Posts Tagged ‘Daily Prompt’

Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from).

This was the moment when all that thinking should be paying off.  The guy knocked on the door.  I was home alone, and true to form, didn’t answer or give any indication I was inside.  In fact I froze, like a wild hare does when the hawk circles overhead.  I heard voices outside through the relatively thin decorative glass.  Loud voices.  Ethnic voices.  I swallowed to calm the escalated heartbeat in my ears.

Reaching for my phone, I noted the time and calculated these men had been standing on my porch for far longer than necessary.  They were still talking loudly, though I couldn’t hear what was being said.  The emergency number was entered, my thumb hovered over the the green “Send Call” button when I heard the sound of breaking glass.  Well shit!  I thought.

Determined to be as quiet as possible, I peeked over the edge of the stairs as an arm snaked through the glass to unlock the front door and two good-sized men shouldered their way into my parents’ house.  Glancing at the phone, I knew I had to get to safety and call the authorities.  In that order.

I remember being remarkably calm as I assessed their progress into the house. They were confident no-one was home and were clearly in search of valuables.  The only thing of value I possessed was a laptop, so I darted into my room to shove it under my mattress. Foolish, perhaps, but my pride wouldn’t permit me to just let them take my most beloved possession–my writings.  I shut the door behind me to drown out the sound of their animal noises as they rifled through our electronics downstairs.  It was only a matter of time before they came up here to my second floor.

I locked my door, then stepped into the adjacent bathroom to lock that door as well.  That should hold them for a bit. My next stop was the window.  It opened easily and I slithered out onto the roof, my phone still in hand.  Taking a few steps to the right, I was able to get out of the line of sight of my window (lest they come barging into my room) and perched comfortably in a shady nook.  I can remember how the roof shingles gnawed at my feet and how loud my clothing was as I took a seat.

I felt now was an acceptable time to phone for emergency assistance.  “Send Call.”  The emergency operator answered calmly.  I, for my part, kept my head as I explained my situation.  She asked me if I was in a safe location and I said that I was.  “Are you at a neighbor’s house?”

“Oh, I’m on the roof,” I answered, almost cheerily.  After assuring her I was safe, she asked if I could see the suspects’ car.  I could, and gave her as good a description as I knew how.   What seemed only moments later, several squad cars appeared and the officers sprang into action.  The men were promptly arrested.  The whole affair, from start to finish had taken mere minutes.  As the would-be burglars were led out the front of the house, I couldn’t resist wishing them ‘good luck’ with the famous Hawaiian hand gesture.

One of the officers spoke into his CB radio at his shoulder, then raised his eyes to where I sat.  He waved and I called down, “Thank you for your quick response!”

He invited me down and we discussed all I had seen and heard.   It wasn’t until about 45 minutes later, after all statements had been made, I had been checked for any injuries, the area had been scoured for evidence, glass cleaned up, makeshift patching put over the hole in the door, and the officers seen on their way that the adrenaline of that afternoon came in a sudden all-in rush.  I cried for an hour, curled into the couch.

I had escaped the immediate threat, but the intruders had still taken something from me: my peace of mind.  I didn’t know how I was to escape that, or how even to begin to try.

Advertisements

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

One of my favorite toys as a wee one was a white stuffed bear with shiny black eyes and a pink sewn nose.  My uncle gave him to me the day I was born, tucking him into the baby basket with me and saying “Here’s someone to be your bunky.”  Of course, the name stuck.  Now, 20+ years later Bunky is still around.  His fur has been loved off, his nose has become threadbare from a few too many Eskimo kisses, but his eyes hold onto their shine.  We had a million adventures together when I was small, including one with scissors and his tail.  I had him on my bed as decor all through high school and college (in my dorm, yes).   He was always the boss when I had to leave my room for the day, making sure the other toys didn’t step out of line or make too big a mess.  He is still a watchful eye over my young son, albeit from a distance, as K would probably tear him apart.

If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?

My favorite book has what could be seen as lavender/purple sheets of a crisply made bed pulled to with a used teacup, spoon, and saucer sitting in the lower right.  The entire picture is a close-up of these items, hence my being unsure as to whether the lavender/purple part is in fact sheets.  There are tea grounds in the bottom of the cup, which hints that the book may be about or may concern itself with a place where they steep the stuff in loose-leaf format.

The paperback itself is moderately thick–a good read, it would seem, for a lengthy plane or car ride.  Even with the title intact, I’m not certain what possessed me to pick it up in the bookstore that day.  It was summer of 2005, and we were in a shop on some touristy street in Oxford, England.  I flipped through it, decided it looked “extremely British” and took it right over to the young man behind the counter. 

