Teen Writing Prompt 541


Shhh… (Photo credit: QualityFrog)

Write a story that started
with a rumor. This prompt was contributed by Maria Jones who submitted her story to me to post on Your Words.  I thought I’d feature it on my post for today. Here it is!

Rumor Had It

Maria Jones


Rumor had it that Tiana slept around with Jason Crane, the basketball star.

The rumor was wrong, but that didn’t matter. You
couldn’t say much to change people’s minds when you were walking about
with a seven-month-pregnant belly.

Rumor had it that Tiana also slept around with the
football star. That rumor was almost true. She and Aaron had studied
together once and fell asleep in front of their parents. So…that rumor
had it true (to an extent).

Rumor had it that Tiana was an uncontrollable slut,
unable to keep her legs closed. That rumor was false. Case closed.

Rumor had it that Tiana went around seducing the
boyfriends of girls who could barely hold on to their men. She had never
dated a boy in her life. This rumor caused her to lose her best friend,
who was afraid of losing a guy she had only dated for six weeks. He
broke up with her the very next day.

Rumor had it that Tiana smoked fatties behind the
school, her matted hair the scent of fresh weed. The only reason her
hair smelled like weed was because her mother couldn’t control herself.
The woman just had to have a smoke…and she used up all of Tiana’s meager
college savings to do it.

Rumor had it that Tiana liked to cut herself just to
get people’s attention and pity. That was wrong; her father cut her when
her mom wouldn’t take any crap off of him. Tiana was her father’s
little whippin’ boy, even while expecting. Daddy didn’t care that he
added yet another rumor to Tiana’s burden. Tiana was his little whippin’
boy, his stress reliever.

Rumor had it that Tiana tried to kill her child in
her eighth month. That was twisted. Tiana had protected her child when
her mother snapped, screaming, “I ain’t taking care of that bastard!”
The broken beer bottle went across Tiana’s belly, and she panicked as
blood poured everywhere. The baby barely made it.

Rumor had it that Tiana named her daughter Misery
because she wanted people to feel sorry for her. No…Tiana named her
daughter Misery because that was all she had felt for nine straight

Rumor had it that Tiana gave Misery up for adoption because she was a
lazy girl who didn’t want to take responsibility for sleeping around.
That wasn’t the reason at all. Tiana didn’t want Misery to have to deal
with the bloody rumors and the painful truth that her father was her
grandfather, too.

Rumor had it that Tiana jumped off the school roof because she couldn’t take the rumors anymore. That was true.

The rumor had it right.


8 responses »

  1. Love the story by Maria Jones!!! Here is my response to the prompt…hope it was what you are looking for…please critique! ( I’m still new here and am not sure if I am supposed to post my story here or elsewhere). Untitled.

    Rumors spread like wildfire. A secret told in the hallway one afternoon could be news in the morning. Someone seen somewhere with someone they shouldn’t be with can and will be hot gossip the next day. You need to pick your friends wisely, and trust sparingly. Because that’s the only way you’ll make it through, kids.

    Exhibit A, Aaron Yutes. Aaron was in the school marching band, and got good grades. He said something stupid, someone took it the wrong way, whatever it was, soon it was known that Aaron fell in love with his male cousin. He was ruined. He and his family picked up and moved. He was never heard from again, even to his friends.

    Exhibit B, Henrietta Ollway, wannabe, supposedly caught flirting with basketball star, Willie Jones. Willie Jones’ girlfriend made Henrietta’s life miserable. Put maple syrup in her locker, stuffed gum in her lock, stole her homework. Anything and everything you can think of and more. Henrietta transferred a month later, innocent of the social downfall she was paired with. Simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, poor girl.

    Lastly, Exhibit C, Carl Hur. Somehow it got around that he knew then pop sensation, Ali Rhodes. Why is that so bad, you ask? He was being harassed by people who wanted to meet her. He was stalked, followed home from school every day. Tormented online, and through texts and phone calls. Carl Hur shot himself with his father’s hunting rifle after tolerating this for a full semester.

    Be careful who you’re seen with, and be even more careful who you’re seen by. It’s a dog eat dog world in there and you need to be ready. I’ve told you all I can. From here on out, you’re on your own. Good luck, and welcome to high school.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Great story. I like how in include various people Exhibit A. It has a nice rhythm. I would add how these people react to the rumors. You tell us what happened to each person but before the last line of what ultimately happened personal it and let us know how they reacted to it. How did they feel? I know how I felt where a rumor went around when I was a teen and has a crush. It was a joke to everyone because we were different races and I was teased a lot. It really hurt. Maybe I’ll write about it one day. Of course the rumor was true but the reaction from everyone else hurt. That’s how you move your readers. You get personal and sometimes it means you hurt the ones you love, your characters.

      • Oh, I liked this story, too. I really enjoyed the various examples and how Jess took seemingly small things and made Hell out of them. Awesome!

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