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Burned 3.3

by Noelle

Something bright hits my eyes. Looking ahead I can see a large open room. Much like the hallway, everything is white save for a small circle in the center of the floor painted gray. Standing in that circle is a cylinder stand. On top of that is a gold cup. My heart skips a beat as I realize this is what I’m here to retrieve. The end of my mission is not all that far away.

My mind automatically jumps to the ‘what if’ game. What if Will can’t turn off the lasers? What if someone catches me trapped here? What if there’s no safe way to get that cup? What if I lose the cup?

The last one is easy. If I don’t get the cup then I won’t return at all. The handbook, which we all received our first day, is very specific: A mission must always be completed. If you don’t succeed we don’t want you back. It’s harsh, but it’s law. Vido doesn’t accept the weak into his ranks. If there’s any reason you give him to make him think you can’t get the job done you’re out.

Will’s voice suddenly pierces my ear. “Got it! System will be down in five seconds.”

I count to five, and sure enough the lasers disappear. Without wasting any time, I push myself off the ground and race toward the main room. The prize is glowing in my vision. Not even three more strides and I’ll have it in my grasp.

“Wait,” Will cries out. I stop on a dime. What now? “More motion sensors.” He quickly knocks them out and tells me I can go. So I step out of the hallway.

The room is a lot bigger than it looked from afar. Getting a closer look I realize that the walls are actually a faded pink hue. There’s a hallway to the right and a wall made completely of window to my left. The glass lets in the brilliant colors of the sunrise; pinks, yellows, blues. If I had the time I’d stop and stare.

I turn my attention back to the cup. I let myself relax as I realize there’s nothing here guarding the cup. No guards, no lasers, no sensors, seeing as Will already knocked those out, nothing. All I have to do is grab the thing and leave.

“Starting working on the door back out,” I tell Will. “I’ll go in once you find the way out. Shouldn’t take us more than…” I freeze. There’s a soft rumbling sound coming from behind me. It takes me a while to even process the fact that something is wrong.

The rumbling gets louder and I turn to see the air full of dust. I watch as the cloud grows and the floor starts to shake. Great, another earthquake. Just my luck. As I try to find the perfect place to wait it out, Will shouts instructions into my ear.

“There’s no way out! The hallways are collapsing. Grab that cup and get out of there!”

“Get out how?” I shout back at him, but I don’t actually want an answer. I turn toward the cup only to stop in my tracks. A boy is hanging from a cable just above it. There’s a hole in the ceiling and the pieces are crumbled on the ground.

Colton grins when he sees I’ve noticed. “I’d expect more competition than this. Especially from you, Bryn.” He gives me one last nasty grin before grabbing the cup and motioning through the ceiling for someone to pull him up. My legs are moving before my mind comprehends the situation. I dive at Colton’s legs, but my arms wrap around empty air as he flies back up through the hole.

He has the cup. I failed my mission. I failed everything.

I can feel myself tearing up. My voice cracks as I talk to Will. “We failed. I’m sorry, Will. So, so sorry.”

“I don’t care,” he snaps. “You’ve got more to worry about.”

Before I can ask, the windows behind me explode. I cover my head as glass rains down over me. I feel its points stabbing my exposed skin, but nothing sticks. When I remove my hands I realize there’s a piece stuck in my hand, blood pooling underneath. With a quick pull I free the glass from my skin. The wound stings like hell, but I can’t think about that now.

Standing in front of me are six men, weapons up. They’re unfazed by the dust filling the room and the glass littering the floor. I don’t even question how they got into the room; it’s obvious. Their guns trigger the panic in my mind, but I hold strong. I know that the bullets in the barrels can kill me. All I have to do is make them miss.

I think of the now open windows. A warm wind finds its way in, wrapping me in my final decision. I’m not getting out of here alive.

I tell Will of my plan, speaking only as loud as I dare. “And if I don’t make it—"

“No,” he says definitely, cutting me off. “You’re forgetting what I can do.” The security system switches back on, setting a thick layer of laser around the small area beyond the cylinder where the cup had sat. I turn my head quickly, but not quick enough to miss the red lines cut through the men’s bodies. The image mixed with the terrible screams force bile to rise in my throat.

I want it all to be over. I want the men to disappear, their bodies ejected from my line of site. I want Will to tell me he’s found a way out, that I don’t have to take this leap of faith. But it’s not going to happen. I have to do this. So I turn toward where the windows used to be and take off.

Will shouts in my ear, but I can’t make it out. An uncontrollable pain shoots through my calf and I fall to the ground. My hands wrap around the area as I scream and I feel cold metal against my skin.

A bullet. I’ve been shot.

The pain doesn’t stop. It pulsates every time my heart beats and every breath brings more. My skin burns every time I reach for it. My muscles seize up and I can’t move my leg even if I wanted to. Terror strikes me almost as much as the pain does.

“Get up!” Will shouts through the earpiece, panic taking over his voice. “You need to get out of there! It’s all… wait, who’re you? I can’t… don’t do this! Bryn! You need to—" His voice suddenly cuts off and is replaced by static.

