It Started in the Kitchen – real life story

When we moved into our big beautiful townhome, I never expected to succumb to its terrifying fate


009When we moved into our big beautiful townhome, I never expected to succumb to its terrifying fate.

It was a cold Sunday afternoon, I had spent most of the day doing chores: cleaning, scrubbing, vacuuming, washing and rearranging anything that moved. After providing a clean and safe zone for my little ones to scrimmage around in, I longed to spend the rest of the day relaxing upon the sofa sprouted about in bright floral pajamas as I sipped pints of hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows and nestled between the pages of a good mystery.

Nonetheless, the instant my head sunk into that comfy armrest and the first three chords of ‘Star Trek, the Next Generation’ rung across the TV screen, my eyelids became like anchors on a ship. Abruptly, the calm turned into a whirlwind and I felt as though my body had been tossed overboard. My senses were simultaneously awakened by a faint and mysterious odor which crept into the living room from down the hall and out of the kitchen. I sprung to my feet and headed for the oven door. I thought, maybe it was the leftover lasagna we had for lunch that day over warming in the oven; that was not the case!

011Within minutes, the odd stench grew thick; yet I had not found its’ source. I opted to rely on experience, “They must be over there burning food, next door.” I assured myself and pried the living room window open to let in some fresh air.

Since, relaxing the day away, was no longer an option; I walked upstairs to check on my infant son who was sleeping peacefully inside his crib, snuggled up next to his favorite talking ‘Elmo’ doll, while the rest of the characters from ‘Sesame Street’ guarded his room proudly. 010In another bedroom, my two daughters were gearing up, ready to brave the wintry weather in honor of the first snow of the season; which to them meant you twirled around “really, really fast”, while catching snowflakes on the tip of your tongue.

001“Hey girls, are y’all finished cleaning up your room now?”

“Yesss, Mommm!” They sung out, eyes wide, smiling ear to ear.

“Can we go outside now?” the youngest echoed behind her big sister.

I gave their room a once over; all their toys and clothes were neatly put away and Dora the Explorer was spread across each bunk as best a six and eight- year old could.

“Nice job!” I said with hi fives and zipped their snow suits. “Put y’all hats and gloves on too…it’s kind of chipper out there.” Both chuckled at the word chipper as their ponytails and ribbons scurried past me then galloped down the stairs like wild horses in feathery boots.

“…and don’t run!” I bellowed.

I stood there for a second in the hallway smiling, admiring their enthusiasm for brisk Ohio weather; though I folded my arms and rubbed my shoulders at the thought. I was about to walk into my bedroom and grab my sweater off the headboard, when without warning, my oldest daughter called out, “Mom…come quick!”

My heart raced and my mind wondered as I soared down the winding staircase towards their frantic yelps. Once I turned the corner, it was all apparent; the mysterious odor had not been the remnants of “the bad cook” next door, but an unforeseen mishap that would change our lives forever.

White smoke had gathered high, along the living room ceiling, slowly escaping from behind the kitchen corridor. I hesitantly followed the ominous trail leading back to a small ventilation duct on the wall, which divided our home from the neighbors. At first, I thought there was nothing to worry about (the smoke detector was not even going off), but something told me to get my kids and go.

I screamed to my girls to run outside and wait for me on the sidewalk, while I rushed upstairs to get their baby brother. He was still sound asleep; I picked him up and swaddled him in my arms, snatched the comforter out of his crib and tucked him close to my chest. We made it down the winding staircase, past the fumes invading our cozy family space and out into the winters crisp air.

descriptionWhen I banged on the neighbor’s front door, no one answered, but it was slightly left ajar. I shouted in, hoping someone would answer me, only a shallow beeping responded profusely. I thought a fire must be brewing inside by now or maybe someone was hurt. I swung the door open. A cloud of black smoke poured from behind the neighbor’s living room wall.

“Oh, my God!” I called out to my neighbor’s once more. Still nothing. My knees felt wobbly as I cradled my son in one hand and closed the door back with the other.

