Another great week with 18 stories and more new voices.

Warren Dunbar brought us a young boy's view of the Apocalypse. Kardin Kaye brought us a mysterious face from the past.  And Jessa Russo debuted with a story about the worst work day ever.

Here is a complete list of our entrants and where you can find them on Twitter:

Robby Hilliard ~ redshirt6
Ryan Strohman ~ @rastrohman
Jessa Russo ~ @JessaRusso
Rebekah Postupak ~ @postupak (2 entries)
Nellie ~ @solimond
Kardin Kaye
Jake Wilkins ~ @JakeWilkins3
Dryadsgarden ~ @dryadsgarden
Cara Michaels ~ @caramichaels
Warren Danbar ~ @warrendanbar
Bob Mahone ~ @Computilizer
Charles W Jones ~ @ChuckWesJ
David A Ludwig ~ @DavidALudwig
SJI Holliday ~ @SJIHolliday
Rafe B ~ @etcet
Sheilagh Lee ~ @SweetSheil
Wakefield Mahon ~ @WakefieldMahon (your humble host)

Honorable Mentions

@caramichaels :
I loved the dialogue. It brought me into the story and I felt as though I was there.
The sense of dread that built up during the story was great and the ending, with the books being the priceless treasure was a fun twist.
I am really hoping they don’t succeed in exorcising her. This was a ghost story that I would love to see written into a longer piece.

The Winner

This story stayed with me long after reading it the first time. I was really hoping he would be able to get back in time to rescue the old man.

The Rescue
By Jake Wilkins

“I don’t want to die!” the man screamed.

Nick tightened the harness straps as the hoist pulled them toward the chopper.

“Be still and we’ll get you strapped in!” Nick shouted, exasperated.

The levees had broken along the river that morning and they had scrambled to call after call. It was noon and Nick’s arms and legs were burning, his voice hoarse from shouting. The crew was exhausted. There’d been time for only refueling with coffee handed to them on the run by relief workers as they dropped off each survivor at the shelter.

The crew members strapped in the frightened man and the pilot prepared to head back. Nick hoped this would be their last call and that relief would be waiting to take over. He leaned back, spent.
His eyes had barely closed when a strong tug at his shoulder jolted him. He tore a look at his spotter Janie. She was tugging his harness straps now, helping ready him for another drop.

“Three!” she shouted and held up three fingers followed by the thumbs down sign. Nick followed her point and gasped.

Below them was an older man and two children almost engulfed by water. The children clung to his neck as he braced himself, arms locked, against an oak tree. Nick was stunned that he had been able to hold on with so much force against his back.

As the chopper hovered Nick plunged toward them and decided to take both children in one trip. It was a risk but there was no way to bring them in one at a time and get the grandfather too. As he neared them he could see the old man’s arms trembling, willing himself to hold back the river.

Suddenly Nick was beside them. He shouted “I’ll take them together. Hand me the girl first, then the boy!”

The girl screamed, her nails scratching his face as she was ripped from her grandfather. Blood seeped for a second, immediately washed by spray. The boy was only slightly easier to pry loose, his eyes riveted to the older man, unsure whether he should stay or go.
Nick secured them and shouted to the older man, “I’ll get them up and come back for you!”

Arms trembling, the old man looked at him and gave him a slight smile, “No,” he shouted. “You won’t. Tell my wife that I love her. Tell her she was all I ever needed in this life.”

Nick locked eyes with the older man for a second and nodded before signaling the chopper to lift them.

As the crew hauled them in Nick desperately readied himself for another drop. Almost out the door Janie pulled him back. Furious, he spun only to find her shaking her head. Nick looked down at an empty span of angry water. The rest of the levee, the tree and the older man were gone. Nick slumped to the deck as the chopper headed back.
Below them the water roared.

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