MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “action”

Cat on fire

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She sat on the balcony every morning among the plants breathing in the morning dew and fresh air. It felt nice being outdoors, even if this was on the third floor of a city-centre apartment. This was her ‘outside’.

The days passed calmly, as they do for an indoor cat.

But there was one day when something extraordinary happened.

Her housemates left early in the morning to “run errands”, as they told her. They reassured her they would be back soon as they had left their food baking in that square thing in the kitchen that heated up real fast and they called an ‘oven’.

It was hot that day. She realised it, as there was no fresh air, not even in the shade provided by the plants.

And all of a sudden, it happened.

Black smoke began filling up the house and causing an increasingly suffocating atmosphere.

She found it hard to breathe and snuck further behind the pots of the leafiest of plants. It didn’t work much, as the smoke intensified and there was a pungent smell that hurt her nostrils.

After a while, she heard commotion, but it wasn’t from inside the house. Her housemates had not yet returned.

And then, the sirens. Loud and shrieking, piercing her ears.

The door breaking open and five tall men, dressed heavily with helmets and bearing a long rubber hose that began to shoot out water. Voices shouting at all tones all at once, people moving in and out of the house, staring at her hiding behind the pots.

The smoke dispersed but the smell remained. She tried to go into the house to see who these people were and what happened, and that was when her housemates arrived and she could hear their voices break with agony.

One of them picked her up and clenched her in her arms. She said it was to reassure her that everything was all right and she was grateful nothing had happened to her. But the black cat knew that the hug served more as a comfort for her housemate, to loosen the tension and calm her nerves.

She had survived a fire.

To her housemates, she was the luckiest cat alive.

But to her, they were the lucky ones.

Desire and action

©MCD
©MCD

It was snowing when he set foot outdoors. If it was up to him, he wouldn’t have, but his mother forced him to go out in search of the required groceries for lunch. He was the sort of person who always found excuses not to do something. He would constantly say he wanted to but it was simply not possible because of a series of pretexts he would cough up at the moment.

Procrastinating was Tommy’s expertise. But as he matured, he found that there were things you could simply not postpone. And the less you did, the more reliable you would become and the better status you would obtain as a person and as a character.

But the most memorable lesson, he learnt in a cabin in the woods that day he went off-track.

It was a wooden cabin below the snowy mountains. Adjacent was a lake in which two magnificent swans were found. It seemed almost mythical. He approached in hope it would offer solace from the extreme cold.

Above the front door there was a sign that read “When there’s a will there’s a way, when there’s none there’s delay”.  He knocked on the door and waited. Then he knocked again. There was no response.

After a while, as his hands began to turn numb from the cold, he decided to search for a back door.

There was one with an “entry” sign above.

Inside was a carpenter. One of the type he had only read about in storybooks.

It took you long enough,” he told Tommy as he led him to a seat near the blaring fireplace and offered him a cup of steaming hot tea.

 Tommy looked perplexed.

Had you figured out the meaning of the sign sooner, your hands wouldn’t have turned so pale from the frostbite,” the carpenter explained.

Simply stating your desire or intention to do something does not make it real. It’s when you act upon it that it happens. And that is what matters. Because others can’t see your intentions, they can only judge you by your actions”.

Tommy was beginning to understand. This meeting was not by chance. In fact, he had never seen this cabin in this part of the valley before.

“Stop denying the fact that you’re delaying things. Or simply not doing them. The time to act is now, not later. You don’t know what will happen later on. If you can do something now, why are you waiting? What for? There is always time to do something important. To show others you care.  If you can act, and if you’re going to use your intention in your defence later on, why procrastinate? If it is significant, you do it. That is what others will see. And what matters most, is what you show”.

Tommy drank his last sip and was ready to leave.

There was nothing he could say. After all, this meeting was not for him to speak, but to listen.

“Character is built on the strength of your actions”, he heard the carpenter say as he waved him goodbye.

That question we all ask

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There is something we all at some point find ourselves doing: seeking the answers we search not in ourselves but in someone else. Because it is much easier to ask others what to do and how to do it rather than try to figure it out ourselves. It is faster and simpler to have others solve the problem instead of finding the way to do it ourselves.

That is why when we find “inspirational” people there is always someone who asks the question of “what should I do” or “how should I do [something] to become like you”? The best answer a truly influential person can give is “go out and act and stop asking me about it”.

No-one can really provide you all the answers you look for. There is no pre-defined right-or-wrong solution to everything that goes on in your head. Plus the responses you may get may very often not fit with your perspective. Or put simply, they may not be what you want to hear.

The best thing is to stop delaying and procrastinating so much. We blame our fallible human nature, our indecisiveness, even our OCD, but deep down there is something else: the fact that we may not want it as much as we believe. Because if we truly wanted something we would do anything we could to achieve it. We wouldn’t over-analyse. We wouldn’t go around asking. We would find ways to act.

It’s as simple as that.