The girls and I ran across the street to Mrs. Dianne’s house to call 911. As I was telling her what happened, I saw a tall slinky man and a woman with a short bob haircut, walking in the parking lot across the way about to get into a dark blue car.

“That’s my neighbor!” I pointed her out to Mrs. Dianne. She volunteered to watch my children and get them out of the cold while I tried to catch the elusive couple.

007“Linda! Linda!” I called out jumping up and down, waving my hands in the air like a mad woman. Luckily, I caught their attention before the two pulled off to who knows where.

Linda walked towards me with her eyes wide open, “Melody, what’s wrong?”

“Hey, Linda!” I panted. “There’s a bunch of smoke coming from inside your house!” Before I could say anything else, she bolted towards the back patio and opened the sliding glass door entering the kitchen.

“Oh Jesus!” What was I thinking?” she said.

A black iron cast skillet had been left on the eye, atop the stove, burning at volcanic velocity as it canvassed the entire kitchen with its black fog-like rupture. Linda grabbed the fire extinguisher that hung on the wall beside her stove, she tried to squeeze the lever, but could not get it to function properly.

“Hang on! I’ll go get mines!” I told her. I flung my patio door back and stepped onto the sparkling black and white kitchen tile I had mopped by hand a few hours earlier. The furry pink bunnies that cradled my feet left a trail of melted snow and grit as I grabbed the extinguisher running to and fro’. I returned two minutes later with my giant red aerosol can, only to find out, I was too late.

003The small flame had grown into an enormous fire; it had eaten its way through the wood and plastic that surrounded its habitat. There was nothing else we could do, except to sit back and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

“I’m so sorry, Melody!” Linda said over and over.

As day grew into night, the firefighters, as brave as they were, were no match for the row of four townhouses sweltering like dry brush in a wildfire. I stood there, wide-eyed amongst the onlookers watching our livelihood go up in smoke, anticipating the moment when each of us (families) could walk back inside our cozy little nooks. Instead, I was redirected to a Red Cross truck parked across the street from our smoldering abodes, canvassed with a blanket and asked if I had a place where my kids and I could stay. I called my sister.

The next morning, I went back to my townhome alone; walked through my shattered patio door, stepped onto my black and white kitchen tile blackened with soot and littered with glass, then walked from the kitchen into the living room where my sofa was dripping wet and the air tasted as though I was stuck in the center of a chimney. I was amazed by the fact that we only had smoke and water damage to tackle. So, it seemed.

Not knowing what or who I might find, I treaded lightly up the carpeted steps with each watery squish to gather some of our personal belongings to take back to my sisters house. I walked into my bedroom, my sweater dangled untouched on the headboard. When I tiptoed across the hall to my daughter’s room, I clutched my chest. Rain and snow sprinkled down onto their neatly made bunk beds, from the damaged roof ruptured like a rotting oak tree. Scorched debris filled the room where my girls once roamed like wild horses.

I opened the door to my infant son’s room and simultaneously felt the devastation that laid before me. The wall where my son’s crib nestled against, was gone! I could see straight into the neighbor’s whole bedroom every damn thing they had in there was burnt to a crisp…. and so was my son’s crib. I thanked God right then and there that my children were safe and no lives were loss. But in the back of my mind, I wondered how something so tragic could have easily been prevented by the flick of an oven switch.

I wiped my eyes, raised up from the floor and felt something plush under my knee, “My name is Elmo!” it giggled. I smiled, picked up my son’s favorite toy and carried it down the winding staircase, past my cozy living room and out the front door of my big beautiful home.

002Years later, whenever I hear a fire alarm going off repeatedly or smell wood burning in the fireplace, I still think back to that cold Sunday afternoon when I spent the whole morning cleaning only to have our home in ruins by the end of the day. Yes, you never know what God has in store for your life or the changes He may put you through -for the better. Now, in our new home, my husband and I, regularly check the batteries in our smoke detectors and inspect the fire extinguisher to make sure all is working effectively and safely. In case, of another unforeseen mishap.

