Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

I (Pixie) have recently become obsessed with reality shows about survival in the wild. Mostly, it’s because I have absolutely no wilderness skills and find it fascinating how people adapt to harsh environments using instinct, knowledge, and sheer will. Being out of your element is something we all have to deal with at one point or another. Perhaps not on such an extreme level as, say, the contestants of Naked and Afraid, what with having to eat snakes for dinner and all. But, learning how to read our environment and adjust accordingly is essentially the basis for all social interactions: how we dress, how we speak, and even how we laugh. It can all often be attributed to what surrounds us.

This week, I’d like you to imagine waking up in a completely unfamiliar environment. Perhaps you’re on a deserted island, or stuck deep in the jungle. Maybe you’re on a container ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, or on the surface of the moon. Luckily, you have a bag with you, containing three items of your choice. What do you bring? How do you survive? Is anyone else there, and if so, how do you interact with them? Do you make a plan to get home? Do you notice anything different about yourself, or how you behave?

Send your written or visual tales of survival—along with your first name, last initial, age, and location—to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, May 23 at 6 PM EST.

Your last Creative Prompt was to create a story about red shoes. Here’s where your shoes led you…