I try to call out his name, beg for him to stay with me, but I can’t find the strength to. The pain is all I can think about. I grasp at my leg only to recoil against my own hand. There’s no way to make this better. I need a hospital.

The blood from the glass gash starts to mix with the blood gathering on the ground from the bullet wound. It turns a deep crimson as it grows larger. The more I look at it the more bile returns to my throat.

Then there’s a voice that I don’t recognize in my ear. It’s a deep, male voice. “Let yourself die, Ms. Patterson. We have you under surveillance. That man there is my premier sniper. The only reason he didn’t shoot to kill was because I ordered him not to. Not yet at least.”

I look up to see a single man standing over me, gun pointed directly at my forehead. He wears a black mask that hides his face and a purple jumpsuit to cover the rest of him. There's nothing recognizable about his physique.

“Just give in,” the voice in my ear continues. “You’re the only one who can save your partner.” For the first time, the pain in my leg dulls a bit. “Die and he lives. Live and he dies. It’s that simple. Make your choice.”

Will. They have Will. What am I supposed to do? I can’t possibly let them kill him, no matter how much I want to keep my own life. This shouldn’t even be a choice. Just as I resolve to let the life slowly drain from my body I make my choice.

Trying to ignore the pain, I kick out my good leg and connect with the man's ankles. The gun flies from his grasp as he lands directly on his back. In the split moment before he gets up I dive to the ground and wrap my fingers around the terrible mechanism. Almost blindly, I pull the trigger and pray that it hits true.

I almost don’t hear the man’s cry, but I can see the pain in his body as he falls back onto the floor. He’s gripping his stomach, curled up on himself.

My heartbeat slows, blood rushes to my head. The room around me spins as I finally realize the truth. I just shot someone. Possibly killed them too, I reason as the man coughs blood onto the clear floor. What have I done?

The rumbling from earlier overtakes the feeling of remorse. My body snaps back into survival mode as I get my bearings about me again. I have to get out of the building before I’m crushed by the towering walls. The hallways are now completely closed in and the main room is next.

I turn quickly on my bad leg, sending shooting pain back through my muscles. I’ve used up all my adrenaline. Now is the only chance I have.

Hobbling, I make it to the wall that once held the windows and throw myself out into the morning air. I stare down the pitch black sea as I speed toward it.

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639 Reviews

Points: 13700
Reviews: 639

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:55 am
SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Totally didn't try to start reviewing Chapter 4.1 without reading this one (because I read the first sentenced and realized I was missing something.)

Anyway ~ Hai Noelle! I'm here. As I say in the next review, I haven't read this in a long, long, long time and so I may say some stupid stuff concerning what is going on. So, forgive me on that xD (Also, sorry that I won't be reading the other reviews ~ I'm lazy like that.)

Okay, I'm going to get really picky for a second. xD Sorry about this:

I stop on a dime.

Idioms are a great thing, I must admit, and they can help emphasize your point if they're common enough and presented in the right time. This one phrase really pulled me out of it because I've never heard of it before. For a second I thought she was stepping on like a dime shaped object that was about to blow her leg off. Then I had to look it up and sure enough! It's an idiom. It doesn't feel like the place for an idiom to me, since there's all this tension about and idioms are a lot more informal and casual and relaxed. It may just be my opinion but it sure as hell threw me off.

There’s a hallway to the right and a wall made completely of window to my left.

I'm pretty sure windows are made of glass, Noelle ^^ Window is not actually a substance.

So, around the time when that Cole person appears is when things start to get rather confusing for me. First, is this Cole Colton? Unless there was someone else named Cole, I believe it is, but then that would be so strange to have two different characters with such similar names. The only reason it's throwing me off is because Colton has always been referred to as "Colton" in the past, never Cole. So I'm just overall confused about who this is .-. Next, is this the reason Colton came back and gave Bryn her phone? This is the reason he was so weird? Oooooooh. I'm excited to find out what this was all about and if it was planned to end up like this. Or is it someone going against Vito? Tension!

Okay, so one thing that was bothering me throughout the entire thing up until the end when Bryn was forced to jump out the window was that the building was collapsing. That's why she had to jump out of the window. But for a long time in the middle, it was no longer being referenced and I had thought it just suddenly stopped. Did the building stop shaking? How did she not feel it, how did it not impact her at all? That's sort of a pressing dilemma, so I feel like it would be a lot more present in her thoughts.

Okay, then Will turned on the lasers to get the men out of Bryn's way, right? So, there really isn't enough scene while all this is taking place. I don't know anything about this room except it's white, there are some halls next to it, there is a case where the cup was (and cup was used far too often in this xD Find some synonyms!) and then there is a glass wall. That's cool, but what about the lasers? Where do they go in the room and how does Bryn not get sliced by them? Also, does Will ever turn them off, because there is not any mention of them being turned off but Bryn runs right there. And do the lasers not go all over the room? How was Bryn not sliced when he initially turned them on? Where was this other man? This final question isn't as pressing and confusing as the others but I'm just wondering how this all goes down. I'm just generally confused about this part.

