Prompt 17: New Year's Eve – 501 Prompts

501 Prompts is me trying to be confident in my abilities as a creative mind – for the last time in 2019.

Here’s how it works: prepare an idea, write for 20 minutes, edit, upload it and move on to the next. It’s open to all genres, topics and experiments with storytelling.

This time the Twitter community voted on my prompt and guess what? It was a tie between two options. So I’m stuck with 6 prompt words.

Illustration by slightly_overwhelmed.

Enjoy the last prompt of the decade!

The Prompt

3 noun prompts x 2
loyalty pasta necklace
anger tree fruit

My Story

The party started just like it had countless times before. It was New Year’s Eve of 2019, again.

Everyone had come together at my friend Jade’s apartment to celebrate the end of a decade. Music played loud enough to make all the talking and laughing blend together to pleasant background noise.

“Shit,” I murmured, knowing that Jade was standing right next to me. The cycle repeated itself one more time.

I had lived through that night so many times by now. No matter what I tried, every time it ended the same way: with the extinction of all human life on earth.

“What’s wrong?” asked Jade.

I looked at her just long enough to notice the concerned face she gave me. Almost I didn’t bother to answer because I already knew where all the paths were heading. And it wasn’t pretty.

Jealous I looked back at the crowd, enjoying themselves in blissful ignorance. If I couldn’t change it, then at least I could take the best path for the night.

“I can’t stop it.”
“Stop what?”
“Everything. And nothing, I guess. If it keeps repeating over and over again, nothing really happens.”

“You make no sense. Have you been smoking again? I told you to wait for me.” Jade almost sounded like she was scolding me for that.

“I wish it was just that.”

I stepped over to the fridge to fetch myself a cold beer. Jade didn’t ask, but I prepared her a whiskey cola. Usually, she hated that drink, but as she told me in a different timeline, it was a night for a change. The irony in that didn’t escape me. She was surprised when I handed her the drink.

“How did you know?”

I sighed. I might give it another try. Or at least, bitch about it.

“You know that old movie? Groundhog Day?”
“Never heard of it.”
“What? I really need to take more care when selecting my friends…” I joked and got a soft punch on my shoulder as a response.

“It’s a movie with Bill Murray. He’s stuck in a time loop, and the same day keeps repeating over and over again. He is the only one remembering it.”

“Oh, like that Netflix show!”
“I loved that show.” Jade beamed with joy.

“Anyway, that’s happening to me.”
“You sure?”
“Prove it.”

I didn’t need to think twice and. “Robert is about to trip over your carpet and fall flat on his face. Maria and Gina leave the room to make out in your bedroom. That dude over there, you see him?” She nodded. “For some reason, he starts to act like a chicken, and everyone acts like it’s the most hilarious thing.” Everything happened just as I told her.

But she still had her doubts. So I continued.

“You should pick up your phone. Jenna is calling you. Her dog is sick, and she can’t make it. Ate some weird fruit or something.”

I watched Jade as she had the exact conversation I had told her. Her eyes went wide, and I shrugged, giving her a ‘told you so’ look.

“Shit, dude.”

Jade lifted her drink, and the glass made a clinking sound when it met my bottle of beer. Then we both drank.

“So you know everything that’s happening tonight?” Jade asked with the curiosity of a teenager expecting to hear the freshest gossip. I nodded. “Tell me everything.”

I frowned. At first, I hesitated, but then again, what harm would it do? Once the next loop started, she wouldn’t remember anything anyway.

“You know Tony is in a relationship, right?”
“Oh, gosh, yes. He won’t shut up about it. Goes on and on about how great is new partner is. And all that loyalty bullshit.”

“He’s gonna cheat on Eric.” I scanned the crowd and pointed at a guy in the corner who already kept looking over to Tony. “With that guy.”

“No way.”
“When I tell you.”
“Will Eric find out?” She asked, excited like we were talking about the dramatic plot of one of those telenovelas.

“He catches them and gets mad, of course. Then he tries to drown his anger in alcohol for a while. He’ll drive home alone and ends up wrapped around a tree.”

“We’ve gotta do something!”
“I’ve tried everything. Believe me. Every other outcome is even worse.”

“That’s kinda heavy. Knowing all this, trying your best and failing regardless.”

“Now I know why all those ancient gods were that messed up.” I laughed bitterly and took another sip.

To lighten the mood, I pointed at a guy at the buffet. “At one point, this guy tries to wear the pasta like a necklace and demands we call him the King of Italy.”

Jade snorted. “What do I do? I mean, usually.”

“You? You try to keep everything together like you always do. Also, you try to not stress out too much over the mess everybody’s making.”

“Huh…” She replied thoughtful.

“And then we’re all going to die.”
She stared at me, shocked.

“Right after midnight, aliens burst onto the scene and claim they’d seen enough of us messing up constantly. They cancel the experiment and set earth back to its initial state, ending all human life in the process.”

“Wow.” Jade took a deep breath. Then she emptied her glass in one go. “Then, it’s time to get wasted and hook up with someone.”

“Probably best.”
“You’re in?”
“Nah, I’m good.”

“Okay, then.” Jade waved and joined the folk on the dance floor, throwing her arms around two random strangers.

I had done all of that before. Now I was over distracting myself desperately from the unavoidable fate. I just wanted night, our last night on earth, to end.

Read my thoughts on writing this prompt.

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