The last two months of 2009 have been terribly busy at work and occasionally hectic, so I apologiize for taking me so long to post. On Christmas eve I worked till late at night and was too tired to party. But I did have time to relax over the Christmas weekend and enjoyed spending time with my children - especially my daughter who I don't see very often as she is at university in the UK. She flew back home a few days before Christmas and despite my loaded schedule at work I have tried to spend most of my free time with her. After church on Christmas Day, we all gathered together at my brother's for the Christmas lunch. It was nice and cosy as all the family was there including my aunt, uncle and cousins who live in the USA. It was great seeing them again after a very long time.
But time seems to fly and here we are only a few hours away from 2010. Looking back, I realise that there is a lot to keep and a lot to leave behind from 2009. I will certainly keep the good things which are now treasured memories, like the positive changes both in my personal life and consequently in my work. Throughout 2009, I have learned to be a positive thinker and lead a more spiritual and less material life. This helped a lot to improve my self-esteem but also my relationship with my family - especially my children. I will leave behind mistaken decisions which resulted in a lot of stress and unhappy moments, mostly in my personal life and I will try not to repeat the same mistakes in 2010. I wish everyone good health above all but also faith in God and wisdom to deal with hard times. May the new year materialize your expectations and make all your dreams come true.
Thank you all for joining the fun and for contributing to writing a gripping tale! Here it is put together.
The shout penetrated my sleep, but I soon made it part of my dream. It fitted perfectly into the odd sequence of events which at that moment seemed to be passing before my eyes. The war, the invaders, children screaming, soldiers marching and shouting in a language I could not understand…I wasn't sure if I was still dreaming or not. Oh yes! And those alabaster hands hanging in the air like a curse…I woke up from this nightmare in a cold sweat.
“Geez! What the heck!”
All of a sudden, still sweating all over, I knew…I just knew that shout was not part of my psychedelic dream. But right now I could only hear the clock in the living room ticking away the hours... Four o'clock! Now the shout rang out louder than before. This time it was impossible to deceive myself about it. I sat up in bed with a start. After a few seconds had passed, I dimly realised that someone was shouting in the street.
It was the shout of a woman, an angry woman or so she sounded. I ran to the window. Now that in the early morning it was covered with snow, the street looked like a great white page waiting for the imprint of future footsteps. The writing of the past - the torn autumn leaves, the marks of countless hurrying feet had been washed away.
It was still snowing when I looked out of the window. The street was empty and silent, yet I was sure that shout wasn't part of my dream! From the corner of my eye, I could now make out the figure of a woman dressed in a large overcoat. A hat was pulled down over her eyes and very little of her face could be seen. Her angry shouts had now given way to loud sobs. I felt a sudden urge to go up to her and give her a big hug. But that was only a crazy thought, so I went back to bed.
Soon it was day-time again, and people went about their work as if nothing had happened, as if that shout had never pierced the night. It was still snowing when the alarm went off. Not a sound could be heard. I tried to go off to sleep but could not. I dreaded the moment I'd hear that shout again.
Then, as if I had made up my mind about something, I passed into a deep slumber. I was determined to forget all about the shout and that strange woman sobbing in the middle of the street. Yet that weird sequence of events would haunt me again- children screaming, soldiers marching and a galloping horse which had stopped somewhere, reared on its hind legs, and instead of whinnying, it had shouted.
"Xo! Xo! Xo! Merry Christmas, sleepy head!" James shouted out joyfully. Only then did I realise that it was Christmas Day and I had been suffering from a severe hangover, with all its unexpected consequences, since the party on Christmas Eve!