MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “adventure”

When time stops

rope bridge sapa vietnap“Come on!!” she bounced impatiently in front of him, her face beaming with excitement. The adrenaline pumping in his body made his heart feel like it wanted to pounce out of his chest. He looked ahead, trying to avoid looking down.

A rope bridge extended in front of him. It was everything but what you would describe as ‘safe’. But this is what she described as “an adventure”. “Something different; something spectacular; something out of the ordinary,” she had told him.

Come on!! It’s either this or skydiving!”

“I’d much rather do the latter at the moment,” he replied trying to contain the tremor in his voice.

“Well, if a step breaks on the way we might do both!” She joked, but deep inside she was as scared as he was terrified.

He paused for a moment, allowing himself to inhale the amazing scenery that surrounded him. It was all so serene; so quiet; so calm. It was as if time had stopped.

That is how he always felt with her. As if nothing and no one else mattered. It was a record for him. Falling so deeply and feeling so much in such a short time. But it was one he was happy to break again and again if it meant being with her and experiencing so much more than he could have even imagined before she came along.

“Come on! It’ll be dark soon.” She extended her hand as she pranced ahead bravely feigning a first step.

“Wait!” he called out.  He took her hand and aligned himself beside her.

Together.”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Record

Appleopolis

sliced-appleIt’s remarkable how the most memorable moments are created when you least expect them. For example, that specific day when Josh woke up with a headache that accompanied him throughout most of the day. He was suffering and felt that the day would be wasted unless he could get rid of this pain that was drumming his head. It was that precise day when his girlfriend had booked tickets for them to visit the new entertainment resort in town.

It was called Appleopolis because it had something very peculiar and particular about it. The main food on offer was apple slices. But not just any apple slices, they were cold, freshly cut, peeled apples with a stain of honey and traces of almonds. What was even more unique about them was that they brought out your other personality. Those traits of your character that you suppressed and kept subdued inside of you.

A few minutes after Josh had savoured these apple slices, he almost forgot about the headache he had and ended up enjoying the day to the utmost. He did not remember when was the last time he had laughed so wholeheartedly; when he truly allowed himself to indulge in the moment; to recharge with experiences; and to simply live the day for what it was – an opportunity to have a good time with a loved one.

By the end of the day, the headache was gone. And Josh was feeling rejuvenated.

Fruit – just like any moment – can be adventurous too, as long as you let yourself loose to experience whatever happens, without plans, without programming, without too many expectations.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Subdued

Chasing Pokémon

http://c.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/inline-large/inline/2016/07/3061764-inline-i-2-pokemon-go-is-the-most-addicting-app-in-years-and-heres-why-it-matters.jpg“Come on, we need to catch ‘em now!”  Mitch grabbed his phone and headed towards the door. His anxiety was evident as his hand transferred his tremor onto the open door. His wife did not share the agony.

She still hadn’t caught the two Pokémon hiding in the house.

But Mitch saw there were many more outside roaming the neighbourhood. It was obvious from the number of cars parked in the street and the hoard of dazed young people walking around like zombies searching for imaginary creatures that appeared randomly on their phones.

With every vibrate, you would hear a scream and then witness a leap forward.

They were all obviously seeing something that any person out of the Pokémon Go loop would not understand.

People had been caught Pokémon & driving, which was far worse than drunk driving because at least in the latter case the driver’s eyes were on the road, even if his/her mind wasn’t.

People had been falling over, bumping into trees, with each other, or even being hit by cars exactly because they were too busy being dragged around the routes depicted on their phone, rather than be aware of their actual surroundings.

But there were also those who found friends, even romance, through the Pokémon gatherings. Those who discovered excitement in this shared habit, no matter how addictive it got.

Mitch was still impatient. His wife had now slid under the bed and was desperately trying to throw a ball at a Pikachu sneering at her from the corner.

“Will you please hurry up?” Mitch called out.

Martha stepped in through the open door. She was about to apologise for being late because of the traffic that had gathered in the area. But when she saw what was going on with the owners of the house she was employed to maintain in order, her jaw dropped. The disorder was reminiscent of the impact of an earthquake. Even the couch – which she so dexterously vacuumed around – had been displaced.

