A Story for Fall

This is a short story I wrote for the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy contest. Entitled “Road Trip” (200 words), this story is the result of my interpretation of the photo prompt below. (Note: The photo was provided by the contest. Therefore, not my photo!)

I decided to format the story as a conversation, almost as if it were recorded or overheard. So, there are no dialogue tags and no action lines.



by Maria Antonia

Word Count: 200

“I don’t know why we’re even going this year.”

“I promised your dad I’d bring you. We can still enjoy the fall colors without him, you know.”

“Oh look, an orange leaf, Grandma! And another one. I’m just soooo surprised.”

“Very funny, Sophie. No need for sarcasm.”

“It’s a free country. Isn’t that why Dad left in the first place? So we can have a stupid free country—”



“I know you miss him, Soph.”

“Don’t call me that. Nobody calls me that except—”

“I miss him, too. But, he is coming back.”

“When?! He never tells me when. What kind of lousy parent leaves, then— Why are you stopping the car? This is Old Man Worthington’s land. If he catches us, he’ll… you know.”

“Mr. Worthington is harmless.”

“Hello? He lives in a spooky house. Next thing, he’ll come around that bend and—”

“Suit yourself.”

“Wait, you can’t leave me here. That’s abandonment.”

“Then, come. I need to stretch my legs.”

“See! It’s him. Old Man Worthington. Over there!”

“That’s not—”

“Get back in the car, Grandma, or else…”



Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

“Daddy, but you’re supposed to be in—”

“Hiya, Soph.”


24 thoughts on “A Story for Fall

    • Thanks, Sarah! I did a beta read about a year ago for somebody who did this format… all dialogue with no dialogue tags or action lines. I think they had to do it for a class. Anyway, it fascinated me and this seemed the perfect place to try it out. (Thanks to that 200-word limit!)


  1. What a sweet story with a resonant emotional arc. Love how you take us from surly, to frightened, to overwhelmed with excitement in such a short span of words. Truly lovely read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed Sophie’s voice in this story, totally captured a frustrated teenager whose dad constantly leaves, I’m assuming for military purposes. I also did. Not expect that ending. Thanks so much for sharing your story with the Fall Writing Frenzy Contest!

    Liked by 1 person

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