. “I’m so glad you’re here!” “Why thank you, would you mind taking my bag upstairs?” ‘Of course I mind, fool.’ Thought George to himself. However, he kept his mouth shut, and tugged the suitcase up the stairs. Mum had promised him anything from the bakery if he just behaved for the weekend, and the bakery had the best desserts there ever were. ‘One down, four to go.’ After everyone arrived, there would be 8 people in his home. It wouldn’t be crowded, for his house had more than enough rooms, but the chatter would surely suffocate him.

    In the morning, a shriek was heard from downstairs. George ran down, wondering if something exciting was finally happening. The last night had been full of stupid questions like “How old are you, you must have grown a foot since I last saw you!” No one actually cared, but instead they were part of a plot to bore them to death. “What is it?” He asked, stopping in the kitchen. He saw nothing out of place, but then he looked at the table. There, sitting at the end of the table was a stranger eating toast, with his mother looking apprehensively at him. She had gotten over the shock of seeing someone there, and was now trying to discover who on earth was sitting at their table. “If you don’t want me to call the police on you for breaking and entering, I recommend you tell me what you are doing in my house.” The stranger replied. “It’s not breaking and entering unless I broke something, and last time I checked, your house is in perfect order. Besides, I was let in by some weirdo who paid me to come look after their stuff.” George could see the anger on his mother’s face. “Well, I don’t suppose you will tell us who it was?” Said his mother tightly. “Nope.” ‘How perfect, ‘ thought George. ‘I have a mystery to solve.’

    My ending wasn’t exactly planned to be like this but I reached the word limit. If anyone wants a Part 2 I can post it. If there’s anything you think I should fix please tell me!

    1. Here’s Part 2-

      “Ok, let’s lay out the suspects.” Said George.

      Aunt Ariana;Motive-Unknown

      Aunt Beatrice;Motive- Concealed

      Uncle Randolph;Motive-To be Determined

      Uncle Simon;Motive-Mysterious

      Aunt Vivienne;Motive- Unspecified

      “Well,that was helpful.” Sighed George. “Not really.” George shrieked in a very undignified way. “What are you doing in my tree house?” He demanded to the stranger, getting over his shock. “In fact, who are you? You can’t expect me to talk to you when all I know is you eat toast.” “Fair enough. My name is Dylan, and I was hired by one of your family to look after one of their suitcases. It must have something special in it, I guess.” George thought about this, and realized a flaw. “Fine. If what you’re saying is true though, why did she choose you? How would she know you?” George used what he thought was a sneaky trick. ‘I can at least try and discover the person’s gender.’ Using the strategy that seemed to work well in detective novels, George laid a trap, knowing people loved correcting others, and he was corrected, there would only be 2 suspects, and if he was wrong, he would at least have eliminated 2. “No, it wasn’t a woman, it was a-.” Dylan caught himself, but instead of being upset at being tricked, he laughed. “Well done, you’ve got a good sense of how to be a detective! Ok, now that you’ve been able to eliminate people, what will you do next?” George thought about it, and decided to go question people. Sneakily, of course. It wouldn’t do for the suspects to know what he was doing.

      “Hey Uncle Simon! Do you want to eat breakfast in bed?” Asked George. He thought it would be better to question him alone, so the other suspect wouldn’t have a clue as to what was going on. Then again,he was the one that kept alligators. Who knows what he would do? “Sure. Bring me a stack of cinnamon covered pancakes with elderberry syrup.” “Ok” he replied, skating over the fact breakfast was waffles with strawberries. He grabbed a plate and brought it back up. “Thanks.” Uncle Simon started eating, and saw George still standing there. “What do you want?” “Well, I was wondering if I could talk with you. I haven’t seen you in months!” “Well, that’s true.” He considered. “All right, what do you want to talk about?” After 15 minutes of meaningless talking, George snuck in a useful question. “Did Mum tell you about the stranger in our kitchen this morning?” He knew his mother had done no such thing. She had sent Dylan out to go find George to go come help eat breakfast, and had hoped it was just a nightmare. “Oh yes, the boy.” Was this a point against him? George decided to count it as one, and edited his suspect list once again. One last suspect before he met with Dylan to dee if he could guess right as to who had hired him.

      Once again, not meant to end this way, but I haven’t written the rest yet, and this was 500 words. I’ll try and post Part 3 when it’s done.

  11. Hi! I’ve just written my story, and it is about a girl called Olivia who realises her ancestry. I really hope you enjoy it! My story is called Eterna.

    ETERNA

    Olivia Weather thought that she was ordinary. Well, she mostly acted ordinary, and everyone thought she was ordinary. Olivia was actually extraordinary, she just didn’t know it yet.

    Olivia announced her presence by slamming the door and kicking off her shoes. On any other day, she would just be brooding over how much homework she received, or fuming about the people at school. Though today was her first day of year seven, and she had just got through it. Olivia felt scared: something bad had happened.
    “Mum, can I talk to you?” Olivia yelled.
    “Just a minute” Mum replied.
    “But we need to talk now” she said. Olivia stomped through the kitchen, where Mum sat, checking through emails.
    “What is it, sweetie?” she asked.
    “Promise you’ll listen? Because you need to believe me.” Olivia took a deep breath, and began to tell Mum about how she was just talking to her friends, then the boys started picking on her because of her glasses, then she got angry. That was when it happened.

    As Mum listened, she began to nod, as if encouraging Olivia, which surprised her greatly. Once Olivia stopped, she glared at Mum, waiting for her to laugh. She didn’t expect what was said next.
    “Sweetie, I’m so proud of you, I’m going to explain why it happened. Just I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, only some inherit, you see. I’m so glad you did. Now listen, I’m going to tell you a story…..”

    Dear Diary,

    Hi! It’s Olivia again, and I’m currently hiding under my duvet, writing up the crazy events of this evening. Mum explained why I made electricity fizz from my fingers at the boys during school. I’m a Weather Witch. I know! I wouldn’t have believed it either. But turns out that there are loads of women everywhere who have magic. All of the witches are living in secret, and they are all distantly descended from Eterna, the supreme spirit. That’s the story Mum told me about. I am descended from a spirit! This is beyond cool. Though Witches never ever take their husband’s names: that’s why I’m called Olivia Weather, Weather being Mum’s name. I need to learn to control my powers; an untrained Witch can cause destruction. Can’t wait to start magic school!

    Yours, Olivia

    Dear Diary,

    Today I feel strange, like I am no longer human. Well, I guess I never was. I’m starting a project to research my family tree, and I’m scared of what I’ll find. Mum hasn’t said anymore about Witches, but we seem closer than usual, like we are sharing a special secret, which we are. Is this some weird dream, and do I want to wake up?
    Wish me luck with my project.

    Yours, Olivia

    Dear Diary,

    What Mum said the other night was 100% true: magic runs through my veins, and has run through my family since the time of Eterna. I found this out from my family tree, which goes back to the time of the Vikings. Mum said I’m not allowed to tell anyone, not even my best friend Ellie. This will be a really hard secret to keep.

    Yours, Olivia

    Thank you for reading!!!

  12. Hello everyone! I am loving all your stories! I am thinking about this prompt and where I could take it! If you would like me to post a story then please comment! ?

  13. I can’t wait to start writing. This is such a fun prompt! My story is going to be kind of like Swiss Family Robinson.

  14. Here is my story. It’s about two baby sparrows who are learning to fly. I chose sparrows because I have some nesting in my garden.

    The day had finally come. Beak and Feather were finally learning to fly! Speckle and Peck watched them, as proud as any parent watched their child do something for the first time. Beak held his wings out and launched himself off his branch in the bay tree, the place he had been since he had hatched, only two and a half weeks ago. Since then he had flown and jumped between branches, but he had never done anything as exciting and scary as this. Peck had flown first, just to show Beak what to do one last time.
    “Speckle, how does daddy make this look so easy?” Beak asked his sister.
    “I don’t know. It looks so fun though, soaring through the skies. Please can you hurry up! I want to have a go,” Feather replied crossly.
    “Well here goes!” Beak whispered to himself.

    1. I love your story! I love how you finished it right when he was going to try fly! We have a nest of bluetits in our garden that make a lot of noise when my neighbors play loud music!

        1. Here is a part 2. It is about Beak and Feather again.

          Suddenly, he was in the air. He started to fall,and panicked.
          “Help!” He cried, “Help!”
          “Beak, flap your wings as hard as you can!” Speckle called from the tree. Beak found she was right! He flapped, and flapped and finally he got to the hawthorn tree.
          “I made it!” He sang, as loud as he could. Nearly falling to the ground had shocked him alot, but he could still just about speak.
          “Yes you did, and for a first attempt it was very good,” His father said.
          “I’m coming!” Shouted Feather from the bay tree.

  15. I am writing a novel aimed at 7-12 year olds which I will probably post on here when complete. It currently has 8 chapters and 64 pages ??

  16. Anika asked me to do part two that explains her history so here it is.

    My family abandoned me. My family deserted me. I am alone. My history is not pleasant. It is not fun. It is horrible, dreadful because my parents, were murdered. My mother was murdered by an unknown figure in a black, hooded cloak. It was a brutal murder. Unfair. It happened when I was only 1 year old. I barely knew her. My father was the best man I could have ever met. But he to was murdered by an anonymous figure. He died on my 5th birthday. I was broken. I had to reform. I had to save my self. I needed a new family. The I had succeeded. I had a new family. My faithful friends became my new family. I swore that I would avenge the man who ruined my childhood, the man who ruined my life. But I have failed. I have not only failed myself but I have failed my mother, father and all my relations who have perished at the hands of the hooded figure. | am finished, broken, dead.

  17. I have also been asked by Annie to write a second part about her blood family so I will post that either today or tomorrow.

