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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: Trapped
By Ruth Neilson


Screams, falling, crushing pressure...darkness...

She opened her eyes and took a shuddering breath. It hurt to breathe in the dust filled air, but she forced herself to.

She had to survive. Death was not an option to her.

She could make out a small glimmer of light just to her right. Experimentally, she moved her right arm, and despite the debris surrounding her, she smiled. She could still move, which was something.

Gingerly, she moved her hand closer to the gap and tried to move more of the remains away, hoping someone would find her. In that desperate moment, she stretched her fingers out, through the hole, knowing that people would be looking for survivors...

She hoped that much, at least.

Minutes turned into hours, and her small flicker of light began to fade, her hopes with it. She blinked several times, feeling wetness on her cheeks as a dead weight settled in her stomach. The knowledge that there was a very real possibility that she wasn't going to make it home was slowly sinking in.


She knew she would never greet the rolling foothills (or toe-hills according to one of her close friends) of the Appalachian Mountains, covered with evergreens in the early morning hours. Or be able to curse the hot summer's day combined with the unbearable humidity whose only cure would be a midday thunderstorm. She would never be able to watch a football game with her friends and family, only to be interrupted by the beckoning of buffalo wings.

She hiccupped once. This was supposed to be a grand adventure, moving to the Northeast for school...to be able to see all of the landmarks that this region had to offer. Not this. She wasn't supposed to die like this...

Her right arm was cramping, but she had to keep it up. Someone would find her, they had too!

A whimper followed by the sniffling of a beast echoed through around her concrete and metal tomb and her heart soared.

She curled her fingers into a hook and then jerked as a warm moist tongue touched her fingers.

"Help me!" She screamed, ignoring the fresh burst of pain across her chest. She could hear the building shift around her as men grunted.

"We've got a live one!" A weary voice called into the dim. She could hear the message passed down the line, each time another burst of enthusiasm was boost into the voice.

"Ma'am, can you hear me?"

"Yea..." she managed to choke past another onslaught of tears.

"My name is Aden, and we're going to get you out of here," Aden stated before continuing, "Ma'am, what is your name?"

"Amber...Amber Collins."

"Amber, there's going to be a lot of noise and dust, but I'll be right here with you until we can get you out." There was a pause and a gloved had wrapped around her fingers.

Amber closed her eyes as the dust began to spin like a miniature tornado around her body as the debris was slowly lifted away. She coughed several times, but Aden held her fingers tight.

"Hang in there, Amber," Aden called over the increasing noise.

She laughed softly then coughing again. "I ain't going anywhere right now." She whispered, "It's kinda hard to go anywhere."

Aden squeezed her hand tighter; and Amber went quiet. She was so tired.

Slowly, a hazy sky opened to her vision and she hiccupped at the beauty of it. She could see the grim covered face of a man holding her hand, Aden, and she smiled wearily at him. He matched the smile and without a word, he gently caressed her hand.

The last of the debris was lifted from her body as an odd mixture of pain and relief flooded Amberís body. Gingerly, her heroes lifted her onto a stretcher and carried her away from the rubble.

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This article has been read 616 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Trina Courtenay01/16/09
Awesome. I was wondering if anyone would write on this topic. Great use of vivid words; I was right there with Amber.

Blessings on your writing.
Joanne Sher 01/16/09
Absolutely engaging and breathtakingly intense. I also wondered if anyone would use this idea for the topic, and you did an incredible job with it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/17/09
Your gripping, exceptionally well written story had me holding my breath.
Karen Wilber01/18/09
Excellent suspense. I really wondered if she'd get out. Did you deliberately not name the place she was trapped in to make us have to follow the trail of clues? I have to admit, that at first read, I put Amber in a different location until the end. Guess I'm a little slow. ;-) I Like how you portrayed Aden, the rescuer.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/19/09
Very well told...
Jan Ackerson 01/20/09
Very well written--especially strong in atmosphere, mood, setting. May be one of my favorites of yours.
Teresa Lee Rainey01/20/09
very, very well told - from the title to the end. It felt as though I were there with her. :)
Diana Dart 01/21/09
Great, vivid descriptions and mood. I was right there with her. Ummmm, since I'm not American I may not get right away where this is (I'm taking a guess as to where and when, but I am not 100%). Maybe it's just me, but a bit more transparency as to the location may be helpful for some.
Karlene Jacobsen01/21/09
Incredible! Your first person account of this is truly riveting. The detail, right down to her own fight for life, is so vivid; I felt as though I were there holding her hand.
Seema Bagai 02/18/09
Wow! I felt like I was right there in the rubble with Amber.