The pendulum in the grandfather clock started swinging and the ticking of the second hand grew louder as the hour approached midnight. Susan’s eyes opened wider and she flinched at each strike of the gong. All around her were the signs of revelry: confetti littered the floor, man in tuxedos and women in fancy dress held fluted glasses filled with eternally bubbly liquid. At the twelfth strike, the band burst into Auld Lang Syne and the room erupted with cheers. ‘Happy New Year!’ she cried and immediately clapped both hands over her mouth.
‘What’s wrong?’ Susan’s friend asked. ‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost, darling. It’s the new year! Drink up! Don’t look so glum.’ She took a sip from her own glass and danced away.
Susan sniffed her glass and frowned as the smell of putrid liquid wafted deeply into her nostrils. She put the glass on the table and weaved her way through the happy crowd to the door. As she reached for the handle, a large man approached and shook his head. ‘I want to leave,’ she pleaded. He shook his head again but did not stop her as she reached for the door. It was locked.
Such was the situation with every door she tried; each was guarded by an equally large and silent person, each was locked tight. The windows, which looked out on a barren and snowy landscape, were also locked. As the hour approached one in the morning, the lights dimmed and the band grew quiet. All the party-goers slowly stopped moving. Susan felt her limbs go heavy and realized she was helpless.
Until next year.
Hey — Happy Thanksgiving! Yeah, not so much, eh? What, this didn’t inspire you to think of turkeys, football games, pies, and the sandwiches you’ll be making into early next week? Sorry. That’s just how I roll sometimes.
This is the second story that resulted from a Facebook post I made a few days ago. The deal was made that I would write a story based on a word or topic just for the person who guessed what was in my glass:
Two friends each guessed one ingredient in the glass. Deena guessed whiskey and Susan guessed Coca-Cola. I included Susan’s name since she didn’t give me a word or topic and hope my treatment of a New Year’s Eve party met your expectations, Deena! It’s not exactly as Kubrick wrote it, but you know — artistic license and all!