  18. Hi Robin,
    I know this isn’t really the best place to say this, but I send you an email about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was wondering if you received it?
    Thank you,
    Zoe

    1. I also have 2 more story ideas, and I am hoping to post them maybe tomorrow or the day after. One is about a family living in poverty, and the other will be a surprise! Everyone’s stories have been absolutely amazing, I have really enjoyed reading all of them.

      1. I really enjoyed your story Zoe. I agree, everyone’s stories have been amazing. Those two story ideas are great.

    2. Hi Zoe, I have so many emails at the moment that it’s taking me a while to get to them – but I’ll answer when I can! (I may have replied to you this morning!)

  19. This is my piece, I know it isn’t great but I did try! 🙂

    Also the characters aren’t mine, they’re Arthur Pendragon and Merlin, but the ones I wrote about are specifically from the BBC version, Merlin.

    I used to think Arthur was arrogant and spoilt and well, he still is in a way. When I first met him he laughed at me and insulted me. But over time I came to realise that he was so much more than the arrogant prince of Camelot. He was brave, determined and would always always sacrifice himself over others. He cared so much about his people, he treated them like equals; he treated me as an equal. We shared so many adventures and grew to care for each other. He had a funny way of showing he cared, but I knew he did. There isn’t a day when I don’t think of Arthur, even as the old man I am now. Family isn’t necessarily blood relations, I know that now. Arthur was like a brother to me and I will never forget him eventhough I cannot die. I will see many people in my lifetime but none of them will be Arthur. Arthur, the king who was like a brother. My name you ask? Well that my friend is easy. My name is Emrys, or as you probably know me, Merlin.

    Also I think all your stories are amazing and you’re all super talented!!! 😀

    1. How could you think it isn’t great. You have really managed to capture the essence of Arthur and Merlin. I loved reading it.

      1. Ahhh tysm!!
        I’m generally quite a perfectionist so I tend to dislike everything I write because its never perfect in my mind 😛

    2. How could you think it isn’t great. You have really managed to capture the essence of Arthur and Merlin. I loved reading it. please write more you could talk about the adventures.

      1. Thank you!!!!
        Ooooh do you like the TV series of Merlin?!?!
        My favourite character is Morgana 😛
        Next prompt I’m going to try and write the prompt into Merlin aswell 😛

          1. Yes!!!!! Morgana is definitely the best! 😛
            My friend likes Arthur and I spend hours trying to convince her that Morgana is better! 😛

          1. I completely agree 😛
            Arthur is my least favourite character in the whole show!
            He is quite funny though, he and Merlin are the only characters that make me laugh when I watch it.

  20. Here is my story. I hope you like it.

    It has been a year since our family changed – and not for the better. A year since dad was arrested and our family fell apart. But I remember it like yesterday…

    It is Christmas Eve and Dad and I are decorating the tree, Mum is in the kitchen making mince pies with Molly, Emily is on face time with her boyfriend, Jack (again) and everything feels right.

    “ I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…”
    “Dad! Stop singing now! Jack can hear you”
    Dad carries on singing and I join in.
    “ Just like the ones I used to know…”
    “Agnes! Not you too!”
    Molly gives a snort from the kitchen as she joins in.
    “ Where the treetops glisten…”
    “Molly!”
    Mum joins in and we all begin to shout the lyrics.
    “And children listen…”
    “Mum!”
    We ignore her and carry on.
    “Mum! Dad! Agnes! Molly! You are all an embarrassment!” She screeches as she storms upstairs to her room.

    We all continue to shout the lyrics until the song ends and we burst out laughing. Me and Molly high five.

    Without warning, the door bursts open and policemen barge in holding guns, shouting for us to kneel on the floor and put our hands up. Just like in a film. Only this time it is real. And it is happening to me. They lunge for Dad and pull him to his feet, handcuffing him and bundle him out the door. I barely catch a word of what they are saying.

    Emily comes down stairs, oblivious to the events that have just taken place, her face white and scrunched up, like she’s in pain.
    Then she pauses.

    “Mum? Where is Dad?”
    Mum just shakes her head and leans against the kitchen doorway, in despair.
    “Agnes?”
    I just sit down, my head in my hands.
    “Molly?”
    Tears spurt down Molly’s cheeks as she speaks.
    “It is Dad. He has been arrested. He… He…. They say he murdered four women.” she pauses and when she speaks again her voice is shaking and she can barely get the words out. “He… He… could receive the death penalty.”

    “But the death penalty was abolished years ago.” I say “ We learnt about it in school.”

    Molly shrugs. “They could bring it back. Or send him to America – they still have it there. Agnes, he murdered four women!”

    “Allegedly” I mutter.

    Mum glares up at me. “ Oh give over Agnes. He must have done it. The police don’t just arrest innocent men.”

    “Sometimes they do.”

    No one speaks.

    Everything seemed to speed up after that. Mum married again which gave us two stepsisters (Sophia and Amelia). Molly went to a boarding school in Scotland and hasn’t come back since. Emily is on the run with her boyfriend from the police. And I, to put it plainly, stopped eating.

    And now I am here. Back where it all started. Our home before Dad was arrested for the murder of four women and killed. Before Mum remarried that awful woman and I got stepsisters. Before Molly was sent to boarding school, me to an institution and Emily went on the run. I look at the house and the memories that surround it.

    I turn to leave but I don’t see the car.

    Screaming starts but I am only focused on one face above me.

    Dad…

    And it all goes black.

      1. you should write a part two-or maybe the later find out he is being framed and you could turn it into a murder mystery!

    1. This story is interesting, intriguing and so creative! I really enjoyed reading it and you are such a brilliant writer!

    2. Oh my goodness! What a brilliant story – I love how you’ve balanced their Christmas celebrations with discovering the terrible news!

  21. Hi Detective society and Robin Stevens,
    Everyone’s storys are great! This is mine and I hope you like it.

    1895
    Annette Charles looked at her daughter.
    ‘Eight years old today! And it seemes like only yesterday you were a foot tall. And ,can you believe it, in ten years you will be coming out,’ Her face darkened, ‘I suppose I will have to tell you then…’
    ‘Tell me what, mummy?’ Marion asked her mother.
    ‘Oh nothing, darling, nothing. Now have you got the doll out? You know Mary and Emily
    Binns are coming to your party. Very last minute I know…’
    But as every child knows; when an adult says something is nothing it usually is the exact opposite.
    1905
    ‘Eighteen today! And in two weeks time you are coming out. Meeting royalty! I hope you enjoy your season as much as I did but now my dear I must tell you. ‘
    Marion looked up at Annette and once again said; ‘Tell me what, mummy?’
    ‘My dear girl. I should have told you long ago, but it is such a bombshell I have avoided it. You were adopted’, her mother sucked in her breath. She had been dreading this moment ever since she had taken Marion in. But Marion was unmoved. She just sat there. Mother carried on, ‘Your mother died in childbirth. Your father- I am afraid I don’t know.’
    ‘But mummy, are you saying you are not my mother?’ Annette nodded, ‘I see. What is my fathers name?’
    ‘Geoff Sidney. Please dear, don’t track him down. It won’t do any good.’
    But her finishing school days had taught her how to lie and she nodded swiftly.
    ~~~
    The man in the office looked at her through his monacle.
    ‘Why do you want to find this Sidney fellow, anyway?’ He asked.
    ‘Curiosity isn’t a crime.’ Marion had looked and looked. There was no Sydney in the Whose Who? columns. There was an Arrabella Sydney and a John Flint Sydney in the address book. So finally she told Annette that she wanted to buy something in London, and had gone to the people’s offices.
    ‘Well it should be then.’ Suddenly he smiled, ‘Here you shan’t have any trouble finding him.’
    The address read; Hitley, Worthington Street London.
    As she caught a taxi the driver gave her an odd look. She had left the chauffeur in the parking area. She couldn’t risk him reporting this back to … she wasn’t really sure what to call her now.
    ‘This is it M’am.’ She got out and saw a huge, grey, stone building. There were men dragging things around, walking in circles. A guard was shouting. Most were thin and sickly.
    A prison, thought Marion.
    ~~~
    After being shown to her fathers cell, she waited. Soon came an unclean, unshaven man with bruises on his face and a scar on his wrist.
    ‘Who are you?’ he said.
    ‘I am your daughter,’ Marion was nervous. What would he think of her? She told him her story.
    ‘Nonsense! I had a little girl called Ena. Ena after her mother. She was only a baby when I gave her away- good gawd! You dont know Annette Charles do you?’ Soon they were talking. And then he told her.
    ‘ I was imprisoned for many things. Your mother died having you, and Annette said she would take you. I had to steal to survive. And then my sister came round ,sticking her nose in. I was drunk and I-I well the judge called it grievous bodily harm. And I was put in here.’
    Marion was shocked. In fact she got up to leave.
    ‘Hey Ena,’ her father had insisted on calling her that, ‘I am allowed out in a month. Will you come and live with me?’
    But Marion was not sure. Leave Annette? Leave the riches? Leave everything? And as she left she knew. She would never come through the prison gates again.

    Yours Annie ??

  22. Here is the first part to do with her blood family. Hope it explains it:

    I was 5 when it all happened. My mother was pregnant with a baby boy. My father rejoicing that he would finally have a son instead of another plain mousy hair girl like me. They were decided on the name Henry, because my name is Henrietta.

    Once he was born, it was like my mother and father were both devils. If anything was wrong they would shout my name loud enough to make anyone standing next to them deaf. They made me rush around like their own little servant girl. I barely had time for school. Most days I would have to phone in and say that I was ill and had to stay at home. And others when I could go in, I was so behind there was no point in going at all. After months of yell and blaming, I started to think I was the one making things go wrong. I started blaming myself, locking my door to keep me in and others out.

