Creative Prompt, 12.21.22
A nightmare before Christmas.
Hi everyone — last week’s prompt, ‘The animal takeover,’ provided some of the wildest responses yet. We lost elephants to extinction, but we gained a new species in a k-hole dream — a warthog/dog/wolf mutant called a wartdog which lurches into an art collective house party. Read all this and more here:
And ICYMI, here’s my list of the best books I read in 2022.
Here’s the next prompt:
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Until next time,
PS — some tips on how to respond to a prompt can be found here.
Everyone knows Santa isn’t real and the Christmas spirit wasn’t feeling very real either going into a third socially distanced holiday season. Until Santa sent out golden tickets to five lucky entrants on the naughty list. He really knew how to harness the power of social media, too. Nice-listers do not a viral video make. His TikTok account had more followers than Charli by the end of the campaign, and then everyone knew: 1) Santa was real (and a little crazy), 2) Willy Wonka was less fiction and more documentary with real names and settings altered to protect identities. How had no one had ever made the connection between elves and oompa-loompas?
Stuck in 2022
We counted down from ten as we do at this time every year and everyone was champagne drunk and the couples were getting ready for their big kiss. I was the ninth wheel and I waited for the ball to drop so I could move on to the next year and pretend it would be different. The ball dropped and everyone cheered and we toasted and then I realized that it was still 2022.
I looked around and realized I was the only one. The rest of them had passed through but I was stuck behind.
Are you coming or what? Sam said.
I’d like to, I said.
She reached out her hand and I grabbed it but she yanked it back.
You’re freezing! she said.
And so I was. I put my hand to my face and couldn’t believe how cold, especially since it had been hot as hell in their apartment all night. The condo board voted on the heat for the whole building and they’d landed on 77 degrees. My hand was ice, though.
I excused myself to the bathroom but then I left and began walking home. I stepped outside and my fears were confirmed, it was 2022.
Sam called me. Where’d you go?
Home, I said.
Are you coming into 2023? she asked. It’s not too late.
As if it’s up to me, I said.
Just come back, she said. We’ll talk about it.
I’d resolved to stop being such a lone wolf so I walked back to the apartment I’d just left and when I went upstairs I saw that even more time had passed.
Well, Sam said. You look great, I’ll give you that.
I’m stuck in time, I said. What do you expect?
Andy appeared. Jesus man, he said. You’re freaking me out.
I’m leaving, I said.
Wait! Sam said. Don’t listen to Andy! We can fix this.
How? I said.
Um, she said. Well, what are your goals for the new year?
I don’t have any, I said. I don’t do goals. They’re arbitrary and pointless and so are years.
Well with that attitude, Sam said, I’m not surprised time has left you behind.
Goodbye, I said.
I went outside again.