Dear Arlie – picture prompt


I’m taking a break from Ten O’clock Scholar to work on a historical short story for an upcoming anthology. Dear Arlie is a fictional tale about five friends in their early 20’s, set in 1911. While fictional in nature, snippets about these real women have been taken from actual postcard correspondences between Pauline Washburn and Arlie Shinkle.

In Tuesday Tales, we write to a weekly word prompt. Once a month we write to a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt, so the posts will be 300 words or less.

Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read other fun tidbits of upcoming works.


Arlie shook her head vigorously, causing a lock to spring from her tidy bun and drape down the nape of her neck. “Not this year. After all, I’ll be turning twenty. I’m getting much too old for that now. Don’t you think?”

When Alla and Millie merely looked at her with questioning gazes, Arlie shrugged her shoulders and chattered on. “Besides…then I can’t invite the fellas to join us. A taffy pull would be fun. The boys would join us, loving anything with candy and sweets.”

Alla snickered. “And by boys you mean George. Right?”

A haughty rise in Arlie’s shoulders hinted at her inner agitation. “Naturally I mean George. Just as you’d enjoy pulling taffy with William.” She stuck her lower lip out in a pout. “But Mother nixed that idea. She said July heat is too ferocious to have molasses boiling all afternoon.”

“Arlie Lorraine Shinkle…” Millie spat the words out in frustration. “So what are you planning for your birthday party? Don’t keep us in suspense.”

“Well…I was…maybe…” Arlie hemmed and hawed.

“Spit it out,” Alla commanded in a rare show of authority.

“I was thinking a picnic in the meadow. I’ll ask Cook to fix us up a picnic basket with fried chicken and finger foods. We could go to that shady glen nestled at the bottom of the meadow. After lunch we could wade in the stream. Get our feet wet.”

“You just want to show off your trim ankles to the guys. You’re such an indecent lass sometimes.” Millie giggled at her impudent accusation. “You are inviting the fellows, aren’t you?”

As Arlie nodded in agreement, a distant rumble of thunder echoed across the skies and through the room. All three girls dashed to the bay window.  The wind whipped elm branches about and the sky darkened with the threat of an imminent thunderstorm.

dear arlie_3 friends.jpg

Three friends – circa 1911

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tricia Andersen
    Jul 18, 2017 @ 15:23:41

    I love how Arlie led them along and that she’s taking care to invite the boys. Great job!


  2. Author
    Jul 18, 2017 @ 20:26:16

    I like her! Scandalous with her desire to wade in the water and show her ankles. LOL Jillian


  3. jeanjoachim
    Jul 18, 2017 @ 20:46:17

    Love how you transport us back to the days of old with words. I’ve often thought it was a more romantic era.


  4. Flossie Benton Rogers
    Jul 19, 2017 @ 00:33:27

    The scene puts me right there with them. Love this line especially– A haughty rise in Arlie’s shoulders hinted at her inner agitation.


  5. Vicki Locey
    Jul 20, 2017 @ 10:29:46

    Oh, I like this a lot!!


  6. mhsusannematthews
    Jul 20, 2017 @ 21:03:59

    Wonderful scene. You make your characters so lifelike. Showing her ankles? Scandalous indeed.


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July 2017

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