Writer’s Digest magazine has a weekly newsletter that includes a writing prompt. Last week’s was basically, you find a map while gardening of your house. But the map includes a room you’ve never seen. Write what comes next in 500 words or less. Here’s the first draft of that prompt, with only some descriptive left to better visualize the search:
Madelyn couldn’t believe what she had. Before her was possible proof of the stories passed down through the generations. She knew the house had been in the family since revolutionary times. Her maternal grandmother’s line was adamant the house not be lost to outsiders. A Bishop must always live in the house.
It was her first spring as owner of the house and she couldn’t wait to repair the gardens, especially the one that was her mother’s favorite, the one with the large faery statue. It was under that statue that Madelyn found the map. It only took moments to realize it showed the location of the elusive room of legend.
She immediately grabbed a flashlight from the kitchen and raced to the basement, a room she’d been in thousands of times over the years, hoping to prove the stories true. She flipped on the light as she descended the stairs and could almost feel a difference in the room, as if her hopes were a physical tie, pulling her in further. If the map was accurate, the entrance was on the wall directly opposite the stairs, the wall lined with shelves of dried herbs and mason jars. She didn’t relish the idea of clearing and tearing down those shelves. But she needed to find the hidden entrance.
A quick recheck of the map revealed instructions she must’ve previously missed, to press a couple of bricks and a door would open without removing the shelves or the contents. Directly to the right of the fourth shelf down, she pushed the brick above and one three below in about an inch. Waiting for a door to slide open, she was startled when a panel dropped open near her feet. She turned on her flashlight and descended the stairs in eager anticipation. Her sister would be so jealous.
As she reached the bottom step, the light revealed exactly what she’d hoped to find; spell books, candles, cauldrons of varying sizes, and the family altar. She could barely contain her glee as she looked upon her heritage thought lost since the Civil War. She was truly descended from witches!