Chapter 10

Written by: annetteconnor

     Rick held on to Alex to keep her warm and tried to hold on to his own sanity as the night leeched what life remained out of them. Alex slept, clutching the wad of balloon silk to her chest. She’d actually held it to her breast, stroking the phantom baby’s head. The loss of blood and the emotional trauma had put her over the edge –and almost dragged Rick over with her.

     Rick slipped in and out of sleep, waking to cries of “Peter!” from Alex. He needed to get up and move around. He was sure that he could move his toes, but couldn’t feel them. Rick edged himself out from under Alex and stood – as much as the cave walls would allow.

     He busied himself with the Primus. His hands shook. His entire body vibrated between violent shivers and feeble trembling from exhaustion and lack of food. He wanted to damn Marshall to the icy hell he must have fallen in, but Alex’s whimpering forbade it. This selfless love thing sucked. Rick didn’t like this need to put someone ahead of his own desires, but couldn’t stop himself. Marshall had best be alive – Alex needed him.

    A steady rumble broke through his reverie. Damn! If that was an avalanche, they were dead. He forced himself to go out into the cold. The rumble became a steady whir. A helicopter. In the purple haze of predawn, Rick watched as it settled on the rock ledge just yards away.

     His heart leapt into his throat and then crashed. The helicopter’s floodlight illuminated its own logo – Dawson Enterprises. The hatch door slid open and to Rick’s horror, there stood his father.

     “Run, boy!” Kramer Dawson used a megaphone.

     Rick shook his head and gestured toward the snow cave.

     “No time! Come now! We’re leaving.”

     Rick ignored the warning and plunged into the cave. “Alex! Wake up, honey.” He wrestled her unresponding body into his arms. She was so cold. “Alex! I need you to wake up!”

     He dragged her out of the cave and on to the snow. Rick tried to get Alex into a fireman’s carry, but he was too weak. Sobs tore through him. He got his hands under her armpits and started dragging her backward toward the whir. He fell and looked back. His father stood motionless in the hatch.

     Rick forced himself to his feet. He hooked numb hands around Alex’s body and slogged on the last few yards. Pushing Kramer aside the pilot took Alex from Rick and lay her on the stretcher. Rick crawled over the ledge and lay on the deck of the helicopter.

     “Rescue has the Marshalls,” the pilot yelled against his ear, checking him for injury. “You’re all safe.”

     Rick nodded. “Is she ok?”

     The hand clenching his shoulder was warm. Rick was fading. “She’ll be fine, mate.”

     “You’re a mess.” Kramer swam into view. “And an idiot.”

     He heard Alex sigh. His heart leapt. “Not any more, dad.”


Annette Connor (USA)



Congrats. Great narrative and descriptive work. The serial ended on a high note with a sensible solution.
You've done a lifesaver on this one, pun intended :-D, and managed to end this serial in a believable way.
but if it was in a magazine or newspaper I would have lost interest.  Writers did well to cover the storyline but as a reader there was not enough drama to keep me intrigued. This means too conventional. So change the storyline and writing style to keep an audience.