Go Write: The Alley

Photo by Anthony Watson

There’s a local myth about this alley. It’s been around since the 1700s, and word has it people have disappeared down it – 10 of them just since 1970, when a reporter started investigating it. He collected stories and anecdotes about the alley, but he disappeared before anything could be published. He walked down the alley every day. Everyone figures the alley got him too, possibly because it didn’t want its secrets revealed.

And it’s not just disappearances. There have been appearances too. One day as a woman walked through the alley, she looked into her purse to check for her keys. When she looked up, a man was in front of her.

“It scared me half to death,” she said. “I almost bumped into him.”

According to her report, the man was dressed in puffy trousers, buckle boots and a neckerchief. She thought he was playing a pirate in a theatre group. He asked her what year it was, and when she told him it was 2010, he swayed a bit and looked behind her. She turned around to see what he was looking at. When she turned back, he was gone.


You take the story from here. Set a timer and write for 10 minutes or take the entire concept into a bigger story.

Here are a few questions to get the creative juices flowing:

What happened to the people? Where did they go? What about the appearances? Could this be a time portal, where people shift from one time to another? Is it a true paranormal location or is a serial killer taking advantage of the myth?

How often do the appearances/disappearances happen? Is it random or on a schedule? If scheduled, write a scene where a couple of people or a group (adults, teens or kids – your choice) went there at the anticipated time?

Go write right now!


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