Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
- TITLE: Private Andy
By Jessica Smith
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Walking through the bustling airport, travelers from across the world, rushed to connect to their next flights. Intercom messages gave the next planes out, stand-by passengers, and delays. Shops of coffees, food, and magazines beckoned a purchase for a few dollars. Following the signs, Andy found his way to the escalator taking him down to passenger pick-up and baggage claim.
“How am I supposed to grab my other suitcase?” Andy asked himself. Shaking his head he watched as the metal conveyer belt threw up cases as if it was hiccupping. “They need to be more careful with that stuff, who knows what may be inside those bags.” Impatient kids ran back and forth between their parent’s legs and others waited in expectation for loved ones picking them up.
“Andy, its you!” Came the cry of his frantic mom. Running up to her son, Martha couldn’t help but weep into his shoulder. He had been away for over two years, and it was about time for a family reunion. “Andy, I’ve missed you so much. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it to the hospital for your surgery. Dad didn’t get enough money in until it was too late.”
“No prob, mom, its all good.” He was tired of explaining what happened, he had no desire to retell his story, especially in the middle of on-looking curious eyes. Turning around, he saw that his dad had already gotten the other bag for him. No need to ask for help. As they were walking toward the exit, a large man with big arms, a bald head, and ear-rings ran after a baggage clerk.
“Come back here punk, you’re gonna get it!” Slipping back in forth in-between the pillars, the clerk ducked one last time before being hit in the head by a giant fist. Trevor Smith was a Viet-Nam Vet and was mighty proud of his son, but nothing prepared him for what he saw unfold before him.
“This is a hold-up, anyone who tries to stop me, will be blown to pieces.” Pulling back a black coat, big baldy revealed a box, duck taped to his body. Snickering, he picked up the blonde, young woman off the floor. “So, missy, let’s see how many people we can blow away before someone tries to be Mr. Hero?”
Crying, the clerk couldn’t stop swallowing her tears. “I…I, don’t wanna die.”
“Who said you were going to die first?”
“Let me go, you sicko.”
“All of you Americans are the same, selfish, pig-headed and ignore the poverty of other nations. It’s time to see who will ignore you!”
In hushed tones, Andy shared his plan with his parents. “Andy, there is no way I’m going stand here and let you do this to yourself.” his dad spoke in pain. “Dad, I love you, but what else is there? This has to be done.”
Without another word, Andy slid himself behind the circulating travel bags. Crouching, he slowly scooted himself behind the gun-man and jumped. Struggle broke out as the clerk jerked free, and Andy pounded into the neck he was holding. “Everyone, run for it! Evacuate the building now!!”
Andy’s mom pulled the fire alarm on the wall behind her and ran. Dozens of people scattered like rain pouring onto working ants. Once outside, Trevor Smith noticed that Andy hadn’t come out yet. Yelling his name over and over, no reply came. A sudden shake occurred and walls started to fall, plaster of pairs hitting people in the head, causing panic to arise once again.
“Andy, Andy!” Tears poured from both parent’s eyes as they watched in horror as the building fell on top of their beloved son.
Several days later, as jets flew overhead, and bag-pipes sounded in the background, Andy Smith’s father finished his part:
“The home of the free and the home of the brave, my son, loved the U.S. and gave his life for those 125 people who escaped the wrath of that militant. Thank you Lord for giving us life.”
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