Today’s fictional story is inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt:
Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?
The sound of someone banging on my front door and screaming “FIRE!” not only wakes me up but catapults me out of bed. I hear a frightened meow, and grab Molly before she runs under the bed and I waste precious moments trying to dig her out. I don’t see any telltale flames licking at my walls so I quickly but cautiously make my way down the hallway only to find that it’s the empty condo that shares a kitchen/dining room wall with mine that’s engulfed in flames (as I presume by the heat I can feel radiating from the wall and the other shouts in the breezeway) and it’s only a matter of minutes until it breaks through and begins its destruction of my place.
Swearing continuously under my breath as the seconds tick away, I’m glad that I was sleeping in my favorite thermals and flannels so all I need to throw on is my battered tennis shoes. I run into the office and stuff a seriously protesting Molly into her carrier. That done, I try and remember where on earth I put the ceramic elephant Mom made me when I was a kid. I’m now seriously regretting my procrastination for taking down the Christmas decorations so it wasn’t in its usual place, but I finally and thankfully remember it’s in the box of stuff at my feet under the office desk. I waste a precious minute shifting through everything to find it and not break anything else, and at the same time thank my halfhearted cleaning attempts that left a plastic bag from who-cares-where on the desk. Out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of my passport; I snatch it up and shove it in the bag.
Grabbing the carrier with a quiet cat inside, I dart back into the living room and on into the rapidly heating dining room to unplug my iPhone/Google tablet from their stacked charging place on a bookshelf and shove the twofer and their cords into the bag, thanking the gods that I upgraded so everything is in the cloud. I spin around, mind whirling, trying to think of what else I absolutely have to have. With a finger snap, I dash into the bathroom and grab the jewelry box that holds all the special stuff from Mom, Grandma, Montana and Ireland.
Pounding starts up on my door again, and this time I yell back that I’m okay and I’m on my way out. Feeling heartbroken at all I’m going to lose but thankful for a few childhood items that are safe at Mom’s house, I grab my purse containing everything else important and but most especially the keyring that holds that now-precious thumb drive with the backups of my databases, spreadsheets and most importantly all the data on my manuscripts in progress.
I flip the lock and charge out of the condo, nearly knocking down the fireman who was about to break down my door. He grabs Molly’s carrier in one hand and my arm in another and as we haul ass down the stairs conveniently located in the opposite direction of the inferno blazing out of the broken windows next door, I wonder if I’ll get extremely lucky and the firefighters will beat that fire before it takes my home with it…