‘Take Three Nouns’ Writing Prompt

Expressive writing is one medium through which people process their toughts and feelings following stressful or traumatic events but the rate of emotional well-being and recovery depends on one's culture.

I recently discovered a website simply titled Writing Exercises. Of it’s many prompt resources is one called Take Three Nouns.
The idea is that you take the three nouns randomly generated for you and work them together in any way that your mind can connect them. Essentially it’s a free writing exercise. There’s no plot or story to tell, but what comes out of it may lead to inspiration for other works or other parts of life. Who knows!

This one turned out a bit strange, but I guess that’s part of the magic of a writing prompt, you just never known where it’s going to end up at the end!

Let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments!


I chose to play today, and the three words I was given were Anxiety, Ice-cream and Shoes.

Going out for ice-cream was always something fun they liked to do as a family. It was a time when their children could eat their weight in sugar and the parents didn’t feel bad for it, because they were making memories. There was no one judging them for loading their kids up with sugar, because they were good parents for spending time with their kids.

No one was judging the parents for the way the kids smeared ice-cream and chocolate sauce over their shirts, because clothes can be washed at the end of the day. There was not one whisper about how ratty their children’s shoes were, because it didn’t matter what was on their feet as long as they were smiling.

Not one person was watching the parents, who watched their kids with both amazement and anxiety. It had not been more than a week since they had their one child returned to them. He had gone missing in the blink of an eye, there one moment and gone the next. They had searched high and low, for weeks without results. After months had passed they had begun to lose hope for ever finding their oldest child. When their son’s birthday had come, they celebrated and sang happy birthday to a small cake with tears in their eyes. Their Christmas tree went up, and watched over gifts for their son long into January before they reluctantly put it away. When they were without any hope, they watched their youngest graduate from kindergarten with tears in their eyes.

One morning came, over a year after they finally lost hope, and everything changed. It all began with a single phone call, during pancakes and a song. Their first grader sat with syrup smeared from ear to ear, and even a little in her hair, when their faces fell. The phone presses hard between then, it was clear to see that things were not good.

In the afternoon they were brought together with a police officer, waiting and hoping and silently praying for an end to their suffering. When they looked through the one way glass at a little boy, he was quietly eating a bowl of ice-cream at a table in an otherwise empty room. The parents instantly teared up, hugging each other tight.

Later that night, they went out together as a family for the first time in a long time. They had ice-cream, bought the most popular new shoes for both of their children and even their favorite toys. No one needed to know the deep anxiety between them, the fear that maybe one day one of their children could be taken right from under their noses again.

Maybe it would never happen again, maybe there would be a close call or two, but they will always be watchful. They will always be thankful to have their children and be together as a family.


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