I came upon Rory’s Story Cubes at Bed, Bath & Beyond on an end cap dedicated to cheap kiddie toys—yoyo’s and silly putty and Spirograph Junior. My inner artist was begging for a set, so I obliged and forked over the $5.99. It went in her Christmas stocking and ultimately ended up on a closet shelf. I serendipitously rediscovered it during a recent bout of writer’s block. Inside the orange pouch are nine dice. Instead
of numbers, each face has a picture on it. You roll the dice, then write or tell a story that includes all nine of the objects pictured. A simple creativity generator. So anyway, this was my first roll:
And here is the story I came up with:
Ever since Peg’s eyes had been opened, she saw homeless folks, stray cats and dogs, hitchhikers, and drivers with dead batteries everywhere. In under a year, she had given away more dollars and shelter and rides and jump starts than she could begin to count. Even within the protect-tive walls of her house, Peg attracted charity cases like a magnet. She rolled the dice and took her chances every time she answered the tele-phone, knowing she could not resist any plea to save the children, the trees, the bees, or whatever little-known fish was now endangered due to an oil spill. Even though her cash flow was more of a trickle than a fountain, the fluttery rush of do-gooding had become quite addictive. When the doorbell rang, Peg hurried to answer it, expecting to find a neighbor who was short a cup of sugar or in need of someone to sign for a package. Peering through the peephole, she regarded a stout, cellophane-wrapped fruit basket sitting atop her welcome mat. There was no sign of whoever had left it. She hoisted it up by its handle and carried it to the kitchen table, admiring the trio of blushing Honeycrisp apples visible through the film—her favorite. The card was unsigned;
it simply said, “For all you do.” Peg undoubtedly deserved the gift, but had taken great care to remain anonymous and thus avoid any sort of repayment. Someone knew her secret. The question was, who?
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