About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.
A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at charactercountonline.com.
I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.
Finally, have fun!
And REMEMBER…you have 280 characters (spaces and punctuation included), to tell your tale…and a week to do it. I can’t wait to see what you create this week.
As promised, the story behind this photo from the Union Tribune:
Winds, weight of soggy namesakes do it in
By Tony Manolatos, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 9, 2008
BALBOA PARK – It was called the shoe tree, and it was one of San Diego’s strangest landmarks.
Hundreds of pairs of shoes – sneakers, high heels, Rollerblades, you name it – hung from its branches. For some reason, people tossed their shoes onto the massive tree, which graced hole No. 2 at Morley Field Disc Golf Course for about three decades.
Tourists – yes, tourists – would drive to Morley Field to get a peek.
Wicked winds knocked the old tree to the ground. It had died years ago, but it was never cut down because of its popularity.
Still, not everyone knew about the tree, one of 10 or so throughout Balboa Park lost to the winds.
Richard Amero, an unofficial park historian, said he’d never heard of the shoe tree. Others are mourning the loss.
“Oh yeah, it’s missed,” said Mitch Zunich, who works at the disc golf pro shop. “Everybody is pretty bummed out.”Zunich and other park employees suspect all of the rain-soaked shoes did the tree in. They said that when the high winds swooped in, the wet shoes served as anchors, pulling the tree to the ground.Yesterday morning, three workers used a chain saw to slice the tree into pieces. The shoes were loaded into two tractor beds – each about the size of a twin bed – and hauled to a nearby Dumpster. It took five trips to get rid of all the shoes.Legend has it that the shoe tree started with a bet. The loser of the disc golf game had to toss his shoes into the branches.By yesterday afternoon, all that was left of the shoe tree was a single branch and a 6-foot stump. It looked as if the stump had been pushed over; the base was still attached to its roots.All of the shoes were gone, but there were two pairs of laces – one turquoise, the other white – strung around the branch. And what looked like a black handkerchief was actually a pair of Victoria Secret panties.“Somehow that’s appropriate,” a nearby golfer remarked.At some point last year, shoes started showing up on another tree. This one is on hole No. 11.Now in Morley Field, disc golfers are waiting for the other shoe tree to drop.
The Shoe Tree
She lost her greening when lightning singed her, tip to root. But life still flickered in her core where tiny creatures nested and cicadas laid their eggs.
One day someone tossed his shoes over her bare limbs. More followed. She was useful again. Life has a way of surprising us. ~kat
By Reena at ReInventions:
It is a ritual for budding sportsmen to tie a shoe on this tree. They believe it gives success.
What started as a way of documenting my son’s journey from childhood to youth has become a beacon of hope to so many. He became a legend for early success, before leaving us forever.
By The Dark Netizen:
There it is, another pair up on you, my dear tree.
Please continue carrying the burden of my shoes for a little while longer. I promise it won’t be long now. These torn shoes are proof of my training and serve to remind me of the pains I have taken.
I will be a gold medalist soon!
Character Count: 280
By Michael at Morpethroad:
Money didn’t grow on trees but the old tree at the end of the road grew shoes.
Old one’s mum said as she pushed the pram past it each day.
“As if I’ve time to waste on getting up there for a pair of size nines,” she’d say telling us we only had one pair and to be grateful for that.
By Deepa at SyncWithDeep:
I am going to get you new shoes, dad said.
Running and toiling behind the entire family for 30 years, mom was all ready to set her foot for the first marathon run.
By Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
Taken Too Literally…
“What is that?” Franklin asked his son when he saw that the small tree in their backyard was covered with shoes draped over its bare branches.
“I made a present for you, Pop,” the boy said. “I heard you tell Mom the other day that you needed a new shoe tree. Well, there it is!”
By Hayley at The Story Files:
It began as a simple thing after the ship wreak, one of the rescuers put the dead boy’s shoes in a tree. More followed and it became a way to keep count of the deaths. The tree was overburdened and it started to wither. It became a memorial; a memory for those lost.
By Willow at WillowDot21:
”What in my name is this.” The big man turned to St Peter who shrugged. “It’s quite a piece of art.” As they were admiring the tree Azriel, his arms full of trainers came into view!
Satan smiled,make him a shoe tree he had told Ariel. Azriel’s naivety, a gift that kept on giving.
By Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian:
The Blood Price
The tree was a monument to a lost generation.
Each shoe represented a child who’d been shot dead at school.
The killings had to end but the tree would remain until Congress passed laws restricting access to guns.
It would likely remain a while until the blood price was paid.
By Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
The tree had become quite a tourist attraction.
57 pairs of shoes in the branches.
