Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornadoes in Alabama. ~
Dear Reading Friends, while teaching a creative writing class recently, I challenged a couple young students to use all their creative writing skills to write a short story. The story had to be about a youth camp in the mountains of Colorado where a catastrophe strikes. The students were instructed to apply dialogue, action, and emotion. They readily accepted the challenge. But then, I decided I should write a story of my own. Below is my story entry for the exercise. Hope you enjoy. See you on the next page!—David Telbat
by D.I. Telbat
The cabin erupted in fire. Teenage campers and adult counselors screamed and fled. Flaming coats were shed. Others dragged their friends from the putrid smell of sulfur as magma oozed from deep within the earth.
Seventeen-year-old Randy Wallace ran toward the log cabin as it crumbled. Everyone else seemed to be fleeing from the area, but not Randy. His father was a fireman, and stories of bravery had taught him that sudden trials were the best test for courage. There was no time to think, only to act.
He hopped a crevice that opened before him, glimpsed lava in the pit several feet below, and crouched next to another teen. Mark Cooper’s pant legs had been burned away up to his knees. Ugly blisters covered his skin.
“Help me!” Mark cried and clung to Randy’s arm. Agony twisted Mark’s face. “Don’t leave me here, Randy!”
Lava poured from one crevice as the earth shook and more fissures opened wide. In seconds, Mark would be overrun by scorching magma if Randy didn’t carry him to safety.
“I won’t leave you. God will help us!” Randy thrust his hands under Mark’s muscled frame. “You and I are getting out of this together. Hang on!”
The irony of Randy’s words weren’t lost on him in those terrifying seconds as fire closed around the pair. They weren’t even friends. Randy and Mark had been competing all week at the summer camp for the attention of Brittany Coleman, the cute blond who still wore braces. Canoe races and hikes to the top of the nearest mountain peak were just two of the events the boys had used to attract Brittany’s interest.
But none of that mattered now. A boy’s life was in danger, and the bad blood between the two couldn’t shut down what Randy suddenly felt he’d been born to do. As a Christian, Randy believed that Jesus Christ had died for him. How could he not risk his own life for someone else? Even if it killed him . . .
In the depths of his mind, he understood that the tectonic plates must’ve shifted enough to open up the Rocky Mountain’s continental layers. The ground that was now bursting with ash and fire could mean only one thing: a volcano had come to life under the summer camp!
Randy strained under Mark’s weight. He took two steps, trying to ignore the creeping flow of lava that pursued them.
“Faster!” Mark begged, clinging to Randy’s neck almost too tightly. “We’re getting boxed in!”
Clenching his teeth, Randy pushed the chaos around him from his mind, and focused on the last bridge of land ahead of them, which led to the upper parking lot. Dozens of teens and a few adults frantically waved at them to hurry, and yelled at them not to give up.
Lava behind Randy moved faster than he could shuffle forward with his burden. His hiking boot heels were being singed by the heat. Randy felt the tears on his cheeks and the heat on his backside.
In front of him, the lava flow closed, now surrounding the two. But Randy didn’t give up. He leaped with his burden, straining over the liquid death that threatened to melt them away. When he landed on sure ground, he tumbled forward onto the grass. Mark rolled from his arms.
Others were there now, pulling them both uphill to safety.
A few minutes later, Randy and Mark lay side by side as counselors tended to their injuries. Randy felt a firm hand on his shoulder, and looked over at Mark’s pale face.
“You saved my life.” Mark flinched as they treated his legs. “Everyone else left me, but you came back. I’ll never forget this.”
“Hey, maybe I was just trying to impress Brittany,” Randy said with a straight face, then grinned. “You would’ve done the same for me, right?”
“I’m not impressed!” Brittany scowled from a few feet away. The blond girl crossed her arms and stomped her foot like a stern mother about to scold her children. “Both of you could’ve died. This is not a game!”
Randy and Mark looked at each other in silence for a moment, then burst into laughter. The tension of their rivalry melted away, along with their fear of the volcano.
Beyond the parking lot, the earth settled and the fire died down. Lava formations quickly cooled and hardened, and the teens watched in awe at nature’s destructiveness. Dozens of kids would have stories to tell about that day, but there was only one story that Randy couldn’t shake. Two boys had been enemies, but fire had brought them together as friends.
NOTE: We have TWO opportunities for David’s books to win in upcoming Book Contests but we need your help!
1) – Please visit the 2019 Christian Indie Awards page to vote your choice in 18 categories. Called To Gobi has been nominated for this contest in the mystery/suspense category. All readers can vote for 1 book in each category. Check them out! (Voting closes March 31.)
2) – We are about to enter one of David’s books into the Reader’s Favorite Book Award Contest! But we don’t know which book we should enter so we want input from David’s readers! By March 20, let us know which book YOU think we should enter. [Thanks to you who have sent us your choice!] We’ll let you know in our April 1st post as to which book we submitted.
THANK YOU for your help, Reading Friends!!
COMING UP: Join us next time for an inventory list of post-apocalyptic gear in, “Survival Gear for the Journey.”