Saturday Story Starter

One of my favorite books when I was growing up was Elizabeth Enright’s The Saturdays. If you haven’t read it yet, you simply must. MUST. It’s the first in a four-book “quartet” about the Melendy family, and in this one, the four siblings (who live in New York) battle weekend boredom by pooling their allowances so that each Saturday, one of them can have an adventure. Lots of surprises and much hilarity ensues…

Since moving back to New England, my husband and I have started our own Saturday adventure club. We’ve had fun checking out new breakfast spots (we’re big fans of diners), visiting historic sites and museums, and exploring nooks and crannies in and around Boston that we didn’t have a chance to explore last time we lived here (*cough* twenty-five years ago *cough*). Often a hike is involved, and the day almost always ends with ice cream (we’re big fans of ice cream, too — especially if it’s homemade or from a farmstand). We’re enjoying this new tradition immensely, and I’ll look forward to sharing tales of some of our adventures in the future!

Today, though, it’s time for a Story Starter. I’m picking a photo from last weekend’s adventure for this week’s inspiration. Isn’t this a gorgeous gate?


For this month’s story starter, tell us about this gate. Is it keeping someone in, or someone or something out? Where is the gate? Is it at a castle, perhaps, or an elegant country home, or just a simple cottage that belongs to an expert blacksmith, or someplace else entirely? Who is looking through this gate? What is he or she looking at? Are they happy or sad? There are endless possibilities — you decide, you set the scene, you tell us a story.

Ready, set, WRITE!

For those of you who haven’t participated before, Saturday Story Starter is purely for fun, just a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). This is the kind of homework I imagine research paper service workers doing when the feel rusty. There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, on the computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise! (And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and click here and click here and click here and click here and here and click here and here and click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content…)


8 thoughts on “Saturday Story Starter”

  1. So no one has added a comment… so I will.

    Stepping through the gate the reality of the world disappears behind her as the girl finally discovered something that has been an absence in her life for as long as she could remember. Silence. The gate was a beacon of quiet in a world full of obnoxious noise.
    Within the land beyond this gate there were no younger siblings to pull at her skirts asking for the material things in life that they knew she couldn’t provide for them. No more muffled fights between her parents about the money that is quickly dwindling with her father’s lack of work. And most importantly none of her peers were here to taunt her about the scars marring her face, making her as an outcast. An invalid.
    Making her way cautiously through the maze of paths, a shiver racks her body as the memory of the event overtakes her mind. She could still smell the sweet reek of the burning incense and fresh dirt mixing with her blood.
    “No Kaliha. No more nightmares. No more fear,” she whispers looking at her trembling hands.
    Clenching her hands into fists she lifts her head, and says with as much conviction as she can muster, “I am Kaliha Delacroix… And the darkness cannot touch me.”

    • Oooo, Kylie, this is great! Very atmospheric, dark, and intriguing. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who wants more! 🙂

  2. She’d always wondered about those gates.
    Their ebony iron designs, the padlock always bolted shut, their foreboding presence in an otherwise quaint and blithe village.
    She’d never seen anyone go in.
    Or come out.


    Nobody ever spoke of the gates; if the topic was brought up at a town function, it was hastily discussed with darting eyes and hushed voices before coming to a close.
    Most villagers seemed content with keeping the gates a mystery. They walked past them each day and simply continued on, not bothering to waste brain capacity over it.
    Talia was different.
    Her home was constantly in turmoil, parents yelling or screaming or sometimes not home at all. As the middle child in a family of eleven children, she could disappear for hours at a time and go completely unnoticed.
    And she always visited the gates.
    She made up stories and stories about them. Behind them lived Arthur and Guinevere, cast from Camelot and rebuilding their kingdom in her own small town. No, it was a school- a school for people like her, ones who noticed things. Or maybe an old hermit lived there, reveling in a three story library for the remainder of his days.
    Sometimes Talia would climb the trees that surrounded the gates. She’d sit high above them, leaning against the smooth trunk and feeling the breeze rustle her hair. Other days she’d trace the outlines of the iron designs until she had their patterns memorized.
    But mostly, Talia sat cross legged in front of the gates, just imagining and dreaming about what laid beyond them.
    Then, one October day, as she was watching the leaves float down around her, carpeting the pathways in their brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, she heard a voice.
    “Would you like to come in?”

    • The Saturdays – The Four-Story Mistake – Then There Were Five – Spiderweb for Two Love these books! 🙂

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