Chester & Luna's New Year's Resolutions

Submitted into Contest #179 in response to: Write a story in the form of a list of New Year's resolutions.... view prompt

71 comments

Holiday Happy Speculative

“Do you know what day it is?” asks Luna.

“Uh-hmm,” Chester dismisses the intrusion.

“Betcha don’t.”

“I do. Now leave me alone. You’re almost as pesky as the neighbor’s cat,” says Chester.

“Okay then what day is it?” says Luna needling him.

“God, you’re annoying. But to humor you, it’s New Year’s Eve.”

“Yeah.”

“Did you think I didn’t notice that he was wearing a tux when they left the house?”

“He wouldn’t even let you sniff his crotch,” says Luna.

“He just didn’t want any of my hair to rub off on his black pants.”

“And what about her?”

“A real knock-out in that low-cut cocktail dress and all that perfume. It’s like she was trying to mask all the humanness.”

“Have you decided on your resolution this year?” asks Luna, getting around to the real reason she is bringing up the date.

“I’m not sure. Maybe I'll wait until after he throws the ball to go chase it. I’m not as young as I used to be. I might manage it,” replies Chester.

“That’s a good one. Kind of hard though,” says Luna.

“Or maybe I’ll stop drinking from the toilet.”

“Well, you’re not a pup anymore. You should be able to do that.”

“What about you?” asks Chester.

“Haven’t decided. Might stop jumping up on their guests.”

“Even Aunt Bessie?” challenges Chester.

“Well not Aunt Bessie. She makes it too much fun when she looks at me with terror in her eyes. So I lick her face to let her know we’re friends.”

“Friends? She hates you!” says Chester, stating the obvious.

“Maybe. But if she just took the time to get to know me, I bet she’d love me.”

“Nah. She’s a cat person; you can tell.”

“What other ideas do you have?” asks Luna.

“I’m still deciding. I might stop pulling on the leash.”

“That’ll work -until you see a squirrel,” warns Luna.

”True. I could stop barking at the mail carrier?”

“You can’t! Might as well say you’ll stop humping in the park.”

“That mail carrier is a drama queen. He can see I’m wagging my tail when I bark. I’m just lettin’ everyone know we’ve got mail. Sheesh,” says Chester unable to cover his disgust.

“I could stop digging in the backyard,” says Luna.

“What if there’s a bone buried there?” challenges Chester.

“You’re making this hard. Maybe we should think of things we can do instead of things we aren’t gonna do,” suggests Luna.

“I know what I’d like to do. When the meat is resting on the counter. I’d like to jump up and get it before they catch me.”

“Can you imagine a whole t-bone to yourself?”

“Chicken’s pretty good too,” says Chester.

“Too bony. Give me a steak any day.”

“Hey I know a good one. What if you stopped being afraid of the vacuum cleaner?” says Chester.

“I could do that. I could hang out in the other room when the vacuum comes out. Oh, wait a minute. Can I still whimper and hide under the bed when the fireworks go off in the summer?” Luna asks making sure she knows the ground rules before committing to anything.

“Sure. Fireworks are scary. The vacuum cleaner is manageable.”

Chester and Luna stop talking about their New Year’s resolutions to watch the ball drop on tv. For some reason the humans leave the set on when they go out.

“They probably think we’ll be bored,” says Luna.

“I don’t chew on the furniture because I’m bored. I thought you would understand that,” says Chester.

“I do. It just feels so darn good, doesn’t it?”

“This is boring. I wonder what else is on,” laments Chester looking back at the tv. If the humans were home, they would be watching the game.

“I know. All those humans squashed together to shout out numbers and watch that ball coming down.”

“And when it finally does, no one even chases after it,” says Chester.

“Crazy.”

“If that place had been filled with dogs instead of humans, every one of us would have been going after it.”

“Doesn’t make sense, does it?” says Luna.

“Nope. The ball drops and the humans start kissing. What’s up with that?”

“They’re well trained. Do it every time,” observes Luna.

“I’m exhausted after chasing that squirrel around in the park this afternoon,” Chester says stretching his jowls and giving a yawn. “Let’s go lay on the bed until they come home and we have to make roon for them.”

“Well, I hope they’re having fun. I can’t wait until tomorrow,” says Luna.

“Yeah me too. When they roll in here early in the morning, still tipsy.”

“I bet we get locked out of the bedroom again,” says Luna.

