“Hey, Nix.” Tanner watched his brother punching the keyboard with his index fingers. “Finally working on that bestseller?”
“Nah. Just doing a bit of writing exercise…in preparation for the day. I googled ‘writing prompts’ to see if I could find one that would light my fire.”
“Well, miracles still happen, they say.”
“Talk about overload! Here are eighteen pages of writing prompts. A few sites give 365, one for every day. And here’s another with 101 writing prompts. Some are specifically for fiction, some for journal, some to use as story starters. Hey! There’s even one called ’40 really awful writing prompts that no writer should use.’
“Cool! Everybody’s gonna want to check those out. So, what do they call a really awful writing prompt?”
Nixon clicked on the site and scrolled down. “These were written by Kim Z Dale and they are…yeah…some are pretty awful.
“Here’s the first: Write a story set on another planet exactly like our own. Call that planet “Earth’.”
Tanner moaned. “Okay. A definite lack of imagination. But you could embellish it, right? Make it Earth, but have everyone get along, people all bubbling with goodwill. The Fountain of Youth has just been discovered and the world is full of happy, smiling faces.”
“That would be a mega-miracle. I think this is supposed to be a regular Earth with everyday people living normal lives, going to school or rushing off to work, roaring along the freeways, pushing and shoving for bargains and fast foods, eyes glued to their phones.”
“How boring is that? You need some high adventure, some major catastrophe. Hey, I know. You could have a regular Earth, with normal people doing their stuff, then they find out a giant asteroid is streaking toward the planet and it’s going to blow the world to smithereens. People all over the world stop to watch the skies.”
“Um…technically only half the world would be able to see this at any given time,” Nixon reminded him.
“Anyway, they wouldn’t just stand there watching the skies for months. From the time we first knew it was coming, it’d take at least half a year to get here. We’d have months to get ready.”
“But what else would we do? No point working, buying stuff, putting money in the bank. No point planting a garden or anything if the planet was going to blow up. Maybe a great time to travel. See the world while it’s still intact.” Tanner chuckled, then thought for a moment. “I suppose religious folks would spend the time praying the world would be spared.”
“Hey, I’d be joining them!”
“And some folks might decide to make peace with their relatives. Write about some guy making peace with his family because they’re all about to be wiped out.”
“That’s an idea. ‘Sorry I’ve been such a pain, everybody.’ Lots of hugs and kisses. Nah, too intense.”
“Hey, it sells. People nowadays love intense.”
“But you know, Tanner, the government would be saying ‘Not to worry, folks. We’ve got this.’ Calming everybody down, and NASA would be figuring how much to hit it with, long before it gets here.”
“Right. Most people would expect to survive somehow, though they’d be stocking up on survival rations, just in case. That’s what I’d do, trusting this would all blow over but ready for some fallout.”
“Yeah, a lot would say ‘It’ll never happen.’ After Y2K, when all the electronic and financial systems in the world were supposed to crash and things carried on like always, people have become cynics.” Nixon shook his head melodramatically.
“So are you gonna write about all this?”
“I dunno. It’d take hours. I see the Ragtag community does a prompt and their word for today is Embellish. And the Word-of-the-Day challenge is Miracle. Maybe I’ll try one of those and keep it short.”