After a lengthy vacation, our popular, Storytellers Circle has been revived in GRRYO’s Instagram account. We feature a photo prompt each Monday and ask our audience to share their stories to accompany the image. We would love for you to join us and share what each photo says to you. In September we focused on wonderful photos by talented artists with stories that our followers contributed. So come and browse through this digest and let the stories move you to join us each Monday in October!
“Look”, Agnes. “That man is buck naked!” “I’ve seen better”, she sniffed, “much better”.
On days when the air hit a certain percentage of humidity she couldn’t erase the image of the scar upon his back. The starched shirts, the fine suits, the fancy accessories were not enough … he would joke with the kids about the march and the days without food, make it seem like a cartoon- tom and jerry, wile e. coyote … all double takes and hi-jinx. But she knew the truth, had felt the raised skin underneath her fingertips for years. She had felt the tightness of his jaw, the grinding of his teeth and the quiet sound of his despair. She hated these days, when the sun was like a knife.
Ok, yes, I know, I’m old. I don’t look it, call me Dorian Gray. But I am old. 70 is old! And tired. Tired. I miss Lois, may she rest In peace. And Jimmy, God bless that little rascal. My knees hurt, I can’t fly more than five feet off the ground. Super? No more. But I’ll keep showing up, the world needs me. The world needs a Superman.
“Hmmm . . . the newest in spring fashions for the grand reopening of Atkins Department Store and the lineup of boring afternoon soaps on the local TV stations,” thought Roger as he squinted at the tossed aside newsprint. He’d been hanging out at the warehouse for 3 days now looking for any scrap of a clue that might help him to wise up to the mystery of Lucid’s disappearance. He would stay as long as it took if he had to. He loved that girl and there was no way he would give in to the heat, sweat, and misery of searching until he found her. And found her alive. She had to be alive.
Join us each Monday to share your stories with photo prompts in Storytellers Circle. If your story is selected it will appear on our website like those above.
In GRRYO’s Instagram account we feature a photo prompt each Monday and ask our audience to share their stories to accompany the image. You can join us each Monday to stretch your storytelling skills and enjoy stories being told around the world. We have a special digest to give you on Leap Year Day that reveals what happened in the month of January as we invited Marina to share a series of her street photography so that we could piece together a running story for that month. Read on to unfold the magic that was conjured in an Italian café.
Story portion by @grandreopening
Antoine’s mother had always said magic was real. He had thought she was a just a dumb hippy, that her version of magic was some Jerry Garcia unicorn pipe dream but despite a lifetime of crystals that had adorned her neck she had always insisted that sometimes things did go bump in the night.
Now Antoine believed.
The witches had been coming to his café, his very table, for two weeks. At first they seemed like normal women but a good server notices things. The sweet smell of dead flesh had hooked Antoine’s nose while reaching to deliver a basket of fresh baked croissants; in a glance he had witnessed their subtly forked tongues, tongues that twitched and tracked him like copperheads. In a blink they were normal tongues again and he was left staring and feeling rude. The way the witches had looked at him while he looked at them; wet, obsidian eyes and the synchronized tapping of long, pointed, putty gray nails on the table had made his skin crawl.
There had been more clues since, enough that he drank wine each morning to ease the shaking of his hands. The cafe’s china cups clattered on their saucers without it.
He told himself the spike of missing children post bills he had suddenly started to notice in his neighborhood were just his imagination. They had always been there he told himself, Chianti in hand.
Story portion by Cally
Today is the day. Lobelia glanced at her sisters, a slight nod echoed among them. This is the one, they had all agreed. For the past couple weeks, the three had driven down into the valley to the café, just to be sure. And they were. His name is Antoine, and sure enough, he has the sign. At each visit, Lobelia sensed his increasing anxiety at their passive observation. He knows, she thought. That’s good. Most men know nothing until it’s too late. Antoine was different. Maybe this time would be different.
Story portion by @theliebox
By the end of the third week Antoine could see nothing but the gap-toothed smiles and pink pom-pom stocking hats; the wild eyed grins of children once happy but now lost. New posters seemed to appear daily on light poles, taped to mailboxes and bulletin boards. Where were the police Antoine wondered, didn’t everyone notice?
Just this morning outside his neighborhood wine shop he had paused to note a lovely girl, no more than five, with a corona of flaming red hair clutching a doll. The photo was stuck with glue under the shakily written words MISSING, PLEASE HELP. The doll had hair that perfectly matched the girls. Clearly handmade, the creator had teased the ends of the yarn until the exact quotient of frizzy had been reached.
Antoine had nursed wine from the bottle as he finished his walk to work pondering on what pure love it had taken to make such detail and how much love the little girl had squeezed into that doll when she’d first been given the gift.
Hours later, Antoine with his clattering hands and crimson stained lips had forgotten the doll as he served the witches. He had thought of nothing but the looming arrival of those tallow skin faces. His eyes downcast as he delivered biscotti he saw in the open bag at the feet of Lobelia the witch the curly haired doll, now dirty and stained the color of rust.
Antoine gasped audibly and in inadvertent panic looked directly at the witch. She smiled a coy smile marvelously pleased with herself. “She’s done it on purpose!” Antoine thought to himself, “she wanted me to see it!”
Story portion by Joe
As cunning as the “Terrible Trio” (as they delightfully called themselves) were, they were also forgetful. A dull black notebook was left in the restroom just minutes before Antoine stumbled upon it. Knowing this was planned to be his last living day, he scurried to the kitchen turning pages frantically and found a page titled, “A recipe for Antoine.”
