Somehow I'm Alive (part 8)

This is my very favorite part of the story. The new character that I'm going to introduce, Frank, is one of my favorite characters. Hopefully you'll like him too.

Who do you like better Jaslina or Ryan? It'd be helpful to know. I have a sequel in mind, and I'm not sure if I should keep it from multiple points of view or if I should just do one view point.

Created by: Topaz

  1. What is your age?
  2. What is your gender?
  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** “We’ve gotta be quiet, you guys.” I say. We are on our way to the garden. In one part of the garden there is a huge well. That is specifically where we said we’d meet Landon if he didn’t show up at the well. This has all happened so suddenly. Or maybe not so suddenly; it’s been building up to this for weeks. It was two days ago that me and Landon planned it. We would’ve been able to leave a night earlier, but we needed to give Rayla time to sneak the cloaks and veils from the mistress. Now we are in our cloaks and veils and ready to go. We are very dependent on Landon right now. He is the only slave on the plantation that knows the way out of this place. Without him we’re done for. “Is this it, Jaslina?” asks Rayla. “Yes this is it.” I reply. “Then where’s Landon?” asks Tammy. “I’m right here.” Landon crawls out from under the bushes. With him he has a cloth bag with food, a sleeping mat, and a torn rolled up piece of paper which I’m guessing is a map. “I see you’ve come prepared,” I say, “but where’d you get that map?” “I made it a couple years ago when I first discovered the way out of here,” says Landon, “ I never actually thought that’d I’d use it, though.” “Are we just gonna stay here and talk or are we going?” says Tammy while trying to keep herself from yelling. “We’re going. Once we’re deep enough into the woods, we can talk more. For now we need to keep quiet.” We all nod in response. “Follow me.”
  2. ***Ryan's Point of View*** I sigh a breath of relief. I know that they made it out of the garden; my windows opened and I can hear whispers. Of course, the whispers are so quiet that the only way you'd hear them is by listening for them. At least they're safe for now. Hopefully I can distract mom and Akmal into missing the fact that they're gone. I already know that it'd only work for three days at the absolute most, but that would be three days of travel time that the four of them could get in. Better yet, a day after they're gone maybe I should leave too. I'm in as much danger as Jaslina and her newly found friends. Really, I'd probably be in more danger because I'd be viewed as a trader. Pushing those thoughts from my head I start thinking again of Jaslina. I'm no help to her if I'm thinking of myself. "Come on, Ryan," I say to myself. "Focus on them first and then you. They need all the help they can get." I turn over onto my side and fall asleep with many prayers going through my head.
  3. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** Landon crawls under the bushes. With my share of the luggage tied to my back, I follow. The bushes are very thick. We spent about ten minutes crawling under bushes. I look back every few minutes to make sure Tammy and Rayla are keeping up. They seem to be keeping up well. When we’re out, I work my way to my feet and shake leaves out of my veil. Tammy and Rayla do the same. “We don’t have too much further to go according to the map,” says Landon, “If we start walking west we should run into a dirt path going north. From there we follow the path about halfway. “At the halfway point we’ll see a tree with a hole through it. When we come to that we head west again. When we see a level of ridiculously raised ground we stop there. From there we just have to find a way to get to the underground. Any questions?” We don’t say anything. “Alright then, let’s move out.” It happens just as Landon says. We run into a dirt path going north, we follow it, run into a tree with a hole through it, and run into a level of ridiculously raised ground. It was a huge space. It took us forty minutes just to find the big, metal door leading to the underground. It was camouflaged very well. There was fake grass covering it. We had to stomp on it to hear the metal clank. Even after we discovered it there was still the matter of getting inside. There was some sort of password that had to be typed in; however, Landon doesn’t even try any letter. He types in numbers. “What, it doesn’t take any letters?” asks Rayla. “No. The letters are only there to confuse anyone that might run into it.” With a jerk of the handle, it comes opened easily. We walk inside and go down the stairs. Landon slams the door shut and pushes us into the elevator. In the elevator Landon pushes the button to make it move. Before it moved, I almost forgot that it only went sideways. We traveled in the elevator for around a half hour. The plantation must be very secret if it takes this long by elevator to get away from it. Finally, it stops. First the elevator door opens and then the wall opens up. We are in the same room I was in the day I became a slave. The room with the small, round wooden table; the two wooden chairs; and the heavy, metal chest securely locked. We are all just standing there staring. I guess we’re exhausted. “You know what guys,” says Landon, “I think that we should just crash here for now. We will get going again in a few hours.”
