“Write a short story about a person who goes to bed on New Year’s Eve and wakes up in 1920.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
Here and there, I mentioned how I wanted to do more writing this year and to get it “out there.” Taking advantage of my Holiday break, I was able to snoop around creative writing prompts on Reedsy.com, which was recommended to me by a fellow blogger. There are five prompts posted every Friday. You have a week to submit however many stories you want. For the last contest, which closed last week, I submitted five stories. One for each prompt. This week, I submitted two. So far. Leaving three more to go. Each story is 1-3k words. Due to the sheer amount of words needed to submit five stories in a week, I usually write 1,000 words for each story.
Today, I choose to share with you one of the entries from last week. I look forward to your feedback!
“Timothy?” – said the last phone message on Tim’s phone.
The text message was from his ex-girlfriend – Lola. They broke up just days before New Year’s Eve.
“Many couples will not survive the Christmas/ New Year’s break” – said an article Tim read just last month.
“We’ll be just fine” – he smirked.
But they were not fine. Things were already cooling off between them before Thanksgiving. Lola went back to Nebraska to see her family, and Timothy remained in town where his sister and her family lived.
After not seeing each other for almost a week, they ran into one another’s arms and stayed that way for a couple of days, giving Tim hope of reconciliation. But then, things went back to normal. They were fighting about the little things, and there seemed to be little to no passion between them.
For Christmas, they went to see her family first for a few days, and then they were supposed to spend some time with Tim’s sister. But that did not go as planned. They argued a lot while in Nebraska, and they argued loudly. Lola was embarrassed by him. He felt like a fish out of water among a family of lawyers and doctors. He himself was a struggling musician.
“Her parents pay for everything” – Tim scoffed, thinking about how privileged Lola was.
His phone rang.
“Hello?” – he answered, thinking back to Christmas time.
“I’ve been texting you, Timothy” – Lola said.
She usually called him Tim. She only used Timothy when she was mad at him or trying to be serious.
“What do you want?”- he asked, rolling his eyes.
“I’m worried about you” – she replied.
“You? Worried about ME?” – he asked with heavy sarcasm.
“Oh, knock it off” – Lola replied.
“Only because we’re not together anymore does not mean I don’t care about you” – she added.
“Why would you care about me?”
“You’ll be in my heart forever. I used to love you. In a way, I still love you” – Lola said.
“Bullshit” – Tim interjected.
“I don’t think you ever had. You just liked me because you rebelled against your parents for a second, and you liked that I played guitar” – he added.
“That’s not fair” – Lola defended herself.
“Fair or not, I don’t care. We used to be together, now we’re not. End of story. I’ll deal with it… somehow” – he replied.
“So, are you alright?” – Lola asked.
“And what’s it to you?”
“Tim, we’ve been through this before. I care about you” – she said and sighed.
“Uhum. Yes, I’m fine” – he answered.
“Why aren’t you going to Paul’s, then?”
“How do you know?”
“Maya called me.”
Tim blew a raspberry.
“What did she tell you?” – Tim asked curiously.
“Nothing. Just that you weren’t coming because we broke up, and you were feeling shitty” – Lola replied.
“Stupid Maya. I’m going to call her and teach her a lesson about privacy. Plus, I only said that I didn’t want to come. They must have deduced the rest themselves. Erroneously so, if I might add.”
“So, you’re alright?” – Lola asked.
“Yes, I just don’t feel like a big celebration. What’s so special about December 31st, anyway? Why not January 31st or November 30th?” – Time asked and drifted off in thought.
“I don’t know, Tim…” – Lola replied.
“Are you going to the party?” – Tim asked her.
“If you’re really not coming, then I think I’m going to go. They’re my friends, too” – Lola said.
“Sure. Have a good night” – Tim said and ended the call.
He silenced his phone, rolled to his other side, and closed his eyes.
“I wasn’t made for the present” – he thought to himself as he fell asleep.
“Tymon, wake up!” – Tim heard someone shout his name and shake his body violently.
“What? What is it?” – he asked, looking around confused.
He did not recognize the people around him or the furniture in the room. He could understand the language, but he could not shake off a feeling of something being weird.
“These goddamned Russians!” – one of the guys in the room exclaimed.
Tim looked at himself and noticed that he wasn’t wearing his usual boxers. Instead, he was wearing striped pants and a long-sleeved pajama top.
“What’s going on?” – Tim asked, and his eyes widened.
His words sounded different than what he was used to.
“The Red Army increased the number of their divisions from four up to 20 by the border” – the man sitting in the opposite corner of the room answered.
“The Red Army?…” – Tim was trying to make sense of it all.
He stood up and walked towards a wall calendar.
“Oh, I get it. Lola, Maya, and Paul asked you to play a joke on me. Right?” – he said and clapped, proud that he had figured it out so quickly.
“Who’s Maya?” – the first man asked.
“Lola, then?” – Tim pressed.
“Dude, you feeling alright?” – the man in the corner asked.
“Sure. I’m great. Tell Lola that she got me. Where is she? She can come out now” – Tim carried on.
The two men shook their heads.
“Tymon, you need to get ready. We’re leaving for the border in an hour. We’ll finally get the chance to fight those damn Russians” – the cornerman said.
“The Russians. Of course. Is everything that’s evil Russian?” – Tim asked, looking at his companions.
They looked at him as if he was crazy.
“You drank too much last night” – the other man stated.
And then it hit Tim.
He did not know the men, and he surely didn’t know his surroundings. What’s more, he also didn’t know what language they were speaking. What he did know was that he was speaking it, too, as if he was born knowing it. The language wasn’t English. It sounded like it belonged to the Slavic family.
“What year is it?” – Tim asked, looking at the calendar.
“1920. Did you get hit in the head last night?” – the cornerman asked.
“No, I was with him all night. He just drank a bit” – the other man replied.
“1920?” – Tim asked in disbelief.
“So you’re ready to fight for our country? To fight for the freedom of the Polish people?” – asked a soldier that just walked into the room.
“Of course” – replied the two men in unison.
“And you?” – the soldier turned towards Tim.
“What have I done?” – Tim asked himself, remembering the last thing he thought of when he went to bed.
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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