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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by JerseyGirl3030 on December 22, 2009

Bernie's Walk

Down the trail towards the river, Bernie skipped chasing a butterfly. Her brother was down at the river fishing and she was on a mission to find him. Along her way she saw a bull frog out of the corner of her eye. She crept up slowly alongside the frog and just as she was about to reach out and grab him the frog begun hopping away. She giggled and chased him through the brush along the side of the path and deep into the wooded area. After a while she gave up on the frog and turned around. Bernie spun several times before realizing she had no idea where she was. She called for her brother, and did not hear a response. She thought she heard the sound of running water and decided that her best bet would be to head toward it. Her eyes darted left and right with the sounds of sticks breaking and birds wings flapping. The sun was blocked out and therefore this area was a lot darker than the main path. She called out for her brother several times before finally reaching the flowing water.
The water was rushing past Bernie at a much higher rate than it had in the area where she had known her brother to fish. She looked down the river in the direction of the flow of water and decided to walk up river. She figured that the closer to the end of the river the faster the flow was. Bernie gingerly walked along the river bank; the banks were steep and slippery. She attempted to avoid the mossy rocks when it came time to climb over them. She held onto branches while walking in order to prevent falling into the water. She was determined to find her brother and knew no other way than to follow the river. Bernie yelped when her support branch snapped in her hand causing her to slip on moss and dip her foot ankle deep in the rushing water. By clawing at the dirt she had avoided being pulled into the river. Her heart pounded in her chest as she lay on the muddy embankment to catch her breath. She looked up the river and called for her brother. She shrieked his name while tears fell down her face. She did not remember the river being as long as it was. She did not remember walking the path this long to get to him in the past.
She rolled over carefully and stood up. She pulled her shorts as best she could to see the mud that had clung to her clothes. Bernie knew that her mother would not be happy with her when she came back in dirty clothes. She took a deep breath, wiped her tears off her face, and began her trek up the river to her brother. She was determined to find him at this point. It was not an option to turn back, because she did not know how far off from the path she was.
She heard voices farther up the river. She called out her brother’s name. She could not make out what they were saying, but she knew for sure that voices were going to meet her if she continued on her way. Her heart began to pound as she felt hope return in her journey. Her brother was just up the river a few more yards. Bernie held onto the tree branches and quickly slid across the stones and banks. When the voices were close enough for her to see their owners, her breath caught in her throat. The two menacing men looked toward her and they met eyes for a moment. There was something in their eyes that struck Bernie with fear. Bernie pulled on the branches of the tree she was holding for stability to pull her off the banks and to walk through the woods to find the path. Something deep inside told her that it was no longer safe to travel along the embankment.
Bernie began running through the brush and attempted to dodge trees. She heard the snaps of twigs and rustle of leaves as the two men attempted to chase after her. She screamed for her brother frantically. She could feel the sting as the thorny vines swiped her skin tearing it. She alternated between screaming for her brother and screaming for help in general. The jolt of the massive hands grasping her arm and lurching her backward caused her to shriek. Kicking and screaming she was carried through the woods.
The bloated beaten body of ten year old Bernice Bridgette Reynolds was found at the mouth of the river. She had been missing for a week and a half.

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