Complaining, whining, nagging

http://rbk.h-cdn.co/assets/cm/14/50/548a5ac82c9a3_-_rbk-nagging-0612-1-xln.jpgWe tend to complain. A lot. And the ‘we’ goes to the human species. Because no other animal has the tendency to complain, whine or nag as much as we do.

We often complain so much because we’re too afraid to act. We fear that we might not be able to change circumstances, that there is nothing we can do to make things better. We complain because we don’t believe enough in our own strength and capabilities.

Then again, we too often complain because we feel we deserve better.

We nag because we want things to be done a certain way, usually different to the current one, and we are irritated and agitated if this does not coincide with the notion in our minds.

Motivational speech includes prompts to stop complaining and appreciate things more. To be willing to change and adopt a more positive aspect on life. After all, aren’t optimists the ones who see the glass half-full and a silver lining in everything?

Complaining places you in the position of a victim as it is a sign you do not have control of a situation. It also causes you to waste (valuable) time. Instead, “champions never complain; they are too busy getting better” (John Wooden).

But in the end it all comes down to how good you feel within you and about yourself.

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything”.

Non-stop action may cause unexpected reactions

35111-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Hyper-Fly-Dancing-In-Rings-Of-FireHyperactivity is neither a blessing nor a curse. Because, while there are days when you feel so lazy you can’t even drag yourself out of bed or off the coach, there are other days when you simply cannot stay still. I don’t know what is worse.

When Julie got up this morning she beat her alarm clock to the buzz. Of course, the thump she made when she dropped out of bed was much more painful than any sound any clock could make. Her morning cleansing – makeup – dressup ritual lasted the usual 25 minutes, and then she set off for all the errands she had to do. Her list was extra-long this day and every time she found herself on the commute, she somehow managed to keep extending it.

So Julie spent the entire day running around from one part of the city to the next (making her realise how big this city truly is), up and down office buildings, in and out of shops (there is always something to buy), and constantly craving certain food that she had no time to sit down and enjoy (sushi and ice cream being among these).

At the end of the day, when the sun had already began its descend, Julie arrived home with her feet already developing blisters, and feeling that she had carried a hundred tonnes on her shoulders all day. A warm shower simply worsened the situation as she kept thinking of all the things she still had to do the next day and the day after that. Messages kept arriving that further extended her list and the hyperactivity would appear to never cease.

The only thing that rescued her was a remedy that seemed to work since her college years: a glass of milk (not necessarily warm). Within half an hour, Julie was already drifting asleep, dozing off in a stress-free dream, suddenly making everything seem like an action movie where the good guys always win, and all was well with the world.

Also part of Daily Prompt: No Cliffhangers

Decisions, decisions…

DecisionsThe problem with being indecisive is that you don’t know what to do. It’s normal when you are faced with a tough decision that will affect your life. But when it concerns a seemingly easy decision, like for example what ice cream flavours to choose, then it becomes a problem, particularly because by the time you finally make up your mind, the ice cream parlour has closed and you are left with no ice cream.

Or for example when you go out to shop one thing and see a million others that you would like to purchase. Not being able to decide instantly means you end up with a large shopping spree and an often (over)charged credit card. Sometimes even without that one thing you had gone to buy in the first place.

However, things change when there are important decisions to make, such as where you want to live, for example, or what you want to do with your life. Lack of determination means you are forced to cohabitate with a confusion constantly stirring inside of you; one day it will erupt and it won’t be pretty.

Indecision is a torment. They say it is preferable to make a decision, no matter how wrong it may turn out to be, rather than not take any action at all. When you lurch from indecision to doubt of whether you’ve taken the right decision, to changing your mind, and eventually never deciding, you are in essence living in a nightmare, where in the end you end up exhausted by the internal struggle that is wearing out your psyche.

It is actually harder than it seems to make decisions, maybe that is why policy-makers are so highly paid – they have to decide for the fate of so many people. It takes strength, courage and a bit of audacity to state a choice and stand by it. It takes even more boldness to decide on something and then make it the right decision.

Luke-warm but not frozen

melancholy-tracksLuke was broken-hearted. Not because of love lost, but because of love not found. He felt alone, fighting against the waves in a boundless ocean during a storm. There were days when he even felt his heart stop and his lungs as heavy as a rock, obstructing him from taking the slightest of breaths.

Luke was alone. And every so often he felt a void in his soul, like that little crack on the sill under the window he used to stare out of. Wind would gush in through it and stir a chill in an otherwise tepid room. It was strange. But yet refreshing. Sometimes even exhilarating.

He had to move on though. Staying still was not an option. And it would simply make that crack inside of him grow larger.

Luke decided he would try to mend that gap. And he would start by that crack at the window that was bugging him for years now.

He got up, put on his hat and strode off to the market down the street.

He knew everyone in the neighbourhood. Maybe that was the problem, though. There was nothing new. Nothing seemed to evolve. It was a repetition of the day all over, every day. And it was simply…boring. To him it was a sign of stagnation, a lack of progress. And something needed to change. Radically.