    My self esteem was lower than you could imagine anyone’s. I sat in solitary silence staring into space, making myself sick with worry. Then, it all changed. The shouting and arguing stopped. The crying baby stopped and was replaced with a laughing child. Rosy cheeks and fiery blue eyes. Parents smiling in pleasure. It was eerie in the house. Suddenly, my father barged into my room.
    “Henrietta, pack your clothes and books, we are moving house.”
    I didn’t argue that could end in disastrous consequences. Once packed my father called upon a chauffeur. He drove up to us in a metallic black car. My father ushered the other three of us into the back seats and he sat upfront telling the innocent man where to go. My father had a strong,loud voice that sounds a lot like an army general’s.
    The house was covered in a cloak of mysterious silence. Like a house from in a horror movie just before something terrible happens. As it just turned out something terrible did happen. This new house brought out and even worse side of my father. He would beat me and my brother until his arm was sore and we couldn’t stand.

    The main thing I understand about him is that he is sly. You will never meet a man who is more sly than him. Every time someone from his work or an official came to the house he turned into this kind and gentle man. Who only wanted the best for everyone.

    One day it appeared that I had become to much for him. By then I was 13 and wanted to see the world. See others kindness. So, it was decided that I would be sent away from my family I was happy and relived. Not hitting, getting to go to school. The only thing I regret is leaving the chauffeur. behind.

  23. To me because I am a girl, my mum is the most important part of my family. This is the poem I wrote for her on mothers’ day:

    She is the crunch of a roast potato
    The baby blue of the sea
    A soft toy to hug when you are sad, fluffy like whipped cream
    Ready to help when all is lost she is the happiness and hope when all is lost
    So don’t give up for she will always be there

    She is like soft music drifting through the air never quite landing
    and never standing still
    Your favourite television series

    She is the waves on the beach coming and going
    Ebbing and flowing
    She is the support when no one else is there

  24. Hi everyone, I really enjoyed writing my story and please say if you want a part 2 to fully explain what happens. Beware, its a bit sad! Enjoy xx

    I fingered the crumpled photo of me, Meg, mum and dad, and a lone tear rolled down my pale cheek. I watched it as it soaked into my bed covers and soon there were several wet patches. I glanced back at the photograph, immediately regretting how I stuck my chin in the air and showed my massive front teeth, I grinned like an idiot. But, why would I care then? I was with my family and I was filled with joy- something that I hadn’t felt for years. The elation on Megs face made me regret what I had done, I had ruined everything. Slumping back onto my pillows, I wiped at my face and tried to stop the constant flow of tears, but I couldn’t. I was crying silently, everything around me was silent except my shallow, inconsistent breathing, so when I heard the sound of light feet, I jerked my head in surprise.
    But it was only Luna, my black and white marbled cat, mum used to joke that she was a galaxy, and whenever we couldn’t find her, she would be hidden amongst the stars. The edge of my mouth curled at the memory, but I soon remembered what I had done. I am never free of that thought and I am constantly held its prisoner.

    I miss the bear hugs that I used to get off dad, every single night at 9:30, never a second late. Everything in my family was perfect, ok we weren’t the picture-perfect family you see on the tv when they advertise family holidays, but we were us, and we were a family.

    Everything changed the day after that photo was took- we weren’t safe anymore, all because of me.
    First came the mini arguments between mum and dad when they thought me and Meg couldn’t hear, and you might be thinking how this affected how safe if we were, but it did. Meg used to cry herself to sleep because she couldn’t cope with the stress.

    We weren’t safe from our feelings.

    Then came the full-on wars when me and Meg were still there, I used to hold my hands tight over Megs ears so she couldn’t hear how many bad words they were throwing at each other. And then there was the silence, the everlasting silence, the silence that echoed through the house and was deafening through to the core.

    In a way I did what needed to happen, because Meg was safe now, but it destroyed everything I had on the way. Some would say I’m selfless for protecting my younger sister and ruining my life for hers, but others would say I’m selfish for messing up our perfect little relationships, but we couldn’t play happy family’s forever.

    You see Mum and Dad weren’t good for us, on the surface there were the keepers of peace and love, underneath they were devils and demons. We needed to leave and that’s why I did what I did, to save Meg. That led me to the sad, little life I lived now, unknown and undetected from society. In other words, now as a 21 year old, I was a complete loner.

      1. Thanks! I love to know what people think of my writing because I have always adored writing poems and stories! Would you like a part 2 as when I was reading it back it seemed unclear why is was the girls fault.

        Savannah xx

    1. Oooh this is so good!!!!
      I really want a part 2 and I’m super intrigued to what happened to Meg!!

    2. Great story, I loved what you did. I would like to read part 2 as I want to know what happens.Description and the whole atmosphere of the story went hand in hand. I loved it x

    3. Ok, this is about 600 words but I couldn’t just post 500 as otherwise it wouldn’t make sense. Also, I realised whilst writing that my story is going to be rather long and need another part, maybe even 2! (this is continuing from my previous part) Anyway enjoy!

      Let me back-track to the day I found it.
      I was minding my own business, home alone as mum and dad had taken Meg to the shops. And I hadn’t really been planning on doing anything whilst they were gone, maybe tidy some stuff in my room but other than that, nothing.
      I sort of just wandered around the house, and when I came past mum and dads’ room, I had to go inside. It’s because they had the comfiest bed, not like mine and Megs, ours were small, poky one’s squeezed into our shared room. Theirs was grand and lush, with a memory foam mattress and I just couldn’t resist. We were never allowed in there and I just, no-one would have known. So, I leaped on, bounced a couple of times then let my body fall into its warm depths. I’m not entirely sure how long I lay there but it was long enough to take a nap, and I was a heavy sleeper, I could have been there for hours. When I woke, my surroundings were blurred slightly as my eyes adjusted to the light and my head ached slightly. I glanced at my watch and it was 10 past 2, they had left at about 11, they could be back anytime soon.
      Forcing my body up, I stretched and yawned and eventually stood up, even if I did have a spinning head. I felt so dizzy so when I stood on some papers strewn across the floor, I didn’t really take any notice at first. But I had crinkled them so they would know I had been there. I quickly bent down, trying to spread the wrinkles out but is no use. I wasn’t really interested in the papers but when I saw the words ‘Meg to be separated from Violet’… ‘a terrible mistake, they should have never been together’… ‘Violets abusive parents were told to not be involved and start a new life. It has recently come to our attention they are in the area and have been trying to get in touch, to protect Meg and Violet they should be separated immediately and both sent to secure homes’ … it went on and on and I couldn’t help myself from reading. So, I read on to the next page and uncovered something…
      ‘As you know, Emily and George had been warned to keep away from Violet as she had started a new life with a foster family who were expecting another child. Now at the ages of 13 and 10, Violet and Meg are not safe in their current home with Violets parents nearby. If not taken seriously immediately, this situation could become very dangerous for Violet and Meg, this is why we have come up with this plan to ensure they are both as safe as possible’
      I had never been moved; I would remember it. People say you can’t remember things when you’re that little but I would, I had always had a peculiar memory, always remembering odd facts.

      I wasn’t moved.

      If I wasn’t moved, that means they’re my parents, the ones I had been living with my whole life, who everyone else thought weren’t my parents. But they were. That means they were Emily and George not Lily and Harry, they were forging their identity! And, even worse, I had been living with my abusive parents my whole life, without even knowing. They weren’t just my abusive parents, they were Megs. There 2 things I realised after I found those papers:
      1) I wasn’t going to lose Meg and go to a secure home, and
      2) I couldn’t let Meg get hurt, I needed to act, and quickly.

      Savannah xx

  25. I wrote this poem inspired by a story I wrote about a girl who lives with her family, but one day a man and woman come along and tell her that when she was younger there was a mix up in the hospital, and she is actually the child of this couple, and another child that they have with them is the child of the parents she has been living with all these years. The couple take her away and she is forced to do all these horrible things like stealing because she will be beaten if not. She escapes and returns to her old house thinking that her old parents will still love her, but find them playing with the child of the couple she just left, so she just sits on the doorstep looking into the window and wishing she could be with them.
    Anyway I wrote this poem inspired by that, and for some reason I ended up preferring the poem, so here it is. If you do want to read the story you can say and I might post it.

    I walk alone in the darkness, stumbling into the door of pain.
    The world is dark
    Not a song, or a lark
    But at least I’ll escape the rain.

    I’m pulled inside by a figure.
    A figure much bigger than me
    He locks the door with a solemn click
    And away he snatches the key.

    Quickly he starts to dig my grave.
    I’m more scared than I was before,
    But I’m stuck inside that hideous cave.
    And I can’t find my way to the door.

    I start to shout for my parents.
    Or my friends, anyone I know.
    But I’m far too ashamed to tell anyone,
    So I sit there and die alone.

    I had my chance to change this.
    One call for help or cry,
    But as much as I wanted a saving kiss
    I told the easier lie.

    I’m fine everybody, I’m fine!
    Was what I told them all
    And everyone treated me the same.
    So now I’m about to fall

    One last note to those I love.
    Then I’m hurrying out the door
    Soon I will be below or above
    I’ll be wishing I stayed for more.

    But just as I’m reaching the river,
    I look into my pocket and see
    A beautiful note someone put there,
    Ten reasons why they love me.

    I open the note before I jump,
    And that was my saving grace
    As I read I feel tears, and a lump
    I felt like I could fly to space!

    I step back from the danger of falling
    I find my way to the door
    The sun comes out, and I don’t have a doubt
    I’m up in the skies and I’ll soar.

    Because it doesn’t matter what people say
    I don’t mind what they think, you see.
    I’ve got someone in this world that cares,
    And that’s enough for me.

    1. Oh and I think this is clear enough, but just in case, most of the poem is a metaphor for the depression and sadness that this girl is going through.

    2. Wow Polly your writing is always so so incredible! This is such a beautiful poem, please post the story!! I am actually speechless after reading this.

      1. Wow Polly! This poem is amazing. I am actually blown away. I love how used metaphors and the inner beat to the poem’s verses was extremely accomplished.

