Prompted: Choices, Choices — Long way down

Get your writin' on.
Get your writin’ on. Word Count: 495

Yuu jumped to another grated walkway a floor below. Ill-prepared, she landed hard and cursed as her knees collided with metal. Hissing, she leaned forward against the pain from her knees and ribcage. Memories of her bedpost and a long deafening moment when the world stopped filtered through a haze. Nearby a brick from the government housing structure–converted to house “unattended” children–fell and ricocheted off a sculpture. No sirens blared, there was only the faint popping of weapons fire.

Boom! Squealing, Yuu gripped the railing while the world shook. A shrieker they called it, a provider of semi-controlled destruction. Bits of brick and other debris pelted her small frame, coating her long hair. When the shrieker finished , Yuu was on her feet again. She had little time. If they got closer…

Yuu stopped short upon arriving at the worst of the damage. The entire wall had been blown in, leaving only piles of rubble far below, along with twisted metal, shards of glass… and no way down. Her small fingers wrapped around the edge as she peered down to the next walkway.

“Please! Help us!” a small voice squeaked from above. “Please–we can’t get down.”

Yuu craned her head upwards, narrowing her eyes to see through the darkness and dust that still hovered in the air. Two small children peered down from the walkway–well partial walkway–above. She estimated the  boy to be around seven or eight; the girl was no more than five. The walkway she was on might hold them. Sucking at her bottom lip, she eyed the supports–would they hold?

“One at a time,” she called up. “Your sister first–lower her to me.” The girl resisted, and her struggles caused the walkway above to slant. “Careful!” Yuu shouted before saying softer: “I’ll catch you. I promise!”

The girl slipped, rather than jumped, but Yuu caught her; the connectors, tying her walkway to wall, moaned. The boy hesitated; his large eyes, moist from tears, looked to her and all her 14 years of experience for guidance. Above his walkway groaned, its downward angle more pronounced. He needed to jump, but he could take out their walkway. If he remained above, there was still a chance that walkway would fall and hit theirs. She should drop the girl to the one below– Eee-errr-eee, a persistent groan. Not enough time, not enough… Yuu ran her hands through her hair, removing some of the dust and debris. It might miss them–the boy would be lost, but they’d survive. Eerrerree.

Yuu could hear her mother chiding her, calling her “my little monkey.” Yuu’s vision blurred while her lips quivered. Her mother had done so that day. They-they were all going to be together–why was she alone. Errerrr. It might condemn her and the girl, Yuu thought, setting the girl down before holding her hands upward.

“Jump!” she shouted. No matter what, Yuu decided, they would go together, one way or another.



Published by smwright

Sarah Wright is the author of The Heritage Lost Series and several other works of speculative fiction. Professionally, she works as a staff writer and editor at a newspaper/magazine company. She enjoys interweaving her love of history into her writing, even in the most fantastic settings.

14 thoughts on “Prompted: Choices, Choices — Long way down

  1. Wow! I want more of this. I want to know what this shrieker is, what is causing the damage, why there only seem to be children here?! Very well done.

    1. Thank you! I am toying with the idea of continuing this short story in some form or another, possibly as one of my “Fiction in Motion” posts or maybe making it into a novel/novella. Definitely had fun with it and can see many avenues to expand it and its world.

    1. I’m glad that frantic energy came through, because I really wanted to capture the feel of suddenly finding yourself in a warzone. Thank you for your kind words!

  2. What happened what will happen. oh it is asking for more.
    It is sure is a tens moment you wrote down. How frightened it must have been for the little one.
    Great read.

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