A story idea that's always appealed to me: entitled "The Crossing Guard."
They're everywhere. Standing at the crosswalks near the schools every day, stopsign in hand, waiting. They're there in the rain, in the snow, in the blazing heat with those heavy traffic vests. They often look a little strange, or a little lost; some of them are clearly there because it's the only job they can get. Some of them talk, some don't. Some make jolly conversation and some sulk or glare. Some of them act a little shady, or follow you to the library, or ask you for money, or what your favorite color is. You smile or nod or say "thanks" in a rushed sort of stranglement and move on.
Then, at four, they disappear. Nobody thinks of them after that. No one really thinks of them at all, but between four PM and seven AM, they don't exist. Only they do, really. I may have mentioned that they sometimes look or act a little strange. I'm sure they each have a story. Maybe it's a happy story, likely it's a sad one. Maybe it's a love story, or a beggar story, or an inner-demons story. Who knows? I'd like to.
So go forth, and find me a real or an imaginary crossing guard. Create a blog entry. Use the tag: Crossing Guard. Tell me where they go at four. Tell me why they are who they are. Tell me what they're like, and what they like, and how they're here. Make them people.
(BONUS: if you want super-kudos from me, and want to maybe make someone's day, try interviewing a real crossing guard and telling me a true story! I'd be as excited as they would be.)
Most of us are just getting to the age when sometimes they don't step out into the road for us anymore. Sometimes, though, they still do.