Inspired by your post, I just ran the same prompt three times without any change in settings. The last one took a grim turn.
Prompt: Write a short story with the title “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn”
For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn - $20
I placed the ad on Craigslist, hoping to get rid of the baby shoes that had been haunting me since my miscarriage. I couldn’t bring myself to return them to the store, and so they just sat in a box in my closet. But I couldn’t keep them either.
I didn’t expect anyone to actually respond to the ad, but someone did. A woman named Sarah. She told me she’d lost her baby too, and that she understood how I felt.
We met up a few days later and she bought the shoes from me. As she walked away, I felt a little lighter. Maybe those shoes can bring her some peace, like they did for me.
The shoes sat in the window, shining in the sun. They were tiny, beautiful shoes, just waiting for a baby to wear them. But no baby ever did.
The shoes were never worn because the baby they were meant for never arrived. The mother-to-be miscarried just a few weeks after buying the shoes, and she never had the heart to put them away.
Now she was moving, and she couldn’t bear to take the shoes with her. They represented too much pain, too much loss.
So she put them in the window with a sign that said “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” And she hoped that someone who could appreciate them would give them a good home.
For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn by John Doe
My wife and I were expecting our first child, a boy, and we were so excited. We had everything ready for his arrival, but the one thing we didn’t have was a name. We decided to wait until he was born to name him.
When our son was born, we named him Jack. He was the perfect baby, and we were so in love with him. A few weeks after Jack was born, my wife started having some postpartum depression. She was having a hard time bonding with Jack and she was feeling really down.
I came home one day and found her in the nursery, just staring at Jack as he slept in his crib. She turned to me and said, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t do this. I’m not a mother.”
I was heartbroken. I took Jack and left the house. I put him up for sale on Craigslist, and someone bought him within an hour. I never heard from my wife again.