Tania De Lira-Miranda
Whoever has made the journey to Merced has to remember Yosemite National Park. Located in the central Sierra Nevada of California, the park is a sight to behold with its features such as its waterfalls, sequoia groves, and granite cliffs. The tranquility and natural beauty make it a famous attraction that many come to see. Even with the change of every season, weather, and time, the park always manages to look absolutely divine if one were to wander through its trails.
Just a bit further away from Yosemite, if one was driving, one would be able to see a small city named Merced. The city is mainly filled by farmers since Merced is the fifth-top producing county in California so agriculture is a big part of the heart. It is this concentration of farmers that make the city be a conservative red town and so, it is here where our tale begins.
It was in that city and on one of the farms that a conservative, red farmer by the name of Brett Johnson. He, unlike his ancestors who for sane conservative figures, passionately agreed with a presidential figure who ran a campaign based on xenophobic, racists, and wall fantasies. He certainly was not a favorite among the people who lived in the city as he always tried to but into political conversations, trying to tell people about how they were being brainwashed by fake news alongside the deep state and the US government.
One day, after an afternoon of political arguments and discussions, Brett wanted to take a trip away from Merced and decided to go to Yosemite. It was in the national park that Brett took a walk through the trails walking deeper into the forests until the sky began to darken with rain clouds. Then he walked into a nearby cave and headed inside, trying to wait out the rain. A few minutes later, a band of drifters entered the cave. During their wait, the group offered Brett a cold drink and having finished his own supplies, he accepted. After finishing the drink, he began to tire and when he laid down to rest for a bit, he fell into a deep sleep.
Upon waking up, the cave was empty with only Brett inside, the rain had disappeared. Standing up to stretch, he noticed his joints felt stiff. Exiting the cave, he began to go back to Merced. Arriving at the city, he noticed how different it looked, the shops he saw every time he walked the streets changed and new stores had instead taken their place. Confused, he walked to his farm and was surprised to see it in decay. Entering the house, he saw it was empty and abandoned and become depressed. Walking back to the main part of town, he entered one of the shops and saw that the news was talking about the president’s speech, but instead of seeing a spray-tanned figure, the screen showed a Hispanic woman who was currently talking about her coming out story. Shocked, he asked the clerk his president and was met with a weird look as the clerk told him about how he was impeached during a time called the red drought alongside other prominent red figures like Barr, McConnell, Mnuchin to name a few. Asking for today’s date, Brett practically jumped out of his skin when he was answered with 20XX – 20 years had passed while he slept.
For my creative project, I chose to modernize the tale of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. The reason for this is because I felt that the story would be the easiest to modernize and have it reflect the modern times of today. That’s the reason why I changed the story to take place in Merced since the town can be conservative. The story already has some political references in its plot since Rip Van Winkle, due to his sleep, missed out on the American Revolution and so missed the fact that America got out of Britain’s rule and began its own country and created its own form of government along with its new leaders. So it is because of these reasons that I decided that the political references that I wanted to mention in my imitation would be Trump and the conservative party. As I am on the left side of the spectrum, the event I wanted my Rip Van Winkle to miss would be Trump’s impeachment, along with other prominent conservatives. So just like Rip Van Winkle was a loyalist while everyone else supported was a colonist, my Rip Van Winkle, who I named Brett Johnson, was a conservative while the others were implied to be liberals and like Rip Van Winkle, Brett Johnson is on the wrong side of history.
But to review my writing, I think I could have added dialogue. My creative project is mostly details and general details, the point of view is from someone looking into Brett’s world. The thing that really restricted me was the word limit. At first, I thought that it was a lot to write about but it was once I started getting on a roll, I realized that the word limit was too short. I feel like I could have written more to further explain how much Brett lost while he was asleep but I had already reached the word limit. I still think I did a fair job but I do realize that there are things I could have bettered in my writing.