CW: Count your blessings.

“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.
[Source: @Reedsy.com
]

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!

If you would like to read more of my stories, and/or participate, click on the button below.

***

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.

Really?

Really

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.

January 1st.

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!

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png.

***

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54 thoughts on “CW: Count your blessings.

Add yours

  1. Wow! This emotional story left me wanting more!
    The dialogue was excellent. Communication between Tim and Lola was so realistic it reminded me of times not so good in any relationship. I felt he still loves her, even though he “Blew a raspberry.”

    Creating a different language can be difficult, but I was able to suspend my disbelief when Tim was awakened by the name “Tymon” and a casual mention that Tim understood and now spoke the “Slavic Family” language. The ending with “What have I done?” gave me chills as I wondered what Tim was going to do.
    Well done story using the creative writing prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Partly I am so happy that you continue writing CWs. Another part of me wants to punch you in the face for not saving them for an (e)Book.
    Either way, it’s a compliment 😉

    Great story!
    Especially the last sentence of both part 1 and 2.
    Be careful what you wish for, eh. Not the best time to wake up in in those circumstances.

    I now realize I need to read up on the Poland / Soviet war.
    I have a colleague from Poland and he has told me everything from a Polish point of view, but that doesn’t necessarily reflects facts.

    Are you interested in history?
    If so, which era/country interests you the most?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made me laugh out loud. I actually thought about the whole “publish online vs. save for a book” thing. In the end, I figured that:
      1. I want to focus on publishing my novel before a collection of stories.
      2. I need to build an audience. Publishing does nothing if no one will buy it. By sharing my stories with people on various platforms, hopefully, I will gain a wider audience. (Or not. LOL)

      I’m glad you liked the endings. I tried to tie it together best I could.

      History had to have been probably my least favorite subject in school. I had a tough time remembering specific dates linked with places and kings, etc. My brain found all that information “useless,” which kind of pushed me away from diving deeper into it.

      What about you? I feel like you definitely have a favorite era.

      Like

      1. Really? What was your favorite subject then?

        I didn’t like studying for history, but the teacher was quite amazing. Very theatrical.

        I really like the Ancient Greeks.
        And once you have seen an Amphitrater, the ancient Romans are interesting too.
        Not too long ago I saw a documentary about the Romanovs which fascinates me too.
        And I like to read about the Austrian-Hungarian empire, but mainly because of princess Sissy 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah yes, Ancient Greece was probably the only time period which I did good in. I saw the sights. One of my favorite vacations.

          I haven’t been to Rome, but had family that did, so I also had plenty of materials from there.

          Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of her.

          Like

  3. I just can’t stop laughing.
    This was an interesting (and humourous, if I say so myself) read. I can’t imagine what I would do if I were in Timothy’s shoes. I’d probably go back to sleep or maybe seek the counsel of a strong shaman or witch.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Another interesting prompt. Might give it a try.
    What’s up with the prompt website? You submit your work to website? Are there any awards or something? Do they post your work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They post prompts, you submit and they appear on your “profile” as pending. Once the contest closes (after a week), your entries are approved (if they meet the guidelines) and posted under the specific contest for all to read. There is no entry fee. There is a $50 prize for THE top story. However, I don’t really write for that. There are literally HUNDREDS of submissions each week. They have recently launched a new initiative where they pair you with other people so that you can give them feedback on their stories and them on yours. I think that’s a great idea.

      Like

        1. At this point in time I find it a little fast-paced, because I’m still writing stories for the previous contest (due Friday at midnight) when they already post new prompts (early Friday). But I do realize that it’s not their fault. It’s me who decides to write stories for every prompt while trying to juggle life.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes. I have made myself accept the fact that I can’t write for every prompt. But I’m always finding new places for prompts and following them to get a notification everyone they post a new one. This allows me to choose the ones I want to pick up and write for at that time.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. After Tim interjects with “Bullshit” it’s hard to figure out who’s talking. Put the rest of his comment on the same line so we know he’s continuing his thought.

    Polish didn’t ever say “dude!” (snickers…) The word, dude, was a derogatory form of “dandy”– All dressed up and no place to go.

    I liked the sudden wake-up scene! It is great that he naturally speaks the language where he’s found himself! Interesting premise! How does it work out?!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I went back and I definitely see what you mean in regard to the line after “bullshit.” I updated that. Thank you for pointing it out.

      Regarding dude: Tim is from 2019 (present); to him, dude is an informal word for “a guy.” Even though we know the Polish guy is speaking Polish, what Tim hears is filtered through his knowledge of English. He’s aware of his past. He is surprised his words sound different (Polish) because he still thinks in English.

      I’m glad you liked the premise. I really haven’t thought of what’s next.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback!

      Like

  6. I like how that last thing he thought of “I wasn’t made for the present” before he want to sleep tied in with the ending “Tim asked himself, remembering the last thing he thought of when he went to bed.”. As always, I really love how the dialogue helps paint the personalities of the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thrilled to hear that you appreciated the tie between end of part 1 and part 2. Mission accomplished!

      As a reader, I prefer dialogue to plain descriptions. Just like you said – the dialogue can showcase many things about the character’s personality. As a writer, I go through phases of writing descriptions (because that’s supposedly better) and binging on dialogue.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I knew from the start the story would be about someone waking up in the past… It was an interesting journey getting there!!!
    Still trying to figure out if this is time travel and the paradoxes involved though as a scifi fanatic, like your consciousness wakes up in a totally different timeline, with recollections of another time, but in the here and now seems you lived another life and all set to go to war after a night of drinking hmmm probably over drank too drown out terrible prospect of war….

    ~B

    PS i do hope you continue this story will they all die????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, of course you knew, because I wrote the prompt at the very beginning. Sometimes, when there is a bigger plot twist, I keep the prompt for the end, otherwise, post at the top. But now that you’ve mentioned it, if the prompt reveals something unexpected, I might have to make it a habit to put it at the bottom. But I’m glad the story was able to hold your interest. Sometimes, when I know where the story is going, I still get hooked because I keep guessing how and when it will twist.

      Good question. Sci-fi is not a territory I am overly familiar with. In this case, there might be some magic involved. I definitely like your ideas.
      Thank you for your encouragement! Maybe one day…
      Stay golden!

      Like

      1. You’re welcome , my friend. I’m finding more time to write lately which is good and as for the journal, I have another just about to go. WEehave a storm coming tonight into tomorrow 60-70 cms of snow, so no excuses right? and yes, you read that right.

        Liked by 1 person

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