    3. Here is the story that inspired the poem above. This is part one, I hope you enjoy!

      I’d always noticed that I didn’t seem to look like either of my parents, but no one paid too much notice. Yes maybe my hair did curl, and perhaps it was brown compared to the dirty blonde of my family, but that didn’t mean anything. Coincidence. That was all it was, I thought. Surely.

      I was wrong.

      One mundane Thursday afternoon I was staring into our garden, as the rain hammered into the house and the leaves upon the trees danced around, caught up in mini tornadoes. A day like any other was stretching itself out to me. That was, of course, before the knock. The couple and girl, who were obviously the cause of this disturbance came in and sat down on the single sofa in our living room. Mum took the chair, and my father and I both stood. The man on the sofa didn’t seem to be nervous, or wondering the right way to phrase what he was going to say. His head tilted slightly and then he said the words, “You’re daughter is not your own.”

      He explained the story in a hurried manner, with no thought to spare for the feelings that were bursting through my veins. Apparently when I was born there was some sort of mix up. The woman I had been living with my whole life had given birth on the same day as my real mother, and the babies were mixed up. I had half an hour to pack my bags, and then we were off. The car door slammed and the other girl took my place in my life, and off I went. As simple as that.

      There is no word in the English dictionary to describe the pain and suffering I went through when I lived with those people. They beat me almost every day, but the man, who I lived with (I refused to call him father) was a crafty one. If someone came around to visit him I would be locked away in a cupboard upstairs, and if I dared to make the slightest sound I would stay in there for weeks on end.

      I admit it did take a while, because I was so afraid of the consequences, but one night I plucked up the courage and escaped through the bathroom window. It sounds adventurous, brave and wonderful, but all I felt was bitterness. I hurried away from those evil people back to my real home, but the sight that met my eyes shocked me more than I can say.

      There was the girl who had taken my place, with her perfect straight blonde hair, so similar to the rest of my first families’. And she was playing, and laughing with my father, while she received hugs and kisses from my mother. She was sharing her dinner with my brother, and talking cheerily with my sister. No sorrow was found in the faces of my family, because they were finally reunited with the child they were always supposed to have. My voice caught in my throat, as the welcome I had been expecting evaporated like smoke. I sat down upon the front door step and silent tears seeped their way down my cheeks onto the snow covered stone…

      I awoke with a start to the sound of excited yelps, and church bells ringing around me. For a second I forgot where I was, but then the pain and heartbreak of the night before seeped its way back into my memories and with it a new piece of information. Church bells, excited squeals, and as I looked into the living room, the sight of stockings beside the fireplace informed me that christmas day had come, and with it a fresh dusting of snow.

      There was nothing else to do with my life. I had no kind, smiling mother, or a funny, happy father. So I slipped my hand into my pocket and found a pen and a little piece of paper, and hurriedly wrote out the little note that enclosed my farewells. Slipping it through the letterbox, I hurried off to the large bridge, preparing to say my goodbyes to the world.

      I got there in no time at all, and as a large spurt of wind rushed over me, I forced my freezing hands into the pockets of my coat. As I did I felt a piece of paper. For a second I thought I’d forgotten to put my note in through the door, but then I realised this note was addressed to me. I opened it and smoothed it out, and the words etched upon the front brought tears into my eyes, and a lump to form in my throat. The title said the simple words, “Ten reasons why I love you.”

      And then I was hurrying back up the path to my first house, and forcing the door to fly away out of sight. I was shedding noisy tears, but the feeling of love and happiness was consuming me like a welcomed fire. I ran to my mother first, and said the simple words, “I don’t care if we’re not related. You’re my one and only mother in the world, and I never want to leave you.”

      My father came in, and then we were all hugging and crying. My siblings came and clapped me on the back shouting, “You see! I knew she’d come back!” A young girl entered nervously, in a manner that suggested she was even more afraid than I was, and whispered the words, “Please, don’t make me go back to them. Please.” Her last word was so quiet my ears barely picked up on them, and I said, “They’re no more your family than they are mine.”

      That Christmas was the happiest I had ever had. There was a new member of our family, and I was safe from the clutches of the people I hated most in the world. They came around at 3:00 and started shouting about how this was not legal, and I was to return with them right now, but we were ready for them. Police took them away, and they were locked up for child abuse. With what happened to Lilly (my new sister) combined with what they did to me, I can’t see them getting out any time soon. It was funny to think that if it wasn’t for my adventure I would never have learnt to appreciate the family I have quite so much. They may not be my own flesh and blood, but I love them more than I can say, and I know that no matter what happens to us, we will always be family.

  26. This isn’t 500 words but I hope you still like it.
    Ginny Weasley’s Diary
    31st August
    The summer’s almost over and the boys will be going back to Hogwarts tomorrow. It’s going to be so lonely without Fred and George around to make me laugh. I’ll even miss Percy and his boring talk of prefects and head boy. I really wish I could go to Hogwarts this year, but Mum says I’m too young. I’m really excited for next year when I finally get to go myself.
    Today was just like any ordinary Summer’s day at our house, loud bangs issuing from the twin’s room and Percy droning on about his prefect duties. Ron and I played a bit of Quidditch and Fred and George joined in after a while.
    We had a nice dinner tonight as the boys would be heading off for Hogwarts tomorrow everyone seemed so excited and nervous, especially Ron as it’s his first year at school.
    After we get back from King’s Cross Mum says I can go down to the village to visit my friend Penny. Penny’s the only young witch in the village and she’s a few years younger than me but at least she’s company.
    1st September
    Today the boys left for Hogwarts. You will never guess who we met! Harry Potter! He went through the barrier with Ron! Harry Potter seemed to like Ron, if they become friends, he might even be able to come to our house in the holidays! No, if he comes, I’ll get really nervous, I was really shy around him today which is not me! I wonder what he thinks of me! I’m usually fine around new people, but then it was Harry Potter.

  27. Hello! This is my second story! I wanted to link it to the murder mystery I’m writing right know but it will probably give out too many spoilers! I hope you like it!

    Millie
    I seem to have more questions than ever before right know. The reason for this probably because we’ve learned more about other people’s past. I don’t know my parents. This is why we investigated this mystery. It was Christmas Eve when Clarissa got a letter from her Father whom is locked up in prison. I sighed. Alice didn’t have to she the truth about her parents and everything. ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ Flora asked. ‘Well I would like to know who my parents are’ I said. ‘Alright’ Flora said ‘Your wish is my command!’ Flora said and we did our secret handshake. I knew my wish wasn’t going to come true but Flora looked as if my wish really was her command.

    Flora
    I smiled as I climbed out of the window in to the snowy streets. I Constance would make Milly’s wish come true. I walked and walked till I found st.Georges orphanage. Our friend Emily helped us in our last case (The case of Minnies lost purse) and I knew she would help us know. I knocked on their Dormitory window till she finally heard me. ‘What are you doing here!’ She asked ‘if miss Knight sees you your dead! D-E-A-D DEAD!’ I looked at her and grinned ‘No need to get so dramatic’ I said ‘I just wanted to ask you if miss Patricks has Floras Filey-thing?’. Emily looked at me in shock ‘erm, well you know how miss hills told miss Patricks to keep it?’ I looked at her ‘Yes?’ ‘Erm erm well she gave them to miss lamb and she’s in the countryside’ I looked at her in shock. ‘Alright did you get a penny too?’ I asked her in the orphanage we got a penny for Christmas ‘Well no not yet miss Patricks was going to give them to us soon their in her cupboard right know-‘ but before she could finish I was already rushing through the hallway. I took the money from the cupboard when Emily catched up ‘Flora that’s our christmas presents! The only present we’ll get this christmas!’ I felt guilty but I knew that this was the only way to get Milly what she wanted.
    Milly
    Flora came back at midnight. ‘Milly! Great news I know the truth about your parents!’ I looked at her astonished. ’So technically I went to st Patricks and turns out miss lamb had your file thing so I wanted to take the train to the countryside where she had gone but it turns out she was just back so I got your file here’

    Name: Ella Nieminnen
    Nationality: Finnish
    Parents: Aake Nieminnen (father) mother unknown.
    Siblings:D.O.B: 1879 December
    I looked at the piece of paper astonished know I had more questions than I had before I saw my file. Who was my mother where was my father…

    ps: thanks for reading my story!

  28. This is my short story based on the prompt for ‘Family’. Hope you all like it.

    I remember it vividly. I was asleep when it happened. I woke from a fitful nightmare that there was a tsunami in London. I know it sounds unlikely but I believed it thoroughly. I reached up my hand to wipe my forehead. I was sweating with fear. No. Not with fear… with heat! In the distance I heard a faint hissing sound and I noticed a hint of light at my window, piercing the pitch darkness that swallowed my bedroom. Bewildered and disoriented, I wandered up to my window, bleary eyed and half asleep, but when my eyes refocused I was snapped immediately from my daydream and I screamed.

    My scream was shrill and deafening and it ricocheted around the street. My heart beat out of control and my breathing was harsh and strident. The sound of frantic footsteps began to reverberate behind me and my father’s distressed and stunned face appeared at my doorway. I stared at him, my eyes wide with horror and my jaw hanging uselessly like a fish.

    ‘What’s the matter darling?’ my dad demanded, though I sensed a slight tremble in his voice.
    ‘I, I, a…’. My knees began to buckle. Everything went back.

