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   Chapter 56 No.56

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 8587

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:28

THE FIRE NOW CONSUMED the barn and licked high into the air. The cold water slowly filling the barrel helped to cool our brains, but I knew it was only a matter of time before it would eventually drown us. Ten minutes tops. Our only hope was a gun that wouldn't fire even if I could get to it. And what would I shoot to get us out? More holes and we'd drown quicker.

My right arm was pinned, but I could move my left…slightly. Sydney's legs were wedged back against her chest and I was squashed against them upside down. Our heads rested near one another, mine bent under with my abdomen pressed against the back of her calves. I worked my hand down my left side and tried to find a way to get around her legs to her waist. The water was now midway up my thighs. Sydney had gone quiet—passed out from pain, heat, loss of blood, or a lack of oxygen. But she was still alive. I could feel her expand…occasionally…to take a breath of the rancid air…such that it…such that…

Think! Where's the gun?

I curled my back and drew in my abdomen and managed to work my hand through to my right side. The barrel rolled a half-turn in the water shifting more of Sydney's weight against me. I squeezed my hand between her thigh and abdomen just below her breast and heard the air escape her lungs as I forced my arm through. The barrel rolled another half-turn and I felt the punch of cold water hit my upper back. Air trapped in our clothing began bubbling through the water popping around us, bringing a trace of oxygen with it. I realized we were sinking faster and felt a surge of energy sweep through me. I forced my hand farther into the space between her thighs and touched something hard and cold beneath the cloth.

I raked my nails across the wet fabric and tugged at it, but it refused to move as the water rose to cover the gun. I could feel it—its hammer, cylinder, and grip. My energy was gone. My mind could no longer focus.

One minute!

My hand worked frantically as a new stream of cool water trickled down my neck and the bubbles began to fade. My fingers found a button and the opening it secured. I felt the smooth cold metal beneath as the water, rising faster, swallowed my elbow.

Thirty seconds!

I pulled at the gun, but it would not budge. Panic overtook me. Fighting the urge to give up, I closed my fingers around the grip afraid to touch the trigger and gave it a yank. Sydney gasped, sucked a deep breath, then emptied her lungs completely shrinking the size of her chest cavity and the gun slipped free.

I could hold it in my hand, but i

r and swam with the wild ducks and geese to a tiny sandbar in the center. It was on that sandbar that we saw each other naked for the first time. The whip swung again and my body burst into flames. Sydney reached for me and as my skin turned black and cracked open, she pressed her lips to mine and forced her breath into me.

The whip smashed across my chest and I felt seawater ooze out of my mouth and run down my neck. Flames licked high into a black sky and I felt myself being sucked through a tube. Mom reached out for me as I swept past her, but disappeared in the smoke. My body swelled like a balloon as air rushed into me and Sydney appeared pressing her hands against me to force it out. As air gurgled up through the water in my throat, tears streamed down her checks. She slammed her fists against my chest and seemed to scream, yet I heard no sounds. She kissed me and her cold wet hair fell softly around my face and neck as my chest expanded. I had a vision of a helicopter overhead beaming its spotlight directly into my eyes.

Sydney placed her mouth to mine and my lungs again expanded and burned. The spotlight blasting into my face suddenly hurt and I heard the thump—thump—thump of its rotor blades. I tasted water in the back of my throat. It gagged me and I coughed. It ran down the sides of my neck. I coughed again. Sydney's hot tears dripped on my cold skin as my lungs sucked in air and I tasted smoke.

As I drew another breath, she burst into tears. "I thought you were gone." I could feel her trembling.

I coughed again and drew another breath. Falling against me, she locked her arms around me and we held each other weeping and laughing until they came and took us away.

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