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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Whine (05/23/13)

TITLE: The Search
By Holly Hoell
05/30/13


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Out of the broken window, Margo saw several trucks parked on the edge of her pillaged town. “Suzie, we need to find a hiding place.”

“Mommy, where is daddy? I want to go home.” Suzie rubbed her eyes holding onto her stuffed dog.

“I need you to stay here and sit still.” Margo stood on a table, opening a hatch to the attic. Using a keychain flashlight, she could see it was a big attic. The dust made her sneeze.

She climbed down to Suzie, “Let’s hunt for some things sweetie. Look for a blanket. I am going to collect some food and water for us.”

Once they gathered everything Suzie handed Margo the items as she stowed them in the attic.

***************************

Lieutenant Brown scowled. “Did you search all the buildings?”

“Yes sir.” Sergeant Arnold stood alert, rifle in hand.

“We know there are a few left in the area. Scour the buildings again.” Lieutenant Brown swung his hand out pointing to the desolate buildings nearby.

Sergeant Arnold selected six men splitting them up in pairs. “Find those bible thumping hate mongers.”

Jack and Rob were assigned the buildings on the right.

Nearing the building, Rob clicked the safety off his rifle. “Here we go again”

“Yep, let’s find the fanatics so we can go home.” Preparing to enter the building Jack gave the nod. They searched room by room.

Hearing noise in the lower level, Margo got Suzie in the attic, hoisted herself up, and put a couple weights on top of the hatch.

“Shh, we have to be very quiet so they won’t hear us.” Margo held Suzie in her arms praying for God to protect them.

“First floor is clear let’s go upstairs.” Rob climbed the stairs and began searching. Jack followed, deliberately breaking things on his way.

“momEEEEEE.” A high pitched sound came from the ceiling.

Jack and Rob moved into the room and raised their rifles.

Margo cupped her hand over Suzie’s mouth and shined her flashlight toward the beady eyes heading toward them.

A raccoon. It ran away from the light, right into a box with a thud.

“Pop, Pop, Pop” Gunfire erupted. Blood dripped down from the ceiling.

“We got em!” Rob tried to open the hatch but something was obstructing it.

“I’ll get a chain saw.” Jack ran out to a van that had police equipment and grabbed one. Sergeant Arnold returned with Jack to help retrieve the corpse.

With great anticipation, they went to cut open the hatch but it popped right open.

Rob Shrugged. ”It wouldn’t budge when I tried it.”

Climbing in, Jack shined his flashlight around only seeing some random boxes. He moved toward the bullet holes and found the victim. Grabbing the corpse with a frown, he tossed it down. Still warm, the body bounced on the table splashing blood around it.

“This is your great police work?” Sgt. Arnold shook his head and walked out.

Jack climbed down and they stared at the dead raccoon on the table. “It’s a good thing we’re not home! The sentence for murder of an animal is now twenty to life!”

Rob tossed it in a garbage can. “Let’s get out of here.”

They went to the next building to find a team talking to a young man.

“Don’t be stupid, just sign it. Hateful, intolerant people are no longer permitted in our community.” Officer Jones held the paper out.

Sergeant Arnold updated Rob and Jack. “His name is Jonah, he tried to run but he didn’t get far.”

“I don’t hate anyone. I can’t sign that paper it’s full of things I cannot agree with. How is abortion not a hate crime?” Jonah pushed it away.

“Son, do you really want to go to interrogation?” Sergeant Arnold dragged his index finger across his neck.

“I cannot sign the paper.” Jonah crossed his arms.

“Okay, your choice.” The officers loaded him into a truck with others they had captured.

All of the teams were now gathered together. Sergeant Arnold yelled out; “good job team. Next week at this time, these buildings will be leveled. We are done, let’s head home.”

The vehicles pulled away. Whining and crying arose from children coming out of their hiding places. The horror of knowing their loved ones were on their way for interrogation.


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This article has been read 228 times
Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 06/01/13
Wow..you had me from beginning to end, and on the edge of my seat! I could feel and sense every emotion.

Fantastic story and great job!
Camille (C D) Swanson 06/01/13
This was so good! It read like a novel and kept me wanting to know more and more. Excellent job!

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/01/13
Wow, you have an amazing suspense story here. I found myself holding my breath as the police entered the house. The description of the blood splattering was a vivid description (some may say too vivid, but I like it because it makes the story real)

I did notice some tiny things like missing punctuation (a period at the end of a dialog)missing capitals at the start of some dialog and on words like Daddy when used as a name. Also the very last sentence is an incomplete one. If you had connected to the prior one like this; Knowing that their loved ones were being hauled off caused the little ones to whine and cry. These are just little things that a good proofreader could help you catch.

Overall, I think you did a fantastic job. Your story took me back to the horror stories about the Holocaust. You really have a way with showing the readers and taking them on the journey right along with your characters. Great job.
Judith Gayle Smith06/02/13
I trembled in the attic with your main characters. Having Jewish roots, I initially thought of the Pogroms, but I feel the additional trauma of not just one people attacked, but all who strive for Godly perfection versus Satan's emissaries. You are right - the battle is raging . . .
Allison Egley 06/02/13
I love this story. I mean, I don't love what happened, but I love the story itself. :)

I did notice one POV shift. You have us upstairs in the attic, but then the blood is dripping down, and you switch to the officer's POV. This could be easily solved by a break/divider like you had at the beginning.

I want to know what happened to Margo and Suzie, though! I can see this expanded into a novel.
Linda Berg06/04/13
You captivated me right away and held my attention throughout. It brought memories to me of the stories of those who feared for their lives during the Holocaust. I also would like to know what happend to Margo and Suzie. Maybe a novel in the making?
Camille (C D) Swanson 06/06/13
Congrats! God bless~
Christina Banks 06/06/13
Congratulations on another Highly Commended, Holly. Well done!