The Embankment

I’ve decided to post something a bit different, a short story. Enjoy!

The Embankment
The pain was unbearable. Where was it coming from? I checked my shoulders and my neck, all fine. My head, ah, the blood ran down my finger. I hoped it wasn’t a large gash. The knowledge now made me feel every trickle that ran down my neck. I looked to the back seat, Rebecca was screaming but secure in her car seat. I unbuckled myself as fast as I could and climbed to the back seat to grab her. Oh my goodness, where was Henry? I searched the back seat, trying my best to stay calm. His car seat was empty. I checked the door, good, I had remembered to put the child lock on this time. I climbed further back into the van, Henry I called out. Rebecca held me tight. She shivered in my arms. I looked to the front of the van and the realization hit me like a ton of bricks, where was Jack, where was my husband. Maybe he’d gotten out and took Henry with him. I climbed back to the front of the van with Rebecca clinging to me; she was not going to let me go. I tried to open the passenger door, it wouldn’t budge, we must be up against something. I moved towards the driver’s side reaching for the door handle. I couldn’t get to it. Rebecca and I together could not make it. Rebecca was not going to let go of me long enough to get the door opened. With Rebecca still hanging on tightly, I was able to move the driver’s seat back as far as it would go and open the door. It was so dark. I had no idea where we were, and worst what was out there. I readjusted Rebecca and searched for solid ground. It was soft so I knew we were in a grassy area. I looked around hoping my eyes would adjust faster to the pitch-blackness. I walked towards the back of the van, what hit us? The left rear was smashed in completely. I took a deep breath and held Rebecca tighter. She sobbed uncontrollably in my neck. We were up against an embankment, which was why I couldn’t get the door opened. My head was beginning to ache even more. It was cold out here; neither Rebecca nor I had a jacket. We hadn’t brought any I thought. Where were we headed, that I couldn’t remember. Where was Jack? I looked up the embankment, there had to be a road or something up there. I searched for a path. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to climb it with Rebecca so tight to me, but I had to try. I took one arm from around Rebecca and felt her grip tighten. I assured her and told her that I was not going to let her go; I just needed to get us up this hill. This calmed her for the moment. The embankment proved steeper than I first thought and I literally had to crawl to the top. At the top, I saw nothing but trees. Panic began to set in; there was no road. Were we stranded? What had happened to Jack and to Henry? Were they even alive? Was I dreaming? Tears began to stream down my face but I remembered the tiny bundle of everything that I was holding. I had to get her out of here. She was what I had to hold onto for now. I would think about Jack and Henry, when we were safe. I strained in the darkness to make out a path. Was there a direction that was better, being navigationally challenged, I couldn’t even begin to answer that question. I decided we would walk straight and I stepped ever so cautiously over branches and leaves. As I walked, I noticed ever so faint shadows of light dancing in the darkness, they seemed to get brighter, and then I heard what sounded like sirens. I froze and listened harder. I slowly turned and saw what must have hit me as disbelief. In the far distance, up the cliff side, beyond the embankment we had just climbed out of, was an assemblage of flashing lights. The distance was so great they simply merged into one great light. Everything came back to me at once. We were driving down Route 1201; it was the scenic road across Talbor Mountain. The four of us had enjoyed ice cream at Talbor Lodge. It was such a beautiful night. I wanted to gaze at the stars as we rode home. But we didn’t make it home. I remembered bright lights, brakes squealing and the sound of metal colliding. Then I woke up in the van. By this time I’d run back to the embankment. We had fallen; down into a ravine. I couldn’t breathe. We had fallen, a long way down. Panic set in once again. How were little Rebecca and I going to get back up the mountain? I held my angel tighter and the tears once again flooded my eyes. Logic has always been my friend and it set in at that moment. They were looking for us. They would be looking for us; it was just a matter of time. The question then became how much time because the temperature was dropping fast and I could feel the blood from my head wound soaking the waistband of my skirt.




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