That book changed things for me.  My writing style became markedly more relaxed, more genial, and more Lewis-esque.  I am by no means close to being as talented, thoughtful, or insightful as this creator of Narnia, but his tone is one of telling a story to someone he is very fond of and it is something I strive to emulate, all because of a similar tone in my book with the teacup on the front.

The title ended up being “Notes from a Small Island” and it is a wonderful travel journal by Bill Bryson, who has published a number of other texts, all fantastic reads and all of which make you feel as though you accompanied him and you are now sitting together recounting the journeys you both took over a cup of cider next to a good fire. 

Daily Prompt: If you could choose to master any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

 

I would choose to master complete linguistic skill, thereby being able to learn any language almost immediately and speak/read it as well as any native speaker.   This skill would be awesome for a few reasons, the first being that I’d never have any trouble travelling. 

Lost in the Australian outback? Let’s pull over and ask for directions. 

No, the nice German man was not threatening to kill you; he was complimenting your shoes.   

Time Lord lands in ancient Rome?  Ave, Imperator! Morituri te salutant! Wait…

I would become a tremendously valuable asset the world over as a translator and since my understanding of both languages would be perfect, there would be no “lost in translation” moments. I think treaties, negotiations, and summits would benefit, certainly.

The downside would be that I might be constantly in danger because sometimes people just can’t abide a solution.  Or I’d be seen as a threat because government X was counting on insulting government Y and starting a war for nefarious reasons.

Still, being able to travel at will and speak like a native speaker would definitely be an asset, especially since if I am looked upon as a threat, I can just blend into all the communities.

Daily Prompt – Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis. Are you happy with the way you react?

In March of 2011 I was 24, two months shy of my Bachelor’s Degree, unmarried, still living at home, and had no “real” job. I skipped a lady cycle and immediately purchased and took a home test because, well, there are people who set their clocks by my lady cycles, so I knew something had to be amiss.  Sure enough, a little PLUS appeared in the test result window.  I felt a thrill run through me, from my shoulders to my toes.  My boyfriend didn’t know yet (obviously), and I was faced with a pounding in my head:  Pregnant. Oh God, what now?

My family is extremely conservative and believed they had “raised me right” so I knew that telling them would be a nightmare.  My boyfriend… well… who knew how he’d take it.  I could only hope that it wouldn’t be too traumatic.  My grandparents would—too much!  I went about my day on that Sunday as though nothing was wrong.  Inside I felt a strange calm, a peace, and even though my breaths were a little shaky as I moved through that next 24 hours, I made a decision to 1) Keep Calm and 2) Carry On.  No panic, no tears, no distress.  I knew I had to create a plan and immediately set to the task.

I was extremely proud of my reaction.  I think some people in my shoes would have flailed and panicked and cried and/or immediately scheduled an abortion.  I did none of these things.  While I knew that my life was about to change forever (pardon the cliché), instead of collapsing into a pity party of horror and regret, I went on the offense to ensure that this beautiful child, whom I loved from the moment he became a zygote (haha), would have a completely awesome, stable, and loving environment in which to grow up.

I told my boyfriend Monday morning while we were at school.  To my surprise, he knelt in front of me with a huge smile on his face and quietly assured me he was excited and happy.  He rose to the challenge brilliantly, and I was (and am) so thankful for that.  We married in November of that year in a quiet JP ceremony and are still together—and expecting our second child in June!

Of course, telling my family was indeed an ordeal, and I waited until after our Easter trip to Dallas to tell them.  My mother threatened me with the vengeance of God (how does one gain access to that?) and my dad stared at me like I was filthy, his face totally blank. By the end of that conversation, I was biting my tongue to keep from saying “Well maybe I’ll miscarry and that’ll just solve everyone’s problems, now won’t it?”

All through the pregnancy, I was under pressure from my mom to admit that I was “not ready” to be a parent.  She even went so far as to seek people out at their church who might be willing to adopt my little one when he arrived. She harped on the fact that I didn’t have any money and reminded me over and over that she and my dad were “not going to pay” for the child.  Clearly, money and living arrangements were a huge issue, and I went right out and took the first job I could find in June 2011 at a local craft store.  In September 2011 I got an awesome job in the recruiting department of a large Houston HR company.   My little one was born in December and my husband and I took him home to our own house, which I purchased in November.

So am I proud of the way I responded to this particular crisis situation?  You betcha.  Have I responded poorly to other crisis situations since then?  You betcha.  But I know that when the going gets hellish, I can respond appropriately and raise hell right back and that makes me pretty stellar.