Monday, March 18, 2013

Gas

Sandy had the shy personality of a crab while her sister Sally was always praised for her disposition.  "That Sally! She dances into the door like a ray of sunshine everyday!"  Aunt Georgia would exclaim.

Aunt Georgia always spoke her thought.  Sandy did not always like her thoughts, but there was safety in knowing so she hung around Georgia and her every word.

Sandy read all the time like a real bookworm.  Then she dreamed day and night about farms, forests and Russia.  She would walk around with a book in her hand with classmates in the park, lost in thoughts and one day in 3rd grade, her way home until it was too dark to read.  When she could no longer see anyone around her, she was not afraid, as she told herself the story of Hansel and Gretel, and feel asleep.  Dad was the one that found her and carried her home at night fall.

The next day she woke up with a jolt. It was still dark outside but she couldn't tell if it was just a tad early for morning tea or she had just fallen asleep an hour ago.  She lay there thinking maybe she should fill the kettle and put it on the stove so the steam could warm the air before everyone else got up.  Then she realized she had to pee so she sat up quickly, swinging her legs to the side of the bed searching for her slippers so she didn't have to step on the cold concrete floor.

But she fell back down as quickly as she sat up, head spinning and her legs so light she could hardly feel them.  Mom and dad was dead to the world, and Lou was neither snoring nor shifting on his bed making it creak and shake like a tired old trampoline. The house was completely quiet, a faint smell of chemical gas lingering in the air.

It was carbon monoxide, she remembered from a lecture at school, one of the few to which she'd paid attention.  The fire in their stove must have died last night. Sandy sat up again, slowly this time, and draped herself from the bed to the floor so she wouldn't fall.  She crawled to the door, twisted open its heavy knob. She wanted to run out but her legs were still soft like stuffed cotton quilts.  So Sandy shouted: "Gas! Poison!" as loud as she could.  Mom finally stirred and opened her eyes, coming to Sandy's rescue by tearing open the newspaper seals on the window panes and calling out to the neighbors.


Everyone was already outside. In fact, the cobblestone pavements of Drum Alley was packed with people sitting on blankets and wrapped in winter coats.  Word on the street was there had been an earthquake last night.





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Today I'm thankful for the onset of Spring, the blooming yellow daisy on my patio and this verse.

My beloved spoke and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.'" Song of Songs 2:10-11 (NIV)

4 comments:

  1. A terrifying story! That's the sort of thing that happens often when people are renting property, that isn't well maintained by the landlord.

    I love your mention of spring. My Mums tortoise woke up the other day, and we always see that as a sign of spring.

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    1. Spring inevitably arrives, even in an area where the weather pattern isn't as dramatic as other places. The flowers do wake up (what a great imagery)... Glad you get it the mums too... :)

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