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Linked to the Literary Lion. Prompt for the week: Morning. Word count: 400 (yes, exactly 400!)

Through the open window the sky seemed lighter in shade. She quickly turned to the clock on the wall. Thirty minutes past her wakeup time! Throwing off the bedcovers, she ran to splash cold water on her face, instantly banishing remnants of sleep, and hurried to the kitchen.

Within no time she had the pressure-cooker whistling on the stove, the vegetables cubed or julienned, thrown into appropriate dishes, some to join the mashed lentils and spices to boil on slow heat, others to sizzle in oil, yet others left to roll in the dressing she kept ready for just such occasions. That left only the rotis to be rolled.

Forty minutes later the lunch boxes, water bottles beside them, rested on the table. She had ten minutes before waking up her household. Walking to the balcony with her cuppa, she watched the city gradually come to life, deftly ducking the rolled up newspaper thrown with precision by the paperboy.

With the newspaper and coffee on a tray, she walked to her bedroom. Her husband grunted acknowledgment when she set the tray down. Walking to the children’s room she braced for the inevitable tantrum from her younger one.

Get up babies, she trilled cheerfully.

Mommmmm! I wanna sleep some more, the ten-year whined.

I am awake, Mom! chanted the younger one, I’ll go brush my teeth.

Was she dreaming? The one who dreaded missing the school bus wanted to sleep and the tantrum-thrower had rushed off to brush her teeth. She hurried over to check whether her daughter was running a temperature.

Mom!!!! What was that for? Your hands are colddd!

She hastily withdrew her hand.

Get up, dear. You don’t like being late for school.

The little one stuck her head out, toothbrush still in her mouth,

I wanna watch cartoons!

There we go, she thought, recognizing the beginnings of a tussle.

Cartoons are for weekends. Haven’t I told you that, dear?

The children stared at her incredulously. Her husband sauntered in, cup in hand.

Honey, did you have to wake me on a Saturday morning?!

She was stunned.

Saturday?!

She quickly brushed past him, straight to her bedroom. Lifting the covers, she slipped underneath.

“Don’t disturb me, okay?” she called out.

Muted chatter could be heard from the sitting room. On the television, Jerry was mercilessly thumping Tom. Outside it had begun raining. She snuggled deeper under the covers.

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