“Probably. All I know is for the second time in a week, we’re going to get a chewy toy filled with peanut butter so that they can nurse their hangovers without us barking to let them know how much we missed them,” says Chester licking his lips in anticipation.

“I love chewy toys.”

“Me too,” says Chester. “It’s my favorite part of the holidays.”

“I wonder if we’ll get cream cheese like last year,” says Luna.

“I doubt it since you threw up all over the living room rug last time.”

“I ate too fast. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Well, you blew it. We’re not going to be seeing cream cheese again anytime soon,” says Chester.

“You’re probably right. It’ll be peanut butter. Or kibble.”

“Stop you’re making me hungry,” says Chester who can eat all the time.

A few hours later, Luna wakes up first. Looking around the room she wonders, “Hey did they even come back last night?”

“Doesn’t look like it.”

“Maybe they went for the walk,” Luna suggests.

“Our walk? They wouldn’t go without us.”

“Not our walk. The walk,” says Luna.

“That takes hours. They wouldn’t go without letting us out first. I wonder what makes that walk so special that we can’t go.”

“I heard them talking about it this morning. First, they walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and talk about everything that happened during the year. Then they walk back across the bridge and discuss their plans for the next year,” explains Luna.

“That's sweet but I don’t see why we can’t go if that’s all there is to it,” says Chester.

“I hope they let us out before they do that. I really need to go and I don’t want to break my first New Year’s resolution by piddling in the house.” Luna slumps down, contemplating a walk she is excluded from. What a start to the New Ye-

“Hey guys!” The humans burst into the house, suddenly alive with activity. Chester rubs up against his human while Luna begins barking. “You guys want to go for a walk on a bridge with us?” the human asks.

Chester and Luna run to the front door as if someone had shouted “fire”. No need to ask twice. Both tails are wagging and the humans seem happy too.

“I call the window seat!” Chester says. Hanging his head out the window and feeling the wind in his ears, Chester thinks 'it can’t get better than this'. When they pull up to a red light and he looks over at the next car, Chester sees another dog whose human has not rolled down the window for him. Chester doesn’t let this deter him from his own enjoyment. He knows he is living the good life.

Racing across the bridge, Chester pulls on his leash, but then slows down when he realizes he has made a resolution about this very behavior. He hopes the humans will include them from now on in their annual bridge walk tradition.

On the way home, the humans break their New Year’s resolutions by stopping for a drink and going off their diets. They seem slightly embarrassed by this when they discuss it, but Luna notices they also seem happy, making her wonder why they have New Year’s resolutions to begin with.

As they pull up to the house, there is an Amazon Prime truck parked in front of the house. The driver, whose arms are full of packages, does not see Luna coming as she lunges, jumping up on him, while barking and licking his face. Chester comes from behind and immediately begins humping his leg before the humans pull him off.

Luna hangs her head and says to Chester, “Guess we didn’t do very well with our resolutions this year.” 

“Sure, we did,” Chester replies. “We lasted a lot longer than our humans did.”

January 03, 2023 04:54

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71 comments

Laurel Hanson
12:59 Jan 08, 2023

As others have pointed out in the comments, this prompt was a real challenge. To be interesting in list form threw me completely. Well done sir. Having the list in canine dialog was engaging and fun, resulting in an enjoyable read that also pointed to the very real fact that resolutions are usually just such empty promises. But maybe we enjoy just the promise!

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Wally Schmidt
16:07 Jan 08, 2023

Interesting thought 'DO we enjoy the promise?' Or do we feel like miserable failures at follow-through? LOL. THanks for reading Laurel. PS I'm a woman. :‑D

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Laurel Hanson
22:14 Jan 08, 2023

Sorry! Well done, Ma'am. (I don't know, that doesn't sound right. Is there a gender neutral honorific? I don't know. Point is, well done.)

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Wally Schmidt
22:42 Jan 08, 2023

Laurel the biggest honorific for me is you reading my stories. Thank you for that!

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Rabab Zaidi
08:17 Jan 08, 2023

Interesting POV !

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Wally Schmidt
16:57 Jan 12, 2023

Woof!

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Stevie Burges
07:21 Jan 08, 2023

I am so glad this was about two dogs. An enjoyable take on the prompt. Loved it.

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Wally Schmidt
07:35 Jan 08, 2023

Thanks Stevie! I wanted to do something uplifting for the holidays. Glad you liked it.

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Chad Eastwood
04:45 Jan 08, 2023

Excellent! No way should those dogs have to stop jumping on mailmen!

