Monday 3rd November

Good Monday morning! We're annoyingly cheerful this morning because we've been enjoying reading through your responses. So here's your third prompt ....

Among the things handed into the lost property department today were: Four pairs of spectacles, two handbags, one laptop, three library books, six sets of keys, one red stiletto shoe.


  1. My life: coffee mugs, pens and notebooks, a computer and broken flash drive, trashy jewelry, self-made dresses, slippers, no shoes, calorie counter, rarely used front door keys, boxes of tissues.

  2. A going-away dress of pale blue marocaine, with a skirt cut into petals. A black velvet coat with a grey fox collar, and a grey velvet cap trimmed with ospreys.

  3. So this is the sky
    Without my collection of rose-tinted spectacles.
    Self-help books, desperate e-mails: goodbye...
    Stiletto shoes?
    I only need one
    To bang the nails in his coffin head on.

  4. Eye eye that's handy, online novels to read at your pleasure. They say literature opens doors in the mind so no lame excuses for losing the plot this Monday morning.

  5. On the sixth day of Christmas my true love took me to see everything that was lost. The ghost of Christmas past. One red stiletto to the heart. Blood drips.

  6. Her left shoe is sticky
    and smells of stale champagne.

    Her head hurts. She thinks
    she left her keys in her handbag.

    Where is she? Locked out
    or locked in?

  7. “Man those librarians really know how to party,” he thought to himself, as he put the lost belongings away, and recalled the time they left behind a garter-clad wooden leg.

  8. He opened the handbags - a lottery ticket caught his attention. Must check that later. Now the laptop. The screen glowed with the MOD's logo.

    An average haul for the day.

  9. Singular lost shoes don't make any sense. If your shoe falls off, you notice.

    Once, I was strolling in an easterly direction along the pavement which runs parallel to the Police Station and Library. It's a grey streetscene; no trees except those which are forever saplings. The conditions were good despite the raw wind. A serious place then, you might presume.

    Strangely, my shoe (a plain court shoe with a medium-sized heel, I think) flew off and tumbled over and over, landing a good ten feet ahead. It makes you feel very uneven, hobbling along like that because even the smallest of heels on the remaining shoe is enough to create an inequity hard to replicate without practice and impossible in such a short timespan.

    The distance between my point of separation from the wayward shoe and its final resting place created such a sense of the absurd that I started to giggle. The attempts to stifle this reaction added to the flushing of my cheeks as I became aware that I wasn't as alone as I had thought. Behind the smoked glass of the grey building, there was most of the local constabulary on their tea break. I didn't fantasise that the accidental loss of my shoe would be the subject of a police investigation but knowing I was being observed with such well-honed skill heightened my impulse to laugh and tears began to fall.

    I caught up with the offending shoe, replaced it, ignored the grit sticking to my tights and tried to get a grip. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't immediately done it again with the other shoe. This time I was beside myself but it just goes to show; the MO of a shoe is that it never works alone.

  10. The attic room was full of boxes. Big ones, small ones, suitcases, trunks, hatboxes – Lucy had never seen so many, each one coated with a thick layer of dust. She squeezed past a pile stacked taller than she was, the bottom one so old that the cardboard had become as fragile as royal icing and had shattered at the corner, revealing the dusty corners of old books.

    She followed a path to the window, her footsteps as clear as if she’d walked through snow, and used the remnants of an old cloth to wipe away the dirt and spider webs from the glass and the dozens of dry fly-husks from the sill. She had to stand on tip-toe to see the ground below and was almost surprised to find it overlooked the stable yard.

    The extra light from a clean window afforded her a clearer view of the boxes. One in particular caught her eye – a wooden banana crate stamped with the year of her birth. It was a time capsule from the past. She moved the hat box above it and used her penknife to lever off the lid.. Nestled between old library books and a box of keys on stiff leather fobs, and under a single red leather stiletto shoe, was something large wrapped in a piece of calico. It was round and smooth like a ball but no sport played with such an item – at least, no sport that they would teach at St Pity’s School for Young Citizens. It was a skull, every inch of the surface decorated with etched symbols like the ones in her father’s library, in the books he had forbidden her to look at.