“Will you finally go to work and stop chasing imaginary creatures, please?” she blurted out. That was just the moment the wife appeared triumphantly, waving her phone with a picture of a captured yellow creature on screen.

Martha sighed.

That was when Mitch’s father showed up at the doorstep and said “where can I plug in my phone, there is one little bugger that’s about to get away?”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Carefree

Sleep disturbances

http://www.healthycurve.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/istock_alarmclock-980x523.jpgIf an anticipated alarm clock sounds like a siren in your ears when you’re fast asleep, a telephone ringing to interrupt your peaceful moment can only be likened to a grenade exploding. Because apart from the unexpected disturbance, you wake up in panic, disoriented as to the time, date and sometimes, even the place you are in, and then with the added anguish that something is wrong.

That is how Larry felt on that Sunday morning.

He was used to sleeping in on weekends, because he had to somehow catch up on the “shut eye” he was so lacking during the week. So, no matter what time he went to bed on Friday and/or Saturday night, he would allow himself the luxury to wake up whatever time his organism felt right, having assured an adequate amount of sleep and rest. But, when he called it a night at 2am, he didn’t expect his phone to be ringing him out of his dream eight hours later.

It’s ruthless to be woken up so abruptly. Especially, on a day of rest.

But sometimes, it is worth it. Because the morning call Larry received was for a day out in the sunshine with friends he hadn’t seen for a while. He managed to jump out of bed and be ready in half an hour, although he needed an hour more to be fully functioning, but ended up having one of the greatest days he had had in a while.

Relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean lying in bed all day – especially if that is not a trait you’re used to. Often all you really need is enjoyable people, the right location and a pleasant mood to make your day a carefree experience.

And by the end of the day, you’ll be grateful you got up early.

 

“Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them”.

 

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Price

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The message was read. She knew it because there was that often inconvenient announcement at the bottom that informed you of when it was delivered and/or read. It was the source of all evil. Because if you didn’t know, you weren’t (so) concerned of why the recipient would not reply. But now that you knew, something was constantly bugging you all day. An entire conspiracy theory.

But what had truly happened was something that would never have even crossed her mind.

Jake woke up startled that morning, as the thunder alerted him that it would be a long and stormy day. He got up, still half-asleep, washed, dressed, ate breakfast as if on auto-pilot and joined the tens of other drivers going to work. But the slippery roads made everything more dangerous. And how was he to predict that the truck full of milk heading to a protest rally in front of him would break down, spilling liters of milk into the street and moreover, accidentally dropping an entire container full of milk onto his front car hood? He was stuck on the motorway for three hours until adequate assistance arrived.

That is when he saw her message.

“Goodmorning! Hope you are well! Have a lovely day!” It beamed full of sunshine. All that was precisely lacking from his day.

He was too agitated to respond at that moment, so he closed the app and put the phone away.

When he finally arrived at work, his desk was already piled with to-do notes and messages from phone calls he had to return. He even skipped lunch that day and managed to leave the office even after the cleaner. It was almost midnight.

He arrived home exhausted, fell on the coach and dropped into deep sleep.

Georgia on the other hand was steaming. It had been all day and he had not replied. A million scenarios had gone through her head. The things women make up and drive themselves crazy for a reason men do not and can not understand. Women can not understand it either, but they still do it anyhow.

She promised herself she would not send anything else or call him. She might even ignore his future texts and calls too.

The next morning when Jake awoke, the first thing that came to mind was that bright message he had forgotten to respond to the previous day.

You are my ray of sunshine. I’ve had a terrible day yesterday and would love to see you soon,” he texted.

Georgia huffed when she heard the text alert. She was both curious and excited at the same time. But the minute she read it, she couldn’t help but smile. She was about to respond, when he called. She couldn’t hold a grudge. Not after that. She just wished he could have simply texted two words the previous day. Indeed how much agitation we would all avoid if people simply sent a reply to even the basic of messages.

