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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bestie (05/22/14)

TITLE: Valley of the Shadow of Death
By Adekunle Lawal


Topic: Bestie Date: 05/26/2014

Valley of the Shadow of Death

“Where can I park this car? This place is congested with vehicles.” John said irritably.

“There is a space right over there.” Carol, John’s wife, who sat at the front passenger seat, pointed at a vacant space few meters away.

“Your eyes are very sharp.” John occupied the space, and the couple stepped out of the car.

Carol was holding a wrapped box that contained a gold wrist watch, a gift for her uncle, Uncle Mike. “I wonder how Uncle Mike will feel when he sees us.” Carol smiled at her husband.

“I would have loved us to inform him of our coming instead of this surprise visit.” John protested as the couple was walking towards Midland Train Station’s information desk.

“Don’t worry. He will not complain seeing us paying him such a visit; besides, I promised him a surprise visit, and here it is.” Carol touched John’s arm lightly; the gentleman felt relaxed and smiled back.

“Good morning, ma’am. Could you please direct us to the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s office?” John politely asked a middle-aged woman behind the desk.

“Sure.” She brought out a brochure, and used a marker to show the direction. “It’s right across the rails, the first white painted office on your right.” She explained, and gave the paper to John.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Have a good day.”

John and Carol came outside, holding hands and walked across the rails. The office was easily found. They entered in, and walked towards the secretary desk.

“Good morning. We would like to see Mr. Mike Burns. We are his relatives. Hope he’s not very busy to see us. We are sorry for not making an appointment beforehand.” The couple smiled at the young lady secretary.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. Mr. Mike Burns has been transferred to Troy Station. Do you have his contact number? If not, I can write it for you.” The secretary said.

“That’s alright. We have his number. Thank you very much.” John and Carol left the office.

Outside the office, John started to laugh at Carol, “Miss Surprised Visitor missed this one.”

“It was a good trial anyway.” Carol joined her husband in laughing.

They were walking back across the rails towards the main building when Carol accidentally slipped her left foot between two rails at intersection. She tried to free her leg, but the foot was tightly held by the rails. John bent down, and tried to pull free the leg; his effort was fruitless.

Ten minutes had passed; still the foot was not yet freed. Suddenly, the couple heard the sound of an approaching train with its occasional blast horn. Carol started to cry; she tried to pull her leg free once again with her husband’s help. The foot remained unmovable.

“Help! “ John shouted, but no one was around; it was an open field. The train was few meters away blasting its horn to warn the couple.

“John, what do we do now?” Carol was crying loudly, as the train was approaching. “Go away, John. Leave me alone. I love you so much.”

“I’m not leaving here. We are in it together. I love you too.” John also started to cry, and was holding Carol’s hands tightly. The couple hugged each other, crying, eyes closed, and remained motionless as they expected the fast approaching train to run over them. The train blasted its horn loudly again as it ran passed the couple. The train was on the next lane close to the intersected rails where the couple was.

It was a big relief for John and Carol, when they discovered that they were out of the way of the frightening train.

John took out his cell phone, and made an emergency call, “Hello, we need help here. My wife’s foot is trapped between two rails. We are at Midland Train Station. Thank you.”

Few minutes later, Michigan State Fire Officers with their equipment stormed the place. Having studied the situation, one of the officers went to a lever that was close by and pulled it back; the two rails moved apart, then Carol freed her foot.

Carol sustained just a minor injury; nevertheless, she was taken to a hospital by an ambulance.

John sat beside his wife on a stretcher, “We thank the Lord for saving our lives today. God is good ……..”

“All the times.” Carol smiled at her husband as they were heading towards the hospital.

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This article has been read 65 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 05/29/14
A fine story that kept me interested all the way through.

Well done.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/30/14
This is an interesting story. I like it when a couple has each other for their best friend. You definitely covered the topic with this one. I also liked how you showed they could bicker a bit, but not give up on each other. For me the beginning was kind of slow. You had a great hook with her foot stuck and the train coming. I could see it starting off there and explain the back story with some bickering like "Oh why did I let you talk me into coming here?" (That's just an example to show you what I mean.) Some of the dialog was a bit stiff and unnatural. You can fix that by using contractions and tightening up some lines like this: "Where am I gonna park?"
Overall, though you did a great job. I was interested from beginning to end. It's nice to see the showing instead of all telling. The pacing of the story was good, especially in the middle. Nicely done.
Robert Douglas Brown05/30/14
Nice article. I like the title, and found the article to be a good read. Keep up the good fight!
Phyllis Inniss 06/04/14
Great story. Some excitement there with Carol's foot stuck in the rails and a fast approaching train. I agree the start was a bit slow and the conversation should have had a quicker pace, but I still enjoyed the narrative.