Sunday, March 16, 2014

TRAPPED Sunday Serial Part 15

Part Fifteen
With one swift motion, Amber Talina Sharpina Harttmin tosses the grenade to the side and pulls out a red button. Mrs. Kennedy squats into a defensive position.
A slow smile spreads across Amber's face. “Don't even think about it, Aunt Martina,” she smirks, her thumb hovering over the red button. “This button will initiate explosion immediately. And I happen to have a force field surrounding me, so I'm not scared. Let me just tie you and little helpless Echo up and leave you for the grenade.”
Mrs. Kennedy puts her hands up. “We're dusted, Echo.”
Fear clings to my heart. What's happening? What...?
My heart pounds, and my temples throb.
Amber grabs the rope she was formerly bound with and starts to tie me up. As soon as the roughness hits my skin, an inspiration hits me. My muscles tighten.
Please let this work, please let this work, I think as Amber winds the excess rope around my arms.
“Why would you do this?” Blood is rushing through my head. “All of this? I know you want us for your colony. Why?”
Amber gives me a look, like she knows that I'm stalling. “You only have two minutes to live. Why should you care?”
“I want to know the truth,” I blurt out. “Didn't they teach you anything in colony school?”
She moves on to tying up Mrs. Kennedy. “I suppose you're right.” Amber heaves a giant sigh. “I wanted to bring you guys to the colony, steal everyone's money, and use Oliver to our advantage.” Her blue eyes regale me coolly. “Happy?”
Oliver?” I ask and swing my head over to look at Mrs. Kennedy. Mrs. K looks down. “What does Oliver have to do with this?”
Amber laughs and tosses her hair. “Giant dogs come from giant labs which produce giant products that will help change the world as we know it.” Her eyes take on a dreamy glaze. “Can't you just see me, as tall as the Statue of Liberty?”
This. Is. Insane.
I struggle against my bonds. “This cannot be happening!”
“On the contrary, Echo.” Amber cocks her head. “This is happening. So face it. Have a nice last minute of your life.”
She tosses the button to the side and starts running.
I relax, and the ropes slacken against me.
I slip out of them, aware that Mrs. Kennedy is watching. “Let me get you out of this,” I say, searching around for a sharp object.
“Forget it.” Mrs. Kennedy's teeth grit. “Go after Amber. We can't have her stealing Oliver.”
“But the grenade--”
“Throw it in the water. That should do it in.” Mrs. Kennedy stares at me. “Go, Echo.”
Adrenaline pumps through my veins. I grab the grenade and the button and start running towards the pool of water.
Amber has a head start, and she's almost at the edge of the water.
My heart shrinks a little bit at the sight of the giant body of liquid. I can't do this. I can't. I can't.
Then Mrs. Kennedy shouts, “GO, ECHO, GO!”
Her voice reminds me who I'm fighting for, why I'm doing this.
And the grenade is beeping its last seconds of countdown.
With all my might, I run forward and toss the grenade and the button into the water.
Then I jump right in.
The waves wash over me, and the grenade sinks to the murky depths. It doesn't explode. Good. I inhale a gasp of air.
Amber is a whirlwind of water flailing, and as she gets away from me, my heart tightens.
No. I can't let her.
I start swimming as fast as I can. I don't know how. I think I'm doggie-paddling. But I'm swimming! I'm swimming!
I'm only halfway across the pool when Amber collapses, dripping wet, onto the other side.
Come on, Emily Hudson. You can do this.
I start swimming tentative strokes as Amber sprints for Oliver, who's standing there blinking innocently.
“OLIVER!” I shriek desperately. “COME!”
He perks his head towards me, but his feet don't move.
Amber pats the dog. “Nice Oliver,” she coos.
I'm almost there.
My heart is racing, and I'm not sure if I'll make it.
“OLIVER, COME!” I call again in a calmer tone.
Amber is trying to hoist herself up onto his back, but it's clear she has no idea how to do it.
Almost there--
“OLIVER!” I yell.
He turns his great dog head towards me and starts to walk.
“No! No! Come back!” Amber's pleas fall on deaf dog ears. “Oliver! I have a treat!”
He's still walking towards me. I'm swimming desperately, mentally crossing my fingers...
I'm there! I don't waste any time resting. I turn to Amber as I hop onto Oliver's back. “I'll see you later.”
“No you won't.” Amber executes a perfect karate chop to my right leg.
My injured leg.
“Ow!” I feels like my leg is on fire, and I'm sliding—sliding—until an arm grabs me.
I turn around and look into the gray eyes of Kenneth Pearson. “What—what—what are you doing here?”
“It's like you forgot all about the CommChips.” Kenneth gently drags me back onto the dog's back and turns to Amber. “FYI, I have a third-degree black belt in taekwondo. And a fourth-degree in talking your ear off.”
“I was featured in the magazine, remember?” Slick's voice pipes up.
“And I have the most credentials.” Mr. Kennedy's low rumble hits my ears, and I sag in relief. “Taekwondo, jiujitsu, and hot dog eating.”
Amber is surrounded. Slowly, ever-so-slowly, she raises her hands.
And points to the side. “THEY'RE HERE, DAD! MOM! COME AND GET THEM!”
We turn as a multitude of people charge at us, their footsteps sounding like a stampede of wild elephants.

I suck in a breath. “We're done for.”

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