From where I am sitting, I can see an empty chair, a window and beyond it, snow. It’s falling in steady streams onto the trees and on the ground. It has been snowing for five days and I suddenly think about what would happen if I was stuck in this room with only my current supplies, my gas fire and that chair.
In this room, my supplies consist of half a waffle, some uncooked bacon, orange juice, water, a leftover pizza (pepperoni, 12 slices), four eggs and some Cherry Garcia ice cream. On the desk where I write I have a laptop, several pens, a notebook and the following books:
- The Alchemist
- The Art of Racing in the Wind
- The Complete Handbook of Coaching
- The Times Newspaper, a week out of date
- Blue Light Yokohama
- The Buried Giant
I have read some of these, but not all. I wonder what these items, all of them, say about me.
At best, I could make these supplies last about 14 days. Water is not a problem when you have fire and snow. I wonder what I would do with my time if there was no internet, no phone, no way to leave and no people for that time. Would I read the books? Would I write? Would I sleep, in some sort of hibernation until by fortnight was up?
One of the things I tell myself when I haven’t written for a while is that I have no time. That’s nonsense, of course, but I like to kid myself that is the case. Work is in the way, I’m busy with Uni, I have family commitments, etc, etc…The truth is, that if you want to spend time doing something, most of us are capable of doing it.
Lack of time is rarely the real reason. I think in my case, it is fear. Fear that I won’t like what I write, that it won’t be worthy of anyone reading it. I’m equally afraid that what I write will be too revealing, The same goes for reading. There’s a perfectly good Netflix box set waiting for me. I can absorb information and be entertained if I switch on the TV. The thing is, that TV is only another thief of time. Reading, writing, practicing anything meaningful takes effort, otherwise, we’d all do it, and most of us, in truth, are lazy. I can put my hand up on that one. I see the mirror at the other end of the room and I can look at myself and say, hey you, you’re kidding yourself. Drop the donut and start typing, reading, anything that requires you to be more than a passive recipient of information, images and sound.
At the moment, I feel like that chair by the window, next to the fireplace is watching me, judging me, inviting me to sit and read. Novels, in my opinion, are never a waste of time. So, here I sit, musing about what it would be like to have a few weeks, snow bound, all to myself with nothing to do but read, write and sleep. Well, guess what, that’s why I’m doing. My friend, the chair, is calling and I feel obliged to reply.
For this writing prompt, write one of the following:
- A narrative about someone snowbound for two weeks with the items I listed above.
- Write about what you would do if you had two weeks of no people around, no TV, five books (you pick which ones), a notebook, no internet and no way to leave your room.
- Write a short horror story about a person snowbound in a tiny cabin with someone (or something) trying to get in.