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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)

TITLE: Mother Told Me Not to Come
By Larry Elliott


Giant bells, like the kind in the school hallways, pounded inside Sarah’s head as she began to come around. Slowly she became aware of pain in her wrists and ankles. Not fully awake she tried to determine where she was. This definitely wasn’t her bed. She wasn’t lying down, but crouched on a hard floor. She felt cold concrete on her bare feet. When did she remove her shoes? It was too dark to see anything. The last thing she could remember was the party.

Sammy, a rebel rich kid, drove a new corvette. He wore his hair longer on one side covering one eye and had at least one tattoo. Why other girls were attracted to him Sarah never understood.

His parents were away on another trip so Sammy threw his own eighteenth birthday party. No adults. Sarah agreed to attend at the insistence of her best friend. She recalled mingling with the other kids when Sammy offered her a drink- she declined. He returned with a ginger ale and a grin as big as his narrow face allowed. The next thing she knew was waking up here.

She tried to stand, but her ankles were bound- as were her hands. She tried to scream. Her mouth was taped. Sarah began to panic. She thrashed around the floor making as much noise as possible. A door opened and a light came on. She froze. Through the painful glare she recognized Sammy standing over her.

“Are you hungry? Thirsty?” he asked.

She tried to speak.

Sammy squatted beside her- a finger on his lips. “Shhh. I’m going to take off the tape, but no screaming. Ok? Not that anyone would hear you down here in my basement. There…” he tore off the duct tape.

“Ahh…that hurt. What are you doing? Let me go!”

Ignoring her demand he touched the plastic zip ties around her wrists. “Do these hurt?”

“Yes. Please- take them off and let me go.”

“Can’t do that. Let you go, I mean. You’re my special birthday present. I can get those ties off, though.” He stood. “I’ll be right back. Promise.” He winked.

“Where’s Julie? Where is everybody?”

“Julie left with Tom. I said I’d take you home. No one here but you… and me.” He left and locked the door. She heard footfalls ascending.

Sarah wanted to cry. Conceding to tears would be easy, but self pity wouldn’t help her now.

She began to pray. “Dear God, Please help me. I’m so sorry. I knew better. Mom told me not to come here, but I didn’t listen. Please God, Get me out of here and I promise I’ll obey from now on. Please...”

He returned with wire cutters- and handcuffs.

He snapped the handcuffs around her wrist and around a water pipe then clipped the ties from her hands and feet. “Don’t try to kick or hit. It will just make me mad and the key to the cuffs is hidden upstairs. I heard you talking. God won’t help you, you know? Besides, if God was real He wouldn’t have allowed this to happen to you in the first place. Right? It’s almost morning. We’ve got to get out of here before people come looking for you. Your mom’s called twice already. My parents have a cabin. We’ll go there. ”

“Mom? What did you tell her?”

“Don’t worry about that. How about some ginger ale? On the rocks?”

He left again and Sarah stood on shaky legs.

“God, please show me what to do. Help me escape from this creep. Ok, think Sarah, think.”

She examined the handcuffs. Sarah’s dad was a plumber. She had seen this kind of pipe before. It was the water heater overflow tube. The other end normally passed through a hole in the wall to the outside allowing the hot water to spray harmlessly to the ground in case too much pressure built up in the tank.

Sarah pulled the tubing where it disappeared into a concrete block. A few hard tugs and it came through. She slipped the handcuff off. The copper pipe was thin and bent easily.

When Sammy returned Sarah flipped the overflow release valve aiming the scalding stream at his face. He fell to his knees in pain as she dashed out and locked the door.

Shaking uncontrollably as a neighbor dialed 911 Sarah thanked God again for the hundredth time.

When her parents arrived she flew into their arms.

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This article has been read 761 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany01/09/06
I thought you wrote this well. I had a little trouble with the ending as it seemed rushed and I found myself wondering about it. I think your dialogue was believable and the story taught a good truth. Thanks!:)
Dara Sorensen01/09/06
Amazing story! I felt my heart pounding in anxiety waiting to find out what would happen to Sarah. You know how to grasp and keep a reader's attention!

The ending was rather quick though but sometimes these things happen when operating in a word limit!

Keep writing! I look forward to reading more from you!
Rachel Rudd 01/10/06
Very interesting story! You gave good details to describe the action. I do agree that the end was a bit rushed...but good job!
Sandra Petersen 01/10/06
When I saw your title I thought about the old Three Dog Night song 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' but this was much better!
You really got me to feel Sarah's helplessness and realize Sammy's evil intentions and mockery of God.
The last four paragraphs is where the action gets rushed. Write the whole story out to its conclusion, then begin to remove those words and actions that are not as necessary as others. Be ruthless. The result will be a tight product.
Good suspense here!
Jeffrey Snell01/10/06
Wow--way to just pull me right in! You created palpable anxiety in a very short piece. Thanks for setting her free! I'm not big on depressing endings. ;-)
Allison Millward01/11/06
Very well written.. and the lessons in it are well timed. I had the feeling you just had to do some removing in what you had written to fit the word limit here. It is something that would be worth writing at full length..and being available for teenagers.
Rene McCollum01/11/06
I agree this was a good read. I definitely would love to read an extended version.
Norma OGrady01/12/06
When Sammy returned Sarah flipped the overflow release valve aiming the scalding stream at his face. He fell to his knees in pain as she dashed out and locked the door.
You need a bit more detail here to let the reader know how you reached the neighbor.
((Shaking uncontrollably as a neighbor dialed 911. <--end here with a period.
New sentance here-->Sarah thanked God again for the hundredth time.))

When her parents arrived she flew into their arms.

A excellent story...very suspenseful...
Yeshua Bless
Alexandra Wilkin01/13/06
Very good, and nicely paced and controlled. 'was not' rather than 'wasn't' since this was in a descriptive passage, rather than spoken dialogue. Very nicely done. God bless.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/15/06
Magnificent job on suspense! As for the rushed ending - I didn't mind, as long as she was safe and it ended well. Very good job.
Mrs M01/16/06
Great suspense. I liked it. Would be great as a slightly longer story...but I kind of understand, word limit and all :)
Deborah Porter 01/18/06
Hi Larry. Congratulations on another great story.

Just a quick note though - you need to move up to at least Level 2 now. Once you place in the Editors' Choice (which you have done in the past) you need to move up at least one level. Once you place more than once in the level awards you have to move up. So that's you on all bases. From next topic you'll need to enter in Level 2 or 3. If you choose Level 2, then as soon as you place in the Editors' Choice for that Level, you will need to move up to Level 3.

It's a good thing - and believe me, you are more than ready. For updates on the Writing Challenge and more information, please check out the FaithWriters' Message Boards.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)