114 uppers, 114 laces, 114 throats, 114 tongues, and 114 heels.
Beneath the tree there were only half that number of tongues, all belonging to the 57 bodies buried there!
Please pray for their souls!
By Deepika at DeepikasRamblings:
A crowd gathered at the dilapidated hut in the village. Worried, they were all busy discussing about the otherwise barren tree which had grown “shoes”.
The villagers decided to offer one of their shoe to the “shoe tree” as an oblation, lest some tragedy befell on them..
By Amritha at Igniting Hope:
POI (Point of Interest)
“People paid 20$ just to take pictures of an unusual sight – a shoe tree. Graduate students would hang their shoes in that tree in celebration on their final day. The truth though remains a mystery”, our guide remarked.
“Whoever started this custom, he is clever!”, I pondered.
By Deb at Twenty Four:
In Australia the shoe tree was a common sight so their friends were confused that they kept returning to this one, to take photos and comment on the additions but the smile they shared suggested there was a secret.
No one knew they had thrown up the first pair on their honeymoon.
By The IndieShe:
The Wishing Tree was once lush and green.
Tiny birds crooned and ambled on its wavy branches.
Their nests hung in myriad shapes.
A microcosm of life!
But man made the world his own and life a travesty!
The leaves withered and birds left.
Now costly shoes hung on the dried branches.
By Jan at Strange Goings on in the Shed:
Long John Silver’s Revenge
See that tree. Every shoe’s been pinched from his shop. He can see it from his window, but can’t do anything about it. The damned cur!
The homicidal cobbler finally met his nemesis. He took my leg, and I took his business, down, down, into the Abyss.
John! Time for your medication.
By Anurag at Jagahdilmein:
Shoes that Touch the Sky (Three Stories for the Price of One)
“How the hell did THAT happen?”
“Well, Coach, the athletes said that we basketball players are no more than overgrown monkeys, so we broke into their locker room last night, and used their shoes instead of a ball for practice…on a tree. That’s where monkeys live, right?”
My father taught me that we should always use the enemy’s weapon against him.
So when those runners threw a shoe at us, they should have known better than to dry their newly-washed shoes in the open.
NOW let’s see who’s the monkey?
“Mom, I swear ’tis not my fault. I did watcha told me to do.”
“Then how come this tree is laden with shoes ‘stead of fruit, Jack?”
“I did throw away those beans, but how was I ‘sposed to know that they would fall on the terrace where those athletes were drying their shoes?”
By Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
Toss for a Cause
Thanks to the social media, what started as a local event, gained momentum to become one of the most sought after annual philanthropic meet, christened “Walk with dignity”. The new pair of shoes and the money raised, was donated to the needy, of the remote interior villages.
Letter count : 279
By Lorraine at Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip:
Shoe Tree Nation
Shoe Tree was the trending store and internet influencer.
Life-sized reproductions dangled the designer wares from limb-like “branches”; customers tree-climbed to find their own style and size.
Footwear concierges available to provide a leg up.
Viral video moments guaranteed.
(character count: 264)
By Soul Connection:
“So its easy to tackle cmptitve world wd creativity.Here are shoes,Shw ur creatvty”
He tk few shoes,mobile stair wd him n gne ot,tied shoes in pairs n hangd on tree
Owner ws watchng,Publc too ws curious
He-“Loved?Select here n buy thr”
Pointing 2wrds Showrm
Ownr-“Congrats,U R Selcted”
By D. Avery at ShiftNShake:
Those shoes up there?
I thought you knew.
Unshod they took to the air
bare footed, brave things-
spread their wings
took off and flew!
By Universal Unionist:
Arbor calceus; grows in abundance on the Russian Steppes. Notable variations of the species developed in Holland, Abor clogus nederlandia, and in China, the often much-criticised miniature or dwarf variation, Abor parva pedess.
By Indhu at Always:
Partner in Crime
“Tree of shoes” takes another life! read the headline of the local daily. This is the 36thmysterious murder and the victim’s shoes were on the tree.
The corner news read that the crimes in the town has gone down recently.
He stood in front of her and thanked his partner in crime.
Well done everyone! This week we have an ancient etching, photo by fotoerich at Pixabay.com. Tell me the story of this ancient artifact…how it came to be, where it ended up, or, have a bit of fun with it, and translate a line or two based on the glyphs depicted. You have 280 characters to tell your tale. I’ll see you at next week’s roundup!
Twittering Tales #104 – 2 October 2018
Dr. Willis’ decades-long quest for the mdju netjer, “words of the gods” had been rewarded with an amazing find. As he read the tablet’s message, he realized no one must know. Suddenly, a wind whipped up the sand burying him in a matter of minutes. He was right. No one would know.