Welcome to the first Monday of August. The summer is going fast.
Happy Republic Day to everyone in North Macedonia. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. A shout out to Nova International School in Skopje and their Writing Pearls project. Every year they publish a book of short stories written by their students.
Scroll down to read this week’s featured story “My Street Artist” about a mother watching her daughter grow into an artist and get much more along the way.
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 email@example.com! It can be in this form or anything else.
Story Prompt: August 2, 2021
SETTING: in a box
OTHER ELEMENTS: pineapple, a couch
There was no Muse on Monday last week, but here is a story based on the photo prompt from two weeks ago.
My Street Artist
Willow started with a ten-piece box of sidewalk chalk from the dollar store on the corner. It was a way to keep her busy while I worked in the shop. My husband was nervous about her being out there by herself, but I kept an eye on her as much as possible and Jose, the fruit seller across the way, watched her like an avuncular hawk. I often came out to find a plate of cut pineapple or apples sitting by Willow’s latest creation, her chewing on a piece as she sketched and shaded.
People started dropping coins. Willow ignored them, so I got a dish to keep them together. Every morning, she carried the dish outside, drew a circle on the ground around it, and immediately lost herself in the art. I kept the coins in a jar under the counter until it filled up. Then I got her a bank account.
By the time she was 17, Willow could cover the entire sidewalk the width of the storefront each day, creating in exquisite detail whatever scene came into her mind. Once she drew a puddle with our store reflected in the surface, drops of rain rippling the surface. I glimpsed more than a few people put out their hands and glance up at the clouds.
“What do you want to do with your life?” I asked Willow one day.
“You mean something different?” she asked. “I like making art.”
“There are a lot of ways to do that, though,” I said. “What about art school?”
“We don’t have any money for that,” she said. “You can’t make much selling magnets and T-shirts to tourists. Maybe if I had gotten a part-time job and saved, but it’s too late for that now. Plus, I just want to draw.”
“We do okay,” I said, a bit defensively. “Anyway, here.” I handed her a paper. She took it, looking confused.
“It’s your money,” I said. “I’ve been saving it for you. It’s even earned a fair bit of interest. I figure it should be enough for most of what you would need for college, if you can get a few scholarships too. If that’s what you want to do with it.”
She dropped the paper on the table. She was not as overjoyed as I had anticipated. Her face shifted with a mix of emotions.
“Good,” she said. “That would be nice, to go to art school. But you know, I didn’t do it for the money.”
“I know,” I said, giving her a hug. “If you had, you probably would not have gotten as much as you did. Always do it for the art first and you’ll be okay.”
Happy writing and have a wonderful week! Come back next Monday for another story prompt.