In hindsight, if I could go back to that day it started in the kitchen, I would only change one thing (besides the fire). Instead, of spending most of that day worrying about chores, I would have zipped my coat, put on my feathery boots, my hat and gloves and enthusiastically braved the wintry weather with my little ones (who are all grown up now) as we twirled around “really, really” fast while catching snowflakes on the tip of our tongue.


Melody Notes – my novel idea

Last Wednesday, I posted a note about the story I’ve been…

Last Wednesday, I posted a note about the story I’ve been working on since February. It’s my first novel and I’m really excited about writing it. The fictional characters, their life and the mayhem they go through all keep me wanting to write more and more everyday…to share their dramatic tale of survival (hint).

time to editTo start, I’ve been writing short stories, poems and my own lyrics (r&b & hip hop) ever since I was in junior high school, although, I have nothing published as of yet. But, I often wrote these works for myself and those around me (unbeknownst to them) and short essays for school projects -way back when. Now, I have a ton of unfinished manuscripts and crumbled (but neatly flattened out) poems just sitting around collecting dust in the bottom of my dresser drawer lol. So, this will be my first officially “completed”  story ever that I hope to find an agent and publisher for; prayer hands up!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a really quick summary of my novel idea with you, just to give a small glimpse into what I’ve been writing about.

To sum it up in two sentences: My story is about a young woman with a fear of flying forced into her first flight across sea to escape an abusive ex while inadvertently falling into the arms of a mysterious stranger. She soon finds her trip has been diverted through a path of hell with no way out.

Hehe :) I know… I wish I could tell you all more but then I wouldn’t have a book to write, Right? 🤔Lol

Thank you for reading!

Please stop by, this Sunday, when I share one of my past poems or stories!

btw can you say ‘she had a fear of flying forced into her first flight across sea’ 3x fast? 😊

xoxo Melody



melody notes

i’ve been working on a novel idea since february

i’ve been working on my first novel idea since february. i wrote the first draft down quickly and soon found out that i left out a lot of details and back story of key characters. i’ve edited & rewritten it twice. now in order to make the story “make more sense” (because i started writing without developing my plot first), i am starting my story over with a different scenario but the same premise.

next week i’ll share my novel idea with you.

one last cry

solemn is the night and day, i pray that i won’t grow weak. you offered me a subtle kiss, when in my light i did not……

solemn is the night and day, i pray that i won’t grow weak

you offered me a subtle kiss, when in my light i did not deserve it

i grieve no more, now that you are here, but my fear still stands by

at every turn it pushes me into a dark corridor, where it shamelessly hides

lurking in the blackness, in the thickness of the air

i mutter out one last cry before it takes me deeper, but there’s no one there

to hear my breathes of endurance or my pains of laughter

no one sees when i am doing well, they only witness my disaster

where is god? i thought he sees all, why would he want me to suffer

am i acting unto him, like i do in the eyes of my significant other

shame on me, i must be dreaming, this is no life for royalty

oh god, please walk with me again and do what you must with our rings

©2007 melody cole


this is my second post, i apologize for not introducing myself in the first one. but here goes a short intro…….

this is my second post, i apologize for not introducing myself in the first one. but here goes a short & sweet intro…….

i’m mrs. melodrama mama aka melody :) i created this blog to showcase my writing skills in hopes to share my stories and poems with others who may find them a tad bit interesting, entertaining and insightful to read. maybe even catch the eye of a few beta readers, literary agents and book publishers for my upcoming novels. that would be so amazing. for now though, i just want the practice of writing everyday, journaling my thoughts, editing old stories and making new ones come to life on my blog. i’m also going back to college for creative writing in the fall after several years of being a full-time professional self-taught artist.

i wrote an impromptu poem on my about page for fun, if you’d like to check it out click the about link at the top.

thank you for reading! follow my blog to get notifications on the new drama that’s about to unfold next week.

peace love & melodrama 👑💋📝🎨💃

check out my artwork at