House on Fire

Erin woke up coughing, strangled by the murderous hands of a thick smoke. The acrid vapours burned her watering eyes as she tried to peer some sense through the haze of the vapour filled room. A piercing cry of pain jolted her to reality as she realised the house was on fire. Frightened and still shocked, she stumbled out of the bed sheets, still choking, ran towards the bedroom door. Halfway through the fuming corridor, lit in golden flames, she remembered her “Apocalypse kit” – the kit she had prepared for whenever disaster struck. “Oh! I need to get that!!” breathing heavily through her mouth covered by her palm, she made her way back to the room. She could barely discern the outline of the giant king size bed amidst the rapidly building smoke laden with the stench of burning wood and paint. Hastily she kneeled, the heated floor burning against her knees and fished blindly for the kit in the chasm of dark smouldering vapour. Tears welled in her in her eyes, from the smoke and despair; she was just about to give up when her hand brushed against the rough fabric of the bag. In the blink of an eye, she grabbed the bag and was up on her feet, perspiring heavily. Hurriedly yet cautiously she made her way back through the corridor, down the stairs and ran out the front door for her life, the jaws of deadly flames lapping at her feet.

Charred and covered with soot, she stumbled into the front garden welcomed by her favourite pooch; Fluffy ran up to her – a ball of fur, wagging tail and a wet tongue and soothingly licked her soot-covered, tear stained face. James jumped out of the recently approached car and hugged Erin, relieved to find her safe – looking worriedly at the house now engulfed in fire, emitting bright orange-yellow sparks and spewing out noxious fumes. He had received a call while he was on his late night shift and had rushed home. Thankfully, all he held precious was safe. Emotions overwhelmed him and he weeped of relief, joy and thankfulness.

Meanwhile, Erin looked down at the blackened blue bundle of zipped fabric clutched with white-knuckled fists – her apocalypse kit. The sight of the bag took her back to the day she had made it. She had seen on the television, a reality show documenting the story of a family that survived a fire. Their entire life had been snatched away by the disaster. The experience had left her shuddering, The thought of losing all her memories, her life, sent chills down her spine. She had decided then, she would be prepared for the day should any ill-fortune ever befall her. Taking her favourite backpack, she had made her apocalypse kit – it consisted of all the things that would give her hope for times to come. It had a photo of her with her parents when she was 8 years old, a ceramic zebra gifted by her sister when she came out of the hospital and a letter written to her by her father just before he died. As an afterthought, she had put in her passport, some money, energy bars and a bottle of water.

Her thoughts were interrupted when James shook her to reality that the sirens of the firetruck came blaring into her consciousness.  It was only when the cold January night wind brushed against her body and she looked down at her underwear-clad body that realised- she had forgotten to wear any clothes!!!

In response to :

Burning Down the House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

Burnt

Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

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Mastering the master?

Just came across this little piece which describes the writing anxiety that has constantly been on my mind; even more so since I started blogging and my writing became public.

” When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I chose it to mean – neither more nor less.” 

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

 “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

It’s quite a steep learning curve, but I definitely am seeing language in a different light. Hopefully, my effort will pay off and I will improve.  Anyone facing similar issues????

Travelling blues?

I began this new year with a chaotic, overflowing schedule; which by no means I was going to be able to keep up with. You ask the reason why? I have been invited to a friend’s grand wedding in the sun ( obviously – I am a big deal you see). This meant that I would be flying across half the world in the last week of the very first month of the year!! A holiday tailing another – I’m on a roll! Anyway, whilst I was busy rolling, I also had to a mountain of work to finish and loads of deadlines to get through before I could unplug myself from the ever-so-permanently-leaching-my-life-force of a menace called a job / work/ whatever you do to survive.

By burning the midnight oil, I was able to get through most of the deadlines, the rest I decided could either wait or my boss could finish them if she ran out of patience (a scenario which exists only in my dreams). However, this was one of the few times where I constantly kept feeling as if I was missing something. This led to my OCD driven self to make several lists and lists of lists of things to finish. These so called “lists” got so long that by the time the day if my departure arrived, I was severely sleep deprived, haggard, edging towards albinism, high-on-adrenaline maniac (okay maybe the albinism is an exaggeration -but you get the point).

Only the thought of frolicking in the sun kept me on my feet. I had it all planned – I will push myself till I am on my night flight and then collapse the moment I get on my seat – ten hours of blissful dreaming. But fate had decided to play the devil and ruin all my severely scrutinised plans! I left my house early, reached the airport- on time, only to find out that my flight had been CANCELLED! Just like that! No text, no email updates- I had travelled three hours for nothing! Determined not to give up, I grabbed a replacement option of the first flight out with both my hands whilst the airlines also arranged for accommodation for the night. I checked in all my bags with the airline and thinking I had it all sorted, clambered on to the coach looking forward to a good nights sleep.

