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You are being interviewed by a panel in front of an entrance that leads to your “Utopia.” It’s a place that meets all your expectations, satisfying each and every one of your desires, where a prolonged state of blissful intoxication waits for you every. Single. Day. Maybe it’s a whirlwind of neon lights and casinos. Maybe it’s the perfect blend of nature and urbanity with commuters riding on air-trams and 0% unemployment or homelessness to be seen. Have scientists cured cancer? Have they found a way to make fatty or rich foods nutritious? Maybe your Utopia waits for you behind a door in a forest, a dream you imagined when you were younger that you always knew was there.
What if your Utopia is simply a state of mind, where the world remains unchanged, but you become incredibly adaptable. Charming or intelligent. Maybe this panel will endow you with the capacities that you need to succeed in the place you already inhabit.
All you have to do is prove to them that you deserve it. Like a job interview that could mark the direction of your entire life afterwards, it is an incredibly decisive and anxiety inducing moment. Are you on the verge of a nervous breakdown moments before? What has led you to this moment? Who are these panelists, how did they become supreme judges, and how do they approach you? What will you do to prove you’re worthy? Or… are you?
Write a response in the form of a short story of whatever length, using personal experiences and fictional elements to tell the tale. Try to define “Utopia” to your own personal experiences to avoid clichés.
Melanie Falconer is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles, California. Her writing mainly concerns philosophy, personal experiences, cultural commentary, and her love of the visual and performing arts. If you’d like to reach out to her, you can do so here.