Annette Bauer comes again for the fourth chapter! If you haven’t read the first one, here it is.

              Annette blinked. Her whole body ached. A sharp pain in her leg echoed its terror through her figure. She groaned.

              The sky above her glittered with stars. Everything was peaceful. Everything was in place. All except Annette couldn’t remember why she had awakened underneath the moon in a heavenly place surrounded by trees. She couldn’t understand why her body ached to the very last bone. Why was she on the ground in the middle of nowhere?

              “Where am I?” The question slipped from her mouth before she realized no one was around. Then it hit her. The death of her parents. The missed plane. The heroic Stephen letting her ride on a different plane. The horrible crash. And then she had suddenly appeared in the middle of a jungle, by the looks of it.

              Annette made a futile effort to stand up. Weak, she reluctantly waited to gain strength before she tried again. She needed water and food. But how could she get them? Where was Stephen? And where was the pilot, Jimmy? Had they died? Had she been flung from the plane? Where even was the plane? Annette couldn’t wait any longer. She had to see. Had to know.

              Groaning, she steadied herself onto her feet. Annette hobbled to the nearest tree, taking deep breaths as she waited for her vision to clear. She lowered her head. Why hadn’t she noticed the bandage on her leg? A long white linen circled around her left leg, and it was flecked in red stains. Perhaps Jimmy and Stephan were still alive. Who else could have bandaged her leg?

              Annette started on again. The pain of moving was forgotten when Annette saw the tip of a wing. Journeying on, she came to the whole body. The crash sight was horrible. Broken and torn seats lay covered with ashes. The darkness couldn’t conceal the worst of the damage. The plane front was bent and torn. The back end was cracked down the middle and smoke steamed from it.

              Annette let out a gasp. Who could have lived through that? How had she managed to live?

              “What are you doing over here?” A stern and surprised voice asked.

              Annette jumped and glanced back. “Stephen?”

              “You could get even more hurt.” He was clearly upset that she had gotten up.

              “I…I had to see.” She whispered, turning back to the destruction.

              He sighed and rubbed his face. “You barely made it out alive. If I hadn’t gotten you in time, you would have burned. I’m honestly surprised your leg is the only thing that is broken.” Stephen glanced past the burnt aircraft. “Some of us didn’t fare so well.”

              “Jimmy?” Annette asked, understanding sadness resonating in her eyes.

              He nodded and motioned for her to follow him. They rounded the corner of the plane. A mangled man lay upon the ground. His shallow breathing reverberated his body and he looked near death.

              “He’s too hurt to be moved. And I think he has internal bleeding.”

              Annette knelt down and checked his pulse. Dull. 

“I don’t know if he’ll make it.” She said as recalled a few nursing classes she had taken. “Unless we are rescued within a few hours, his chances are slim.”

“I know. But it’s been about twelve hours since we crashed and still no sign of anybody.” He tapped his watch.

“Where even are we, anyway?”

“I don’t know. But if we were heading toward New York, we have to be somewhere near Pennsylvania. But this really just doesn’t look anything like Pennsylvania.” He pointed to the green jungle forest around him.

“Yeah, that is weird…” She mused and stood up. “But we’re still stuck until we’re rescued no matter where we are.”

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