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Wally Schmidt
04:55 Jan 08, 2023

LOL. Thanks-I'll let them know.

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
21:31 Jan 05, 2023

What a nice read. This was so creative and a very clever take on the prompt. Well done and good luck!

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Wally Schmidt
07:41 Jan 08, 2023

Thanks Naomi. Was riffing on the fact that no one keeps their resolutions anymore and yet we seem to spend a lot of time discussing them.

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Sav Lightwood
06:42 Jan 05, 2023

When I saw this prompt, it kinda just stumped me - A 1,000 to 3,000 word list of new years resolutions seemed counterproductive at best, and thus it's a delight to see you write it in the form of conversation and by animals too :) An adorable and unique way to poke at resolutions. Also a bit of a tangent but 'Maybe we should think of things we can do instead of things we aren’t gonna do' is absolute FACTS. Of course it's great to reduce bad habits and all but planning out goals and aspirations is way more fun and productive and just my pers...

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Wally Schmidt
07:39 Jan 08, 2023

TBH I'm kinda done with resolutions of either kind, but hey, maybe next year! Glad you liked the story. I gave you some love on my bio. Hope some more readers will stop by and read your wonderful stories

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Sean McGillis
22:28 Jan 04, 2023

Now wasn't that fun!! Great spin on the prompt, nicely done Wally. 👏 👍

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Michał Przywara
21:41 Jan 03, 2023

Great take on the prompt! When I first saw it, I imagined a literal list and kind of got stuck on that - but a discussion between dogs is much more interesting :) It's heartening to know they're also pretty bad at keeping to resolutions (although in dog-hours, they did last quite a while). The story's amusing, and I like the little details that underscore they're dogs. Particularly, the ball dropping - that makes sense :) Thanks for sharing!

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Wally Schmidt
21:46 Jan 03, 2023

Thanks for reading and commenting Michal! Always appreciated..

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Suma Jayachandar
09:46 Jan 03, 2023

Ah, this is a really cute and clever take on the prompt! Loved the banter between Luna and Charlie ( what a coincidence that my POV cat was a namesake a couple of weeks ago) and the observations they made about humans. A thoroughly enjoyable read, Wally.

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Wally Schmidt
14:58 Jan 03, 2023

Oh I'll have to read it-I love everything you write!- what is the title?

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Suma Jayachandar
15:29 Jan 03, 2023

Such a wonderful compliment 🙂 It's My New Mom Has a Moustache

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Zack Powell
06:07 Jan 03, 2023

I've been brainstorming for two days now how to come up with a story for this exact prompt, and let me tell you, not once did I consider writing it from an animal's perspective. And now I can't do that, because this did it better than I could. Sigh. Back to the drawing board. All jokes aside, this was a lot of fun. I love dialogue-only stories, and thought this was going to be one of them (including the dialogue tags, of course), and I was actually quite happy to see that wasn't the case. I don't think the ending would've worked as well (ma...

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Wally Schmidt
06:26 Jan 03, 2023

Thanks for reading Zack, but especially thanks for your comments and thoughts. The prompt from a few weeks ago actually did give me the idea about the New Year's resolutions from an animal's perspective, so while I didn't submit anything that week, I must have tucked it away in the back of my brain. If I can squeeze in the time, I'll write another this week from the cat's perspective, but not sure cat's would have the same excitement and empathy for their owners so I'll have to think on it some more. I knew I would not be able to pull off ...

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AnneMarie Miles
05:46 Jan 03, 2023

Oh Wally, this is hysterical! And wildly creative for this prompt. I was expecting list after list for this one; even I considered writing one! But this, this is unique and clever and charming. You managed to tell us a whole story with nearly all dialogue - from pets! And what's more, you made them feel human by putting their broken resolutions side-by-side their humans. I don't know about you, but my husband and I are always putting words in our dog's mouth (sometimes I think it bothers him that we're assuming his thoughts) but if I had t...

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Wally Schmidt
06:41 Jan 03, 2023

Wait, dogs don't talk ? 😉

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AnneMarie Miles
16:00 Jan 03, 2023

😂😂😂 My bad. Of course, they do!

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Wendy Kaminski
05:41 Jan 03, 2023

This is so endearing - loved it! :) Very consistent and well-done throughout!

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Wally Schmidt
05:48 Jan 03, 2023

Thanks so much Wendy. Waiting for the cat people to hate on it. ; D

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Rama Shaar
07:43 Jan 03, 2023

Hey now! I'm a cat person and I would never hate on this! This was so light-hearted, witty and fun. What a creative way to tackle the prompt, too! Ok, now let me go write my new year's resolutions!

