Today’s writing prompt, Holiday Work Party, is the fifth prompt of the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PROMPTS on the Daily Drafts and Dialogues blog this year. Keep reading to see the full prompt and my completed version of it.

Today’s Writing Prompt: Holiday Work Party

Imagine you’re attending a holiday work party, and it’s awkward. Write from the first-person point of view about what you are thinking, feeling, and sensing (seeing, hearing, smelling, etc.) while at the party.

Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt

The Incident Before the Holiday Work Party, by K.E. Creighton

Bea reached around my cubicle to hand me a red boozy drink that smelled strongly of artificial red, sugar, and cheap vodka. She looked at my frown and said, “You’re welcome.”

“Um, thanks, but no thanks, ” I said before turning back to my computer screen.

“Oh, come on, the entire office is in the breakroom for a makeshift holiday party of sorts. I think I even saw Jeremy in there.” She winked.

“That’s what I’m afraid of. I can’t go in there now, or ever again. Honestly, after the incident at lunch, I should have just quit.”

“You are so dramatic. The incident, as you call it, wasn’t that bad. Plus, they are actually supplying us with free food and drinks, which never happens.”

“Bea, I pretty much mauled the man with my lips in that room like three hours ago. Unprovoked. He was reaching for a napkin and I … I don’t know what I thought. But he definitely wasn’t leaning in for a kiss. And then, like a tenth grader, he went around blabbing about it to the entire office. It’s a holiday miracle HR isn’t already involved. So, I am going to hide here for the rest of eternity when I am done with this report. Or I’m going to leave and likely never come back. But I am under no circumstances going into that breakroom. Or drinking any booze in this office. Especially that nasty concoction.”

“Yeah, this drink was his idea,” she laughed, then stared at me intensely and said, “Before you leave forever though, can you tell me… did he kiss back? What was it really like?”

She was a little too giddy and relaxed when it came to my most recent office faux pas. She must have already had one of those drinks Jeremy concocted, maybe two. Either way, I knew she would keep this between us, so, I decided to tell her the truth.

“That’s the thing. He did kiss back. His lips were dry and stiff and much thinner than they look. He smelled and tasted like stale cheese and onion. And his reaction to the whole thing made me realize what a man-child he is. Such a turn-off. My crush on him is officially over now that I, uh, know him a little better. Right when the whole office thinks I’m in love with him, I realize how dumb I was for having a crush on him in the first place. Gross. I can do way better.”

She laughed. Hard. Then said, “So go in there and say that. Don’t hide. Waltz in there like it was no big deal and you’re over it. Now you have to. Because I am not allowing you to quit over a thin-lipped man-child. I need you to get me through each week, and all the lame impromptu huddles we have.”

So, that’s exactly what I did, after I finished my report.

When I walked into the breakroom, Jeremy was leaning against the doorway chatting with Mike from IT. I asked for a drink. And then suddenly the room got extremely still and quiet for a brief moment before everyone burst out laughing, except for me, and Bea. Bea pointed to the air above my head. When I looked up, I saw the mistletoe on the doorframe above where Jeremy and I were standing.

[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]

If you complete this writing prompt, share your draft by tagging #DailyDraftsAndDialogues and @kecreighton on Medium, WordPress, or Facebook.

One comment

  1. Harry had been looking forward to the office Christmas party since Thanksgiving. His department had received great Christmas bonuses since he started working there almost 10 years ago. Harry had come to rely on his Christmas bonus to buy his wife and kids great gifts. This year, his son was ready for his first car.
    His wife helped him pick out his tie and shirt, and his son was going to a party with some friends. She wore her usual Christmas formal gown, a simple black number with lace. Harry stuck with his pinstripe blue suit and matching pinstripe tie. Harry had given the dealer a down payment of $2500 for the used Honda. He smiled as he thought of his son’s face when he saw it in the driveway on Christmas.
    Sally loaded up the gifts for the office Secret Santa, and they left. Gary had already gotten a ride from his friend, and promised to be home by midnight. The office party was already in full swing by the time they arrived at 9:30. The Secret Santa was scheduled for 10:00, and that was followed by the talent show, carols, and then the bonuses would be handed out at the door at 11.
    Harry and Sally danced, laughed at the Secret Santa gift of a home stereo system, and were cajoled into performing their annual “Jingle Bell Rock” duet for the talent show. The carols were the same as the previous years, and the board of directors thanked everyone for a great year.
    Harry gathered the coats and he and Sally made their way to the door. Mr. Cole was shaking hands and handing out the company Christmas cards, smiling as he went. When he came to Harry, he asked if he could have a word with him in the break room. Harry was surprised, but gave the car keys to Sally and told her he would be with her soon.
    Harry was antsy and nervous as he followed Mr. Cole to the break room. Mr. Cole closed the door, and handed him the company card. He asked him if he knew of the opening for Vice President in his division, and Harry said sure. Mr. Cole asked if he was interested, and Harry was surprised. Before Harry could answer, Mr. Cole mentioned that the previous Vice President had left quite a mess, and only someone with experience and patience could get everything back in order before the next audit in March.
    Harry had heard something about a big mountain of paperwork, but knew he could tackle the problem in about 3-4 weeks. He assured Mr. Cole that he could clean up the mess quickly. Mr. Cole smiled and told him to try to handle it before the end of February. Harry asked if this meant he was the new Vice President, and he pointed to the envelope.
    The contract for the VP position was inside, along with a full month’s bonus salary! He quickly signed the contract, and gave it to Mr. Cole. Mr. Cole shook his hand, and told him to expect an email after the new year, outlining his responsibilities and deadlines. Harry thanked him and hurried to the car to tell Sally.
    When he got to the parking garage, he was shocked to find Gary standing next to his new Honda. The manager of the dealership handed him the pink slip, saying an anonymous source had paid the balance of the Honda in full, with instructions to deliver it to his parking space at 11 on Christmas Eve! Gary hugged him and Sally, and quickly took the Honda home.
    Sally was in tears over the gift, but the evening was not over. Harry took her to the restaurant overlooking the city that she had always wanted to eat at, but he could never get a reservation. Mr. Cole had made a call for him earlier, and the dinner was on the company.
    Harry waited to tell her about the promotion until midnight. The bracelet and promotion made her kiss him at midnight, and hearing the chime of the church bells ring in Christmas was the best gift of all!

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