You just found out your friend or neighbor is in the Witness Protection Program and you.are.shocked!

Maybe this has actually happened to you in real life or maybe you’ve only seen it in the movies, but what would happen if you found out your close friend or neighbor was in the Witness Protection Program? That’s exactly what this writing prompt wants you to imagine. Your scene or short story doesn’t have to be realistic, it can be as fantastical as you’d like. Maybe your story involves a car chase or maybe your story takes place in a fairy realm – let your imagination go wild. Or go small, maybe the whole story is a detailed, realistic conversation around a table. The story is whatever you want it to be as long as you follow the main theme: suddenly discovering someone you know is in WITSEC.

You may want to set a time limit initially. Maybe you don’t know much about WITSEC / Witness Protection, but by setting a time limit, you’ll be forced to focus on your story first; and then, when time is up, you can fiddle with the accuracy and details. I like to choose somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour. Whether it’s a time limit or a different method of your own choosing, the goal is to write freely without stopping.

A Few Notes About Witness Protection to Help You Get Started:
  • An individual can only enter into the program if they are an essential witness in a trial.
  • Individuals and immediate family are relocated away from their past communities and can never return.
  • The program is run by the US Marshalls, US Dept. of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  • When the witness is relocated, local law enforcement is usually notified about their true identity and past.
  • Relocated individuals have to live fairly modestly in order to blend in.
  • Individuals have to pay down all debts before they can be relocated.

Here’s a great, quick reference if you want more information about WITSEC: 12 Secrets of the Witness Protection Program