    When I opened my eyes I was slung over my Pa’s shoulder and the sounds of screams filled the air. My pa lowered me to the ground and I glanced back behind me. We were still in the house.
    ‘Flo. FLO!’ I peered up at my Pa’s panicked face.
    I stared up at him stupidly. I was still in a daze.
    ‘Flo, listen to me, we need to evacuate NOW!
    My vision cleared now. My eyeballs flickered to the window which was being held wide open by mother’s best red umbrella. Dazzling light flooded my eyes, and everything came rushing back. The nightmare. The window. The… fire.
    ‘Flo!’ ‘FLO!’ I heard desperate shouts from below me.
    ‘Flo. Listen. I’m going to climb down the pipe out of the window and you’re going to follow me. My heart skipped a beat. I was terrified of heights.
    ‘You… You want me to climb down there?’ I stuttered in fearful disbelief, gesturing to the thin, slippery water pipe.
    I couldn’t do that!
    ‘Yes Flow. You have to do it. I’ll be right below you if you fall.’
    That was barely reassuring. What if I did fall? And he couldn’t catch me? And I plunged down towards the cold hard ground. No, I couldn’t do it.
    ‘I can’t, Pa!’ I protested, pleadingly. ‘There must be another way. There MUST!’
    But I was beginning to worry that there wasn’t. Pa looked at me desperately.
    ‘Pipa and Lawry are already down there. If they can do it, you can. Remember what I tell you. Be bold, have courage, and you’ll find your way?
    Pa was right. I had to try.
    ‘Okay’ I agreed, in what was almost a whisper.
    I watched as Pa dangled one foot out of the window, before feeling carefully for the rungs which jutted out of the pipe a little way down. Sure footedly he reached his second foot for the next rung and looked up at me encouragingly.
    ‘Now you follow.’ He said expectantly.
    I drew in a slow breath and exhaled, desperately fighting to calm my nerves, which were fluttering madly in the pit of my stomach. I approached the window anxiously and reached out one foot, the bitter wind biting my bare leg under my white, linen nightie. I scrambled frantically for the first rung. I must have looked most unladylike with one foot out of the window and my night dress soon to be covered in soot and ash. I smiled to myself vaguely, before snapping back into the terrifying reality.
    I reached my second leg slowly onto the next rung, clutching onto the pipe with my small, now black hands. I tried to smoothen my breath which was sharp and panicky as I stretched my left leg once more for the next rung down, steadying my balance. Then one foot after another I continued gradually climbing down. Blowing a stray hair from my face, which was now scarlet with concentration, fear, and probably the heat which was now basting my body everywhere where my skin was exposed. I wobbled slightly, and gave a sudden gasp, but regained my balance and continued climbing, and caught back up with the rhythm of my footing. Right leg, left leg, right leg, left leg. I was beginning to get the hang of this, but I was still clutching the pipe like a toddler with a teddy bear.
    ‘Just don’t look down.’ I told myself sternly. Right leg, left leg. I was doing it! I was nearly there! Suddenly, however, I felt an urge to tilt my head towards the ground, and my heart pounded aggressively.

    I was metres into the air! In a panic, my foot slipped and before I knew it I felt myself plunging down. I flung my arms about like there was no tomorrow, but it seemed to be no use, but suddenly my hand felt the cold touch of the pipe once more and I clung on for dear life, my legs flailing hopelessly below. I scrambled again for the cool matal upon my toes – my slippers had fallen off long before – but I felt none. Instead I felt the scorching touch of hot concrete. I had reached the ground! Despite the pain I placed down my feet and eventually let go of the pipe and before I had the chance to turn around I was jumped upon by a squealing Pipa, Who still somehow had clutch of Mr Fluff, her teddy bear.
    ‘I thought you were gonna die Flo!’ she said matter of factly, ‘but you didn’t.’ she added.
    ‘No, I didn’t’ I agreed, wrapping my arms around her fondly.

    Mother and Father came rushing towards me, laughing with relief, and my older brother Lawry smiled at me cheekily from where he was standing. I reached out my arms for a hug and it felt at that moment that nothing else mattered. My family was here and I didn’t need anything else.

  29. Hello Robin and everyone,
    This is my second time writing using a story prompt. It’s a bit different from last week’s story! As usual, I’ve written my story without looking at any of yours so I don’t accidentally copy. I’ll read your stories after I’ve commented mine. This week, I managed to keep it under 500 words! Please let me know what you think.

    Family (working title- suggestions welcome):

    At 93 years old, you’d think I’d have lots of family- daughters, sons, grandchildren, great nieces and nephews, but no. Ever since my husband passed away 20 years ago, my ‘family’- if you can call them that- thought it would be best if I was put into a care home. Best for whom, exactly? Best for them, as now they no longer have to visit me because apparently this is, and I quote, ‘the happiest place to spend your later years’.

    After my darling Ted was no longer with us, I stopped believing in family. Ted had been my everything and a day doesn’t go past when I don’t think about him. The family I had left visited me in those first few months when I was still at home, arranging the funeral plans. After I was safely living at Happiness Hills (what a pathetic name), I was ignored. No phone calls, no hand-written letters, not even a card on my birthday. How could my own flesh and blood do this to me? That’s when I decided, there and then, family didn’t exist.

    I carried on believing this for years, although I was friendly to the staff as they were kind and considerate. ‘Family doesn’t exist,’ I kept thinking, until everything changed. The day I met Ingrid.

    Ingrid Bellman moved to Happiness Hills on the 4th April 2009. We always remember that special day- we call it our Friendiversary. The minute she walked through that door, I could tell that there was something different about her, something magical. We locked eyes and instantly we knew, we had found our family.

    Ingrid is the proper traveller. Born to a wealthy family, she knew that she was destined for bigger and better things than dull old England. At 16, she left home with only a travel backpack, leaving behind her oppressive family who were intent that she would marry a duke and settle down. Every day, Ingrid tells me a new, magnificent story about her time spent travelling. She gets so animated, acting out the scenes when she only just escaped from the clutches of a lion or accidentally sat on a crocodile, thinking it was a rock. Ingrid gives me a new purpose to life, one I never thought I’d find again after Ted.

    Then one day, Ingrid came up to me with a solemn look on her face that I had never seen her war before. “We’re not friends anymore,” she said, “We’re family.” And we hugged and hugged and never let go.

    I hope you enjoyed it!
    Colette

      1. Hello Savannah,
        Thank you so much! I tried to write a more emotional story this week, as last week I focused on comedy. It means a lot that you like it ♥
        Colette

      1. Hello Harmony,
        Thank you so much Harmony, it means a lot. I’m pleased that you found it emotional, that was the aim as I haven’t really written an emotional story before.
        Colette

        1. Hi Colette

          No problem x, the fact that you were able to get the emotion you wanted across shows just how good you are at writing.

      1. Hello Robin,
        I’m so glad you like my story! It’s my second time writing a short story using your great prompts. It means so much to me that you love it!
        Colette

    1. Ahh this is so beautiful and I love that it gives me an element of hopefulness and cheerfulness when I read it!! 🙂

  30. This is the second story I have written based on Robin Stevens great prompts. Hope you like it.?

    ————————————————

    L’aigle of the Night

    Undying (adjective): (especially if an emotion)lasting forever.

    “Promises of undying love”

    -from Oxford languages

    ~29th November 1970~
    Tale Street- 11:00pm

    The wind was strong and weather bitterly cold that fateful evening. Everything about the night was up in the air. Over at the home in the middle of the row of houses on the left, a warm, welcoming glow was oozing out beneath cracks of the door and Windows. Of course the home belong to no other but the Rosé family behind the oak wooden door marked with the number 29.

    As usual the family were embarking on some bonding time. Kate, brown hair and warm chestnut eyes-the mother of the home- and Jones, light blonde hair and green eyes. They had two children, Cal; dark-haired blue-eyed boy (always up for some trouble) and Chloe, soft blonde hair and blue eyes(avid reader and curious) full of kindness.

    They seemed happy, they were happy, and at this point ready to go to sleep. Good night’s said, the lights slowly flickered off, one by one.

    ~Chloe~

    Crawling into bed that night I was overcome with tiredness, you would have thought I hadn’t sleep the day before, as soon as my head
    touched the pillow my mind wondered away.

    ***
    Creek!
    Waking up with a jolt I had an uneasy feeling someone was walking around the houses, that someone didn’t belong in this house. I was stuck between getting up and going to investigate or lying in my bed pretending to be sleep, of course being me I had to go and find out who it was. It would be a great,big fat lie if I told you I was not, in any circumstances, scared because the truth was I was absolutely petrified. As I creeped up to my bedroom door, feet bare on the soft carpet, and slowly nudged the door open I was washed over with a sense of relief.That was until I looked over to my left. There billowing and tall in a dark long hood stood a menacing looking finger. It looked like it came from my worst night mare. I recognised the figure though, from stories I was told. There, looking right back at me was L’aigle of the Night.

    ~Cal~

    “Aaaaaahhhh” a distant figure cried, at that moment I struggled my way out of bed, my sister was in trouble and I needed to help her. Astonished, I suddenly knew why my sister screamed. My parents were up as well and stared shocked at the figure.

    They told me he wasn’t real, they told me he was fake.

    I was the fool because I believed them. Turnt out I was wrong, the rest of my family can testify L’aigle of the Night was real.

    ~L’aigle~

    Ha!, look at their star struck faces. If only they knew I came to destroy them all, they deserve it of course. The Rosé family always looked so happy it made me sick. I came to put an end to their happiness of you hadn’t guessed already.

    “So, any last words” I announced in my usual mysterious voice, no answer came. See this always happened, which disappointed me because it would be more fun if they put up a fight. Finally having enough of the silence I raised both of my hands and called upon the light flickering above, everything went dark and the only thing the family saw was my sneering face illuminated by the light ball I had created. “good bye” I said as I struck them all,instantly, with my power. The light was always spectacular and added to my performance when I killed them. When it ended I stared at all their limp bodies.

    I had finished the family in the blink of an eye. I laughed gleefully as I departed from the home.

    ~Detective Gail~

    I always think back to the event of November 26th 1970 even if it is 20 years later. Those Rosé’s were killed unfairly and for no one reason. As a boy of then at the time I noticed the light coming from their at the outside of the street. I vowed I would find the murderer that night. Unfortunately they are yet but luckily I am very close to discovering who the killer is.

    A closed source told me they went by the name…

    L’aigle

    —————————————————

    I hope you enjoyed reading the story.??

