Don’t forget to vote for  The Bridge!  It takes 2 clicks and really helps!

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.

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We saw nearly no one as we traveled, but we heard many.

“This way!” shouted Elliott, my voice matching his as we faced down a fork. “Back towards our voices, this way!”

But from within, we heard only shouts too morphed by turns and distance to distinguish words.

“Stop, we can’t deviate!” said Elliott as Hannah headed in their direction. “We need to make sure everyone ahead makes it safely first.”

“But they’ll die,” said Hannah, pausing, her body horizontal and five feet off the ground, “You waited for us, you came to save us. What about them?”

“The others first, then we can come back,” responded Elliott, his face strained. “We cannot sacrifice those who are almost there for those who are lost. We can save far more with less effort. Then we turn back.”

If there’s time,” I said, drifting between Hannah and Elliott. “With every minute, they drift farther away. Even I haven’t explored the full reach of these corridors, Elliott. I don’t know where they will be taken.”

“All the more reason to regroup,” he said. “You’ll be just as lost as them in the darkness.”

“We could split up –” I answered, but Elliott cut me off.

No, Horatius. We are the leadership of this side of the ship. It is our duty to deliver the survivors to safety – we must consider them first.”

“Then you’re condemning the others to die,” said Hannah, her voice borderline accusatory as Ruth looked between her mother and father, and Tom stared into the darkness. “How are we any better than them? How are you going to live with yourself when we arrive at the new planet, and you know that your neighbors, the people you sat next to at meals, the children you saw playing at breaks, the elderly that helped raise you were abandoned here?”

Elliott fell silent, frozen, slowly turning to follow Hannah’s gaze. I held my breath as he swallowed. And just as he started to move, the screams began.

At first, it was only a single voice in the distance, a thin reed of sound just barely perceptible, just enough to make me shift my gaze. Then another screech joined in, and another, rapidly increasing in number and volume, reaching a crescendo in mere seconds. And growing closer.

Ruth’s head turned as she became the first of us to realize the next quality to the shouts.

That they not only were coming from down the hallway.

But emanated from every direction.

Chapter 68

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Don’t forget to vote for  The Bridge!  It takes 2 clicks and really helps!

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.