So I think bile rising in Bryn's through it like the only thing that shows her disgust throughout this, which isn't much at all. For being first person, a lot more emotions should be poured into everything, and while you don't have to spend a whole seven paragraphs going on and on about how horrible she felt, a little more variety and a little more emphasis would do some good. There just isn't enough emotion I feel in response to everything that's happening.

Final big thing about this entire thing is a lot, a lot, a lot happens. And I mean wow xD It can be a little bit overwhelming because everything is just being fired at you one after another without relenting. Get a little more inner dialogue, more emotion going to break up all the stuff happening because I had to go back and reread spots several times before I got the jist of what was happening.

Just as I resolve to let the life slowly drain from my body I make my choice.

I might have lied on the final big thing but this line just feels really contradictory to me. So she decides "hey, I'm just going to bleed out here and die" but then her actual choice is to let Will die instead of her? I don't see her logic, I don't see her reasoning. Back to that emotion thing, I wish you would explain her reasoning a little more. What was going on in her head as she was forced to decide?

Okay! Now, yeah a lot of action happens in here which leaves me with quite a few unanswered questions dragging me on to the next part :3 What's Bryn going to do? Where's she going to end up? Will she make it back? Is she going to find a way to remember her past? It's really intense and exciting and while I can't say I was really drawn into the writing the entire time this time, I'm still very interesting!

Keep it up, Noelle ~
- Wolfe

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Reviews: 346

Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:30 pm
Pretzelstick wrote a review...

Heya Noelle,

I have so excited that we have finally gotten into the action, and this plot-twist was so fit-in. It's just all so fast-paced, so I personally would spread this out over a couple of chapters. The reason why is that I would like to explore those seconds that were ticking in between, those moments of hesitation, and that panic that kept on rising in Bryn. That's all very real for her, but here I feel like you just plow straight through this part, just to let us know what is happening.

The prize is glowing in my vision. Not even three more strides and I’ll have it in my grasp.

This is probably my favorite line, the reason being is that I can literally feel the tension and the anticipation of the moment of getting the prize. It's kind of just a great cliffhanger in the middle of the chapter. :)

I can’t possibly let them kill him, no matter how much I want to keep my own life. This shouldn’t even be a choice.

That moment of hesitation when choosing her life or Will's was perfectly humane. I really liked that "fleshing out" moment of her. It's inhumane to not make that choice that her opponents are literally giving her. I think though that you need to clear this moment up, and make the hesitation much more real, so that we can really capture that moment that Bryn has in thiss novel.

The end of my mission is not all that far away.

I think that this has some really awkward wording here. I would maybe switch around the words at least a little bit so that it made much more sense what her jumbled thoughts meant. What about if you said something like "it's almost the end of my mission"? I personally thinks that this makes much more sense to me at least.

My body snaps back into survival mode

Does this mean that Bryn was caught off guard for almost or really killing someone? Where are her instincts? I understand how this may have caught her off-guard,but I was seeing this flaw here that lost her time. I don't feel like this is really necessary, because honestly you're just trying to squeeze in a very emotional moment in the middle of this drama/action.

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter because I liked Bryn's cleverness, but as a side note-it all happened so fast that I kind of had to read this over two or three times to actually grasp what had happened. I suggest that you look at that section, and just try to slow it down-even though it's against the nature- so that it seems more like in a slow-motion movie so that we can relive more slowly? If that even makes any kind of sense to you xD

That's all that I have for this one, I know that it's short because I didn't really have a lot to say, probably because I really enjoyed it that much I'm very surprised that this beautiful novel has been left in the cobwebs of the Green Room-probably one of the oldest works in here. Well, I'm definitively will be able to fix that soon!


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Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:32 pm
crobbins wrote a review...

Hi! I just want to start this off by saying I haven't read the previous parts. But NO MATTER! I will still review spelling/grammar. Sorry again that I can't help more with the actual plot!

So, without further ado- here are some mistakes I found:

"If there’s any reason you give him to make him think you can’t get the job done you’re out."
This sentence just seems to go on and on. Try adding some commas to make a pause, so it sounds smoother:
Example Correction- "If there’s any reason you give him to make him think you can’t get the job done, you’re out.

"There’s a hallway to the right and a wall made completely of window to my left."
This sentence just sounds awkward. Try fixing it to:
"There’s a hallway to the right and a wall made up completely of windows to my left."
"There’s a hallway to the right and a wall made completely of windows to my left."

“Starting working on the door back out,”
I'm not really sure what you wanted this to say, but this sounds..... awkward.

"I want the men to disappear, their bodies ejected from my line of site."
Site should read sight.
Correction Example:
"I want the men to disappear, their bodies ejected from my line of sight."

That's all I caught, so good job! To try and eliminate mistakes like these, try reading your work aloud. You can also try and have a friend read your work- they could catch errors you may not.

Good job overall though, I really enjoyed reading this! Happy writing!

Pigeon poop is the best way to solve problems.
— Pompadour