  4. ***It’s been a few hours, and I feel less refreshed than I thought I would. I must admit, I’m thankful for the few hours of sleep. Just when we’re about to open the door, we remember that there’s three feet of sand above us. Because of that, Tammy, Rayla, Landon, and I spend an hour digging ourselves out. At the surface, we are glad to see that it is still dark. “Alright guys,” says Landon, “we have five hours until the sun rises which means we have five hours of walking ahead of us.” “Wait just a second,” demands Tammy, “now that we are out of there, where are we gonna go? Are we just gonna live in the dessert for the rest of our lives? Do we go to an airport and sneak on a plane? We’ve got no money!” “Yeah, we’ve got no money now, but I know how we can get some.” “Okay, genius, explain this brilliant plan to me. Are we gonna steal money and go to prison? At least in prison we’ll have a roof above our heads!” “No. I have a very thorough plan. I’ll explain as we walk.” Landon’s plan is quite brilliant. He knows this man that gives free cars to people like us and that will give us money. It won’t be a whole lot, but it’ll be enough for gas and possibly water. This man has places like that set up all over the Middle East. The car won’t be in the best condition, but it’ll do. We are pretty close to Jordan and will be going there. It will be safer for us there than in Saudi Arabia. “I hate to admit it, Landon,” says Tammy, “but that is a better plan than I gave you credit for.” I’m not so sure about this plan, but it’s all we’ve got. Who is this guy he’s referring to anyway? I’ll just trust God with this. Trusting God has gotten me this far. Yet I wonder if this c---amamie plan is going to work. What if we get caught by Master Akmal? Or worse, what if he sends the Caroga’s after us? By the look on Rayla’s face, I can tell that she is thinking the same thing I am.
  5. “So, Landon,” I ask, “how far to this place where we get our car?” “It’s thirty miles. We could probably walk a good fifteen miles before sunrise. If we walk at night and sleep during the day we should be there by tomorrow night.” “Alright, sounds like a good plan.” I say. It is really hot in the dessert even at night. I expected it to be cooler. As we walk, I keep seeing these series’ of caves. There are a whole bunch of them. According to Landon, people do know about this dessert, but people don’t come around a whole lot. It’s very rare that any of these caves would be discovered. When the sun rises it shouldn’t be too hard to find a good place to set up camp. So far we’ve walked ten miles; all of us want to stop but are too afraid to. As soon as noon comes, we will be in certain danger. By noon he’ll realize that lunch is unmade, the garden will only be part watered and that some harvesting will be left undone. Then when he realizes that the elevator is missing, he’ll get the Caroga’s looking for us. He won’t even have to leave the plantation in order to find us.
  6. ***Ryan's Point of View*** I'm in the living room eating a middle-of-the-night sandwhich when my mom walks in. When I hear what she says my blood runs cold. "Ryan, pack your things." "Why? I thought that we were staying here for another three weeks." "Our plans have changed. Now go pack your things." Playing stupid I say, "What do you mea- Oh you don't have another boyfriend! Your last boyfriend stole both the wii and the car! He was a nightmare!" "Ryan, that isn't at all what this is about. We've got runnaways, and we have to go catch them?" "You mean all three of us?" "Ryan, are you deaf in one ear?! I just said that we've got runnaways, and that we need to go catch them! What else could that possibly mean?!" My mom is walking out of the room when I come up with an idea. I don't know how, but I came up with it. "Mom, don't you think it would be kind of obviouse all three of us went chasing after them at once? We need to catch them off guard." Mom slowly makes her way to the couch and sits down. "Alright, Ryan, for once you've got my attention." Hopefully I don't sound nervous when I say this. "I only mean that it'd be easier to catch them if only one of goes after them. That way when that person finds them they can alert the others. It's the perfect plan." For the first time in my life my mom seems to actually consider something I say. She sighs. "Alright, Ryan. I'll give you a chance to prove yourself. I'll give you three days to hunt them down and report to us where they are. If you can do that without messing things up you might actually gain my respect. I'll tell Akmal to send only you ahead." After she exits the room a let out a breathe that I'd been holding for several long moments. This is my chance to get both Jaslina and myself out of the Middle East to safety. I just hope that mom doesn't suspect any alterior motive.
