Glad you decided to come back. I hope you had a good week.
Yesterday was full, fun and fallish. How else could it be when you mix 6 kids, parents, aunts, grandparents, great-grandparents, leaves, ladders, dead tree branches, swings, rakes, huge leaf piles, truck beds, lunch, dessert, a new ball, lego, saws, energy, supper, more dessert, darkness, games and more? Yep, it was fun. The truck bed of Papa's truck because a Coast Guard rescue boat. The ladder tied on the top of the ladder rack became a spaceship, the leaf covered yard was a perfect place to rake paths and roads and the 2 /12 year old greatly enjoyed following the paths and seeing where they led.
Here's a quick news flash. Check out Read Another Page on Tuesday and you'll get to see the cover and read the synopsis (finally) for my new book. It's not published yet, but you can find out more about that on Tuesday. So don't forget to come back. :)
And now, even though this is short, I'll let you get on to reading the last part of:
“Don’t think about it,” quickly interrupted Jared. The last thing he wanted was Holly getting sick again. “See, look, they’re putting the ladder out. It won’t be long now.”
Beside them Gene remained silent, sitting cross-legged and staring down at his dead phone.
The minutes seemed like hours to the three soaked and waiting teens. The water was climbing higher and higher on the car and soon it would go under. Would help never reach them? A cry of dismay broke from their throats when they saw a large branch crash down and stop the progress of the ladder.
“We’ll never be rescued,” Holly moaned, while tears mingled with the rain and ran down her face.
“Yes, we will,” Jared assured, though he didn’t feel too hopeful at the moment. “Guys, we’ve got to pray again. God heard our first prayer and sent those men sooner than I thought was possible.”
Gene didn’t reply, but Holly nodded. “Yes, we do.”
As he prayed for their rescuers, Jared didn’t close his eyes or take them away from the efforts being made to save them.
At last the branch was out of the way, and the ladder stretched farther out. But it was too short. Jared bit back a groan as he saw the ladder retracted, the fireman on it steadily moving backwards. Now what?
Gene spoke for the first time since they had lost contact with the 9-1-1 dispatcher. “Uh, look at the water.”
Holly screamed, moved and slipped. She screamed again as the boys grabbed her arms and pulled her back to the top. She was shaking. The water had almost reached the top of the car. Only another inch and they would be sitting in the water just waiting to be swept away.
“Stand up,” Jared ordered. “There’s a branch above us. We’ll hang on to that until help arrives. Gene, you’re taller, grab it and pull it down just a little. That’s it. Now Holly, get a good grip and no matter what happens, hang on!” Jared had pulled Holly to her feet and held onto her arm until she was clinging tightly to their last hope of safety.
“Gene, save your strength! They’re going to get us.”
As the three teenagers held on to the branch, the water crept up, covering their feet and lapping about their legs. Then suddenly they heard a crash and felt a shock run up their legs. The car below them shifted, turned and disappeared, leaving them hanging to the branch, their bodies pushed about by the torrent of water.
How long would they have to hold on? Jared could feel his legs growing numb, and his hands and arms screamed from the tight grip he held on the branch. Would it be better to let go and pray that the water would take him closer to shore?
“Hang on! We’re almost there.” The voice, strong, firm and commanding, seemed to infuse new energy into the exhausted muscles of the trio. A boat with two rescuers was nearing them.
“All right, Lane, grab that branch. Hold us steady for just a minute. Now, you’re first, young lady. I’ve got you. Just let go and–that’s right.”
Jared watched as Holly was safely pulled into the inflatable boat. It was Gene’s turn next. Then he felt hands on him. The last bit of strength seemed to flee from his body as he dropped exhausted into the boat between Gene and Holly. “Thank you!” The words didn’t seem adequate, but it was all he could say.
The man gave a nod.
Jared closed his eyes a moment and breathed a silent prayer of thanks. As the raft made its way towards the safety of the shore, Jared promised himself that he would never again allow anyone to drive through a flooded road if he was in the vehicle. He didn’t care if he had to forcefully take the key from the ignition. Nor would he mind the laughter of the guys when he made a right choice. He had learned his lesson.
Bret gave another shove with his paddle. He could see the flashing lights of Ladder Truck 7 as well as those of the police and an ambulance up on land. That was good. The teens were going to need to get warm quickly or they’d all end up in the hospital. Jumping from the raft into the shallower water, he seized the rope and towed it toward shore. Quickly Charlie, Frank and Drew hurried to help and soon had it pulled farther up to the edge of the water.
“All right.” Bret nodded to the three bedraggled and shivering teens. The boys didn’t need help as they rose and climbed from the boat, but the girl, still shaking and pale, accepted Bret’s offered hand. He watched a moment as the three had blankets put about them.
It felt good to see that all three were safe and would soon be warm and dry. Reporters were everywhere, and someone tried to shove a microphone in his face, but Bret turned away. They had work to do. This rescue had been in the line of duty, it had gone well, and everyone was safe. There wasn’t more to be said, except . . .
“Well, Bret,” Charlie remarked, as Ladder Truck 7 with its crew was once more back on the streets, “that’s our first three for the evening.”
“And you were right,” Drew put in. “They were there because one of them was stupid enough to try driving through the flooded road. Why don’t kids like that think before they head into water?”
“He was a teenage boy and had a girl with him,” Lane remarked, “what else would you expect?”
“Better sense,” was Bret’s quiet answer, “because it may not turn out with the same results next time.”
Would you let a friend drive through a flooded road?
Are you excited to see the cover of my new book?
Post for next week?
Come back and you'll see!