Photo Writing Prompt: Demented Barbie

A while back some friends invited me to go to Savers with them. I had never been, so I said, “Sure! Sounds fun!” Well, three hours later, it was not that fun. I’m not much of a shopper…and let’s just say that my friends LOVE to shop.

After I had looked at what interested me, I wandered around taking pictures of items that I thought might inspire a story, then starting texting friends with a picture and the words: Story Prompt. Go!

Here is one of my favorites. I challenge you to write a story using 1000 words or less. I would love it if you post it in the comments!

“Demented Barbie Writing Prompt” by Robin Woods


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4 responses to “Photo Writing Prompt: Demented Barbie”

  1. “Whenever Tomas, her one true love, got a new girlfriend, Sharon would scour the stores for a doll that looked like her. There was something satisfying about dressing them up and shoving them in plastic bags. Imagining what that it was an actual woman gasping for breath. Slowly dying. Feeling the way Sharon felt inside.

    This time was different. Tomas had come to her, his face glowing with excitement, to tell her that he was engaged. In the past she had always felt jealousy, yes, but this time even that was overwhelmed by a boiling anger. How dare this woman beguile her dear Tomas. How dare she use her wiles to ensnare him and steal him away.

    She hid the rage, holding it tight until she got home, but once she was there it spilled out like blood from a severed artery. She chopped all of the doll’s hair off, hacking at it viciously with a dull knife, and tied the bag as tightly around the doll as possible. Standing in the middle of her living room, surrounded by thousands of strands of black hair, she stared at the doll. It smiled back at her, the painted eyes shining with stars. With a scream she hurled it at the ground.

    A few hours later Tomas called in a panic, saying that his fiancé was dead. Suffocation. Sharon stared at her wall of dolls in shock. Then a small smile spread across her face. She had to try it again. But who would be her next victim?”

  2. Armandine had the perfect older sister. Juliette never angered her parents, never failed a test, never got spaghetti sauce on her clothes. And she never let Armandine forget it.
    “Why are you wearing mismatched socks, Armandine?”
    “Why are you talking with your mouth full, Armandine?”
    “Why are you playing with Barbies, Armandine?”
    As the girls grew up, Juliette’s questions grew teeth. “Why are you showing off your baby fat in those jeans, Armandine?”
    “Why are you trying to make dumb jokes, Armandine?”
    “Why do you STILL play with Barbies, Armandine?”
    Armandine’s Barbies had become a refuge for her. Through them, she dreamed of adventures and true love, lasting beauty and comradery. Her collection had expanded over the years to encompass every character she imagined. The simple caricatures of her childhood evolved into a well-defined family.
    In sixth grade, several of Armandine’s classmates came over to her house to work on a group project. A boy named Mattieu stumbled upon her bedroom while looking for the bathroom and discovered her precious Barbies strewn about the floor. He noted the children’s books on the shelf and the blanket fort on her bed before reporting back to the group.
    “Is this your younger sister’s room, Armandine?” Blushing, Armandine quietly explained that the room was hers. Mattieu and the others laughed harshly and bombarded her with still more questions.
    “Why do you still make blanket forts, Armandine?”
    “Why do you still read children’s books, Armandine?”
    “Why do you still play with Barbies, Armandine?”

    That night, Armandine carefully stapled each Barbie in a plastic bag, sealing inside her dolls and her shame. With a long exhalation, she curled up in her window seat and began to write the answers to all the questions she had ever been asked:
    I wear mismatched socks because I like to be colorful.
    I talk with my mouth full because I get excited to share my thoughts.
    I wear tight jeans because I’m not ashamed of my body.
    I make dumb jokes because I want you to laugh.
    I make blanket forts because I wish for safety.
    I read children’s book because I like good and evil to be clearly defined.
    I play with Barbies because I imagine a better life.

    But the time for playing with dolls was over. Instead, she decided, she would live the life she had given her dolls, a life full of adventures and true love, beauty and comradery. She would confidently answer the questions of those who did not understand her vibrancy. And she would give her dolls to other little girls who just needed a touch of imagination.

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