For this weeks Race the Date the prompt was based on this fact – In Antarctica, the South Pole and McMurdo Station are located in UTC+13 and are the first places in the world to see the sun at New Year as the sun is still up at midnight.
The prompt was Midnight Sun. Here’s my attempt:
I breathe deeply into my hands and rub them together to fend off the biting wind. My wife reaches into her purse and hands me a pair of gloves. I pull them on quickly, “Why did you wait so long to give me these?”
She smiles, “I wanted you to learn your lesson.”
“Ok fine, new years resolution number 1, I’ll try to be better prepared.” I think that was my resolution last year too. We huddle together and she whispers gently, “Thanks for coming to the city, I know you hate the crowds. I just love the excitement of New Years, it’s like the whole world starts again.”
I check my watch, only two more minutes. I can hear a band warming up, getting ready to blast us with Auld Land Syne. An errant firework shoots into the sky, filling it with colour. There’s always someone that just can’t help themselves.
A ripple goes through the crowd as we reach the minute mark. Someone starts a countdown way too early. I wait until it gets to ten before contributing. We lean over and kiss as it reaches zero and the crowd erupts into cheers.
The sky fills with light and sound, a thousand fireworks paint the darkness. It takes me a moment to realise something’s wrong, the fireworks are too bright, too loud. The cheers turn to screams. The cold turns to heat, so much heat. There’s just long enough to glimpse the distinctive mushroom cloud reaching for the heavens before a wave of fire engulfs the crowd. It only hurts for the briefest of moments. We never even had time to wonder why.
It was the start of a new year.
It was the start of a new war.
This was the perfect picture for my story – I found it here.