Jul 30, 2016


The last few hours home are always the longest. Mr. Kosmos drove with his hands on ten and two position on the wheel, but his mind was elsewhere.

The road became a blur in his head. The scenery whipping past, with the sameness that bordered on dejected boredom. He kept thinking about the girl who had gotten him thrown off the bus. He'd have to go back and exchange a word or two with the girl about her behavior. He made a mental note about visiting the bus company and finding out the girl's home and office address.

A road sign coming up in the distance caught his eye and shook him out of his mental reverie. He turned the steering wheel and took a road that led to the village where his mother lived. It had been some time since he had visited her and it irked his conscience that he was not visiting he at a better time. He had picked some cookies for her from the bakery next to his office. He knew she liked the coconut flavored cookies. He didn't know how long he was going to stay with her, but he had taken the week off from work and he had the time.

He took another turn and headed for the road to his mother's house. He smelled the smoke before he saw the flames rising in a distance. His heart dropped in the pit of his stomach like a brick and his foot automatically pressed harder on the accelerator.

There was a small crowd gathered outside his mother's house. The house, or what remained of it, was up in flames. The fire danced devilishly on the doors, windows, and walls of the house. He hurried out of the truck and ran towards the house, scanning through the crowd for some face he knew or someone who'd give him some information on what had happened here.

Then he saw his mother standing there with her shawl wrapped on her shoulder and her infernal cat nestled in the crook of her arm. He breathed for the first time since he had seen the smoke. He almost wanted to fall down on his knees and start crying but he knew mother would hate that.

His mother had the most beatific smile on her face. He went to her and tried to hug her but the cat hissed at him.

"Hello, son," his mother said as she shusshed the cat in the same breath.

"Mother...what happened here? Are you ok?"

"I am fine. Absolutely fine. I just set fire to the house to get rid of the rats in there."


"Oh, you know, I can't have Mr. Kibbles running around under the house hunting rats! He is too precious to be doing that." She stroked the cat's head and the animal purred.

Mr. Kosmos felt a nerve flicker in his head.

"Well, I think I'll come and stay with you for some time then."

She started walking towards the truck. "Get my bags, dear."

Mr. Kosmos looked at the five bags that were neatly arranged near to where his mother was standing.

He sighed and picked up the first bag.

It was heavy.

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