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  • Juliette Hyland


Many of my story ideas have come from my free writing sessions. For 2019 I pulled together a daily list of prompts and thought I'd share a few of the results here. These aren't finished stories and they haven't been edited but the writing process looks messy right!

Prompt: Unopened

Writing Time: 15 minutes

The unopened book stared at me from the nightstand as I slid my socks off. Swallowing I tried to ignore the sinking feeling I got every time I looked at its unopened spine. Tomorrow morning, I promised myself for the hundred time as I reached for the light switch.

As the alarm sounded, I swatted my hand across the annoyance. Five more minutes turned into an hour and I felt shame cross me as I pulled on pants and rushed to get the kids ready for school. Another early morning promise shot before seven.

“I’m getting coffee,” Alice called as I hit the top stair.

“You are thirteen, put the caffeine down,” I screamed, grateful I didn’t have to see the sullen pout she’d perfected over the last year.

“Dad lets me drink coffee.” Her shoulder bore into me as she rushed towards the bathroom.

I doubted that assertion but Jeff had made than more than one parenting choice I didn’t approve of in the last six months. Pulling my cell out I jotted out a quick text before deleting it. Maybe in a few months a simple text would be easy but it felt too raw at the moment.

“I can’t find my shoes,” Liam’s whine carried across the living room.

Grabbing them from the foot of the steps, I held them up forcing a smile. “They were exactly where I told you not to leave them.”

“You’re the best, mom.” Liam’s arm wrapped around my middle.

Blinking back tears, I held him until he wiggled away. I hadn’t felt like the best in a very long time. “Thanks buddy.”

“For what?” he called as he pulled on a backpack.

Shaking my head, I smiled. Most days weren’t easy. I hadn’t found balance yet in this new role as single mom; though I hadn’t had balance before this transition either.

“Can I borrow this?” Alice held up the small book from my nightstand. “I need a book for English.”

“You have tons of books on your shelf,” I raised an eyebrow.

“But I’ve read them all, come on mom…”

“I’m reading that, pick something else.”

“It’s been on your nightstand for over three months. If you were going…”

“Enough,” I interrupted. “We need to get going. Pick another book, Alice. I am reading that one; even if it takes me all year to open it.” As my daughter huffed up the stairs, I smiled. Tonight I was reading the first chapter… or perhaps tomorrow.

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