Friday, June 11th, 2010

Writing Prompt: Found on the Side of the Road

Leg BraceLast week on the way home from work I saw the most interesting thing. It was an old-fashioned leg brace–perhaps the kind people are fitted with when suffering from polio–standing upright near a guardrail.

It struck me as a very strange object to see on the roadside.

I’ve seen plenty of missing shoes, singles and pairs, usually looking as if they’d been tossed or accidentally pushed out the car door while stopping for something else. I’m sure you’ve seen tennis shoes, laces tied, hanging over telephone wires. Never have I seen something appearing to stand at attention, drawing my eye, as this forlorn shoe did.

The brace was standing upright, turned toward the woods as if the owner simply stepped out of it and into the trees, never more to be seen. Perhaps this was the residue of a miracle?Guardrail along wooded roadside.

I began to think about this brace: who could have worn it? How old was it? How did it get left behind? Why was it standing? (And lucky for me, if it hadn’t been, I may never have seen it.)

The day I remembered to drag my camera with me, the brace was gone, probably knocked over by mowers. So, sadly, you’re stuck with these imaginative photos rather than the real thing. But I think you get the idea.

Here’s your prompt:

Imagine the brace and the situation. As above, who owned it? How did it get there? Why was it standing? Don’t answer these questions literally. Tell the story. Show what happened. Bonus points if you leave the story in the comments.

2 comments to Writing Prompt: Found on the Side of the Road

  • Cori B

    Don’t know why but my thoughts go toward the person who left it there returning and lamenting its loss.

    • Hi Cori! Thanks for the insight. I never gave that a thought, but you’re absolutely right. Let’s hope I’m wrong about the mowers and that the owner actually came by and collected it.

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