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Carole's Sacrifice: A Narrative Fiction

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Carole and I were fleeing with urgency down the steep driveway, arms and legs pumping with fear. Which way to go? Down the reedy river path with potential snakes and the risk of being seen or the creepy drainage ditch? Looking back toward the house with rapid fire beats in our hearts, fear drove us forward. We searched to see how far ahead we were. Not far. Not as far as we needed to be, but he hadn’t appeared yet. The only logical way was through the rusty damp and dark pipes so we wouldn’t be seen. Our noses wrinkled with the disgust upon entry, filling our nostrils with a strong smell of mold and crud collected from storms.

I urged Carole, tugging at her arm, “Come on quick! We’ve got to go faster. I’m not sure where he is!”
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I was done.

Now, I faced a different darkness. Looking down, there were puddles of sewage water below. We tried to scale the wall with our feet grappling each side and rocking side to side, trying to do more than inch our way. Splash, falling right into the puddle, we urged through the muck. This place was eerie with slimy things clinging to the side walls and garbage and litter below. Sometimes a spooky wind raced through. This is the stuff horror movies are made of and we were living it. Dangers all around. Certainties nowhere.

We came to a stream of light. Where was that coming from? Not ahead, but overhead. When we looked up, we saw a grating. There were only cold steel bars, unmoving bars, and not a way out. Forge on. The smell was all over us now and caused frequent gags. Carole asked, “How far do you think this tunnel goes?” I said, “I don’t know. I don’t even know where the tunnel goes. I’m hoping far enough to get under the freeway.” Carole squeaked out, “I’m scared. It’s really creepy in here.” “ I know,” offering some
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The one who reminded me to go back and get my shoes when I just wanted out. There was no time to think of the “What ifs.” There was only time to trust and to act. Inside I knew I was doing the right thing. If I trusted, it would all work out just right. Stay in the moment keep moving. I looked at Carole and with earnestness said, “We have to keep pushing on. You KNOW it would be scarier to go back.” Hell wasn’t a place below. It was right here on earth. It was in this man’s brain. It was this man’s daily torture being lived out in real life. There were less and less glimpses of a father and more and more glimpses of the devil himself. Alcohol seized hearts. Alcohol seized good thoughts and memories. Alcohol destroyed families. My family was in shreds. We were barely surviving. But, I couldn’t even think about this now. We had to keep moving because if dad was chasing after us, he was fast. The journey ahead wasn’t promising. It could end before it started because we weren’t sure where the tunnel would take us, and we weren’t sure if he would look
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