Chapter 9

Written by: E L Russell

Alex knew she and her newly born baby were in trouble. To keep it warm and safe she bound it using pieces of balloon fabric. She assessed their situation. The bleeding had stopped but blood covered her legs, stomach, and the packed snow nearby. It had crusted and stuck to her skin. The life-sucking cold crept in around her and she feared for her baby. She felt weak. The outer wind’s stark cry was little comfort.

* * *

Peter was dozing on and off. He nodded awake.

‘George? Can you hear me? George!’ he called through the blowing snow.

George called back that she was okay. The beacon had cut a swathe through the night and now it was dark. She crossed her fingers. Marshall’s heart had leapt hopefully when he saw the beacon but now the night was dead, no lights and bone chillingly cold. He called again to George.

“We will make it. Marcus will have picked up the beam….”

She was getting tired. In an effort to keep mobile she scrunched up a ball of snow and put it in her mouth. As it melted it slipped down her dry throat and settled its burning.

* * *

Alex was also eating snow. Rick took the ball from her and held a cup of sweet warm tea to her lips.

‘It’s as well I took those supplies. He had them all,’ he said.

She took grateful sips. The sweet fluid warmed her body and she could feel her strength returning.The baby stirred. She held it to her breast.

She looked at Rick with heartbroken eyes. ‘What if no-one comes for us?’

Rick winced. His mother had drunk warm water so that he could have the last biscuit in the house. A week later she was dead. He shook his head and the memory faded.

Alex was so much like his mother.

‘They will come,’ he told her, although he was far from sure that this was the case. ‘

He lifted her to her feet. She rocked unsteadily then steadied herself. He led her and the baby into the snow cave.

 * *

Sam tore off the weather report and shouted, “Marcus, Sam, look!” He raced across the station’s office waving it over his head. “This says we have a chance. A slim one, mind you, but a chance. Gear up!”

* * *

‘Peter?’ George called. Are you there?’

She heard a sleepy grunt and her heart thumped. He sounded as if he was surrendering to the cold.

‘No Peter,’ she cried.

* * *

Alex woke at first light with a migraine, and checked for bleeding. It had stopped. The tiny bundle that was her baby stirred. She pulled back the material covering the baby’s face aside, afraid of what she might see.

The little baby pressed its fist into its eyes. Alex caught a sob. ‘I should never have come.’

Rick looked at the little creature…'would their food last,' he wondered.

E.L Russell. (USA)




I liked the way you write descriptive narrative, in particularly regarding the characters feelings and physical detail. However, I thought there wasn't enough of it because you were trying to capture all three situations. As a result, the story bogged down and the last writer has the task of trying to bring all three situations to a satisfactory end. I think the solution would have been to concentrate on just one part of the story, maybe the prof and George being rescued, leaving the kids to the last writer. Six scenes in one 500 word chapter creates a lot of stumbling that stops the flow. Having said all that, having a go at these serials in the time frame we have is a great way to improve our creativity and writing skills. I hope you book a chapter in the next story.   
Very well written, and I particularly like the way Dawson's epiphany is reinforced.  However, I find the survival of the baby completely unbelievable.  A miscarriage does not result in a living baby.