Good morning all. Monday morning has arrived yet again. I’ll be honest, crawling back into bed for another few hours sounds like a really good idea. However it is not in the cards as there is way too much to get done on this bright Monday morning. So it is time to wake up the brain with a writing prompt, and then see just how much coffee it is going to take to keep my eyes open for the rest of the day. So while the coffee percolated, let’s start the prompt.
No clue why they are escaping or what the building is, but I kind of like this. No idea what I would do with it. If anything. I think it would depend on what they were doing in the building and all the other little details. But my brain does feel less fuzzy and that was sort of the point.
Monday, September 27th: There was only one problem.
There was only one problem. To escape through the window entailed a thirty foot drop. There was no way around that fact. We had to get out and this was our only means of escape. ‘Someone is breaking a limb,’ I thought. There was no way we were all walking away from that kind of drop. I eyed the ground and saw the gray shapes of stones, barely concealed beneath a screen of vegetation.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, the entire island was more or less one big pile of rocks. I don’t know why the part I was expecting to land on after a thirty foot drop would be the one soft part of the landscape.
I tore my gaze away from the windows and looked into the shadows, for…anything. The smell of smoke was getting stronger. We were running out of time. ‘But if we end up broken just outside the wall, the fire could still get us.’
“There,” I yelled pointing. Everyone turned, first to me and then swiveling to follow my finger. I wasn’t a natural leader, so them all paying attention to me was a measure of their desperation. “The mattresses,” I said. “Shove them out the window, it’s large enough. Make a pile to soften the landing.”
“But thery’re…nasty,” One of the women complained. I never caught her name. I wasn’t paying that much attention to them. They were companions by necessity, not choice.
“They are softer than rocks and won’t break our bones,” I yelled as I raced for the pile of mattresses. They were, as my erstwhile companion pointed out, nasty. They were stained and I was certain they were infested with all manner of mold and fungus. I tried not to think of it too much as I began dragging it across the floor towards the window,. One of the men, whose name I also didn’t know raced over to grab the other end and we mo0ved faster. The mattress went out of the window fairly easily. It was a triple window and the mattress was for a twin bed so it wasn’t all that surprising.
The others followed suit, the girl complaining about the mattresses moving last and moving slowly. I ignored her and raced back to the stack with my partner. By the time we had a passable stack, the smell of smoke was stronger and drifts of it were snaking in under the door. Escape was now or never. Still the others looked hesitant to commit themselves.
“Fine,” I said. “My idea, I’ll go first.” I was helped to the window sill and With one deep breath I jumped, aiming for the center of the haphazard stack. I hit and my breath whooshed out of me. A cloud of dust and god only knows what puffed up with my landing. I tried not the think about it as I scrambled off of the stack. The top mattress was skewed with my landing and I pushed it back into place.
The second person jumped. He was heavier than I was and the stack wobbled. He helped me straighten it and we stood guard as the others took their turns one by one jumping into the pile. The girl who felt the mattresses were nasty jumped last as though still unwilling to touch them. She landed, slid off the stack and tried to brush her self down, muttering ewww repeatedly under her breath.
Smoke was pouring through the window we just left now proving we made it out just in time. Smoke was leaking out of all of the open windows on this die of the building and I heard the sound of broken glass as in some places the heat was too much for the glass.
“We need to move away from the building.” I said. Suiting words to action I moved down the hill away from the building.
“I’s brick,” the complaining girl said. She was still trying to get a smudge off of her shirt.
“Heat, glass, wooden bits,” I called over my shoulder, still not stopping. My voice was clipped, rude, but I didn’t care. There had been no rain since our arrival and the grass was dry and brittle, snapping beneath our feet.