Freely Written: Short Stories From a Simple Prompt

Rhyme Time

March 28, 2023 Susan Quilty Season 1 Episode 86
Freely Written: Short Stories From a Simple Prompt
Rhyme Time
Show Notes Transcript

In today's story, Rhyme Time, a friendly walk sparks rhyming talk

Today's prompt was loosely inspired by a podcast I enjoy called Something Rhymes with Purple. It is a British podcast that delves into the origin of words. You can find the podcast here: Something Rhymes with Purple.

The story today got a bit silly. I focused on rhyme, not meter, so there are a few rough places I would have smoothed out if this wasn't a free-written story. But that's the way it goes with a freely written story!

If you like to play with rhyming words, you might want to check out the handy site mentioned in this episode: Rhyme Zone

If you enjoy today's story, please share it with your friends and leave a review for Freely Written. Thank you!

More about Susan Quilty

Susan Quilty mainly writes novels, including two standalone novels and her current YA series: The Psychic Traveler Society.  Susan's short stories for Freely Written are created during quick writing breaks and shared as a way to practice her narration skills before she dives into recording audio versions of her novels.

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Below is the transcript for Season 1, Episode 86 of Freely Written, a podcast by author Susan Quilty:


Welcome to Freely Written where a simple prompt leads to a little unplanned fiction.

[Light piano music]

Hi, friends! I’m Susan Quilty and today’s prompt is Rhyme Time.

If you’re new to my Freely Written podcast, here’s how my process works: I choose a writing prompt—or someone suggests one for me—then I sit down and write whatever comes to mind, with no planning and very little editing. When it’s done, I share that story with you. 

Today’s writing prompt was loosely inspired by another podcast that I enjoy called Something Rhymes with Purple. If you haven’t heard of that, it’s a British podcast hosted by Gyles Brandreth and Susie Dent. Each episode delves into the origin of various words. If you’re interested in etymology, the study of words, do check out Something Rhymes with Purple. I’ll add a link in the show notes.

Now, I say today’s prompt was loosely inspired by that podcast because it doesn’t really have all that much to do with it. I had thought about using one of the words from a recent episode as a prompt, but then I decided taking rhyme from their title could also be a good prompt. So, I went with Rhyme Time

As soon as the prompt occurred to me, the opening line popped into my head, and that gave me an idea for this whole story. Or maybe gimmick is a better word for it. You’ll see what I mean as the story unfolds. 

And… here we go:

Rhyme Time 

They were taking a walk at their usual time, when Sarah asked Tara, “Do you like to rhyme?”

“I guess, more or less,” Tara said with a shrug, then ducked to the left while swatting a bug. 

They walked a bit longer, intent on their task, before Tara finally ventured, “Why do you ask?”

“Just a thought,” Sarah said as she picked up a stick. “My folks like to rhyme, and I’m a little homesick.” 

“How long has it been?” Tara asked with a frown. “Since you’ve had a chance to get back to Beantown?”

“Two years,” Sarah sighed. “No wait, it’s been three! Back when Tommy got his master’s degree. Sometimes, I want to move back to Boston, until I remember to figure the cost in!”

“It’s a pricey city, no doubt,” Tara agreed, then turned with a shout. “Look at that hawk flying high overhead! Its wings are huge, and its head is brick red!”

“That’s a turkey vulture, not a hawk,” Sarah laughed as Tara continued to gawk.

“Oh, I guess you’re right. I forgot about that. Remember when one of them chased Megan’s cat?”

“No, that was a mockingbird, from what I overheard, but I was listening to Old Hugh the whole time she told you. Remember that guy? The one we sat by, because he took great notes in that class about goats?”

“When did we take a class about goats? And why didn’t we just pick up some Sparknotes?”

“You have the worst memory, I swear! Do you even remember our trip to Time Square?”

Tara laughed at Sarah’s mock dismay, then shook her head and went on to say, “Uh, yeah, that I remember. It was freezing cold. I think mid-December. We went to see Ben star in The Crucible, then blew it off to go see a musical.”

“It was a good call,” Sarah agreed with a laugh. Then paused on the trail to scratch at her calf. 

A cool breeze ruffled leaves on the bushes nearby, and Tara looked up to study the sky.

“I don’t see any more signs of that huge turkey vulture, but our theater talk makes me think we could use some more culture. When was the last time we went to a serious play? Or a museum, an opera, or even the ballet?”

“We could go on a tour of the big manor house,” Sarah suggested while straightening her blouse. “It’s not very far from the end of this trail, and there’s likely still plenty of tickets for sale.”

“That’s an idea,” Tara said with a nod. “I haven’t toured a house since my trip to Cape Cod.”

“There are lots of homes to tour back in Boston, some with gardens I’d love to get lost in.” Sarah’s mind drifted down memory lane, while Tara glanced up at a passing airplane. 

“I could go with you for a visit this summer. I know missing family can be such a bummer.”

Sarah smiled at her friend’s generous proposal. She was lucky to have such kindness at her disposal.    

“Taking a trip would be pretty fun,” Sarah said as a cloud passed over the sun. “But let’s not worry about that just yet. From the looks of that sky, we’re about to get wet!” 

“Oh, no,” Tara sighed as the darkness crept in. “At least we had time to get all our steps in.”

She glanced at her watch, pleased with their distance, then brought up the house tour with hopeful insistence. 

“Let’s get a move on,” Sarah agreed with a grin. “And hope a tour starts before the rain sets in!” 

They quickly walked to the end of the trail, then found some stairs with an iron handrail. At the top of the steps, an antique plaque told them that they were on the right track. The manor house was just up the hill, around the bend, past the old mill. 

As clouds continued to darken the sky, Sarah and Tara rushed on with hopes to stay dry. They picked up their pace, taking a turn to the right, and the massive white house was a much welcomed sight. 

They stepped through the doors as the first drops of rain fell, and soon were assured that all would be well. Visitors were mingling near a colorful chart, which listed the times when the next tours would start. 

Sarah and Tara stepped up to the counter and buying their tickets was a friendly encounter. The woman who sold them quickly told them that they had some time before the bell would chime, letting them know it was time to go. Until then, they could view the art on display or use the facilities just down the hallway. 

They opted to wash up after the woods and found the right room past a display of dry goods. 

“This will be fun,” Tara said with a smile, glancing around at the old-fashioned style. 

“Yes,” Sarah agreed with a laugh. “Did you see when we passed that old phonograph? It’s not exactly the day that we planned, but as my dad says, Let’s make this day grand!”

The End


Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed that story. I really wasn’t sure I could keep the rhyming up for a whole 10-minute-ish story, and this did end up being on the shorter side as far as the stories on this podcast usually go… but it was really fun to write! 

If you’re ever trying to write a song, a poem, or anything else that rhymes, I recommend checking out a website called Rhyme Zone. It’s one I came across many years ago, and I really like its simple search options for finding rhyming words and phrases. 

Speaking of websites, if you’d like to learn about my novels and other projects beyond Freely Written, you can visit my website at I’ll add links to both of these websites and the Something Rhymes with Purple podcast in the show notes.

Lastly, if you did enjoy this story, please tell your friends about Freely Written and write a review wherever you listen to podcasts! Thank you for listening and for all of your support!

Until next time, try a little free writing of your own. Let go of any planning and see where your imagination takes you. 

[Light piano music]