Certain things are easy symbols. Thunderclouds suggest trouble ahead. A warm fire in the fireplace is welcoming. Five inch heels suggest an interest in hooking up. A rusty pickup truck signals a struggling farmer or rancher. A German Shepherd dog is trouble. A poodle is not serious. A waning moon means someone is failing. A tuxedo means wealth. Sunrise is hope. And so on. None of these associations is purely true, but when writers stick them into a story, they create an unconscious assumption on the reader’s part.
Can you put these items into a story without using them to suggest their usual association?
Warm fire in fireplace
Rusty pickup truck