Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
By Ruth Neilson
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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, 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 Amber’s body. Gingerly, her heroes lifted her onto a stretcher and carried her away from the rubble.
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