Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: She's Gone
By Ann Darcy
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“Please, somebody help me! He’s taking my daughter!”
Startled people looked up the hill to where I was pointing, but he was already gone. I knew there was no way I could catch him. I had never been a runner, but urgency forced me to try. The fear of my sweet Amy gave me speed like I had never had before—but it wasn’t enough.
As I finally came over the crest of the hill I realized it was absolutely useless, the man in the black jacket had disappeared, and he had taken my daughter with him. He was probably ripping out of the parking lot and accelerating down the street by now. He was gone. In my head I could hear my Amy calling for me to help her; screaming Mommy’s name.
“Oh God! Please, please rescue her. Keep her safe.” I wailed. I started turning to the people at the top of the hill, begging. “Please, can somebody help me? Did anybody see a tall man carrying a little girl about ten years old? Please tell me somebody saw her? Can somebody please help me?” I screamed. Rage and terror overshadowed everything.
One by one they would shake their heads with an apology in their eyes; sullenly telling me they hadn’t seen my precious girl—they probably thought I was crazy. One even dared to mutter that this was the safest park in the city, that this was highly unlikely. The last person I dared to ask was a tall man, he had tanned skin and dark hazel eyes that shone with compassion. He stepped towards me, holding his hand out trying to steady my nerves.
“Did you see which way the man went?” he asked. “I just got here but I’ll help you find her.”
I almost broke into sobs right there, simply because someone would help me. “I…I di… didn’t see.” I managed to explain. “I let her go up the hill because she likes to ride down it on her scooter. I should have never let her go. Why didn’t I go up—”
“Hey, you can’t think like that. Right now you need to focus.” The man said, he put his hand on my shoulder and tried to calm me. “Ok, you stay here and look, and I’ll look in the parking lot. Will you be okay?”
I nodded and he took off. I started searching, looking everywhere I could think. Under bushes, behind slides at the playground, in the bathrooms, behind the outdoor amphitheater, and anywhere else it might be possible to hide. Then I looked everywhere again, and a third time, just in case. Finally, after half an hour I couldn’t take it any longer, she was gone… probably forever. My knees buckled in agony and I fell to the ground, all the hope in me had gone. I let the sobs wrack my body.
I looked up to see her running towards me. Was I hallucinating? I couldn’t believe it, my little Amy there in front of me.
“Amy, oh, my baby you’re safe!” I ran and pulled her into myself letting her warmth soak into my arms.
“Mommy, that nice man helped me get away,” she said, still breathing hard. I looked up into the stranger’s eyes and mouthed the words “thank you.” Tears of joy ran down my face. He knelt down and wiped one away. His eyes said the “you’re welcome” and everything else that there might be to say… especially that he might just be around to help us again.
“CUT. That’s a rap,” the director yelled. “Kelly, you really do know how to make it feel real. That was some incredible acting.”
“Oh, thanks. You just gotta put yourself in that situation,” I said. “It really helps”
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