Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write for the SUSPENSE and/or THRILLER Genre (10/23/14)
- TITLE: An Apple Rescue
By Jennifer Liang
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Cindy found the bus stop easily enough and maneuvered her luggage onto the crowded bus before paying for her ticket. A nice man saw her struggling and offered her a seat, which she took without hesitation. She gave him her best smile of gratitude in return. She hugged her backpack to her chest and waited. Finally the bus began to rumble down the unfamiliar roads to her new life and new job.
An hour later she awoke to the bus driver screaming in her ear what she could only assume meant they had reached the last stop. Grunting under the weight of her suitcases he deposited them on the sidewalk and drove off. When the dust settled, Cindy looked around and realizing she was alone for the first time since landing in Beijing she nearly collapsed into tears. Sitting on her suitcase she reached into her pocket for her phone and tried to punch in the numbers but couldn’t read well in the dark. The lack of streetlights was not helping. No matter, Denise was not here to pick her up and was not answering her phone. Was it really that late? Where was she?
A noise from behind startled her out of her melancholy thoughts. A piercing headlight was headed her way. The man drove right up and tried to grab her bag, missing by mere centimeters. Cindy braced herself in case he came back around. Was it her imagination or was he trying to offer her a ride? She didn’t want to be tomorrow’s headline but she also didn’t want to be alone in an obviously secluded place. This would never happen in America. Just when the light was approaching again she heard a honk and whipped around to see a woman waving frantically from a taxi begging her to join her for a ride. Taxis are better than motorcycles Cindy thought and rushed over as gracefully as she could without tripping over her luggage.
Once seated in the taxi a relieved Cindy attempted her first conversation with the beautiful Chinese woman. “Thank you. Do you speak English?”
“Yes, I do. Where do you need to go?” she replied in perfect English with just a hint of a British accent.
“Qingdao University please,” Cindy whispered, her energy spent. Just mulling over what could have been with the motorcycle rider caused her anxiety all over again.
“My name is Apple and I teach English at the university. This taxi is going there. What do I call you?” Apple asked Cindy politely.
“I’m Cindy.” Perking up she continued, “Are we almost there? I was supposed to meet someone but they didn’t show up.”
“Just around the corner. Maybe your friend didn’t know the route changed recently. It is not safe to be traveling these parts alone at night,” Apple replied.
“No kidding. Thanks for rescuing me Apple.”
“My pleasure.” Apple climbed over Cindy and enthusiastically waved at someone as they passed a main gate. “Hey, there’s Denise. What is she doing here?”
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