    Lucy grinned. She’d known there would be something in the attic worth taking in for show and tell.

  11. It was only a kiss, he said. She slipped off her shiny stiletto and threw it at his head. A good choice. His bloodied face matched its scarlet shade perfectly.

    Diana Sorrell


    The man behind the counter did not look up from the newspaper spread before him, did not move, did not seem to breathe. In the thin grey light that filtered through a frosted–glass window, he seemed a thing of shadow and dust and thought.

    His voice was a surprise to Bellamy, as though it came from nowhere, as though it might be a voice in Bellamy’s own head, his own voice.

    'Can I help you, sir?'

    'I’m lost,' said Bellamy.

    The man turned the page of his newspaper, slow and careful, neatly and patiently flattening it before reading again.

    'You want Information. Just across the concourse. Can’t miss it.'

    Again Bellamy thought the voice might be his own.

    'I’m lost,' he said again.

    'Yep, we get that a lot. Lost souls. Lost memory. Lost hope. You won’t find none of ’em here. It’s a running joke. Ain’t nothing you’ve lost hasn’t already been reported here. We get ‘em all.'

    Bellamy stood at the door, silent and still.

    The man behind the counter looked up, briefly, then returned to his paper.

    'Lost your way. Lost your train of thought. Lost your appetite. Lost your reason for living. Ain’t nothing that’s lost hasn’t been brought to me. And it’s funny the first time. Don’t get me wrong. I laughed the first times. When they were new to me. Lost heart, lost courage, lost faith. But I heard ‘em all now, see. And they ain’t so funny when you think about it.'

    'No,' said Bellamy.

    'I got pairs of spectacles, handbags, a laptop, three library books, six sets of keys, one red stiletto shoe. That’s just today. All tagged and documented and sitting on the shelves behind me.'

    'Lost and Found?' said Bellamy.

    'Some things stay lost,' said the man.

    Bellamy nodded.

  13. To carry on the lost goods theme, we're getting a few comments that posts are getting lost on their way here! Please do let us know if you can't get through and we'll try to sort it out. Thanks - we don't want to miss any one of you!

  14. The train guard held the red shoe against his stubbly face and thought of her running down the steps in the rain; for one night only - his very own Cinderella.

  15. I’d gone there looking to find ‘our love’ you claimed I’d misplaced – I left with a library book I pretended was mine! I hope you enjoy it, my little Venus.

  16. The attendant idly imagined those items had belonged to two writers, making their way home after a lively book launch. One carrying a lonely shoe, neither able to get home.

  17. Open and shut case

    I’m not getting anything out of
    his spectacles
    staring at me blankly

    but that flash of red stiletto
    from his overnight bag

    could really lead somewhere.

  18. Everything dies in the end. Even words. She knew this better than anybody. A letter a day; opened, read, savoured. Souls in the Dead Letter Room. She was their mistress.

  19. ‘It’s around here somewhere’ he mumbled, rummaging through crumpled boxes. Sitting and waiting until he finally presented it to her, she wrapped her hands around it in disbelief.
    At last!

  20. The bride, wearing a white satin dress trimmed in red velvet and red patent stilleo heels tied at the ankles, tottered precariousy as she walked down the narrow spiral staircase.
    Ellouise Schoettler

  21. things i have found in the street: thirty pounds in notes, a gothic ring and a beautiful wooden ottoman with a blue velvet lid to match our bedroom's colour scheme.

  22. He coughed, adjusted his sunglasses and leaned across the counter to whisper his query.

    In reply, I handed him the shoe: a stiletto (as red as his cheeks), size thirteen.

