Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Story ideas really are everywhere, Rookies! I (Stephanie) nearly tripped over one while walking down the street today—a whole laundry basket of different types of toddler’s shoes had been spilled across the sidewalk! I immediately came up with ideas as to how this could have happened, including the funny (I was near a college, so maybe it was a prank? A very odd sorority/fraternity pledging ritual?), the seemingly likely (they spilled from the side of an overpacked truck belonging to a family moving across town), and the very sad (a distraught parent whose child recently died couldn’t bear to look at them and tossed them from their car. Can you tell I write really dark stories sometimes?).

I’m sure that you have seen all sorts of random objects dropped in public places—the bracelet on the ground by the fountain, the bikini top on the beach, the one lone shoe on the side of the road—and have probably wondered, What is the story behind this THING? Who owned it? How did it get there? Is the person happy to be rid of it? Are they missing it? Now is your chance to tell that story in some way, like with prose, a poem, a comic, or a collage. Choose the form that suits you and this object’s tale the best. If you can’t think of an object you’ve seen, feel free to use my laundry basket full of toddler shoes OR write an ode to an object you lost. Send your response, along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state, to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, January, 25th at 6 PM EST.

Last week, we asked you to recount the greatest love story ever told. Here’s what you what made your hearts sing…