Drumroll, please! And Julie Jones is here to give you an excerpt of her upcoming story, 32 Seconds. Hope the week isn’t treating you badly – after all it’s only Tuesday – which means that the crap can hit the fan anytime now. It’s alright, we’ll stay positive, right Julie? At least, we’ll try.
My butt hit the pavement. As I opened my eyes, and tried to figure out where I had landed, an explosion popped right next to me. I ducked flat on the ground.
From the corner of one eye, I saw columns of blackish smoke in the distance, and the ruins of a town I didn’t recognize. The air had turned into a toxic mess, making my eyes water. To add to the pleasant experience, a violent cough proceeded to shake my core.
The explosions continued and were deafening. My mind told me to run, but my body remained stuck in place.
I rubbed my eyes to make sure this wasn’t a dream. It didn’t feel like a dream. Maybe the old witch I met by the one-dollar store did poison me with her chocolate, and I had landed in hell?
My body trembled from head to toe. From the little I could take in, the area looked like a war zone. I needed to find shelter before figuring things out. Struggling up on my wobbly legs, I turned in a circle, trying to find an escape route. I strove to regulate my breathing. My lungs burned. I wanted to get angry, to scream and pound my fists at something or someone, but I felt so weak. The same question looped inside my mind. Where the heck had I been transported to, against my will?
Asking Didi for directions was out of the question, since I had been robbed of my phone too. It was clearly my lucky day.
A shape moved ahead of me. I thought it was smoke, or an optical illusion. After a few seconds, I realized the shape was coming in my direction. Shizznit. Was it an animal? The thing ran quickly toward me. Soon I realized that something was actually someone, and that someone looked like a boy.
The muscles of my legs gave up and I fell to the ground. The cough was killing me. My heart was beating at a hundred miles per hour, my quickened breath jamming inside my throat as I stared at the approaching stranger. He opened his mouth and said something, but I didn’t understand a word through the ruckus of the incessant explosions. Through my watery eyes, I took in the sight of him. The dark-haired boy wore black jeans and a t-shirt, and his skin was covered in grayish dust.
He yelled something. It sounded like “un.”
Not sure what to say in response, I waved at him.
When he finally reached me, I noticed his eyes were glowing green.
“Hey…” I slurred between coughs. To my shock, he leapt like a jaguar and grabbed my arm in the process.
“Run!” he yelled, and propelled me off the ground like I weighed nothing.
Caught in his grip, I had no choice but to follow.