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E - Everyone


by MJTucker

Another explosion rocked the building, and I grabbed the windowsill until the ground stopped shaking. A lamp had toppled over, and shards of glass littered the magenta carpet. I carefully picked my way around the slanted pieces of glass until I reached the door and kicked the flimsy door out into the hallway.

Immediately, thick smoke engulfed me, and I pulled my ragged blouse over my nose and kicked my bright red high heels away from me. The floor was cold on my bare feet as I made my way down the hallway, bracing myself against the wall in case another explosion hit.

I reached the fifth-floor stairwell and shoved the door open, pushing my shoulder against it as I stumbled forward and down the flight of stairs. The smoke was beginning to suffocate me, and I coughed loudly as I tried to purge my body of the curling black smoke. I continued to follow the familiar curve of the stairwell down, down, down. Black dots danced in front of my eyes. I groped for the handle, dropping my blouse and holding my breath until the door swung open.

The fresh air immediately swarmed over me, and I felt my knees give out beneath me. The next thing I knew, a paramedic was laying me in a stretcher and loading me into an ambulance with flashing red lights.

I grabbed at his sleeve as the paramedic was about to pull away. "More," I croaked, breaking out into a cough as soon as I attempted to speak.

The paramedic just smiled at me and patted my hand. "We'll take good care of me," he assured me before disappearing behind the back of the ambulance.

I slowly pushed myself into a sitting position. The world was spinning; the blue-black of the asphalt, the blue of the sky, the red-and-white of the ambulance all blurring together into a whirlpool of colors. I coughed weakly, but forced myself to slide forward until my feet were dangling from the stretcher.

"I need help," I mumbled as I climbed to my feet and wandered around to the back of the ambulance. "More... people."

Immediately, the two paramedics caught hold of my wrists and half-dragged me back to the stretcher. I fought against them, but the smoke was a powerful drug; my arms and legs refused to cooperate with the wishes of my brain. "What are you doing?" one of them demanded.

"Ma'am, it's imperative that you remain still," the other said as they strapped me into the stretcher. "You need to give your respiratory system time to recover from the shock you've suffered—"

"More people," I slurred desperately, my vocal chords finally cooperating.

"What?" the first paramedic asked, gripping my wrist and staring me straight in the face. "What did you say?"

"More... people." I let my head go limp against the softness of the stretcher. "Inside. "

The two paramedics exchanged a glance, and then the harsher paramedic sprinted towards the building and threw upon the door. "There are more people inside!" he shouted, and after a few moments of stunned silence two firemen in full gear.

As the firemen flooded the building, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the detonator. A grin stretched across my face despite everything that I had been through. I glanced around once, twice, and saw that everyone had flooded back inside. With a malicious grin, I pressed the detonator.


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Points: 132
Reviews: 3

Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:53 am
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agronaa wrote a review...


I really love your description here (and the twist ending!) I've just got a couple bits to pick out.

First up, i noticed you use the same format for a lot of your compound sentences - a comma then and, like in

"Another explosion rocked the building, and I grabbed the windowsill[...]"

You only have to use one of these (comma or and - otherwise it can feel stilted) and even then I'd recommend you try using some other additive coordinating conjunctions, like "so"- the repetitive use of the same format is a little uncomfortable.

Also there are occasions when you put in extra description that takes away from the action of the scene a little, like "bright red heels." You could rally just say heels here, or maybe find slightly more evocative adjectives than "bright red" - describe the state the heels are in.

In your final full paragraph you use the phrases "A grin stretched across my face" and "With a malicious grin" in very close proximity - perhaps you could find a different word for grin on one of these occasions?

Other than that I'd just point out that where you say "We'll take good care of me," it probably should have been "We'll take good care of you."

Overall I think you've got a really clever twist ending here that is genuinely unexpected without being too jarring or unbelievable - it leaves the reader with a lot of questions, but not in a bad way.

Anyway, I'm off to fail a German exam. Keep writing!

- agronaa

MJTucker says...

Thanks so much for the review! Good luck on your exam!

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Points: 24321
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:09 am
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...


I am Team Tortoise-ing and I saw that you posted this so I figured I'd jump here to give you a review! My style tends to be make comments as I'm reading about anything that stands out to me and then give a general summary of my thoughts at the end. Let's get started...

I carefully picked my way around the slanted pieces of glass until I reached the door and kicked the flimsy door out into the hallway.

So, I am a big proponent of not using the same word in close proximity to each other -- and here you have the word "door" repeated twice in the same sentence. I'd recommend rephrasing it so that you can have something like "... of glass until I was close enough to kick the flimsy..." to cut out that first repetition of the word.

"We'll take good care of me,"

Hmm, did you mean "take good care of /you/" here not "me"?

and after a few moments of stunned silence two firemen in full gear.

I also think you might be missing a few words here? What did the firemen in full gear /do/? I assume rush back inside but that's not super clear.

~ ~ ~

Daaang, boi o.o

That is NOT the ending I expected for this xD But it was really good! That was an excellent twist and made the story that much more exciting lol

I'm really impressed at how nice of a story you made with such a short amount of space! I mean obviously you didn't have a ton of room for character development, but even so you did a really Good job of making a switch from us sympathizing/worrying about the narrator and then bam all of a sudden they're actually the antagonist instead and Don't You Feel Dumb For Feeling Bad For Them. It's really well done!

I think that's all I've got to say about this, though! I enjoyed it!

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)

MJTucker says...

Thanks so much for the review shady! To be honest, the ending surprised me too xD. I was kinda just messing around in a WFP and it ended up actually having a bit of a plot?? but thanks so much for the review!!

When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up looking like a moron instead.
— Robin Hobb