But when do I ever do things the straight way? While on the coach, the crazy wheels in my head began churning and I started to analyse the new situation; that’s when things got worse! I realised that my new schedule meant I would be spending another whole night at an airport to catch my connecting flight! I was appalled, I had a WEDDING to attend – I would be missing a part of it this way! The SUN was awaiting my presence. I could not wait any longer! As soon as I reached the Inn, I contacted the reception and tried to get in touch with airlines to assess my other options. But all my effort was in vain, for no one would answer the damned phone. Frustrated, I decided to go back to the airport before the office closed and confront them in person.

Luckily I managed to get a shuttle bus to the airport and I rushed out of the bus, running up the stairs like wind; out of breath I barely managed to reach the counter and pant out my issues when the bespectacled lady draped her coat, looked sharply and informed me “I’m sorry, we just closed… You will have to wait till morning to get your bags if you want to cancel your travel. ”

“No,no please, something must be done…” I begged and pleaded, but to no avail. This basically meant taking another airline was out of the option as I would reach even later than my current twelve hour delayed flight. Resigned to fate, I trudged back toward the coach information desk. That’s when I realised – in my hurry, I had forgotten to pick up the address of the Inn where the airline had stationed us and much to my luck, there were only four inns with the same name around the airport! Now I was stuck in the freezing cold, clad in only a summer jacket and I didn’t know which bus to take! After talking to two of the four bus drivers,I managed to ascertain with a certain degree of confidence that it was the third bus thatI needed to take. So at 9.45 pm I decided to take the plunge and got on what I thought was the right bus. Luckily for me there was another lost soul who boarded the same bus and was supposed to take the same flight as me.

The bus passed the different stops and with each passing stop my heart beat just a little faster, what if this wasn’t the right bus? I didn’t want to go back out in the cold, I was already tired and my adrenaline was wearing off. Thankfully though, the stop before the last was the correct one. With the spring back in my step, I hurried to the check-in desk grabbed my room keys- just in time for dinner. Hurriedly, I gulped half chewed pieces of food down my throat, washing them with queer tasting orange juice. With my grumbling stomach now silenced, I headed to my room; plopped on my bed and fell into a disturbed sleep haunted by dreams of me missing my flight. When my alarm finally rang, after four hours, I stretched into reality, glad for the short yet much reliving break from the rush.

All in all, I managed to get on my flight on time, get a part of the sleep that I had planned, despite it being the wrong time of the day. Landing at the airport, I felt a bit braver, more confident of my connecting flight and despite the long wait ahead my spirits were uplifted thinking of what lay at the end of the journey. Snaking through the airport immigration, customs and all the elaborate security measures, I reach the next terminal only to find out the even my connecting flight has been delayed!!!! This means I get to spend an additional seven hours at the airport in the night making it a grand total of 36 hours of being on the move!

While I gaze at a larger than life banner of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge driving me “off the edge”, I am thinking -“I am quite sure I have read somewhere that travelling is important; it reminds you of the value of those everyday things that you tend to take for granted” – I, surprisingly, am missing my heavily warm, claustrophobic but short daily trips in the tube and the feel of my cappuccino splashing against the warmed recycled cup of restraint. Hmmm.. back to gazing at random strangers now.

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Is new year such a really big deal?

This year was the first time in my life when I actually experienced a laid back NYE. To be honest, I wasn’t pleased with the idea at all but when the time came, I realised that I did quite enjoy spending quality time with people who really matter.

Next morning, while still revelling in the fluffy feeling, I made the mistake of opening my Facebook page. In an instant my computer screen was flooded with posts of people celebrating amidst random strangers, wishing 2014 goodbye as if it was a dearly loved friend and posting up their resolutions/expectations for the coming new year.

All this barrage of unwanted information got me thinking, is new year really that big a deal?? I mean if you want to party, do you really need a reason such as a new year? Or do you really need to wait till the beginning of a new year to decide a new model-self that you resolve to be ( only to break it two days later!). Is the new year really a new beginning? Why should our lives be ruled by the calenders – that’s not what they were invented for surely? Something tells me that there might be a conspiracy underlying this occurrence. But who is behind these ever growing new hypes about everything we seen in these consumer based economies? What could be the motive? World domination ?

Is this year really a happy new year??

What do you think??