respawnIf you were a fan of 30Rock, you might remember the time the writers played Halo through their entire vacation, sitting in the office wearing diapers and killing themselves (in the video game) before anyone else could so they could respawn and keep playing. They did it so many times, they lost all track of time and had no idea what day it was until Liz came in for their first day back at work and found them all exactly where she had left them.

I find the option to “respawn” quite interesting and not a little strange. I don’t pretend to understand video games, but from the show I gleaned that respawning is an unlimited option. To me, it seems lazy and cowardly: wouldn’t a good player be able to fight their way out of the situation instead of blowing themselves up? And don’t you then have to go all the way back to the beginning of the adventure? So imagine, in The Lord of the Rings, if the hobbits respawned when they found themselves pursued by the wraiths, went back to the beginning, and left at a different time of day or took a different route. Imagine Gollum respawning after losing the ring to Bilbo and then killing him outright the second time through instead of messing about with riddles. Imagine–well, what character would you imagine? And not just from LOTR–anything.

That’s today’s writing prompt: re-imagine a thrilling scene from literature, giving the main character the option to respawn.

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