The following story is an entry to a contest found here.
It was friday afternoon and I just got home from work. My wife was abroad working. I finally had some alone time with the television.
I poured myself a glass of beer and sat in my recliner. I scouted through the many programs and finally found a movie I've been wanting to watch for a while now. I rewinded it to the start and just laid back. Relaxed.
But the movie was everything but relaxing. If you've already watched it, you know what I mean. I had a nasty habbit of biting nails when nervous, and that time was no different.
You know how sometimes you're left with a tiny bit of nail in the very corner and it's too small to get a good bite on? That happened. So I pinched it with my other hand and pulled as fast as I could.
I peeled a solid centimeter of skin right off.
I shook my hand in the air with pain. I shook it so violent my wedding ring slid right off. And as lucky as I am, it landed right in the fireplace.
Upon realising what happened I forgot about the pain altogether. In a moment of panic I tried reaching into the flames for it. Not a chance.
I looked around to find any source of water. There was a glass of beer on the table. I didn't hesitatea second as I poured it into the fiery pit. It sizzled insanely, but the beer didn't do. I needed something bigger. I remembered there was a full pot of soup on the counter. Pumped with adrenaline I ran for it and poured it on top of the flames not thinking of what the consequences might be.
The flames had died down and the orange glow of ember had turned to black.
I immediately dropped to my knees and started hand-digging through the soaked ash to try and find the ring. Everything was matte black. The ring, as shiny as it otherwise was, stood no chance at shining in this pool of darkness. I needed to find it solely by feeling. The hard, unburnt wood wasn't helping. But at last, I managed to grab ahold of a familiar shape.
I have found the ring! I rushed to the kitchen to give it a good scrub using dish soap. I was overjoyed when I saw it shine in the same gold color as before. So I put the ring back on my index finger and tried to clean my hands. But to no avail. Although the soapsuds turned completely gray and the sink all dirty, my hands remained black as coal.
I gave up after a while and dirtied the cloth I used to dry my hands with. I was content with stained hands if that was the only price I paid to save the ring. Satisfied, I walked back toward the living room only to be shocked by the image of it. A pool of black liquid smelling of spilt beer and soup.
The carpet was completely soaked in it. There was a broken beer glass on the floor. Encased in a cloud of smoke, the place looked like the scene for a horror movie.
Below is a picture of my stained hands.
Trust me, you don't want to see the floor.