Muse on Monday – June 7, 2021, Featuring “The Hinge”

It is June and summer is in the air. As part of that, the Green-Walled Treehouse has launched the Summer 2021 Young Writers Contest. To find out more about it, go to the Writing Contest tab at the top or click on the picture below.

The challenge of Muse on Monday is to write a short story and use the prompt below. If you’re 18 years old or younger, you can submit your story using this link for a chance to have it published next Monday when the new prompt comes out. You just need to submit it before 12:00pm EST next Sunday.

If you have an idea for a prompt for a future week, please send it to me at! It can be in this form or anything else.

Story Prompt: June 7, 2021

This week, the prompt is the first line of the story. Your challenge is to use the sentence as the first line of your story and then write the rest of the story.

After I saw what they did to the tree, I just wanted to get away.

And now, a story based on last week’s prompt:

Setting: a stone circle

Genre: mystery

Tone: serious

The Hinge

“My caretaker said I didn’t have the smarts to be a detective, so from then on it was my only goal, just to prove her wrong.

“I decided to investigate the stone circle since I could see it from my window. It sits about a mile from here and from this elevation, you can see it quite clearly. Take a look later. It’s just a mossy collection of jagged rocks: nothing as impressive as Stone Henge. Still, my whole life I was told that our circle was one of the true fairy circles, where countless people have seen glimpses of otherworldly people appear from time to time.

“It’s got an official name, but the locals call it the Hinge. It started out as the local pronunciation of ‘henge’, I’m sure, but it’s taken on a different meaning, as the edge of an opening door, although no one says exactly where the door leads.

“So I decided to watch the Hinge. Time is my superpower in that I have almost unlimited amounts of it. I set up a telescope at the window and bought a night-vision camera and heat-sensing camera as well. Besides food and medical expenses, what else do I need to spend my money on?

“What I saw were tourists, mainly. There were the serious ones that came right at dawn or dusk to take perfectly framed pictures of the stones with that magical golden-hour light. The other kind ran around taking selfies with the stones.

“In between these were couples who went there to make out, locals who would go for a picnic in the middle of the stones or, more often, cows and sheep that wandered through to eat the grass and ivy.”

The man sat back in his chair, seemingly exhausted by speaking so much. I stopped taking notes.

“How long have you done this?”

“Six years,” he said. “Day and night for six years. I have never seen a single unusual thing, not even a glowing light or a figure I could not identify. Maybe the Hinge is shut or maybe it was never open in the first place. It’s probably not what you or your readers wanted to hear.”

It was not what I wanted to hear. I had driven all the way out here not only for stories of fairy sightings but hopefully also real evidence of it. “No problem,” I said, smiling and closing my notebook. “I appreciate your insight. I’ll add your story to my piece and see what my editor thinks. It might not be right for Mystical World Monthly but if nothing else, I can sell it to Skeptic magazine.”

Happy writing and have a wonderful week! Come back next Monday for another story prompt.

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