Chapter 7

Written by: Kalli Deschamps

The force of the crash threw George to the ground, winding her. As she recovered, she peered through the deepening gloom. Marshall called again. “George, are you okay?”   

                “I-I think so,” she called. “I’m almost afraid to move.”

                She pulled a small flashlight from her pocket and switched it on. Its feeble beam penetrated the swiftly falling darkness. Then she saw it and she could scarcely control her excitement, “Marshall, I think I can reach you!”

                “Thank, God!” he moaned.

                “There must be a ledge or something in the crevasse and there’s wreckage on it. which I can climb over." Once she got to him they could figure out out what to do.

                Hand over hand with freezing fingers, George let herself down into the crevasse until she reached the broken bits of helicopter. It was hard to tell how deep into the rugged opening the pieces had fallen, but what seemed to be part of the propeller was lying on a diagonal toward Marshall’s side of the gash.

                Slowly, ever so slowly and with great care she dragged herselt toward the top.

                The ice shifted. George screamed as she lost her precarious hold on the frozen metal and slid backward toward the bottom of the narrow crevasse...


                Alex had never felt such pain. “Help me!” she screamed. The debilitating cramps came in wave after wave. Fetid liquid rushed from her chilled body. Blood or what? She couldn’t imagine! “Oh-h-h-h!” she cried, curling into a tight ball. The next scream turned into a whimper as she passed out.

                Dawson stared at her still body. “What, now?” he muttered in disgust. Why, he wondered, had she come on this so-called scientific survey when she knew she was pregnant? She must have known! And who was the father?”

                Anger competed with fear as he surveyed the scene around him. He should leave, get out of this hellhole.  But where would he go? The storm was gone and even the wind had abated. White snow gleamed against a starless night sky. Maybe he’d try to follow Marshall for just a little way; might see something or hear something. Dawson decided to check Alex one more time and then head out. He stepped cautiously toward the small still figure silhouetted against the luminous snow and crouched down. He  leaned over and lightly stroked her face. He held it there just a split second. He jerked his hand away. Alex was ice cold. Dead? Panicking he jumped back overturning the Primus stove.  


Henry opened the door a crack and peered into the night. “Marcus, the storm's headed north. Maybe we can get some help for those poor sods.”

Marcus picked up the phone and dialled. Two minutes later he slumped in his swivel desk chair then turned to face his partner. “The phone line is dead!”

“So what happens now? “

Marcus shook his head and frowned. With both the balloon and the station helicopter out of commission they were in as much trouble as the frozen guys on the glacier.

Kalli Deschamps (USA)


In a quick fire sequence of chapters like this, I think there might be room for one or two chapters to be divided into three parts, covering the three POV's. However, the last three chapters have all been of the same rhythm and the story has begun to lose its interest. Much better to hold say, one POV right until the end. The writing is creative and colorful but I am losing the excitement. It almost feels as though each writer is now competing for a suspenseful twist and in trying to achieve this, the thrill and suspense have been diluted.   
In the helicopter crash scene, I’m having difficulty following the descriptions.  I can’t really make this scene fit in with what was stated in the previous chapter.   The two characters present at the station is Sam and Marcus.  Henry was introduced in the last chapter as someone that Marcus was talking to on the phone.  Should Henry be present at the station they would have had more helicopters or search and rescue vehicles at the station.   Finally this chapter feels like the story didn't move forward and is still in the same place as before.
Kalli, you are more than welcome to join a group of writers on facebook - please read my comment to Surmanda .
This story has had pace and mounting tension but it seems to have written itself into a corner. How do writers from now on handle this? Maybe the characters on the moutain and at the research station could help them out. It'd be disappointing if they used some clicked solution though. Suggestions from anyone? Good luck!
Chapter 8 - At the USAF base just outside Fairbanks (where they have the winter survival courses for SEALS etc) they have picked up the emergency beacon from the crashed chopper. They are on their way to the crash location and call the base camp for further details. In the meantime the prof has used the rope he saved from the balloon and has pulled his wife up from the crevice. The chopper arrives and saves them and the prof directs them to the other crash site. The chopper is one of the big three man crew type capable of carrying all the survivors. Chapter 9 - Alex is still alive but out for the count. Dawson has returned because he cant find his way down and he's cold and hungry and he's eaten all the choc. He finds out that Alex is alive but has a devious plan for his own survival. Chapter 10 - The helicopter arrives at the ridge but cannot land. The hoist man descends and Dawson tells the man Alex is dead. The hoist man wants to check her out but Dawson insists that he be hoisted up right away, being the coward he is. There is a fight and Dawson knocks the guy out with a lucky punch. Dawson tries to grab the hoist which is being pulled up so another crew man can go down to sort things out. Dawson gets hold of the hoist as it swings out over the edge of the ridge. He falls to oblivion and then Alex is rescued.  The story can be rescued. I'm sure we have following writers who will save the day.
The suggestions were a collaboration from the Stone/Harahan writing stable.
One. I'm not reading suggestions that might taint what I want to write. As the author of Chapter 10, I'm trying to do exactly what Suraya requested at the beginning and wait for each chapter before me to be written and use those as my base. While I completely understand the desire to input something into a story that you've invest in - let those of us coming next have a the clean slate you had. Two, If this chapter has written things into a corner, then we have 3 chapters to find a way back out. In the meantime, Kalli, this stuff isn't easy to judge or easy to complete in 500 words. Hope you had fun with it. And I hope you sign up for another serial. We learn by doing. And you didn't do half bad.
As you will notice further up the comments, ALL writers and readers were asked for suggestions, and that is what they are. They do not have to be taken seriously and are meant as a guide for everyone who wants to read them. The comment section is for comments and replies that can be read or ignored.
Hi there,  I've been following the serial along so far, thinking about where I could take chapter 8. Some of the suggestions have been helpful,  however the last three paragraphs of this chapter have stumped me a little in terms of where I wanted to take the story.  However it will be interesting, and I like a challenge. Constructive feedback on my chapter 8 submission will be much appreciated.