Have you ever heard of Reedsy? I found them via an add on Instagram (I think). Anyway, every Friday writing prompts are delivered to your inbox with the opportunity of winning $50 if you write a short story based on one of the prompts. I have no delusions of winning anything, or even completing a short story from one of the prompts; however, it’s a good place to get the ball rolling.
Here’s the prompt:
By law, everyone must make a New Year’s resolution, and they must have it approved by the government.
So – here goes.
Edith started blankly at the government form she’d downloaded from http://resolutionapproval.gov. It was her first year to officially have to submit a resolution for approval, and to say she was pushing it – well, she still had an hour to upload the form.
She’d heard it got easier each year. The day after Christmas, the government would issue you your official Resolution Report where it graded you on how much you’d improved over the last year – as well as give you suggestions on your upcoming resolution. Getting approval on a suggested resolution was supposed to take no time at all. However, since Edith had just turned thirty, not even two full days ago, she was supposed to come up with one all on her own.
Edith resisted the urge to bang her head on the kitchen table, and instead got up and wondered into the TV room where her roommate – Katie – was wrapped up in a blanket watching some trashy reality show.
“Did you already submit your resolution?” Edit asked as she flopped down next to Katie and stole a handful of buttery popcorn.
“Yep – last week.” Katie pushed the bowl so it was wedged between the two of them.
“And?” Edith prompted.
In response Katie unlocked her phone and opened an e-mail before handing it to Edith.
Your resolution to “spend 40 hours a month volunteering with underprivileged children” has been approved. Please report to the North Street Education Center on January 1st at 10:00am to pick up your welcome packet and undergo orientation.
We wish you a productive and fulfilling New Year.
The Department of National Resolution Approvals
Edith scowled and handed the phone back to Katie.
“That’s a good one,” she grumbled. “How do you know you’ll be able to make the hours though?”
“Part of my internship is working with kids. I just figured I could try and piggyback the two.”
“And you still got approval?”
“Yeah. There’s this pamphlet I picked up at the store the other day. Hold on.” Katie got up and disappeared into her bedroom. She came out a few minutes later with a glossy pamphlet in hand and gave it to Edith. “This helped me figure out the best way to get something approved and work it into my schedule. There’s even tips about getting official approval for stuff you already do. That way you don’t have to worry about the fine if you don’t make your quarterly quota check-in.”
Edith looked down at the pamphlet in her hand. Stuff she already did? She doubted there was a way to get approval for anything related to her secretary job OR any of her “hobbies.” It’s not like watching copious amounts of science-fiction TV was really a benefit to society.
Edith just groaned.
“I don’t know why you’re making this into such a big deal. Just volunteer at the pet shelter or something like that. You love dogs.”
“Yes – and you know if I spend ANY time around them I’ll bring them home. All of them.”
“Hm – I see your point. Well, read the pamphlet. I think they’ve got an online quiz component that might generate some ideas for you. Now go,” Katie gave Edith a friendly shove. “Sarah and Jacob are about to go on this super romantic date and she’s a raging bitch. I want to see if he figured it out this episode or not.”
Edith rolled her eyes and got off the sofa. Katie was right. She was making it far more difficult than it needed to be.
* * *
Well – there we go. Day one, over and done.