He followed the directions which included “scraped human heel skin,” which Antoine quietly obliged. He poured his new spice mix named after him into the wine bottle and collected himself before going to serve the witches one more time.
As the ladies gleefully sipped their wine waiting for their opportunity to trick Antoine into drinking his customized glass of death, they unknowingly drank their own concoction that would end their lives just moments later. Antoine took off his apron, and walked outside reading the black notebook once more for handwritten directions the witches left behind to find the little girl.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the creativity of our photo artist, Marina, and the storytellers who gave words to her images. Please share this series with others by using the social media share buttons at the top of the page beneath the first image. Of course you’re always invited to drop into our Storytellers Circle each Monday to spread your imagination wings with the rest of the world.
In GRRYO’s Instagram account we feature a photo prompt each Monday and ask our audience to share their stories to accompany the image. We would love for you to join us and share what each photo says to you. In December we focused on the theme of “Giving.” So come and browse through this digest warming yourselves with the tender images of giving and the stories that flow from them.
Photo Credit: Luis
Story Credit: Joe
The elderly street artist stared at the little girl as the little girl stared back at the woman’s weathered face. The little girl smiled and handed the woman a hand-drawn picture. The street artist smiled as she realized that she was the subject of the little girl’s artistic expression.
Photo Credit: Tania
Story Credit: Nancy
Going through an old family album I can still feel my Dad’s hairy arms around me . . . encouraging me toward success! I can even remember his shaving lotion smell (Old Spice of course)!
Photo Credit: Mohsen
Story Credit: Tommy
Jackson decided this year’s Christmas would be different from the past two. Those had been hard years and this one just as difficult but back then he had wallowed in his loss and misery looking for whatever handouts he could get. Although his need was still great, he had decided he would be the one to give this Christmas in spite of his hardship. So here he sat with a gift of fine chocolate he had found in a dumpster on 5th street a year ago and saved for something special. Today he would find someone who needed a blessing and demonstrate the generosity and change he was feeling in his heart.
Photo Credit: Valeria
Story Credit: Ariana
She told me that through the tunnel at the end of the street was her childhood, all the memories and laughter, the secrets and games, the tree climbing and fort building . . . all of it, the little things that make you who you are. That was before things changed – she took my hand and said Peter Pan had it got it right and that on this trip we were going to adventure and find magic – that it exists to those who can see it . . .
Thanks to our wonderful photographers and creative storytellers for this digest. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read we invite you to share this article through any of the social media links you find beneath the banner photo at the top of this page.
In GRRYO’s Instagram account we feature a photo prompt each Monday and ask our audience to share their stories to accompany the image. We would love for you to join us and share what each photo says to you. November found us putting ourselves in the place of the subject of each week’s photo and offering stories from a first person perspective. You will be pleased not only by the images provided by our fantastic Grryo photographers but also by the stories that accompany them. So come and browse through this digest, savoring the delicacies of street life and a clown. We look forward to seeing you next Monday on Instagram to participate in our present theme.
Photo Credit: Sheldon
Story Credit: David
I was in shock and awe, completely dumbfounded at the revelation of the news from my mum. Iggy Pop was my Dad! I knew I was from great lineage and now my chance at stardom was finally upon me.
Photo Credit: Darryl
Story Credit: Ness
To all the clowns out there, please do not take offence by what I am about to say, you see, looking at you makes me sad, not happy at all. I don’t know how it happened, maybe it was your fake painted on smiles, or your oversized dirty shoes that scared me at my first circus. Or perhaps that as a child you seemed to want to come real close, gain my confidence and then do some stupid thing that scared the crap out of me. And now what I see behind the outfit are lonely guys, men who most likely once were funny, the jokers from high school now down on their luck and having to work weekends or creepy movie stereotypes. So dear clowns I am one of the ones keeping my distance, standing back from the crowd, please leave me there and don’t come over bringing me wilted flowers it’s never going to make me laugh. I know because I am one of you.
Photo Credit: Roy
Story Credit: Susan
That bitch. That FUCKING bitch! I can’t believe she’d throw that night back in my face. The entire debacle was HER FAULT and hers alone… she knows it, I know it, everyone that was there knows it! Delusional. Straight up cray cray. Bitch!
Photo Credit: Gonzalo
Story Credit: Joe
These kids think they know it all with their faces in their gizmos. They don’t know diddley squat! And what are those metal cigarettes? Smoke a real one with real tobacco. Hey, we got some things right in our day. We knew how to live!
Photo Credit: Halberstam
Story Credit: Cally
You wanna know something about me? My underwear are too tight, I passionately love macaroni and cheese, and I owe Discover Financial Services $46,500 because those years of five-figure bonuses are as rare now as the all-nighters at the brightly lit, yet sub-humanly depressing blue cubicle that birthed them. I still dream of that place some nights. Only I’m not wearing pants and I forgot my Blackberry. It’s a badly faded memory, darkened with time and overworked cortisol. It’s all over now, and that’s probably ok. I’ve got a family to hang out with instead. And I’ve got a family to provide for. That’s why I’m glad you’ve made the first move. Let me clue you in on a little secret. The secret to longevity. Look at me. I look good. Damn good. I’m 57 years old, but I look 42. Just follow me down to the end of the corridor here where we can talk in private. Ok good. Now, the first thing you need to know is…*THUNK*