  23. Look closer. Focus. What once you owned, even for a fleeting moment, now you owe. Security is slipping through your fingers, and soon the shoe will be on another foot.

  24. Out of all of the seats in the waiting room, Steph wondered why the old woman had decided to sit so close. She thought that she was probably lonely, but Steph was fed up of ‘being there’ for everybody.

    “Heading anywhere nice?” The old woman asked.

    Steph couldn’t ignore her. “I Hope so, a new life away from here.”

    “Thirty years ago, I sat there thinking the same thing. I dropped off my husband and daughter in lost property and vanished. I told myself that they were too selfish and I deserved time for myself.”

    Steph’s heart quickened. “What happened?”

    “Everything. I’ve slept rough in Paris and danced with a prince under the moonlight in Monte-Carlo. I’ve tasted the bubbles of champagne, the slither of oysters and more.”

    “Sounds exotic. That’s what I want.”

    “It fades. Whilst the prince might remember, he certainly wouldn’t recognise me. The currency required to join the beautiful people is fragile and easily spent.”

    “But the sights, the places, surely they were exciting?” Said Steph.

    “The acropolis in the heat of the day was wonderful, but how I paid for the room wasn’t.”

    “You came back. Why?” Steph asked.

    “I hoped that my daughter might see me. She took one look and slammed the door. Back then, I didn’t know what was losing.” She fell silent. Her tear filled eyes stared into the distance.

    The tannoy called and the woman struggled back out into the cold. Steph noticed that she tugged a case the same as hers, only frayed and battered. Shaken, she realised that she had just met herself coming back. Was Andrew that bad? It was Victoria’s ballet tonight. How would she feel when Mummy missed it?

    She crumpled her ticket and gathered her things. “Time to reclaim them,” she sighed to herself.

  25. You never learn anything good
    by snooping
    but the subject
    of the email
    was irresistible
    -red stiletto-
    please get another set of keys cut
    I will tell him tonight

  26. The devil admired the way the pair of red stilettos disguised her. What if she were to keep just one and give the other to Versace, or was that Prada?

  27. I am lost today ,for my connectivity to laptop is slow, and my fury and disgust
    is shown in the home department, for what is lost tapped in the utensils .

  28. Post-it note on bachelor’s mirror -

    Find Yellow Pages

    Choose reputable tattoo parlour

    Get bruise on chest made permanent before it fades


    Never forget the kiss of a red stiletto

  29. The list of unclaimed items is yellowed with age; dust from those bleak days still clings to its surface. Long past the time of survivors, it holds them in memoriam.

  30. I spy, with my little eye, something through the keyhole which doesn’t begin with an ‘s’ nor ‘A’’ nor ‘f’ but more a ‘b’ for ‘bodies’ walking with bare feet.


  31. Have you had any glasses handed in? I've lost my driving glasses. And my reading glasses. And my glasses for piano playing. And my pair for finding my other glasses.

  32. To all my dear children and grandchildren,

    I know that it will soon be my time. I feel it in my bones. My body is weary, I ache and I am tired.

    It will soon be time for me to die. I know it, but I am not afraid.

    However, it is important that you know of my last request.

    Since the age of twenty I have had a happy life. Your father made sure of that. I have been a somebody. I was a wife, a mother, a businesswoman and lastly, a grandmother. But it isn't labels that have made me into a somebody. It is that which is inside of me - my soul, my spirit.

    Before the age of twenty I was a nobody. I was in Belsen along with all the other nobody's. When we were liberated in April 1945 I was near to death. My body was weak, but with food and careful nursing I slowly regained my strength. But the body is easily mended. It was my spirit which had deserted me.

    It was the same for all of us, and the doctors knew it. They needed something other than medicine to mend our souls.

    And they found it.

    It was a simple thing. Lipstick. Bright red lipstick.

    The transformation was miraculous and immediate, not just in myself but in every female in the hospital. We didn't have clothes nor families nor a home. But suddenly we became women again. We were a somebody.

