I fucking knew it or: tonight our damn house caught on fire.

Okay guys, I don’t know about you, but tonight pretty much eradicated any doubts that I might have had about true dreams. So since my childhood I’ve been having the same recurring dream all over again: I’m at home, on my own and the house starts to burn.

Now call it some anxiety thing, but for whatever reason I always end up in the house, knowing bloody well that it’s about to fucking burn down on me and what do I do? I frantically start grabbing as many of my books as possible trying to get them out, because I know that otherwise they’ll all burn down. Now of course you’re going to tell me how utterly stupid this is. I mean, let’s face it, books are replaceable. Even 335 of them are. It’ll take a while if you don’t have insurance, but you get the idea. Still, for some inexplicable reason that’s always what I’m coming down to in that dream: I know everyone else is out. I know my pets are out. There’s just me and all my stuff that I’m attached to and yes among all that my books definitely have priority. So there’s me having had this dream dozens of times and it always comes down to exactly the same thing: there’s me of whatever age I’m currently am, in whatever house I’m currently living, throwing books into whatever random bag is currently handy. Sometimes I still get out, but most of the time this is pretty much the moment that I’m waking up, being all angsty and usually pretty worked up about it. But hey, in the end it all didn’t happen and everything’s fine, right?

Well, tonight I didn’t wake up, because that’s exactly what fucking happened.

Stephen and me were at home watching Torchwood (eh no pun intended…) and I just keep smelling smoke. I’m getting kinda nervous, but Stephen tells me that this always happens when the heater kicks on. So at first that’s all okay, but then there’s more and more smoke filling our apartment and for whatever reason the smoke detectors that previously worked just fine whenever I was using the stove to cook didn’t go off at all.

Next thing that happens is our internet dying and we’re just on our way upstairs to check the router when someone knocks on our door (we live in the basement half of the house) and he tells us that he’s seen smoke coming from the top of our house. So Stephen and me go upstairs and open the door and everything is filled with thick smoke. I couldn’t even see a yard into the kitchen, because there just was this wall of smoke. We went in a little further (yes, we’re stupid), shouting to see if anybody was home. Once through the kitchen we saw scorch marks on the door to our landlady’s bedroom, but by then I’d already dialed 911 to call the fire department, which was fortunately right across the street so they sent someone over immediately.

Just for the record, Stephen went for the cats (we found Nazca faster than Rini) and I went for my laptop. Seriously, in situation like that your brain just starts fucking up on you and you start thinking in weird terms. Stupidly obsessed writer that I am I just thought that I couldn’t possibly lose my writing in this. Anything else, but that. Pretty sad, huh?

Anyway, we weren’t even quite out yet and I was trying to get a hold of our landlady. She had just told me in the morning that she was going to spend the day out at an amusement park with her son and family, but I had no clue if she had come home again or not. I think I got a hold of her brother at the fifth or sixth attempt to get through to her cellphone and yes, I probably sounded a little hysteric, but I was so glad when he told me that everybody was with him and nobody had been upstairs. Even Timber, her Husky was outside and howling quite pitifully, but he was fine.

By now the count is like five firetrucks, two police cars and an ambulance and the fire men are going in with gasmasks and all the equipment. Oh and this is also the point when I realize that we have a bunch of anxious neighbors, but they were all really nice and helpful. So for the next hour or two we’re just outside standing there, watching the fire dept. do their job, talking to the police etc. It turns out that our landlady’s sister had left a candlewarmer lamp on that probably caused the fire. Apparently her room was pretty much destroyed by the fire and nobody was allowed to go in upstairs because of all the smoke and the carbon monoxide levels being way too high.

After a while our landlady gets here with her family and the fire men took her in to assess the damage. I’m really happy for her that she’s been insured so they’ll be okay. We were all just really under shook and frankly I’m pretty good at sounding calm and practical when I’m talking to the police and the fire department, but it’s the in-between time when my stupid head shifts into mindfuck gear and no panic attacks, even the little silent ones, are really not fun.

In the end we were allowed back in and inspected our apartment together with a fire man who tested our smoke detectors and everything. Aside from a leak in the ceiling where they extinguished the fire upstairs, nothing of our stuff got damaged and you’ll think this really stupid, but I can’t describe who relieved I felt when all our stuff – and all my books – were still there, still okay and totally not burned. They told us that the only thing that saved the house was the fact that our landlady had kept all the doors closed upstairs. Otherwise…well you get the idea.

In the end I’m just glad that everybody – apart from their chinchilla that was in a cage in her sister’s room and died of the smoke – is okay and that we’ll get everything checked out by the electric company tomorrow. We were allowed to sleep downstairs, but upstairs will take at while to get back to a normal CO level etc. In the end we decided to sleep at the in-laws’ because the carbon monoxide concentration in our apartment was still kinda iffy and it just has to air out for now. Our landlady is going to stay with her dad for a while and will contact her insurance tomorrow to have it all taken care of.

Oh and to complete our literally bright evening we got pulled over by the police on the way home because our tail-light was about to go out, but they’d heard what was going on and let off easy as long as we get it fixed. Talk about Murphy’s Law, people!

Anyway, we’re all showered and the cats have calmed down a little. I’m still kinda shaky and pretty scratched up, because Nazca really freaked out in the car, but I’ve had a Rockstar Coffee+Energy thing (in lieu of a good ol’ shot of something strong and very alcoholic :p ) and we’re okay. My brain is still enjoying itself playing mindfuck and ‘what if’ games with me, but we’re fine and nobody got hurt.

Just one thing I’ve learned tonight again and I’ve had it before about people getting into accidents etc: but whatever they tell you, Clairvoyance is fucking real. No kidding there. Damn.

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4 Responses to “I fucking knew it or: tonight our damn house caught on fire.”

  1. sirayn Says:

    Holy shit! I’m glad you and Stephen and the cats all got out okay. 😦 *hugs*

  2. Nils Says:

    Sounds like you got lucky. Murphy’s law would have been if you had gotten a ticket, or your car overheated or something…

    And, sorry, precognition does not exist. Had something else happened, you would’ve remembered another dream. Or maybe someone else’s house would’ve burned and you’d think the same “hey this is what that dream was about”. It doesn’t exist – it’s just your brain trying to see patterns where none exist.

  3. nymeria87 Says:

    *hugs* thanks Sira, we’re still kinda shaky, but fine, even though the house smells like a freaking BBQ… It should be fine in a couple of days and right now I’m just sleep deprived and having a massive headache.

    And Nils, believe what you want, but it’s happened before. Just creepy is all 😉

  4. Nils Says:

    Nah, it’s not about “belief”, it just doesn’t exist. The human mind is excellently suited to recognizing patterns. In fact, we are so good that we will recognize patterns where none exist. The test is easy – just consider the face on Mars, or go outside and look at the clouds. You’ll see clouds that look like all kinds of things… and yet, nobody shaped the clouds.

    Same thing with numbers. Assume person A stays in hotel room 24. “That’s my age, how odd!” the person will say. But there was bound to be a connection somehow… Say, if he stayed in room 26, then maybe it’s the brother’s age. “How odd,” person A will think.

    And so we come to dreams. You just don’t consider the many thousands of dreams you have over your lifetime and that don’t “predict” anything. With that many dreams, there’s bound to be some kind of match sometime and somehow.

    Unless you can show a good track record of predicting events with your dreams (hint: Lottery numbers are the best idea), it’s just coincidence. And that’s a good thing, considering how often I dream of the world ending in various entertaining ways.


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