    1. Repost of the last paragraph(corrected)

      I always think back to the events of November 29th, even if it is 20 yewars later. As a boy of ten at the time I noticed the light coming from their home at the other side of the street. I vowed I would find the murderer that night, Unfortunately they are not found yet but luckily, I am very close to discovering who the killer is.

      A closed source told me they went by the name…

      L’aigle

      1. Thank you soo much Robin, I went for a different type of writing style this prompt I am soo glad you liked it <3

  31. Winter 1910

    I peer over the windowsill, hoping to catch a glimpse of what’s inside. My eyes are first drawn to the roaring fireplace. It flickers cheerfully, the warm glow beckoning invitingly. Glancing around, I notice the tall bookshelves with ladders that climb up to the ceiling. There is a soft-looking tasseled rug on the floor, an elegant painting on the wall, and a small table at the side of the room. My mouth waters as I look at the platters of food scraps, probably remnants of some delicious dinner. Elsewhere in the room is a canary in a cage, probably whistling happily, along with a cushiony sofa and two armchairs.

    Slowly, people begin to come into the room. First is a young girl with a bow in her curly hair, wearing a lacy dress and delicately carrying a porcelain doll. She is followed by a boy a few years older than she, although still a child. He has wild hair and freckles and clutches a toy airplane in his fist, waving his arm to make it fly through the air. Next comes another girl, though she is best called a young woman. She walks elegantly, spectacles perched on the end of her nose. She selects a book from the shelves and sits down on the sofa, while the little boy runs around the room and the young girl sits on the rug, still cradling the doll in her arms. I can only guess that they must be siblings.

    A few minutes later, two adults come into the room- presumably, the mother and father. The mother is the spitting image of the little girl, and the father looks just like his son. The mother sits in an armchair, knitting, and the father joins the young woman on the sofa to watch the fire roar in the fireplace. I press myself into a shadow on the windowsill, hoping they won’t notice me. Even though I’m not inside, I can imagine everything. The father talks. The mother replies. The little boy laughs. The little girl shows her sister something with her doll. The canary sings when a servant comes in to add more logs to the fire.

    I shiver as a snowflake lands on my nose. From sitting here, I’ve been taken back to my own memories, back when I was still with my family, before we were separated, and I went out on my own. I stand up to shake the snow off. I think that nobody sees me, but my movements catch the little girl’s eye. She looks out the window, pointing to me, squealing something excitedly.

    Before I can flee, the little woman exits the room and comes outside. Murmuring words of comfort, she scoops me up and carries me inside. Just as I expected, the fire is warm, and the atmosphere is cozy.

    “Look!” the little girl exclaims. “I told you there was a kitty outside! Can we keep him? Please, Mummy?”

    When the mother says yes, I know my life has change for good. I will live in a cozy house with kind people, with a warm fire, with tasty food, and with love. I promise I won’t even try to play with the canary. It’s everything a cat could ever want.
    ——————————————————————————
    I wrote this story with my cat, named O’Malley, sitting in the room with me. I wish I could say sitting on me or next to me, but he’s not always the most affectionate. Haha. 🙂 He’s still a sweet boy and I love him very much. Anyway, I got to thinking about writing a unique story about family, and then it hit me- I was going to write about a cat because pets are family too! So this story is dedicated to my cat, who is definitely a part of my family. (I actually call him my brother.) I hope you enjoyed it!

    1. This is such a beautiful story, with really imaginative descriptions. I loved this so much! I agree, pets are certainly part of the family!

  32. This story is 505 words. I spent a whole day tweaking it because it started out as a 753-word story so way over the limit. It’s based on the Suicide Squad movie (Which was a big deal for me as it was the first movie I got to watch). Anyways, I hope you enjoy the story. I would really like to know if you find it funny because that’s what I aimed for this time. Enjoy 🙂
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    If you’re wondering what a super-secure in the middle of nowhere prison looks like, let me tell you its not fun. Really.

    Many people ask themselves how it is possible that a…. what is my earth age again? Whatever it is old girl could be sent to prison. Well if your “mom” is Harley Quinn and your “dad” is the Joker, what do you expect?! An angel?

    “Your nuts, they don’t have children!”. Does anybody notice the quotation marks? Anyone?

    As your reading this I am staring at the only thing of visual interest in my 2m by 2m (My eyes have a tendency of calculating everything) cell. The photograph taped on the, totally not electric bars I am totally allowed to decorate. The picture features my family, even if they aren’t blood. My real mom is the moon and my brother’s dad is the sun. But who would believe me anyway? (Although there was seriously an alien that could fly, soooo… ) On the right is my brother Zac. It’s nighttime, so he doesn’t have his powers. (Does he look sort of vampirish??? I don’t know, honestly, what do you call a creature that drinks tomato juice all day, that can see coordinates and whose eyes show their memories?) I’m in the middle, wearing the blue hoody that I wear when I’m not completely transformed. Beside me is … Jeremy who we all thought dead before he showed up and said he was just living. So much for sticking together. Behind us is … what can I call Batman? Family Friend? What do you call the relatives of your adoptive parents? (Mine are dead but whatever) Adoptive relatives????

    The chief guard cuts my thinking with a smirk. “You have visitors”. “Plural?” I counter. The only people allowed to visit me are Batman and Flash, who’ve used up there visiting quota this month. I, therefore, only sneak a quick glance. A probably bald guy (Who wears a baseball cap inside when it’s pouring outside?) and a serious-looking lady. I stare at the picture more intensely. I don’t even turn around when the cell door opens. When the hand places itself on my shoulder, however, I can’t help my reflexes. My hand hits the guy’s arm. He yelps. Guns are pointed at me, I turn around with a half-smile. “Sorry, but whenever someone places one hand on my shoulder, a gun often ends up on my face.” I look around. The guns are pointing towards the ground now. Back to the pic. I don’t look when the jail cell opens. What makes me turn is the fact that the door… doesn’t close? I stare at baseball cap guy as he points towards the door. “Come on, were going out”. “Have you lost your mind?” I ask. My tone is sarcastic. “I still have one head” he replies, touching his face. “Let’s go”. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice. Actually… You don’t have to tell me trice. Trice?

    I run down the hall towards the courtyard.

  33. Ok, here is my second story! I would really appreciate some feedback. Thank you!

    I pulled the waistband of my trackie pants up to my hips, and smoothed down the crinkled edges, establishing my cover. Then I called to mum:
    “I’m ready for dance.”

    We pulled up at the church, 10 minutes early as normal. I waved goodbye to my mum, and once she had turned the corner, I hurried into the bathrooms. I locked the door behind me, placing my duffel bag down as I did so. Then, I pulled out the scissors. I pulled off my tracksuit pants, and picked at a thin thread with the scissors. Soon enough, there was a growing ladder in my stockings over my kneecap. I made two other holes, pulled a bobby pin out of my bun. Now I was ready.

    I stumbled into the church, and quickly pulled on my ballet shoes. I hugged my knees toy my chest on the floor in front of the teacher, as he other girls chatted and joked. Finally, the lessons started. If finished almost as quickly as it began, and then, it was time to go back. I put on my pants again, hiding my ripped stockings. My mum could never find out. Ever.

    Because my family was rich. Not showy rich, but rich enough to provide my siblings and I with whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We always had new clothes, treats, and expansive family holidays every year. My family had it all. But I didn’t.

    I had always just wanted to have a normal life, like my grandparents. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy London, Paris, or Hong Kong, but really! I didn’t need a special father-daughter trip when I turned 10, and neither does my brother! Although, he really soaks up the money. Anyway, back to ballet.

    My mum picked me up, right on time, greeting me with a big smooch on the cheek. I just slid onto the back seat, sipping my drink bottle.
    “Is daddy at home?” I asked. My father is a lawyer, with three offices all over the world. He was often away for months, maybe coming back for a week or two.
    “No, sorry darling but he just left.”
    “For how long?”
    “he has a trial in Koala Lumpur in July, but has to prepare throughout June, so that’s why he left now.” It was only the middle of May! Why does he always have to go at the worst times.
    “But my Music Concert is next week!”
    “I’m sorry darling, but someone has to work.”

    I never want to be known as the rich girl. That’s why I rip my stockings, and mess up my hair. At school, I don’t put my hand up often, taking the attention off of myself. Although I get good grades, I feel like being at a private school puts more pressure on how well I do at school. I feel like my parents only want the best, so I have to bring them the best. I wish I could be at my grandparents house…

  34. Here’s my story! It took me a while to come up with a good story for this prompt, so it’s a bit late. My sister helped me come up with the storyline. I hope you like it, detective society forever!

    20th April 2016

    “Lily!” I called, running across our huge garden after my older sister. “Wait for me!”

    Lily pretended not to hear me and carried on running, her legs longer and faster than mine. She was seventeen, and I was twelve, but she still found time for me. Once she had done about three laps of the house where we lived, she fell onto the grass, out of breath.

    “You’re so slow!” she teased as I lay down on the ground next to her. We looked up at the sky, a cloudless stretch of bright blue against the pale pink and white cherry blossom trees.

    That evening, my sister and my parents had a fight again. Our parents were never exactly the best, and I hate to say it, but they really didn’t know what was best for us. Lily had always been clever, everyone said so, and she had big dreams, she was going to be amazing. But Mum and Dad didn’t see that; they thought university would be a waste of money. I knew that Lily needed it, but I still wished she wouldn’t keep bringing it up.

    I slipped silently up to my room, but just as I got to the top of the stairs, I heard the kitchen door slam, and I turned around just in time to see my sister walk out of the front door and get swallowed up by the darkness, her chestnut brown eyes glistening with tears.

    My sister didn’t show up the next morning. I went outside looking for her, searching everywhere; the park, all her friends’ houses. No luck. No one could find her the day after that, or the next day, or the next. The police got involved, sending out a search party, and eventually, I just locked myself in my bedroom and cried, simmering with rage at my parents for ruining everything.

