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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: Emma's Fear
By Brenda Rice


“Jay, I wish you wouldn’t take the girls with you on this flight”.

“We’ll be back in an hour like always. Love ya babe!”

Emma watches as Jay loads the passengers and their gear. Then she sees two bouncing, blonde beauties jump into the seat next to their dad and wave ferociously, as if this weren’t an almost daily event. Waving until the plane is out of sight, Emma walks back to the station.

She loves flying almost as much as Jay, but since the twins came along she has been more maternal, as Jay calls it. Busying herself, Emma tries to quiet her uneasiness. “Oh, come on! Why am I so anxious about Jay and the twins today? It’s a routine flight, passengers delivered and passengers returned. Katie and Maddie love the ride up to Sky Station. Stop it, NOW!” she said out loud.

“Who are you talking to, honey?”

Emma is jolted from her conversation with herself and realizes her father is standing at the counter. “Oh, hey dad. Just thinking out loud. Jay and the twins just left with a couple of skiers and he’s bringing a couple back. Will you be here a while?”

“If you need me, I will be. Is something wrong Emmie? You don’t seem yourself?”

Coming around the counter, Emma hugs her dad and gives him a kiss on the cheek, but mostly she evades his question. I’m fine. I need to run to the market. Can you stay a little while?”

“Get moving, I’ll be here until you get back.”

Driving away from the airstrip Emma can’t shake the uneasy feeling about her husband and her twins. So she says a silent prayer and heads to the market to buy supper.

J October November 316 calling Station Five. Over.

Station Five, come in J October November 316. “How goes it Jay?”

“Fine Pop. I’ll be…~ # $ &* ???….

“Come back JON316. Your breaking up, come again.”

“Pop, we’re having…~ ~# # $ &* *??….

“Jay, I can’t copy. You’re breaking up.”

Static filled the station. Ben tried hard to reach Jay, but there was no response. After several minutes with no success, Ben walks to the door to take a look towards the mountains and Sky Station. Clouds hung low and the wind moved them about.

“What is he trying to tell me? Why hasn’t he called back? Lord, bring him and our babies home safely, please.”

Suddenly static and growls and some popping blasted through the radio. Ben rushed to attempt communication again. “Station Five calling JON316. Come in Jay!”

Static blasted again with more growls and popping, but no word from Jay. “Come on Jay! You’ve done this hundreds of times. What’s happening today?”

Now who’s talking to himself?” asked Emma as she entered and heard her father’s voice.
“Is something wrong, dad? You sound upset.”

“No, there’s nothing wrong. Something’s just not right, that’s all.”

“Okay, so nothing’s wrong, but something isn’t right. Tell me Yogi Berra, what does that mean?”

“What I meant to say is, Jay tried to call, but his communication was broken up and now, I can’t get anything but static, growls and popping! Confounded radio!!”

“Oh dad, how long has it been since Jay called?”

“Probably half an hour. He should have been landing at Sky Station about the time he called.”

Emma’s uneasy feeling just became a paralyzing fear starting in her feet and moving quickly upward. “Dad, call him again!”

“Station Five calling JON316. Do you copy?”

Ben’s efforts were rewarded with another loud blast of static. Emma’s fear was moving steadily toward her heart. She knew her heart was about to stop and soon, she couldn’t even scream. With what she felt might be her last words she prayed, ‘Lord, let us make contact. Let me hear Jay’s voice. NOW, Lord Jesus NOW!!”

“JON316 to Station Five. Do you copy?”

“Station Five to JON316. We copy, son. What are you trying to tell me?”

“Pop, I said we were having radio trouble. Did you copy?”

“No, Jay. You broke up as soon as you said, we are having.”

“Sorry Pop. Hope I didn’t worry you too much. Pop, what ya say, we let this be our secret? Emma was maternal when I left. Understand? Over.”

Giving his much relieved daughter a grin and a wink, Ben answered, “Our secret Jay, our secret. Over.”

“Station Five, JON316 requests clearance to land.”

Turning her face upward, Emma said, “thank you Father. Thank you.”

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This article has been read 441 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Sullivan 12/23/10
You did a great job of bringing me to the edge of my chair. So glad the ending was a happy one. Very good writing.
Fern Brown12/23/10
Wow - you kept my attention -being maternal in my thinking, too! Merry Christmas and God bless you as you honor Him in your writing.
Mildred Sheldon12/24/10
Thank you for a nail biter story. Once I started reading I had to continue to find out what happened. Good job and very well written. Thank you and God bless.
diana kay12/27/10
great writing thanks. Why do i get the feeling that this is just an episode in a longer story :-)?
Cheryl Harrison12/27/10
I enjoyed the suspense of your story. I liked the call name Jon316. Plus, I am glad it had a happy ending. The only place I stumbled was the symbols right before they lost radio contact. At first I thought the symbols were for foul language, then I realized you meant them to symbolize static and broken communication. Not sure if there is another way to do it. Otherwise, great job!
Margaret Kearley 12/29/10
A good, gripping story, very well told. Well done. What a wonderful thing that our calls to God in prayer do not suffer from communication breakdown!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/29/10
This was a great story, you had just the perfect amount of suspense in

The only red ink I would give you is to watch your capitalization When using Dad as a name,(withwout my in front of it) make sure you capitalize it.

Overall really great writing! Keep up the good work.
Bryan Rudolph12/30/10
Tension tight talk; but, the story needed equal squeezing. Clearly, though, tapping talent.