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The internet has long been accused of being a toxic, harmful place, full of conflict and anonymous trolls. It’s hard to deny that, in a general sense, but let us brag on ourselves a little bit. Because since our launch in September 2016, The Prompt has largely avoided that awful spirit, instead finding real personal connection through creative writing, good ideas, and good people. Honestly, it’s been quite a tonic to meet strangers on the internet that are so deeply earnest and good in their souls. 

To extend that positive vibe into your lives a bit more, we’re starting a new content segment called This Prompts Joy, in which we will each share something positive or worthwhile that got us through the week. Each week, we will publish a miniprompt of the things that filled our cold, bleak, post-apocalyptic hearts with happiness, pride, gratitude, peace, interest, amusement, and so on.

The Prompt Mag: Proof that the internet isn’t completely terrible™

Sarah Razner

They say it’s the little things that bring us the most happiness. In the case of my 1-year-old nephew, Henry, that is certainly true. Little in stature, Henry also appreciates the little things. This weekend, as I got to spend one-on-one time with him, it was impossible not to notice how much joy he found in the everyday—laughing his way through a Taylor Swift dance party, tossing tennis balls across the hard and giving himself a round of applause, and watching the birds through the window, cooing and ooh’ing at them. His tiny presence bathed my day in the glow of delight, and reminded me to give extra attention to the things throughout my day that can do the same, but are usually overlooked. May we we all see the world with the same wonder, excitement, and elation that our smaller counterparts, like Henry, do.

Natalie Brandt

Sundance, I need to get your nails trimmed because I can hear them tick-tick-ticking across the hardwood floors at night as you go in search of cooler accommodations. It wakes me up, and I’m annoyed. Unable to fall back asleep, I grope in the dark to the bathroom and step on one of your dead tennis balls. I groan and punt the little chunk of mangled fuzz and rubber out of my path, irritated that your aerosolized slobber has now coated my bare foot.

When I crawl back into bed and get perfectly snuggled into my faux down pillow, I feel one of your long brown hairs stuck in my ultra-moisturizing, anti-aging miracle lip balm, a sure sign that you snuck your 80-pound frame onto my bed while I was at work. I’m grossed out by the prospect of laying facedown in all manner of dog park detritus, wondering if I can get pink eye from dog shit. I flip my pillow over and go back to sleep. I’m awakened again, this time by my daily alarm — the metronome of your tail thwacking the bookcase beside the bed.

When I open my eyes, I see you, staring back at me with those dark brown saucers. You have two intact tennis balls in your mouth. I put on my glasses and you scoot back a bit, thrilled by what awaits. I reach for my phone and you scoot back again. I sit up, and you scoot back more, drop one ball, and assume a ready position with your butt in the air.

When I throw the covers back in a dramatic flourish, you drop the other ball and your tail shakes with glee that it’s all happening again. I slowly lower one foot to the floor and then retract it. You groan, nose the closest ball so it rolls my way, and you resume the ready position. This time, I lower both feet but stop and hover them just over the ground, drawing out the anticipation for a moment more. This is my favorite part. You can hardly contain your excitement. Your whole body quivers and your groan morphs into a symphonic range of syllables that only I can understand. I think I see new gray in your muzzle, so I wait a moment more, savoring our weird little tango. At last, I stand up and you grab both balls in one fluid motion. I can hear your nails tick-tick-ticking down the hall as you sprint towards your kibble bowl.

Jillian Conochan

How does anything find anyone? In a universe that’s 94 billion light years big (a concept I can’t fully grasp); in a galaxy that’s about 100,000 light years big (still clueless); in a solar system that experts can’t even agree on the size of; in a world that’s 7,926 miles (now we’re talking), I truly wonder how these blissful little bits of cosmic debris reach their intended recipients.

Like this week, why did click Spotify’s “Best Songs of the Year So Far: 2024” playlist? I’m guessing their graphic artist did a good job on the cover art, because this isn’t typically a feature that would lure me in. Anywho, on this list I discovered (or did he discover me?) Mk.gee via his song Alesis. Haven’t stopped listening to his album Two Star & The Dream Police since.

Is there something you can’t stop humming, sharing, refreshing, etc? Get in touch for your chance to get published on The Prompt! This Prompts Joy runs weekly.

The Prompt Staff

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