    1st January 2020

    This was it. The start of another year. Without Lily.

    “Happy new year, Rose!” Mum said when I came downstairs for breakfast, rubbing my eyes and yawning. I flinched when she said my name. My flower name that matches my sister’s. I said nothing. Not that I usually said much anyway.

    2nd September 2032

    I walked into the huge, empty classroom. I was about to start my new job. The kids would be arriving in thirty minutes, but for now, I had work to do.

    Half an hour later, the classroom was perfect. I stood by the door as students filed into the room wearing brand new uniform and shiny shoes. Then a girl came in who made me pause. Her skin and hair were darker than mine, but it was her eyes that surprised me. They were a perfect chestnut brown.

    The day went on as it should. The kids were ok, for six-year-olds, but I really couldn’t stop wondering if that girl’s eyes were a coincidence. Her name told me otherwise. Snowdrop. A flower name.

    In the afternoon, all the kids were collected by their parents. A familiar face caught my eye; still almost the same after sixteen years. I had found her.

    1. This was amazing. It is woven with intricate patterns of emotion and I can’t stop reading it over and over again

      1. Thank you so much Robin! It means so much that you liked it, that’s exactly the response I was hoping for when people read it!

      1. Thanks so much Polly, I thought your poem was incredible! I can’t stop reading it. Your comment means a lot, thank you!

    2. Wow what a beautiful and touching story. I love it! I felt so many different feelings in that short story! I am os happy that there is a HAPPY ENDING! It is my firts time using thsi website and I am so excited to start writing stories in response to the prompts. I love Murder Most Unladylike and I cant wait to read the final one I ma really sad that it will be the last one though!!

    3. I don’t know why, but all my stories seem to be about sisters at the moment… I’ll try and be more original next week, and hopefully I can spend more time on my writing, since it’s half term!

  35. Hi everyone. All your stories are really good. I have just finished Top Marks For Murder so I don’t have any other books to read so I would love any suggestions for mystery books. By the way, if you like mystery books, then I really suggest you read the Clockwork Sparrow series which has 4 books in it but it is really good. Thanks.

    1. I love the clockwork sparrow mysteries!!! They are easily the second best mystery series ever (obviously nothing can beat MMU). If you like them, have you read the Taylor & Rose secret agents books? I read the first one last month, it is really good (Peril in Paris)!

          1. Sorry Sophie! I was also wondering where to get the scarlet and Ivy mysteries that I didn’t notice that Nancy was telling you.

          2. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them! If you can, order from your local independent bookshop (like Robin always says, they need support more than ever now!)

    2. I agree the clockwork sparrow and the rest of the sinclairs mysteries are amazing there is also the Taylor and rose mysteries which also have the main characters Sophie and lil.?

      1. That series is my favourite (apart from MMU books) and I never knew about the Taylor and Rose mysteries so it is really useful. I have just ordered the first one.

        1. Cool!I borrowed the first one (Peril in Paris) from the library before libraries were shut down and I’ve just finished the second book (Spies in St.Petersburg)!
          by the way a knew Taylor and Rose book is coming out on the 6th (The same day as death sets sail) of august its called Villains in Venice (You can see its cover if you go to Katherine woodfines website or you can just search it up on google!
          http://katherinewoodfine.co.uk/villains-in-venice/

    3. umm. So this series aren’t mystery books but I would recommend The Hunger Games Books. And three days ago a fourth one came out. So it is kind of sci-fi but also not. but that is just a suggestion.

  36. Hi Nancy. As you asked for suggestions here are some. Any Agatha Christie (I dressed up as Miss Marple for world book day), Whose Body is really good by Dorothy Sayers, there is a lot of great vintage murder mysteries. Also if you want more modern murder mysteries there is plenty of good books. You might like Anthony Horowitz Diamond brothers books. Also I am running out of mysteries too so if any one has any suggestions.

  37. I agree that the Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers books are really good. Karen Mcmanus has also written some good mystery books, like ‘One of Us is Lying’, ‘One of Us is next’ or ‘Two can keep a secret’. They are creepy murder mysteries. I really like Katherine Rundell’s books too, though they are not mysteries. My favorite books apart from Murder Most Unladylike are also the Harry Potter ones!

      1. that’s true Jayda. Right now I’m a bit board because I’m waiting for the books I just ordered and I’ve read all the MMU books!

    1. MMU is the best series, but harry potter is my second favourite series and, as I’ve just finished reading them for the second time, I was looking for suggestions of what to read next. All of these ideas look really interesting, and I’ll certainly take a look at some of them!

  38. By the way Robin, are you going to still put up these prompts after lock-down because I really enjoy them and I don’t want them to end. I want to be an author when I grow up so it is really useful having all these prompts to inspire my writing. Thanks.

    1. I also want to be an author as I’ve probably said I’m writing a mystery these prompts are giving me more confidence.

    2. Yes I completely agree! Since lockdown has started, I have got so much more confidence in my writing, please keep doing these prompts Robin!

  39. I used to just write the beginings of storys on scraps of paper. Since the prompts I am taking my writing much more seriously.

    1. I am exactly the same, I only really started writing consistently in the last few weeks. These prompts are really helpful!

  40. Hello!
    I have written a story from the point of view of my baby brother, with an introduction from my point of view, showing how I think he sees our family!

    Here it is:

    Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the baby’s head?
    He looks up at you out of beautiful brown eyes, chuckling in delight as you lift him up in your arms. You squeeze his smooth, rounded cheeks and cuddle his soft, baby body. You look deep into his big eyes, his eyelashes – each so perfect in its own way, and you study his tiny toes… but did you ever realise that the thoughtful expression on his face isn’t because he is watching the noisy rattle you are shaking above him or the cuddy toy you are waving at him. It’s because he is watching YOU. He notices everything about you and is always, always watching you out of those adorable brown eyes, making a memory about you that will stay with him forever… because you mean everything to him. Because you are his world. Because he loves you.

    ***
    Hello! I’m Baby. I’m not quite sure how to pronounce my real name just yet but Ï’m working on it. I’m 20 months old now. That’s what Mummy said and she is always, always right because she is my Mummy – the nicest Mummy a little baby boy like me could ever have! I can’t count to 20 yet so I can’t be sure, but Mummy told me when I turned 20 last week. Mummy says I am a very clever little baby because I can count to two! I think I have gone a long way with my numbers already – soon I will be able to count as well as my brother and sister! And it’s all thanks to Numberjacks and my Mummy counting each time we walk up together on those stairs. We’ve got 17 stairs, you know.
    Today, I am going to talk to you about something very interesting indeed – my funny, loving, crazy, sweet and thoroughly incredible family!
    Let’s start with Mummy! Mummy, like I said before, is the best Mummy any baby could have. I love playing with Mummy and she always thinks of so many nice games for me to play! Sometimes, we play in the garden with my balls, my sand pit and my slide. At other times, we play inside with all my lovely toys! Mummy makes up so many exciting things to do with them. When I grow up I want to be just as nice as Mummy!
    Then there’s Daddy – normally, I don’t see Daddy very much apart from in the evenings. Now, I see him very often! In fact, recently, I have been seeing him every day as he is always at home. He is even there when I wake up! I’m not sure how this is possible – Mummy said that Daddy used to be ‘at work’ somewhere outside but he now works from home. He is always busy with something that looks a lot like a TV and he talks to people I cannot see. It’s magic! She says that Daddy has to work from home because we are in “lockdown”. I must find out what that means! Daddy also has some very good ideas when it comes to playing. Did you know that when I pull Daddy’s nose, he makes a honking sound? Wow! And he makes the yummiest pancakes!
    Next, we have my big sister. She is very, very tall and when she carries me, I feel like I can touch the sky! She has really long hair too, which often flies into my face when she is carrying me and gets in my mouth (which doesn’t taste very nice, but her hair is quite pretty). She is very good at carrying me – she gives me these fun rides in her arms, and usually takes me where I want to go when I don’t want to walk. There is only one thing that I have to tell fellow babies about my sister – and that is that she loves to hug me. She squeezes me extremely hard and gives me very wet kisses – so many that I squeal very loudly because I have a very loud voice. I don’t blame her for wanting to squeeze my soft arms and legs (they are delicious, even if I do say so myself. I love having my hands in my mouth.) but sometimes she does it a bit too much and it is tiring to be so adorable and be hugged and kissed constantly – especially when all I want to do is play with my toys!
    Last, but certainly not least, there’s my funny, quirky brother who is the funniest person I know. He is always making me chuckle and laugh by doing funny voices, squealing and jumping around. He has so much energy! He’s a bit too small to carry me, but he always does his best. We also watch programmes for babies together and play at the sand table and he seems to enjoy doing things with me just as much as I do, with him.
    Now you know all about my amazing family! I really like it when my whole family is doing something together, especially now that I am older and can join in most of the time. My family is very, very special to me.

    I hope you like it!
    Faith

  41. Hello, Robin

    This is my story based on your prompt about family.

    Hope you like it!
    Nate

    Families are important. We all belong to a family of some sort. Some families are very serious – some are very funny. Some families are rich – some families are poor. Whatever a family is like, every single person is unique. This story is about a rather simple, ordinary family on the way to their holiday at the beach.

    ***

    “Hurry up, Harry!” shouted 11-year old Benjamin. “If you don’t, we won’t get to the beach before dark!”

    Benjamin was a rather uptight person and he was almost always exaggerating about how slow everyone was. He often held it back but his nagging still bothered his family when they were hurrying.

    “Okay! Okay! I’m going as fast as I can,” 9-year-old Harry answered, “and besides, we don’t want to forget something that we really need.”

    A week before, Harry and Benjamin’s parents told them that, for doing so well in their school exams, they would take them to the beach. They had been looking forward to it for several weeks but it was never the perfect weather for them to go. Today was probably the first time in two whole weeks that it was sunny enough and it seemed to them that all the good weather had been saved up for this one day. Harry looked happily at the perfectly cloudless sky.

