Prompt #5: Write about Word # 268

Prompt #5: Write about Word # 268

PROMPT:  Our InScribe Word Challenge Coordinator sent out this challenge: Reply to this email and pick a number between 1 and 365. I have a list of 365 writing prompts and will assign the corresponding prompt to the number you select. 

The prompt I received was #268 –  Write about being stranded somewhere – an island, a bus stop, a shopping mall, etc. Or you can go metaphorical and talk about being stranded in time or during a particular event, etc. Allow your muse to be stirred and let creativity take centre stage!

What is a prompt? Check here for an explanation.


Oh, look. There. That gentleman looks nice. Maybe he’ll help me.

No. He’s walking right past.

I see the bank. Was I just there? Or am I going there now? Over that way is the drugstore. That’s where I buy stamps. Am I going there?

I raise my hand to a lady rushing by. “Excuse me…” but she keeps going.

“Ma’am, what are you doing?”

Who are you? Are you here to steal my money? I was just at the bank. I have all this money in my purse. Is that what you want? If I give it to you, will you go away?

“Ma’am, you can’t stand in the middle of the crosswalk like this. The light’s going to change.”

“I’m happy, you know. But there’s so many places. How is one to know?” Doesn’t he understand I’ve lost my way? I don’t know if I’m going to the bank or away from it. I don’t know which corner I need to reach. And I don’t know if I can trust him. And I can’t find my words. Lord, help me!

“Ma’am, if you take my arm, I’ll help you across the street. Which corner did you want?”

Listen to him, asking questions like I’m some kind of fool. I yell at him: “People are all around here! How should I know?”

He tips his head and looks at me. Hard. I feel my muscles start to shake. But he’s holding out his arm like Daddy does when he says I’m his special girl. I smile and take his arm. A strong arm for Daddy’s special girl.

“Where do you live, ma’am? Do you live in the Seniors Residence there beside the drugstore? Is that where you’re going?”

I look where he’s pointing. The building is made of red brick. I eat in a building made of red brick.

“That place has a dining room,” I tell him. This is something I know. And I have found my words! “My shoes are there.”

The man is smiling now.

“My mom lived in a Seniors Home, too, “ he says. He snugs my arm in his and puts his hand on mine. We’re crossing the street. “She didn’t always remember details either. But if your shoes are there, I’m thinking that’s where you live. Am I right?”

I lean on him to climb up the curb. We pass the drugstore where I buy stamps. I smile. Here I am, coming home on the arm of this handsome young man. We come to double glass doors. I see people in there and they see me. With a nice young man. I have a key on my wrist. I hold it up for him to see.

“Is that the key for the door?” he asks. “Let’s try it.”

And just like that he opens the door and I’m inside.

“Have a nice day, ma’am,” and he is gone.

Such a nice young man. I think he liked me.

I wonder, will I tell my mother about this?

Then I look back out to the street. My goodness.

Oh, my goodness! This brain of mine left me stranded out there in the crosswalk. Four corners and I didn’t know which was mine.

Lord, thank you for finding me and bringing me home. Maybe…  maybe tomorrow you’ll bring me to my real home.

Photo: mconners@morgue_wite


When the Bough Breaks

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  • Sharon Espeseth

    I distinctly remember this story from when you wrote to this prompt in the Word Challenge. It moved me then as it moves me now. This also harks back to your book, The Reluctant Caregiver, where you told the story of caring for your mom when she suffered from dementia–how you relied on God for her safety and for the next step in what to do.

    I remember one of our friends telling us that they had seen my Dad, who was failing mentally, in the Camrose Safeway store. He didn’t know how much to pay for his groceries, so he had held out a handful of money to the clerk. We, his daughters were a distance away from Camrose, so the waiting period for a place for him in the same care facility as Mom was a challenge. We couldn’t always be with him.

    Dad, a longtime shopper at Safeway, was known to many of the clerks. I’m inclined to believe she took the right amount of money from his hand. People can be kind when they recognize the vulnerable. Your

    Your story is beautiful but poignant. Thanks.

    • Bobbi Junior

      Your Dad’s story is an important reminder, Sharon. If we see someone struggling with what should be a simple task, it’s okay to step forward and see if we can help!

      • Sharon Espeseth

        I agree, and it is nice to see that others do this too. We tried to juggle our visits to Camrose, so much so that we sisters didn’t see each other much for that time period, but we were trying to cover our bases.

        I remember decades ago in Edmonton when I found an elderly lady wandering around in the parking lot of the apartment where I lived. My talking to her soon confirmed she had dementia. Knowing there was a senior’s care facility a couple blocks from there, I offered her a ride home. I took her in and reported to the staff where I’d found her. One of the gals said, nonchalantly, “Oh, Helen escaped again.” Probably they didn’t have systems in place back then, but I was concerned about the woman’s safety.