Muse on Monday – July 19, 2021, Featuring “Half the Equation”

It is Monday and we are over halfway through July. It’s going fast, to be sure. Scroll down to read “Half the Equation” about a pair of ambitious young entrepreneurs hoping to make it big.

Also, if you are (or know of) an aspiring writer between 8 and 18, check out our 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. Anyone can submit a 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: July 19, 2021

This week we have another photo prompt. Here is a picture I took in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Write whatever story comes to mind when you look at this and send me a copy to read.

And now, a story based on last week’s prompt, the first line of the story.

First Line: They say all you need to make it in life is a good friend, and a million bucks.

Half the Equation

They say all you need to make it in life is a good friend, and a million bucks. I think it was a joke and I don’t know who “they” were but if it were true, I was already halfway there. Now we were working on the second part.

It was almost midnight and all I could see was the ghostly square on the garage floor traced by the moon shining through a cobwebbed window. I was on hands and knees in the dark, sensors strapped to my foreheads. Sadie stood over me.

I crawled forward. My hand bumped a rake and I let out a frustrated groan.

“You’re too high again.” I felt her hand on my back, pushing me down.

I changed direction and as I moved forward, my forehead sensor beeped.

“It worked!” Sadie shouted. I jumped up and we hugged. Then she went and flipped on the lights.

It was our science fair project, a device to let blind dogs navigate using lidar, the same technology driverless cars used. Sadie was the engineer, using me as a guinea pig for each successive test. I was the marketing. There was as reason that we didn’t choose to do our project on the life cycle of butterflies or the tides in the Gulf of Mexico. This was going to our entrance to the tech start-up world.

“I’m nervous,” Sadie said as we ate pizza on the concrete floor and smelled the paint and grease of our hard work. The prototype was ready, the tri-fold board freshly painted. “I’m glad you’re going to be there, the talker.”

“We’re going to wow them,” I said. “I invited everything I could find. Industry leaders from the pet and tech worlds.” I might have been exaggerating a bit about “leaders” but it was a start.

The next day, we won first prize at the science fair, but it was a bitter sweet win. None of the people I had asked came, not from the tech store or pet store or even from the vet’s office. Even the ones that had promised.

“It’s not your fault,” Sadie said as we loaded everything into a box to bring home.

“But you’re doing your part,” I said. “I’m falling down on my end. You make it, I sell it. That was the plan.”

“You do more than that,” she said. “You’re the idea girl. Come on, let’s go home and make ramen and think of what to design next.” I gave her a hug. “Thanks,” I said. “Thanks for being my friend.” At that moment, I didn’t care if I never got the million bucks part of the equation.

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

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