Story Starter: Lovers’ Padlocks


This bridge of padlocks happens to be in Frankfurt.

You see these in so many European cities now, don’t you? A river, a bridge, and hundreds of padlocks placed there by young romantics as a token of their unbreakable love. It’s a fabulously romantic gesture, a special moment locked in time, and as you walk across the bridge you can’t help wondering about all the couples who have been there before you.

But … what if the unthinkable happens and the couple part? Do they then jet around the world again with a pocket full of keys to seek out all their padlocks? Maybe they carry a set of bolt-cutters in their backpack? And then how on earth do they find theirs among so many?

That’s just one thought I have whenever I see them, but that’s looking on the pessimistic side! It would be lovely to believe that their love endures, and the only reason they might return is to reaffirm their bond or mark a special anniversary.

And I’ve just noticed I wrote “young” lovers in that first paragraph  – but they won’t all necessarily be young, will they?

There’s another aspect, too, of course. Some local authorities have been obliged to cut the locks off more vulnerable or popular bridges because of the additional weight. Older structures just can’t take it. Would a young couple who returned to find theirs gone see that as a bad omen?

The more I think about it, the more ideas are churning through my mind, but it’s over to you now to make of this what you will…. And yes, before you ask, still looking only for 2000, 3000 or 4000 words.

Oh, and as usual, if you need a reminder of how this Story Starter series works, try here.

Or maybe this has intrigued you and you’re thinking, where are all these other pictures that have been posted over the last few months? Here’s a random selection from a few months back. You could always set yourself the challenge of writing one story from them all!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.

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