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The Leap: I love the GrabBag. It's like an amazing challenge. And I tried writing from the point of view of the opposite gender, inspired by the word 'mannish'
Posted by 'Chelle, Nov 24, 2009. 1253 views. ID = 2982

The Leap

Posted by 'Chelle, Nov 24, 2009. 1253 views. ID = 2982
This post was written in 19 minutes.
This post is a Grab Bag which uses the following words: monosyllable, danger, mannish, soul-searching, slacks, utility, dachshund, acrimonious, sweet, jeez
This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.

A monosyllable, conveying danger, blares into my subconscious.


I bolt upright, my heart pounding in my ears, sniffing for smoke as I stumble out of bed. The covers trail behind me, wrapping themselves around my hurrying ankles, dragging me down. I don't smell smoke. I don't hear the brain numbing screech of a fire alarm.
I wonder if I should rush into the hall or go back to bed. False alarm, surely. My instinct fires off another monosyllable: RUN, but still I hesitate. I do not want to appear anything less than mannish. It wouldn't do to be panicked in the hall and have Rod from the next apartment over find me there, like a fox being smoked out of its den, as he saunters by in his neatly pressed slacks, with Emily Van Nessel's smelly dachshund cradled in his arms.
Rod. Rod, always ruggedly handsome, with a toothy grin, and an impeccable polo. Rod, always the ladies man, always the hero.
No, it would not do to appear frightened or dissheveled in front of Rod.
I realize, suddenly, that my soul-searching has left me immobile, one foot still wrapped in blankets, the other contemplating stepping hastily into last night's jeans. The acrimonious smell of smoke is creepy into my nostrils and burning its way into my lungs. Already the door to the hall feels hot to the touch.
I berate myself as I crawl towards the window for letting my ego get in the way of my survival sense. What kind of man lets himself get roasted alive just so he looks more manly? The smoke is wafting under the door, and curling itself around my head. I crawl faster, grabbing my utilty knife (just in case. It seemed manly at the time) and push at the window sash with mounting urgency. I can hear fire trucks now, and the crackle of flames. The palms of my hands feel warm. I wonder, idly, why my smoke alarm never...oh right. I smashed it to pieces that night when the battery died and it wouldn't shut up.
I finally heave the window up and thrust my head out into the sweet night air. I gulp in deep breaths, so relieved, so thankful. It takes a second before the realization sinks in - I am on the fourth floor!
I look down, way down.
To my great relief I see the firefighters far below, spreading out their net. I watch, fascinated, as old Mrs. DuBois from 4B leaps to safety. She is soon followed by a hysterical Emily Van Nessel. Now it's my turn. They are shouting for me. I look over my shoulder as the door is engulfed in flames. No way out now but down.
I climb onto the sill and take a deep breath. One last glance down.
It can't be.
Jeez Louis. A guy just can't win.
Staring up at me, neatly pressed, and dachshund in hand, Rod watches me leap, screaming like a girl, and my pride is left behind me, going up in flames.

Copyright 2009 'Chelle. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.

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