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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors

Today I'd like to share an excerpt from my new WIP. I started writing this a few years ago, but I put it aside in favor of other manuscripts. It's time now to pick it back up. I'm struggling to find a title for it, and I don't have a blurb yet, but here's the beginning of the book. If you see anything I need to fix please say so. I've given you ten sentences and a few more to spare.

On Sunday after you finish here you can find more excerpts from a talented group of authors at

Last Week

Brent shook his head to clear it. “We should be in Miami, but where did it go?”  

“Cities don’t pack up and move,” Healy objected.  “We must be off course.”

“Then we need to get back on course in a hurry.”

Brent pondered the seriousness of their situation.  The plane carried at least one injured person and probably more, the airport didn’t respond to their radio, and they couldn’t find Miami.  They had no idea where they might be because obviously something had happened to their navigational equipment.  They couldn’t stay in the air forever either.

“Let’s send out a distress call,” Frank said.

It couldn’t hurt even though Brent really didn’t expect anyone to answer.  “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is Transworld Flight seven niner four.  Our last known position was twenty-five degrees forty-two minutes north latitude, seventy-seven degrees fifty minutes west longitude.  We are cruising at an altitude of thirty-five thousand feet with airspeed of five hundred fifty miles per hour.  There are six hundred five souls on board. Our navigational equipment is not responding.  Come in please.”

No one answered.  

“I’ll try it in Spanish,” Brent muttered.

He did so, but the radio remained silent. Even the static and voice fragments were gone.

Brent gave up on the radio. “I think we should find a place to make an emergency landing,” he said.  “We have to be on the ground before dark.”

  “You got that right!” Frank exclaimed. 

They started looking for a cleared place to land.  “If we could find I-95 or US-1 we could try to make a landing there,” Healy said.

“Yeah, Frank, but if we could find those highways, we could find the airport too.  Anyway, you can’t land a plane this big on the highway without killing somebody.”

“Maybe along the beach, then.”

Excerpt: We've picked up at the place where I left off.

They debated the merits of a beach landing, but ultimately, they decided to try it.  The few small clearings they had seen didn’t look big enough for a safe landing. If they couldn’t stop in time they would crash into the forest.  

“Let’s make a belly landing,” Brent said.  If we don’t the landing gear’ll mire in the sand, and we’ll probably lose the wings.”

Healy’s head bobbed in agreement. “Yeah, and we might end up in a firestorm if the fuel tank…”

“Belly landing it is then.” 

They flew along the beach until they located a promising site and came around in a wide arc for their final approach. 

“Are you sure about this?” Frank wavered.  “Maybe…”

Brent turned a cool eye toward the copilot.  “I guess the odds are against us, but what else can we do?  Nobody answers the radio, we don’t know where we are, and we have about fifteen minutes before the fuel situation goes critical.”

Frank sighed.  “Yeah, I know.”  He offered his hand to Brent.  “Happy landing.”

“Dinner’s on me.  You pick the place.”

At this point the passengers would have to be told, and some of them were sure to panic. Brent set his jaw and spoke to the passengers over the intercom, trying to sound confident and unworried.  “Folks, this is Captain Holloway again.  It seems that the storm we went through pushed us off course.  We don’t have enough fuel to make it to the airport so we’re making an emergency landing on the beach.  The flight attendants will demonstrate the proper procedures for you to follow.  I urge you to listen carefully and follow all directions to the letter.  Above all, please remain calm.  We have every reason to believe we’ll land safely and without mishap.”

He turned off the intercom, and they began the emergency landing procedure.  

It seemed like only seconds until the ground rushed up to meet them. The plane flew ever lower and glided onto the beach.  And all hell broke loose. 

The plane charged across the soft sand, bucking and shuddering as its nose streaked toward the ocean.  They hit a small hump on the beach, and the tail whipped around, metal screaming in protest.  

The plane stayed upright, but it changed directions and slid sideways toward the trees.  It came to rest scant inches from the forest.

Brent let out breath he hadn’t been aware of holding and shakily rubbed his hands across his watery eyes.  The way his heart raced and thumped in his chest he’d be lucky to stand up without falling.  So many lives had depended on setting down safely.  

Beside him Healy fumbled with his seat belt.  “Brent?  You alright?”

“Yeah, I think so.”  Brent unfastened his own seat belt and leaned toward Anders who remained slumped in his seat.  He pressed a finger against Mike’s neck and felt a pulse.  “He’s alive.”

“He must have had a heart attack or stroke,” Frank worried. “Man, I hope he’s okay.”

“Me too,” Brent said.  “It shouldn’t be long before some rescuers show up, and they can help him.  By now we’re overdue, and they’ll be searching for us.”

Healy took a deep breath and blew out hard. “Thank God for the locator beacon. I hope someone gets here soon.”

So did Brent. “Why don’t we see about our passengers?  One of them might be a doctor.”

Frank brightened.  “Yeah, good idea, and maybe we can find Mike a more comfortable place to rest.”

Brent opened the cockpit door, but they didn’t see anyone in first class.  “Did everyone already deplane? Those flight attendants are good.”

Frank suddenly grabbed his shoulder and squeezed so hard it hurt.  “Brent, look!  The doors are still closed!”

They walked from one end of the silent, empty plane to the other, but nobody answered their calls, and nobody hailed them from the beach.  They were alone.




Jessica E. Subject said...

What the heck happened? Where did everyone else go, and where are they? I have so many questions, and want to read more!

Nancy Gideon said...

Whoa! How cool and unexpected is this?! Except for the fact that I'm boarding a TransAtlantic flight next week, that this. Shades of LOST.

Jenna said...

Wow, that was quite a surprise ending to the snippet. So many questions to be answered! And I definitely want to read more. I was reminded of LOST and Stephen King's The Langoliers.

Veronica Scott said...

Ooh, this story gets wilder and wilder! I'm loving it though and can't wait to read more.

Teresa Cypher said...

I did not see that twist coming at the end of this excerpt! I cannot wait to read the next installment (or the entire book). Write faster!