This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”
Years ago, Aleksei Galkin, his wife, Jeneuer, and their daughter, Madulina, found themselves relocated to Krasnonomyssk. A village that lay 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle Thirty-seven souls lived in Krasnonomyssk if you counted the mayor. The mayor was also the village physician, Gurkovsky Kutcherpekerov. The town had a coal-fired generator that could provide electricity for all the residents but it only ran five hours a day. Winter lasted at least nine months, and the sun was missing for two of those.
Aleksei would never have said that life was good in Krasnonomyssk but, he and Jeneuer were content for the most part. They had sunlamps in their home and, they grew plants. Aleksei worked the mine. Jeneuer taught music. The entire family participated in the arts during the winter, with the sun absent. There was a tremendous sense of community.
They had pot-luck dinners, music recitals, light therapy sessions, book readings, and the like. Everything was designed as a distraction and helped maintain the mental health of the citizenry.
Then came the winter of 2020, known as the year of the Covid. Light therapy, arts, community meals, music, and other forms of recreation for maintaining sanity through the long winter were, for the most part, abandoned due to the quarantines. Aleksei found himself despondent, depressed. He needed sunshine or at least warmth.
One night he had an idea. It was an idea that would benefit the entire community, but he told no one. It was mid-November when he began to implement his plan. He started fights with his neighbours. He told the mayor that he would not pay the bill incurred when Madulina had been ill. He began cheating at cards and drinking more vodka than allotted, causing others to go without; at the community meeting, he floated the idea of о́ргий to make others jealous. To compel them to keep their loved ones close. When Christmas came, Aleksei found himself on Santa’s naughty list.
Not only was he on the list, but he was at the top of the list, and when the jolly old elf visited Aleksei’s house on Christmas Eve, he brought a train-load of coal because coal is what Santa brings if you’ve been naughty. Santa dumped coal in the front yard, covering the entire area between the house and the road. It covered the road. It covered the whole space between the back of Aleksei’s house and the pond where the children skated. It was a lot of coal. When Aleksei, Jeneuer, and Madulina surveyed the mess on Christmas morning, they smiled. They all bundled up in their warmest coats and bearskin hats. They picked their way to Kutcherpekerov’s house and donated the coal to the town. Now, the generator could run longer each day. All the homes could be kept warmer. The sunlamps could remain illuminated for a longer time.
The mayor immediately declared Aleksei’s birthday, май 9th, to be a holiday. It is still celebrated today.
This week’s prompts are:
- you lost more than your hair
- take her to church
- we’re going to the store
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!