Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: PHONE (11/10/16)
TITLE: THE ESCAPE
By simon davis
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I have never uttered such an urgent, desperate prayer before. It’s like I’m running through treacle. All around me, the ground shakes uncontrollably. Vibrations pulse erratically up my body. I veer to the right as, suddenly, a giant crack appears in the road in front of me. As I stagger along, I turn around to survey the damage. The thirty-storey apartment block in which I live is swaying, reeling, like some drunken monster about to collapse. With a horrendous rumbling sound, it slowly sinks to the ground. I start to cough, to choke, as a giant cloud of dust envelops me. I hear shouts, screams for help, but cannot, dare not go back. I have managed to come this far. There’s nothing I can do. I must get away. A siren starts to wail rhythmically, louder, then softer, cyclically.
In a cold sweat I jolt awake, heart thumping. My wife is shaking me, murmuring gently, “Can you answer it please?”. I can still hear the siren, but it is our telephone, warbling. I can still taste the dust and hear the awful sounds as, in a daze, I stagger out of bed and stumble towards the phone. Whoever can it be, calling at this unearthly hour? I pick up the handset at the second attempt and hold it unsteadily to my ear. I swallow dryly and manage a croak, “Hallo”.
“Is that you, Simon?”
My identical twin, Roger, who lives in Canterbury, New Zealand, five hours ahead of us in China. Like most identical twins, we have always been very close, there has always been a strong sense of telepathy between us.
“I thought I’d better let you know before you hear it on the news. There’s been a terrible earthquake here today, many people killed and indescribable damage done. My house has been destroyed. I’m okay, though. Before it started I had this sixth sense that somebody was warning me, telling me to get out. Actually, mate, it sounded very much like you.”
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