United States

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 3

February 28, 2019


For maybe the first time in his life, Reuben couldn’t hear God’s voice.
And he was afraid.
He shut his eyes; swallowed.
“It’s been two hours.” Kennedy’s voice echoed, choked with pain and a hint of fear.
Reuben breathed deep and glanced around. The air smelled of rotting wood and old dust.
Hopefully more of the roof won’t cave in. His gaze slid to Kennedy’s ankle, puffed up to twice the size of the other.
Their eyes connected.
Kennedy pulled one knee up below her chin. Reuben was only vaguely aware of Marianne hovering nearby, bottom lip snagged in her teeth.
“Anything I can do, Ken?”
Kennedy probed her ankle, shivering from a mixture of the cold and pain. Especially sitting on the cement floor. Reuben suddenly wished he had better accommodations for her. And just like that, he could hear his younger sister’s voice grinning in his head.
You don’t have to fix everything, Reuben. Just let things be.”
“It’s not broken, and it’s probably cold enough in here to keep the swelling at bay.” She grimaced, probably attempting a sarcastic smile.
Reuben didn’t laugh. Nothing about this situation was funny. And it was out of his control. God, I need Your direction.
Reuben turned to Marianne. Her brown eyes swiveled to lock with his; her chin trembled.
“I’ve never felt so useless.” There was pure vulnerability in her tone; Reuben didn’t doubt it. He felt the same way.
He hoped his inadequacy didn’t show on his face. Not that anyone would see it even if it was written in pen on his forehead.
He glanced down at the end of the room. At the writing which surely was still engraved into the floor.
One traitor, one true friend, who will be the first to bend?
Traitor? Who would do it?
A Bible passage flashed through his mind.
Passover in Jerusalem. Jesus with His twelve disciples in an upper room.
One of you will betray Me this very night.” Then Jesus looked right at Judas Iscariot.
Is it I?” Judas must’ve shivered down to his very core, dreading the Master’s reply.
You have said it.”
Reuben didn’t want to believe it. Surely whoever – whatever – was doing this was merely playing with their minds.
It’s only a game after all, right?
Elevator locks. Game begins.
Reuben shuddered. A very serious, psychological game. A battle for our lives. LORD, get us through this. A pause. If You’re listening.
He shook himself mentally, chiding himself for his lack of faith.
Of course You’re listening. You’re with us.
Reuben hoped he wasn’t just pretending.
“Reuben, you okay?” Kennedy regarded him pointedly, understanding coating her eyes.
He gave a brief nod. Liar. His internal emotions threatened to bowl him over. But he had to stay strong.
For the girls. He told himself.
Kennedy studied him for a long moment, as though doubtful that his response was genuine, then turned to Marianne and smiled.
“Sit beside me. You look cold.”
Wordlessly, Marianne slid down next to her friend. Reuben joined them, and they made a small huddle on the floor.
Like penguins. Reuben thought wryly, a smirk flickering on his face. With sharks circling beneath the ice, just out of range.
Reuben glanced around, half-expecting to find yellow eyes staring at them. The darkness seemed to press in, forming a tight circle of hopelessness.
There is no escape. It seemed to whisper, gleeful.
But Reuben couldn’t give up. He couldn’t accept failure. He had to believe there was a way out of this.
And yet he prayed this was only a nightmare.
Which was why, twenty minutes later, he was filled with the overwhelming urge to keep looking for a way out.
There must be a window or something in one of these side rooms.
He hated to drag the girls away from sleep, no matter how turbulent, but he also knew they wouldn’t want to be left alone. And if he let himself think about it, neither would he.
“Kennedy,” he leaned closer, spoke gently, “do you think you’ll be able to walk?”
She touched her ankle. “The pain’s not so bad anymore. I think I can handle it.”
Her smile encouraged him.
“I just want to search for a way out.” Again. Reuben straightened his shoulders. No. He had to think positively. He would find a way out.
Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Marianne look away. Kennedy had noticed, too. They exchanged a concerned expression.
Can she be the traitor? Reuben pulled himself to his feet, refusing to believe his hasty assumption. She’s just scared, that’s all.
Reuben’s eyes had grown so accustomed to the prevalent darkness, that he felt like an owl as they maneuvered around fallen debris and piles of stacked wood. The floor beneath their shoes was cracked and crumbling in places. The roof creaked intermittently overhead.
Please don’t collapse again.
He walked slowly with Kennedy shuffling staunchly beside him, arm around his neck, her lips pursed with concentration. She looked flushed. Reuben hoped she wasn’t running a temperature.
The cold certainly didn’t help.
They approached a doorway cautiously. Broken cobwebs hung in the corners. Reuben’s nerves were set on full alert mode. At the slightest movement, run.
Coward. A voice inside him taunted.
No. His eyes closed briefly as he tried erasing the name from his memory. My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
The familiar hymn played in his head, and it cheered him. A little.
Then Marianne screamed, pressing herself against him. Kennedy’s face washed of color.
In the middle of the room they had entered, hanging by the neck from a fraying loop of ship rope, was a man.
Run! Reuben could only stand there, keeping Marianne and Kennedy standing up, wishing he could hide or dissolve into the floor. Anything except be here.
He scrutinized the figure closer, noticing how it was steadily dissolving before their eyes. Turning to dust.
Marianne sucked in a breath. Kennedy whispered a prayer.
And then the figure was gone.
Only the noose remained.


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  • February 28, 2019 - 1:00am (Now Viewing)

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