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My Gaga-themed short story prompt


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ARTPOPster 1,634

I'm currently finishing an introductory fiction writing course this semester, and early on, we had to write based on specific prompts for thirty minutes

This was the prompt:

  1. A make and model of car
  2. A college or university
  3. An object’s exact weight
  4. A chain restaurant
  5. A place in line (e.g., first, second, third, etc.)
  6. A kind of bag
  7. A specific song (better yet, a specific part of a specific song)

write the opening to a second-person narrative, in which your character—could be any gender—is on their way to rob a bank. Maybe this is their first time robbing a bank. Maybe they’re a seasoned master thief. The details of the character are up to you; the only requirement (aside from using second person) is that you have to include each of the seven particulars listed above somewhere in what you write.

This is what I wrote, so lemme know what y'all think!


You’d never even stolen a Hershey’s bar before. You always double-check your grocery store receipts to make sure everything is accounted for, coupons included. You keep a clip-out of the Born This Way album booklet with the opening lines to “Marry the Night” on your medicine cabinet and in your car. And yet today you have foregone all of these law abiding activities to commit a crime that will save your younger brother’s life. He has stage 2 lung cancer, and the both of you do not have nearly the money required to pay for chemo. So it is with those opening lines - “I’m gonna marry the night / I won’t give up on my life” - that spirit you to commit a bank robbery. The plan should be simple. You’re not going to wave a gun around at anybody. You’re not going to yell. You’re simply going to hand the teller a nicely written note saying you will do those things if they don’t hand over copious amounts of cash. And who would they be to deny you? This is San Francisco in 2023, and the last person the cops are going to be looking for about a bank robbery is a white, 5-foot-8, 150-pound Berkeley dropout. 

You’ve eaten your McDonalds lunch of one large fries, scattering the crumbs in the backseat. It’s time. You idle your hopefully unassuming 2010 Toyota Prius in the front of the parking lot of the bank. It’s 11:39 AM. You take a deep breath, and take the demand note from the glove compartment and the giant tan tote bag you constantly got teased about in high school for. You walk up the steps, enter the vestibule, and then enter the bank. You’re about tenth in line, and about nine of those in front you are geezers who are trying to cash traveler’s checks. You wait patiently. The line moves slowly. You wait patiently. The line moves slowly. You wait impatiently. The line moves so f-ing slowly you think you will start yelling and waving finger guns. 
    “Sir, can I help you?”
    The teller’s voice startles you. You walk forward towards him. He’s about twenty-five, dressed in a polo and khakis, and has gorgeously combed dark brunette hair. You say nothing, and slide him the note underneath the glass. He looks confused as he picks it up and reads it. Then he cracks a smile.
    “Oh my God, I love Lady Gaga too, and you’re cute, but this is kind of an awkward way to ask someone out. Don’t worry though, Marry the Night is my favorite!”

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