    And that is my one final request when I die. I
    vowed that I would never be a nobody again, so I want you to make sure that I am wearing bright red lipstick when I go to meet my Maker.

    After all, my God wouldn't recognise me without it now.

  33. Hanging in her closet was the most amazingly beautiful red dress. She had shopped for weeks to find it. She had determined that she would wear only red to the wedding. It would show off the auburn lights in her hair.
    She had hunted for the right jewelry. Diamond earrings hanging against the place on her neck that he had loved to kiss. A necklace that fell just between her breasts.
    Finally the shoes, beautiful red stilettos, she loved those shoes. She knew that by the end of the evening she’d be suffering but it would all be worth it.
    It would most certainly be worth it if he would look at her and see that she was completely put together. That she had gotten over him and had moved on with her life. She didn’t want there to be any doubt in his mind. She didn’t need him and she didn’t want him to think that she lay awake night after night missing his touch, longing for the sound of his voice in her ears. Surely he would see that she was completely recovered and didn’t spend every gray afternoon walking about the apartment in one of his old sweaters pretending he would appear at any moment.
    She’d spent hours on her makeup and hair. The dress fit perfectly. The jewelry was perfect. All she needed was the shoes. She reached into the bag but there was only one. Where could the other one be? She frantically searched the apartment. Thinking back she vaguely recalled losing her balance on the train, she hadn’t been aware of the shoe falling out of her shopping bag. In the end she hung up the dress, put away the jewelry and spent the evening roaming the apartment in on of his old sweaters.

    gina benson

  34. there is a lost and found in my soul. and anytime anything's gone missing, i can always find it. it's just a matter of going looking for things here, there.

  35. Shrink-wrapped, she sits in a corner, bag of belongings at her feet. The nurse gets her name wrong. It doesn't matter anymore. No visitors: they're busy again this week.

  36. There were six of them. They were arranged at the only table in the small neighborhood pub that would accommodate them all. This is where they always sat, in the back. Two women, four men, all residing in the same apartment building four blocks away in five different apartments.

    They were halfway through a game of Yahtzee—they almost always played the old, beat-up version the pub owned, complete with the mismatched dice, when they came—and the odds were as consistent as the table:

    Loser has to walk the four blocks home naked.

    These were the rules. In their late twenties, some wondered why they still found the whole situation amusing, but they still couldn’t help but chuckle every time. Although, they thought when they thought about it, the lager could always take the blame for it.

    On the table: four pairs of spectacles (belonging to the avid readers who drained their eyes young), two handbags (the ladies’), one laptop (life source of the one who worked late and almost always missed the first round), three library books (graduate school was a killer), all six sets of keys, and one red stiletto shoe.

    A full house. Two of a kind. Four sixes (to the moans and groans of the rest). And a chance. Then a straight. And finally,


    It didn’t take too many more rolls around the table before the winner was announced. Everyone ordered more beer. Mr. Graduate Student had lost, but no one was rubbing it in yet. Conversation took over and more beers were ordered when the previous were finished. And then came last call.

    The dregs downed and heads fuzzy, it was time for the walk of shame. And in the hilarious and hasty escape, everything was left on the table, forgotten ‘til sober.

  37. When the waters receded, the maintenance crew collected items such as handbags and laptops. If the items were not claimed, they could be donated to charity. Proceeds profited the needy.

  38. An old beaten up sneaker with a black feather boa, a single red stiletto with the leather riding crop. Ed liked to display the things in lost property Emin style.

    Jacqueline Smith

  39. Some things will stay missing forever, others have a secret partner elsewhere in the network. There is a password on a piece of paper. It is not lost,just misplaced.


  40. I hide my left stiletto in my Fendi tote:
    red matches the lining.
    The locker key:
    the clue. He’ll know
    where to meet, my beloved
    Grand Central lost property manager.


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