No Escape

7 year old Sammy runs towards the main door, as fast as his puny legs will allow. Yes, he is short for his age. His friends at the park are always poking fun at his stature.

In a flurry of motion, he reaches the door. He jumps up to try and reach the door knob. But alas! He is too short. He cannot reach it. The door is shut. Sammy glances back and whimpers. He can spy a stray plume of smoke seep its way out from under the kitchen door. The kitchen is on fire!

“I can’t get out this way,” he thinks, panicking.

Alone at home, he is really scared.

“My God! What am I going to do? My escape route is blocked.”

Who could have imagined that such a thing would happen? It is Christmas Eve after all, a time to be jolly.

In desperation Sammy looks at the windows next to the door but they too are tightly shut. He runs upstairs to check for other exits. But all the windows there are tightly shut too. The balcony door is also locked. He cannot get out from any route. All exits are blocked for him. There is no escape!

His parents have left him home to go visit Grandma across town. Sammy is never invited to Grandma’s house. It is a good thing too for Sammy is quite scared of the dragon lady. She does not like him at all.

“It must be because I am adopted,” he had thought & consoled himself once.

You may think it is negligent of his parents to leave him alone at such an age. But, that is not the truth. You see their neighbour Old Mrs Smith, is babysitting. She is a dear old lady. She loves him like her own. She always has the kindest things to say to him and is always ready with milk and cookie treats.

Mrs Smith has just popped over to her house to sign for a delivery. While leaving she said, “Now be a good boy Sammy. I’ll be back in a jiffy. You just stay put and play with your toys. I’ll be back before you know it”

Alas! She is not back yet.

“Oh! Where are you Mrs Smith?” thinks Sammy, anxiously.

“What if she is not back in time? What is the fire spreads? How am I going to get out?” he wails, dejectedly slumping onto the floor.

“Woof! Woof! Woof!”

The neighbour’s Rottweiler, Butch is barking. He’s big and ferocious. He scares the bejeezus out of Sammy. Butch always snaps & barks at people, even at Mommy and Sammy when they walk past his house on the way to the park. He’s one mean-tempered dog.

But today maybe, just maybe, Butch can help.

“What if I climb onto the window? If Butch sees me then he will bark madly, as always. Maybe then his owner will step out, see me trapped and help me out?” thinks Sammy excitedly.

Thinking thus, Sammy hurriedly clambers on to the low couch under the living room window. This is where Mom sits most evenings with Sammy on her lap, reading. But, alas! The couch is too low. Sammy cannot reach the window sill. In desperation he attempts to jump up to reach the window sill. Just then the smoke alarm goes off, startling him.

“Thud!”

Poor Sammy falls flat on his butt. “Ouch! That hurts,” he whimpers, utterly distraught.

“Crack! Thud!”

Oh no! Sounds like something just blew up in the kitchen.

“OMG! What am I gonna do. How do I get out with all exits blocked? ” Sammy moans pitifully.

“Maybe I should stand by the main door and make some noise? Someone may hear me now since the alarm has gone off,” thinks Sammy, running to the front door. As he reaches, the door magically opens.

“Sammy, my poor boy! I am so sorry. You must be so scared,” says Mrs Smith, scooping him up in her arms. “Hush now! Don’t whimper so. I’m here.”

Gratefully, Sammy snuggles up to her. “Thank God you came back in time,” he thinks, unable to say anything.

“Lord! It must be the chicken I put in the oven for dinner. How forgetful of me!” wails Mrs Smith. She rushes off to the kitchen. She switches off the infernal alarm too.

“Arf! Arf! Arf!” barks Sammy the little Shih-Tzu happily. He’s now safe in Mrs Smith’s arms.

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Sonal Singh

Sonal Singh is the Founder/Director of a manpower search firm called Rian Placements. She dabbles in travel and writing. She believes that life is a repertoire of anecdotes strung together in a colourful array, like a beaded necklace. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, make life a melange of tales and conversational tidbits. And, this is what she attempts to capture through her writing.

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