He bought some stock to mend the crack and some plaster, in case that didn’t work.

In less than an hour, the crack was gone. Or so it seemed. At least it was no longer visible. Not entirely. As to how long it would last…that was a different tale. But Luke had made the effort. And he was determined to now fix the part inside of him that was broken.

He was going to leave. No matter what that old fortune-teller had told him. He was going to take that step. After all, he would never know unless he tried.

 

Also part of the Trifecta Writing Challenge – the prompt word was CRACK:
3a : a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice>
b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>

An unexpected awakening

Misty drinkKarin woke up feeling her head was about to explode. Had she fainted? She looked around but what she saw had happened was very different from what she remembered. And why did she have blood all over her hands?

The last thing she recalls is having a drink at home with Regina. Come to think of it, it was her shadow that she saw running hastily away after David’s shooting. But was David really shot? He had no bullet signs; instead Karin had a wound on her arm from where a bullet scraped her. David on the other hand seemed stabbed. And the dagger lay right there next to Karin.

So what on earth had happened?

Karin had to remember. She had to force herself out of this trance and recall what happened. What really happened and not what she mistily thought did.

So, she was having a drink with Regina, to congratulate Karin on her lead role in the performance, and Regina was telling her that she did deserve it – a hint of sarcasm with a lot of jealousy?

Then Regina asked for a refill, and Karin left the room for a minute. When she came back, she did taste something a bit different in her drink. And then it all became fuzzy. As if she was living a dream, or rather a nightmare! So Regina had given her a drug; one that allegedly was the door to paradise – or hell – from the likes of it.

So, what had happened? Was Regina so jealous that she caused Karin to kill the person she loved the most? And not even remember it? And then, what? Regina even tried to shoot her off?

And what was David doing there anyway? Was he trying to warn her?

The piece of paper Karin had found in David’s pocket still lay there on the floor. She picked it up, with the clouds now removed from her eyes and read it clearly:

“Trust no one. Not even yourself”.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word door:

DOOR
3: a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>

 

A Lethal Clue

Bullet hole in glassDavid stood there soaking wet from head to toe. She grabbed him from his shirt and pulled him in, poking her head outside just to check no one had seen them. You could never be sure.

What happened? Whose was that blood? What had he gotten himself into? Karin needed answers, her mind was about to explode from the panic and the unanswered questions that circled her head, threatening to devour every thought she had.

But David just stood there still. As if in a state of ecstasy. As if what had happened had not quite registered in his mind yet. He was clenching the dagger in his fist and was staring into…nothing. His otherwise enchanting emerald green eyes now seemed void of all emotion.

What on earth had happened?

Karin began to search his pockets for a clue. As she drew out a small folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket, David flinched, as if he had been awaken all of a sudden. Karin quickly unfolded it, with an unsteady hand and a pounding heart. It had an address and two initials: I. Z. She dropped the paper as she immediately felt the floor being swept off from underneath her feet. She recognized that address and knew that name. Ivy Zanda. It was her best friend and co-dancer. They practically grew up together. And she didn’t live too far away. Why was this in David’s pocket? And what did he do to her?

Did you kill her?” She yelled at him, almost in tears. It couldn’t have been her. No, Karin refused to accept that Ivy was responsible for all this trouble she was in.

“Not…her” David managed to utter as if something was choking him.

“Then who? What happened?” She urged.

But David never managed to say. As soon as he opened his mouth, a swish was heard, with glass shattering from the window by the door behind him. Karin shrieked, as he fell in her arms. Lifeless.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word ecstasy:

ECSTASY (noun)

3: trance; especially : a mystic or prophetic trance

 

A dark act

theatre_stageDarkness, like an evil wizard, had engulfed her soul end to end, carefully tucking away the edges. She could just about picture how it would all happen and that made her shiver despite the stifling heat outside. All color was erased from her normally peachy cheeks as the image ran through her head. Right when the swan song would sound, when that majestic figure would gracefully dance its last breath away, when the notes from that classic masterpiece would delicately pluck the strings of each heart in the room, right then. That is when they would strike. They would barge in, breaking down the theatre doors and charge in like soldiers of the apocalypse, with their bazookas and Kalashnikovs at hand, pointing them at anyone who would dare to even move. It would be horrible. And that was why she had to avert it at all costs. She had to do something to save her job, her dignity, her life. She had to fight. It wasn’t going to be easy. But she would try.

The doorbell rang as the rain could be heard drizzling down the tin roof from the attic. It was monsoon season. And it was also pitch black outside. A sign of the gloom to come? She was still horrified from the dreadful “could-have-beens” that had overwhelmed her. With a trembling hand she opened the door. She wasn’t really expecting anyone. So when she saw David standing there she was even more shocked than before. Especially since in his right hand he was holding a dagger. And it was dripping blood.

Also part of this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word color:

color (noun)
3: complexion tint:
a : the tint characteristic of good health
b : blush

 

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