United States of America

Child of God
Marine sister
English Country Dancer
Dessert enthusiast
Wind Chaser
Volleyball devotee
Movie quoter
Tea drinker
Cat lover

Message from Writer

' "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD.' ~ Isaiah 54:10

Proud USMC sister!


"Most people never meet their heroes;
I grew up with mine." ♥

“And the one good thing about being down here, is that we’ll save on funeral expenses.” ~ Puddleglum (The Silver Chair)

You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not. ~ Jodi Picoult

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~ Winnie the Pooh


Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 2

February 27, 2019


“Our strength comes from the LORD. Our strength comes from the LORD.” Marianne mumbled the plea over and over in hopes of belief.
Because the only thing she believed right at that moment was their certain – and perhaps imminent – demise.
She squeezed her eyes shut, sure she was cutting off all blood flow in Kennedy’s arm.
You’re so selfish. A voice inside her sneered. She clamped her eyelids shut to drown it out. No luck. You only think of yourself. Right now the only thing you want is to be back in your room chatting with your friends, or drinking coffee in the lobby.
Marianne’s jaw clenched. It was all true. Maybe that was the worst part of it.
In the midst of danger, her first impulse was to flee. And she hated herself for it.
Fair-weather friend. There was the nagging voice again. Pointedly, Marianne peered ahead into the darkness, dragging her thoughts from her inadequacy.
“We have to stay together.” Kennedy’s long ponytail lay limp over her shoulder.
Marianne was relieved that her eye-sight was growing better. This must be what a bat feels like. In a cave. Underground. Don’t hyperventilate. We’re going to be alright.
“What’s weird to me is that this room is here at all.” Reuben’s muse set Marianne to wondering.
“I know.” Kennedy’s voice trailed off as though she was remembering. “It almost seems like Marianne’s right, and we did travel to the basement.”
Marianne didn’t want to be right.
Her gaze drifted up to the black words on the wall. She shivered. More from dread then anything else.
You are mine for 24 hours. Who was keeping them captive? Why was this person targeting them? How would they choose who was to live, and who was to die?
A solid lump lodged in her throat. You would choose yourself to live. Selfish.
She lifted her eyes heavenward, wishing she could really see the beautiful blue sky. What she would give to see it. Please let me see my family one more time.
The scene of her parents’ and her argument passed across her memory, and she hoped they knew how much she loved them.
Just in case.
They came to the opposite end of the big room, their search for the source of light – however dim it was – quashed for the time being.
Marianne wanted to cry. Tears pushed against her eyes, and she breathed slowly to force them back. My trust is in the LORD.
“The quiet is the most unnerving.” Kennedy spoke, and Marianne’s overactive brain finished the thought.
As though we’ve been buried alive.
Exposed ceiling beams creaked above them, and Marianne glanced up just as one cracked apart.
“Look out!” Her scream bounced against the walls. Reuben tugged her into a run; Kennedy let out a panicked shout from behind them.
In an alarming crash that tore several other planks loose, the roof caved to the cement floor.
Marianne thought her heart would beat itself out of her chest. As the dust settled, she noticed Kennedy panting, eyes wild, lying stomach down a few feet away.
Reuben recovered first. “Are you okay?” He knelt beside Kennedy, letting his worried gaze brush over her in assessment of any damage.
Marianne gulped back a bitter taste of jealousy, and moved towards them, legs shaking uncontrollably.
“I twisted my ankle when I tripped.” Kennedy slowly sat up and touched the swelling ankle gingerly with her fingers. “I’ll be okay.” She gave Reuben a rueful smile, taking the offered hand.
Kennedy limped forward a few tiny steps. Marianne could tell she was trying hard not to cry.
Unlike you. You’re a crybaby. All you can think about is running away and hoping this gets resolved by itself.
She gritted her teeth; focused on the shadowed duo before her.
Reuben draped Kennedy’s arm across his shoulders, helping her tip-toe forward on her injured leg.
Marianne chewed on her bottom lip, genuinely hoping the sprain wasn’t too bad. She trailed behind them until she saw black markings on the debris-littered floor.
Her heart sank.
“Guys,” Marianne’s voice fell flat, resigned. It was right before her, after all. There was no denying it. “Another message.”
Reuben and Kennedy stilled as they too, read.

One traitor, one true friend, who will be the first to bend?

Marianne closed her eyes, knowing what everyone was thinking at that moment.
Who is the traitor?
After a long, unsettling silence, Kennedy spoke.
“It only mentions two people.”
Marianne opened her eyes; reread the message. One traitor, one true friend.
Hope hit her like a dive into cold water. “You mean it wasn’t meant for us?”
Kennedy stared off into space for a few thoughtful seconds. “Maybe.” She lowered her head. “I hope.”
Reuben was unnaturally quiet when he opened his mouth. “We should pray. We can’t do this by ourselves.”
Kennedy grimaced. Marianne wasn’t sure if that was from the pain in her ankle, or the knowledge of how much they needed God in that moment.
She suspected it was both.
“LORD, we are insufficient for what’s going on.”
Me most of all. Marianne sighed weightily.
Reuben continued. “Give us the strength to continue even when all seems hopeless. You are our hope. Our beacon of light in the dark, our shelter in the storm. We ask for healing. Not just for Kennedy’s ankle, but for our hearts as well. Help us to be better friends and family members.”
Marianne winced. Can he read my mind?
“No matter what happens, we place our lives in Your hands.” There was a pause.
Marianne glanced up at Reuben. He swallowed hard.
A rush of guilt washed over her as she realized how hard his must be for him. He has to be strong not only for us, but also for himself. God, give him the wisdom to know what to do.
Kennedy rubbed his shoulder encouragingly. “We’re not enough, LORD. But You are. Thank You for that. Amen.”
Reuben mouthed the last word; Marianne whispered it.
Deep inside, she knew that something was about to happen. Something that would shake the very core of their friendship.
And their faith.


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  • February 27, 2019 - 1:03am (Now Viewing)

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