My child and I just did a thirteen minute writing prompt, basically about the extreme cold. I found a prompt about thread, so I “weaved” it into mine. We both ended up writing about people in freezers!
The Red Thread
I just woke up and realized I wasn’t sleeping. There was a bump on my head. It was freezing cold. I felt the realization where you feel a big rock in your stomach and the floor opening up into an endless hole, that I was in a large freezer of what seemed to be a hotel. How did I get there? A series of unfortunate events is usually what causes a person to wake up locked in a large freezer. It hasn’t been a part of a reality TV show as far as I know, but you might as well call it a Panic Room. The cold helped me feel calm. Also, I’m not the type who starts yelling and banging on the door “Let me out. Help! Help! “I tried to think of some songs about being locked in a freezer. Hey, hey cold fingers, hey, hey shivers, hey, hey turning blue, hey, hey where are you.” I couldn’t get much further.
I knew I probably had only a few minutes at most to get out of there. I reached into my pocket and found a spool of red embroidery thread and a needle. I was shaking but did a breathing exercise I read about that monks do to walk over hot coals or survive extreme temperatures. It did start to work. I basically convinced my body that I wasn’t freezing and that the cold could not penetrate me. I felt warmth emanating outward from inside me, and my hands stopped shivering. I threaded the needle and managed to find some bottle with a label on it.
I took the label off ; it only came off because it was not stuck hard on the bottle. I sewed letters into the label. There was no time for poetry. “Open the freezer. I’m locked in”. I sensed it might be a time when the kitchen workers were back in the kitchen. I slipped it out from under the door.
Then I waited and continued the breathing exercise where you heat your body with the power of your mind. I knew I should be dead by now, but maybe I had a few more minutes if I could really concentrate. I had forgotten about the Ativan in my pocket. They took away my phone but didn’t find the pill. I swallowed it after I warmed my lips with my mind sending the signal that I was not cold. A few minutes later, I heard a bunch of noises. And the door opened. I was free, for now at least.
I opened my eyes. I wasn’t sleeping. I was still in the freezer. Turning blue, still holding a label and a threaded needle in my frozen hand. I felt the cold consume me. I would be found sitting like this, stiff and cold.
(Obviously you can’t pass a note through or under the door of a big freezer, which is the give away that the narrator is hallucinating, a symptom of hypothermia that probably helps the brain close down and die peacefully? Plus, nobody can sew that many words that fast into a piece of paper that is most likely wet…)