Story Cubes

Story Cubes

Keepers of the Arts, an organization planning arts activities at Flourishes Gallery and Studios in downtown Shelbyville, promotes all of the arts including creative writing. One of the activities when the Third Thursday Wordsmiths were meeting was one of using story cubes.

Nine cubes or dice were used to throw and use those nine pictures that were seen as part of a 20 -minute writing exercise. You are encouraged to do this activity at home and to share it with those at Flourishes by emailing your short story to and get it published on the Flourishes website.

Here is an example of what you might do using the nine pictures and starting a story that you can finish in a short amount of time or can expand on in the future. Give it a try. Prompts for this writing: amoeba, monkey, camera, puzzle piece, ladder, bag, crown, mushroom, castle.

The music grinder and his monkey strolled the open areas and alleyways near Edinburgh Castle day by day, stopping periodically to play for tourists and locals alike, many taking pictures with their I-phone or camera and perhaps sending it on to family and friends by email or Facebook. Oliver, the grinder, was an elderly man of 80ish, while his monkey, Amoeba, was of a miniature species, thus the name.

The crowds took great pleasure in seeing Amoeba scampering about, eating peanuts, and asking for money. Back and forth to the crowd and back to the money bag he went, doing his antics all the while. Oliver had a supply of props that his little fellow used in his play for the crowd. He particularly got laughs when his put on a metal crown way too big for his tiny head and tried prancing around and towards the audience. Every few steps the crown would tilt and either fall off or go on down his body. Amoeba would then reposition it and carry on, having it dislodge again within a short time, with laughter that mushroomed. Pointing and picture taking by the people continued and grew more numerous as the number of onlookers increased.

Oliver had dressed Amoeba in proper clothes for the kingly part he played that summer day, but Amoeba did all the so cute actions.

Oliver and Amoeba were quite a pair. The people on the streets loved hearing the music Oliver played but was more entertained by Amoeba. Oliver had purchased and trained Amoeba from a very young age, seeing him among many of his peers playing in a cage, climbing ladders and playing games. He was the piece of the puzzle in Oliver’s life that was missing as he looked for something to do in his later years. Not only did Amoeba become his own entertainment, but one of the best companions he could have.

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