Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cliffhanging (part two)

Here we go again: part deux of last week's Saturday Centus. The diabolical Ms. Matlock has granted us only 50 words this time, with no prompt at all. (Part 1 is revisited below, in red, with Part 2 immediately following.)

Cliffhanging (part one)
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

4:50 am.

Jan's morning began in the living room, neck protesting a night in her chair. She’d been sitting sentry there (off and on) for years, awaiting errant teenagers, welcoming them in before lecturing them soundly.

But this welcome was too slow in coming. Sean should be home. Trembling, she grabbed her iPhone, exhaling slowly. Nada.

What good were these stupid cell phones, anyway? They made not hearing from your kids even scarier. Especially when their idea of fun was hanging off a cliff. Literally.

Sean knew how she worried. “I’m alive,” he always texted, teasing her. Maybe there was no reception.

Her limbs froze when the doorbell rang. The knocking (urgent, pounding) froze her soul...


Cliffhanging (part two)

"Mrs. Miller...Janet? It's Bud Gray. "

She rose stiffly, cracked the door. "Sheriff?”

"Sean’s in rough shape, Jan. Head injury. Let’s get you to County." Her stomach lurched.

Across town, a nurse smiled. The kid was conscious now, wanted his phone.

“That your beep?” Bud asked, eyes on the road. Breathless, Jan looked down.

"I'm alive," she read, and felt the world rush in.



Daydreamertoo said...

Ouch, that has to be a huge worry to any parent. What a relief. Nice cliff hanger :)

yaya said...

Great ending..I like the happy ones. Unfortunately I see too many times in my line of work where it's not a very happy ending.. or as in the case of my Sister's life, the loss of a teenager, her youngest child. Makes you always appreciate the "happily ever after" endings.

anitamombanita said...

Loved it and proud of you for your editing...I wasn't quite successful on the 50 words...she DID tell us last week that we'd have another 100...I'm certain of it, right?! ;)

Sue said...

The flow was better when I had the 100 words, Anita. But it's good for me to have to let go of my words sometimes. That is always hard for me.

Saturday Centus has made me a better editor.


VK said...

These stupid kids always making us crazy.
Good job bringing up emotion.

Brian Miller said...

wow great close on this story...glad his first thought was to text her...that is way cool...

smiles on you comment...

Grandma Honey said...

Our kids hold all the power over us don't they? I've heard it once said that we can only be as happy as our saddest child. What a roller coaster of emotions this poor mom goes through.

Ames said...

Why I would give him a concusion for making me worry. No more cliff hanging for you! Sue this was great. You sure know how to get me riled up!~Ames

Judie said...

Having only 50 words is tricky, but you nailed it! Good work!!

Eva Gallant said...

That was a good one!

Jo said...

wow! i am amazed that you conveyed so much with just those 50 words. wonderful post Sue!

blessedmom's simple home said...

Oh, how all parents can relate to this one :) Well written my friend.

Rek said...

Fantastic, almost a palpable sense of relief...Not been well, hence unable to comment earlier, put my post up since didn't feel like giving up on the end.

Karen Sue said...

The helicopter often flies over our house on the way to the hospital. I often call my kids then if they are not home to check.

Caroline said...

Literal CHILLS are running up and down my arms!!

Gil and I just watched the movie 127 hours on tv recently. This made me think of that.

And as a mother, I hope I never have to endure that kind of a cliffhanger--but from what I understand--teenagers can put us through many of those!


Jenny said...

Oh Sue.

This made me cry.

What a wonderful ending.


I can sooo relate to this story. And I'm really, really glad it ended like this.


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