(Not) Another regular Friday

http://worksmartlivesmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/have-a-bad-day.jpgHer name was Henrietta. It was a straightforward name, albeit a bit irregular for a female. You would think it was easy to remember, and not to be confused. But today when she went two hours in advance of the opening time to pick up the concert tickets for the next day, which she had booked four months earlier, the lady in charge told her she could not find her name on the list. There was a Henry, though, with the same surname, for (weirdly enough) the same tickets. It took 45 minutes to prove she was the Henry, although, the Henry was in fact a Henrietta, who was her.

By the time she returned home, people were already flooding the cafés for their afternoon coffees. She decided to chop some vegetables in order to make a quick salad with some baked beans she was about to boil. Quick, easy, and healthy, she thought. But, alas, her new knives would prove their worth. She nearly chopped off her left index finger together with a slice of tomato. A crimson stream began to flow from that little finger, soon turning five napkins from white to red and refusing to stop. Henrietta rushed to the pharmacy for some first aid. She would have to pay attention to the entire hand now, as the wound was deep and required time to heal.

By the time she was back, the beans were not baked, but burnt. And now she had a black pot to scrub with one hand.

This is when she realized how many things come to us so automatically every day, that we hardly pay any attention to them. For example, how much work that single finger does. How vital it is for the entire hand to function. She noticed how hard it was to do the slightest of things – from getting dressed to washing your hair, to putting on contact lenses – all with one hand.

As the sun set, and calm returned to Henrietta’s apartment, which now smelled of burnt food – she sought solace with Duchess, her fluffy, white Persian cat. But, as her name implied, the feline could not care less for her mistress. So as Henrietta compromised with online videos of cats asking to be cuddled, the power suddenly went out.

For one and a half hours, she sat in the dark in a burnt-smelling home with a bleeding finger and an inconsiderate pet. She was all too happy to go to bed and end this adventurous Friday. It was not so TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday), after all.

 

N.B. Based on a true story.

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

Exorcising the black cloud

dark-cloudIs it true? That if one thing goes so wrong that plunges you into pessimism and depression then a whole string of things will follow? As if the entire universe is somehow conspiring against you?

Why doesn’t it ever conspire for you?

Maurice was pondering these thoughts as he stared at his half-burned down apartment.

He had burnt the toast this morning – the toaster was already broken, so he placed them in the oven instead, but miscalculated the time needed. So he threw out the two black squares and went out to the bakery at the end of the street to get something fresh. On the way, he stopped by the kiosk to get a newspaper and had a 5-minute chat with the seller there. But by the time he got back, it was already late. Apparently, the oven had not been shut-off properly and a burnt piece of toast had managed to creep its way into causing enough trouble.

The rest of the week was horrible for Maurice too.

He missed a deadline at work and was heavily scolded at. He got food poisoning from not defrosting properly some fish. And he couldn’t sleep at night because of all the thoughts swarming in his head.

Why didn’t anything ever go right for him? Why was nothing ever working out in his favour? And most of all, why did nothing ever happen as he wished?

So how would he manage to exorcise this dark cloud of bad luck that was hanging over his head?

It was a drag and lately he could feel it suffocating him all the more. He felt so crushed by sadness that he didn’t want to do anything. He wanted to leave the house but didn’t have the energy too. He wanted to sleep to forget it all, but couldn’t because the minute his head hit the pillow all these thoughts attacked him like a platoon of angry fighters.

He read a series of articles in the magazines he had piled up in his bookcase and confirmed what he already knew – he was on the verge of collapse. It is not just the physical stress that can do that to you. It is the psychological breakdown that delivers the final blow.

So he decided to adopt something new – to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bad the latter was. He began with the burnt-down flat. The positive was that it was a chance to renovate. And the fact that he was alone while all his friends were away? A chance to do some self-exploring and perhaps even find new friends. He just had to manage to get out of the house without that cloud over his head.

It was the only way he would allow the light back into his life.

Phantom Moments

illutionoftimeThere are moments in life that seem like illusions. They come and go as quickly as flashes of lightning and you are left wondering if they ever truly existed. They are phantom moments.

