Brenda Drake is having a FABULOUS Blogfest! Below is my entry. Please check out the other cliffhangers as well!
The first explosion rocked the room, sending her books flying off her desk. The second one made the floor beneath her tremor and the lights flicker. Her teacher grabbed the large desk at the front of the classroom. She braced for a third and didn't have to wait long. This one sent the glass jars flying off the walls, smashing onto the carpet. The smell of alcohol and death filled the science class.
"Everyone remain calm," Ms. Clark said.
"Should we get under our desks?" Christopher asked.
Liz didn't wait for a response. A hand slipped into hers, strong and warm. She smiled without looking over at him. She knew every callous on Christopher's hand. And the wart he kept cutting off that stubbornly grew back on the inside of his thumb.
No sound as the ground shook again. The lights went out. Screams and sobs reverberated over the din of the creaking building, its beams groaning in protest at the ceaseless movement beneath it.
Ms. Clark was shouting but Liz couldn't make out the words over the crashing,
popping and screaming. She held onto Christopher's hand as though it were an anchor in the stormy sea.
She chewed on her bottom lip as her mind raced. We have to get out of here. If this were a terrorist attack, the air outside might not be safe to breathe. But if they stayed here, they would be buried under the rubble. Liz would rather die than be buried alive. She needed air. Blue skies.
Her desk hit the crown of her head as a ceiling tile fell on it.
"I'm going," she heard herself say.
"What? Where?" Christopher responded.
"We need to get outside," she said, louder so that the whole class could hear.
She didn't let go of Christopher. With her other hand, she grabbed her backpack and
made for the door. No one followed them.
She felt his hand leave hers as she reached freedom. Liz spun around to see the doorway collapsing over him. A scream rose above the noise. She realized it was hers. It ended in a cough as the dust flooded her mouth and her nose.
Though she struggled to breath, she threw herself onto what was left of science class. On her knees, she clawed at the huge pieces of concrete that separated her from her first love.
Strong hands grabbed her roughly from behind, pulling her up.
"No," she yelled.
The arms carried her away, through the schoolyard and past the pandemonium. The man did not stop for anyone – not for the teenager with blood running down her forehead, not for the teacher who was missing his hand.
She fought as hard as she could, all one hundred pounds of her. Kicking and screaming and biting as the man walked her calmly to the waiting car. He shoved her inside the back of the limo, slamming the door behind her.
Liz tried the handle. It wouldn't open. She kicked the window as hard as she could with both feet. Pain shot through the bottoms up to her knees.
She felt the first tear as the car lurched forward, screeching out of the school parking into the chaos that surrounded it.
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