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Wally Schmidt
08:02 Jan 03, 2023

Thanks Rama! Glad you enjoyed it! It's harder than it looks giving dogs distinct voices. lol TBH, I didn't even bother to pretend about the New Year's resolution thing this year

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Wally Schmidt
07:45 Jan 08, 2023

Although we make a big deal out of the 'thinking up' the resolutions part, the real challenge is keeping them. Good luck with yours!

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Rama Shaar
07:58 Jan 08, 2023

I didn't really make any NY's resolutions for precisely that reason! But I did do a humble version of a "vision" board (don't judge me) to get clarity on what it is I really want this year. So whether you have resolutions or hopes, I hope they come true for you and me (and Wendy, since we're chatting on her page😉)

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Kathy Trevelyan
10:09 Feb 28, 2023

This was really fun! I can imagine dogs having exactly those conversations if they could.

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Andrea Hillman
02:40 Feb 23, 2023

This was so cute! Loved the twist on answering the prompt-with dogs! Personally I always wondered what they were saying... Very effective and engaging for a list! Well done again Wally. Enjoy reading your stories!

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Tommy Goround
11:17 Jan 27, 2023

Just stopping by. Looking for new stories.

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Wally Schmidt
13:50 Jan 27, 2023

Thanks for stopping by. With the new year, I've gone back to writing my novel. Pls feel free to read/comment on the Cancer Patient if you have time. Didn't get any love on Reedsy but it's a personal fav.

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Sophia Gavasheli
17:52 Jan 24, 2023

Oh, so creative and funny! I did not expect dogs to have New Year's resolutions, but this story was engrossing for sure. The dialogue between Luna and Chester is spot on; it's engaging and realistic (well, if dogs could talk). I love the ending as well; sometimes, pets are better than their owners. This is really nit-picky, but I felt like some of the dialogue tags were excessive/distracting and could have been cut, especially towards the end of the conversation. My favorite line: "'They’re well trained. Do it every time.'" Thanks for t...

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Wally Schmidt
19:59 Jan 24, 2023

Thanks for commenting on the dialogue tags. I originally didn't have any but readers couldn't tell the difference between the two dogs and it was really hard to give the dogs distinctive voices, so I added the dialogue tags afterwards. I guess I went overboard. Good feedback-thanks.

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Hannah K
21:13 Jan 13, 2023

Such a cute, creative story written from the POV of dogs. I love this! "Maybe we should think about things we can do, instead of things we're not gonna do." - I like the idea of applying that to my own life. Sounds like a good positive thinking strategy. " and (when the ball finally comes down,) no one even chases after it." -I love that line. So cute! "We seem happy when breaking our resolutions, so why make them." It makes sense that a non-sophisticated dog would think that, but it's actually a good point. 🙂

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Wally Schmidt
22:05 Jan 13, 2023

Thanks for your thoughts Hannah. Always means so much when someone takes the time to read and comment.

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Sorchia DuBois
16:35 Jan 12, 2023

Ha--nice dialogue and I am a sucker for off-angle pov. Well done--I was captured from the start and enjoyed the making and especially the breaking of resolutions all around. A very enjoyable start to a new year of stories.

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Wally Schmidt
16:48 Jan 12, 2023

I'm more of a breaker than a maker of resolutions, but I suppose both can be enjoyable. 😉

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Os Cole
21:25 Jan 11, 2023

Hilarious premise! You did a great job with the dogs' perspectives.

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Daniel Allen
16:47 Jan 11, 2023

This is a great story. I love thinking about what might be going on inside animals' heads, but it's something that can so easily go wrong. You've avoided all of those pitfalls here, however, and created a story that is both poignant and funny. Great job!

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Wally Schmidt
16:51 Jan 12, 2023

Thank you Daniel! Wanted an upbeat vibe for the New Year. All the best to you in 2023! Are you working on any historical fiction these days?

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Daniel Allen
21:17 Jan 15, 2023

I am, as it happens! I have a few ideas I'm playing around with for a couple of short story collections I've got in the work. Though right now, my focus is on polishing a sci-fi novellete.

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Wally Schmidt
23:09 Jan 16, 2023

Wow-sci-fi! You really can write in all the genres!

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Daniel Allen
22:43 Jan 17, 2023

Well, I try 😅 it's still in the beta reading stage at the moment, though

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