Moments that are so intense for however long they last, but once they are over they come round again after long periods of time, if ever.

Violeta knew those moments well. This was what her life was like. Full of phantom moments. Moments when she would experience the greatest rush of her life and then days, weeks and months full of boredom and the memory of what that exhilarating feeling felt like. Moments filled with love, excitement and adrenaline. That would make her scream with happiness, only to be left in longer periods of time dreaming of what a continuation of the phantom moments would be like. What would it really be like if those moments were more than just a phantom. If those moments were life itself.

She soon realized that time passes by quicker than memories. But memories are not something you can forever hold on to.

She figured it out when enlightenment struck her in the midst of an Eat, Pray, Love-style journey of self-discovery. It was where she became aware how hung on to those moments she was. How she spent each day waiting for the next one to arrive. And in the end, this waiting, the anticipation, the expectation of something that may never happen was killing her from the inside. So she decided to seek help to get rid of this “bug”, this phantom-withdrawal-syndrome she had apparently developed.

A guru in Thailand gave her an advice she would never forget. And it was one that would truly change her perspective on life:

Always have a plan B, because plan A almost never works and even if it does, it won’t last. Phantom moments never do. Search deep in your heart and find what it is you truly seek, where you want to be, how you want to live. If you find that, then you will be the one to make the phantom moments last a lifetime”.

How do you clean a dirty cat?

cat-washing-machineIf you were walking on the sidewalk and came across an average-sized cat with enchanting snake-green eyes but with white fur as dirty as the insides of a garbage can, would you stop and gaze at it, let alone pet or feed it? No? Well that is exactly what Janine was trying to convey to Toby.

His fur had become grey from the dirt he was gathering while playing around, who knows where. It was summer too so the heat made it easier to stick everything on to his fur. But, it was embarrassing having a cat follow you around that was so dirty. It was as if she was homeless and this was her pity victim. Janine would have none of it. Toby would get cleaned up today.

There was only one problem. Toby hated water.

Toby was the kind of cat that wanted its independence – so you would pet him only if he allowed you to, would eat only if he wanted to etc. But at times, he would follow Janine around everywhere. Even to the supermarket, where he would wait patiently outside for her to emerge with the shopping bags so they could continue their walk. It was funny really. But at least he could be presentable as an escort.

Today Janine was going to the laundry mat. Toby, unfortunately for his sake, decided to tag along.

As she was loading the laundry into the machine, Toby opted to play around, hiding in the load, then peeking out and hiding deeper. But when Janine was almost done, he came up with the silly idea of jumping in the machine with the clothes to scare her when he popped out. But Janine did not see him and simply shut the door and hit “start”.

Toby was in the washing machine. Loaded.

As the water began to fill up, he began to gulp. And as the motion began, he began to yell as loudly as a cat can screech. It took Janine a minute or two before she realized where that hair-raising sound came from. When she saw Toby’s eyes staring at her as they revolved among the clothes in the washing machine, she nearly fainted. White as a ghost and in an unprecedented state of panic, she was pressing all the buttons on the machine at once in a desperate attempt to get it to stop. But how do you stop this machine?? Could she unplug it? But where was the plug anyway? Not knowing what to do, she quickly dialed 911.

The fire fighters were there in less than three minutes (their station was two blocks down from the laundry mat).

Their first reaction was naturally a giggle. It was kind of funny seeing a shrieking cat turning 360 degrees in a load of whites. But they quickly got to work: one of them tugged the machine forward and the other managed to unplug it. Then they used five different tools to get the door open and let the water rush out.

Toby sprang out with all the energy he had left. He was a poor sight – a wretched, soaking wet cat. He shook off the water from his fur and jumped into Janine’s lap. At least both now could relax.

The firemen were still laughing as they departed.

But Toby’s adventure had two outcomes: his fur was now clean and silky white as snow again; he stopped following Janine everywhere and instead spent more time inside the house – you know, to avoid getting too dirty and be mechanically washed like that again!

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