    “Children, do you have everything you need?” their father asked them.

    “I think so,” Benjamin replied as he frantically yanked at the door handle – not caring that it was still locked.

    “Let’s see… Spade, bucket, swimming trunks, another bucket, picnic blanket, another bucket, sun cream,” he quietly mumbled, ticking off an imaginary checklist in his head. “Yes… I think we have everything.”

    “Alright then, get into the car and don’t break the handle off Benjamin…” their father instructed.

    “Sorry, daddy,” he quietly apologised looking downwards with his hands behind his back.

    “… and LET’S GO!!!” their father continued leaping into their Volvo and jamming the car keys in.

    One forceful push on the accelerator and the car zoomed off. Their journey, after a lot of waiting, had begun. On the way they chatted about their plans. Their mother had decided to read a new book and their father was going to paddle awhile and then dry off in the sun and get a good tan – but not too much. However, the boys planned on digging an enormous beach pit and possibly, and rather ambitiously, dig a thin canal from the sea to fill it with water.

    “Don’t forget, we do only have one day at the beach as your father has to go to work early,” their mother said.

    “That reminds me…” began Harry, “…I’m beginning to have the feeling that I’ve forgotten something-”

    “Oh never mind, Harry,” Benjamin rudely interrupted. “If you’ve forgotten it then it’s probably not important.”

    “I guess you’re right…” Benjamin answered with a thoughtful look on his face as if he wasn’t listening.

    “Here we are!” their father said, beaming.

    Everyone got out of the car and they were starting to unpack when Benjamin looked up at the emerald blue sky, smelling the salty breeze. He very suddenly asked, “Is that a rain cloud up there?”

    “Really?” his family asked as they turned to see where he was pointing. Sure enough, the rain cloud floated over their heads and burst into shower.

    “I remember what I forgot!” Harry said smiling. “The umbrella!”

  42. This is my story.

    Cold.

    Motherless.

    Screaming.

    Dead.

    That’s all the names my orphanage calls me.

    I am Maddie, but the orphanage calls me Avocado because if my bright green hair. I hate it. Everyday I stare in the mirror and try to make my hair blonde, or brown like the other girls. I don’t know why I look like that, it’s not dye. All the other girls make fun of me for looking different. Different is bad, they say. They steal my possessions, all my special things. They stole my food. They stole everything. Until Peachy came.

    Peachy is a wonderful lady with bright blue hair. She came in the orphanage in search of a girl who she thought was like her, who was fun and light. Me being me, wore the same thing almost every day – a plum, cheap cardigan, paisley skirt and black faux leather pumps. I sat on the worst beanbag (the other girls would kick me off the good ones anyway) and curled up with my book. Peachy came in. Serafina (the leader of the clique of mean girls) flipped her curly copper hair and widened her pure green eyes, and tried to look scared and alone. Peachy’s eyes slid over her and settled on me. Serafina looked annoyed and gave me the gesture. You see, when I first came here, and tried to fit in, Serafina made all the girls promise that if they got picked, they would give up their spot. I did, but I crossed my fingers and now I don’t have to. Miss Violet called,
    “Maddie, you have been picked by Miss Star. Please go and get your belongings while she fills out the papers.” She said.
    “Excuse me Miss Violet, I will go and help Maddie pack. She could use some help, don’t you agree Maddie?” Said Serafina, smiling the sugar smile at Miss Violet.
    “No, I really don’t need help.” I said, walking up the stairs, and oh, I would walk through fire to see that look on Serafina’s face. Upstairs I fitted everything in a bag, then went through the other girls stuff. I found my diary, my pearls, my hairbrush, my bracelet, the powder compact, but I paused when it came to Serafina’s. I pulled out my time bubble, and my vegan gummies and dried mango, before messing up all the girls stuff who were ever rude. I smiled, and ran down the stairs.

    4 Years Later
    I have a family, my boyfriend JJ, my best friend Sophie, and Honour, and Mal. We stick together like my vegan gummies, as well as my mum. I wouldn’t be here without my wonderful mother, the one who saved me all those years ago. I sing, now, and play the cello. Because if my true, proper family, I wouldn’t be able to find my true self.

    Hope everyone enjoyed! Comments appreciated.

  43. This is my story.

    Cold.

    Motherless.

    Screaming.

    Dead.

    That’s all the names my orphanage calls me.

    I am Maddie, but the orphanage calls me Avocado because if my bright green hair. I hate it. Everyday I stare in the mirror and try to make my hair blonde, or brown like the other girls. I don’t know why I look like that, it’s not dye. All the other girls make fun of me for looking different. Different is bad, they say. They steal my possessions, all my special things. They stole my food. They stole everything. Until Peachy came.

    Peachy is a wonderful lady with bright blue hair. She came in the orphanage in search of a girl who she thought was like her, who was fun and light. Me being me, wore the same thing almost every day – a plum, cheap cardigan, paisley skirt and black faux leather pumps. I sat on the worst beanbag (the other girls would kick me off the good ones anyway) and curled up with my book. Peachy came in. Serafina (the leader of the clique of mean girls) flipped her curly copper hair and widened her pure green eyes, and tried to look scared and alone. Peachy’s eyes slid over her and settled on me. Serafina looked annoyed and gave me the gesture. You see, when I first came here, and tried to fit in, Serafina made all the girls promise that if they got picked, they would give up their spot. I did, but I crossed my fingers and now I don’t have to. Miss Violet called,
    “Maddie, you have been picked by Miss Star. Please go and get your belongings while she fills out the papers.” She said.
    “Excuse me Miss Violet, I will go and help Maddie pack. She could use some help, don’t you agree Maddie?” Said Serafina, smiling the sugar smile at Miss Violet.
    “No, I really don’t need help.” I said, walking up the stairs, and oh, I would walk through fire to see that look on Serafina’s face. Upstairs I fitted everything in a bag, then went through the other girls stuff. I found my diary, my pearls, my hairbrush, my bracelet, the powder compact, but I paused when it came to Serafina’s. I pulled out my time bubble, and my vegan gummies and dried mango, before messing up all the girls stuff who were ever rude. I smiled, and ran down the stairs.

    4 Years Later
    I have a family, my boyfriend JJ, my best friend Sophie, and Honour, and Mal. We stick together like my vegan gummies, as well as my mum. I wouldn’t be here without my wonderful mother, the one who saved me all those years ago. I sing, now, and play the cello. Because if my true, proper family, I wouldn’t be able to find my true self.

    Hope everyone enjoyed! Comments appreciated.

  44. This is my story.

    I am Maddie, but the orphanage calls me Avocado because if my bright green hair. I hate it. Everyday I stare in the mirror and try to make my hair blonde, or brown like the other girls. I don’t know why I look like that, it’s not dye. All the other girls make fun of me for looking different. Different is bad, they say. They steal my possessions, all my special things. They stole my food. They stole everything. Until Peachy came.

    Peachy is a wonderful lady with bright blue hair. She came in the orphanage in search of a girl who she thought was like her, who was fun and light. Me being me, wore the same thing almost every day – a plum, cheap cardigan, paisley skirt and black faux leather pumps. I sat on the worst beanbag (the other girls would kick me off the good ones anyway) and curled up with my book. Peachy came in. Serafina (the leader of the clique of mean girls) flipped her curly copper hair and widened her pure green eyes, and tried to look scared and alone. Peachy’s eyes slid over her and settled on me. Serafina looked annoyed and gave me the gesture. You see, when I first came here, and tried to fit in, Serafina made all the girls promise that if they got picked, they would give up their spot. I did, but I crossed my fingers and now I don’t have to. Miss Violet called,
    “Maddie, you have been picked by Miss Star. Please go and get your belongings while she fills out the papers.” She said.
    “Excuse me Miss Violet, I will go and help Maddie pack. She could use some help, don’t you agree Maddie?” Said Serafina, smiling the sugar smile at Miss Violet.
    “No, I really don’t need help.” I said, walking up the stairs, and oh, I would walk through fire to see that look on Serafina’s face. Upstairs I fitted everything in a bag, then went through the other girls stuff. I found my diary, my pearls, my hairbrush, my bracelet, the powder compact, but I paused when it came to Serafina’s. I pulled out my time bubble, and my vegan gummies and dried mango, before messing up all the girls stuff who were ever rude. I smiled, and ran down the stairs.

    4 Years Later
    I have a family, my boyfriend JJ, my best friend Sophie, and Honour, and Mal. We stick together like my vegan gummies, as well as my mum. I wouldn’t be here without my wonderful mother, the one who saved me all those years ago. I sing, now, and play the cello. Because if my true, proper family, I wouldn’t be able to find my true self.

    Hope everyone enjoyed! Comments appreciated.

    1. I really recommend The Sinclair’s Mysteries by Katherine Woodfine. They are amazing books, a little bit like MMU because they are lady detectives. It is set in the 1900s, and there is another series after it called Taylor & Rose. I hope this helps!

  45. Here is mine! Sorry it is so short and so late…

    I raced around the plain, trying to spot my family.
    “Mmmroww….” I complained, settling down like a sphinx and looking around, but it was night and I couldn’t see much.

    My family had scattered when an eagle had swooped down on us, and I was alone. That is the problem with being a cheetah. You can run so fast that you’d never catch up with another cheetah. The whole of the plain, which was hundreds of miles squared. I couldn’t see a soul. I put my paws on my head and shut my eyes. I fell asleep.

    I woke up suddenly a few hours later. I’d heard something. My ears pricked and I stood up. Something was moving nearby. I opened my eyes and prowled around.
    Then a face appeared. It was a lion. Without thinking, I ran off in the opposite direction as fast as I could. The vision of the lions face stayed in my head.
    After a while, I stopped. It wasn’t anywhere near me, but before I could do anything else, something came hurtling towards me at great speed. It stopped just beside me, and I stared at it.

    It was my sister.

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