  7. ***Jaslina's Point of View***The sun is rising, and we just set up camp in a nearby cave. Our sleeping mats are laid out, and there is a fire going so we can cook. The heat of the day will be coming soon so Tammy, Rayla, and I wear our much cooler slave outfits. Right now Landon is sleeping in his corner on his mat, Rayla and I are cooking, and Tammy is taking inventory and will be napping shortly. Now that the sun is almost up all of these scary thoughts keep returning to my head. How long until we’ll be discovered? Now Tammy is done taking inventory and is sleeping near the back of the cave. Sometimes I wish M.S.G were still around. Even though I never had any idea who he/she was, it gave me comfort knowing that there was another Christian around. I throw the mushrooms into the boiling pot. Well, my work here is done. I go off to my corner and take out my Bible. I might as well read some now that I have so much time. Before I even open my bible Rayla interrupts me. “Jaslina, I’ve got a question,” she says. I arch my eyebrows with a smile. I already know what the question is, but I let her ask it anyway. “I want to be a Christian really bad. Will you pray with me?” “Of course I’ll pray with you. I’d never say no to such a request.” Maybe there is a good reason behind this after all. I know what you’re thinking right now. ‘Jaslina, you’re wrong. People do change; Rayla has changed, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.’ Well, Rayla was already a decent person to start with. If you are trying to convince me that very bad people can change for the better, you’re crazy. For example, you won’t see Master Akmal changing his mind about me anytime soon. The only difference now is that Master Akmal has two Christians to deal with.
  8. *** “Is that it?” asks Tammy. It is night time right now. We’ve made it nearly twenty-four hours without getting caught up with. Even though it’s been a day, Rayla is really psyched over her new religion. We’ve been talking Bible talk for most of our walking time. Also, since we’ve been well rested the walking seems all the easier. Now we are coming up on that place Landon was telling us about. It’s the place where we will get our temporary car and money. I can’t wait to get there and get out so we can be on our way out of here. Jordan’s capital, Amman, is the safest place for us right now. “Yes, that’s it.” Replies Landon. “We will just be in and out, won’t we?” I ask. “Maybe not. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this guy. Frank was one my friends here before the kidnapping.” “You came here before you were kidnapped?” I asked. “Yeah. We came here on vacation a lot to visit him. For some reason he wanted to move here. We all thought he was crazy! Of course, now that I know why he’s here, I don’t really think that he’s crazy anymore. With the situation we’re in, I don’t think that he’s crazy at all!” “I’ve gotta agree with you there. So his name’s Frank?” “Yup. Franklin Berrien, Jr. is his full name, but he prefers Frank.”
  9. Up close the building is nothing more than a two-story dome made out of clay. You wouldn’t even know that there was anyone living here. That is, until you see the inside. We walk straight in. Walking around, I see stacks of boxes and paper everywhere. In the corner there is a tattered couch and an old TV on top on a stack of boxes. Then on the other side is a small kitchen. There is a medium sized refrigerator, a hotplate on the scratched up island, and a microwave. Then against the far back wall is a table with two chairs. One of which has more boxes stacked on it. Then, there is a hole in the ceiling and a latter going up through it. That must lead to the second floor. “Frank!” yells Landon, “Frank, it’s Landon! Are you here?!” A tall man with medium length, brown hair and glasses comes stepping down the latter. He’s grumbling to himself, “What, it’s the middle of the night. Can’t a man get some sleep?” As soon as he turns around to see his intruders, he freezes right where he’s standing. “Landon!” he exclaims, “What happened? Mandy told me you were kidnapped several years ago. Yet here you are in the middle of the night on my doorstep. Care to explain?” He sounds more confused than anything. “I’d love to, but there isn’t much time. So let me summarize. I was kidnapped. I’ve been a slave here in Saudi Arabia ever since the kidnapping.” He turns and points at me. “Seven weeks ago she comes. It ends out she’s a Christian. I and the two others I have with me have been hiding her. “The master hates Christians, and people that hide them. He was planning to execute us. I’m the only one who knows where the secret passageway on the plantation is. So last night we made a run for it. Now the slave hunters that work for him are probably out looking for us. So now we need a car and money so we can escape to Jordan’s capital, Amman.” Frank has a look of astonishment on his face. “I would think that Mandy is only playing a trick on me, but you look pretty serious. Alright, tell you what, I’ll give you some money and a car only; however, if these pretty, young ladies tell me their names.” One by one we introduce ourselves.
  10. “Okay, now that I know everyone, maybe you guys should stay for a while because you just look downright exhausted.” “That’s very kind of you, Frank, but we really need to get out of here. Who knows how close they might be to us.” “Alright, I understand. Come on, I’ll show you to the underground. That’s where I keep the cars and money stashed.” We are about to follow, but he stops us. “You girls should probably stay here. There isn’t much room down there with all the vehicles and such. Take a seat on the couch if you want.” None of us say anything in response. I can tell that Tammy is pretty upset. Rayla and I stay neutral, though. I don’t really care if we couldn’t go down there. Landon should get some time to catch up with Frank anyhow. “I can’t believe that we don’t get to go down there,” groans Tammy, “the nerve of some people.” “It doesn’t matter,” I say, “All that matters now is that we get out of here.” “I guess you’re right. I’m feeling stressed is all. I don’t see how you and Rayla seem so calm about this.” Really, I’m not calm. I’m not calm at all. With God on my side I should be calm, but I’m not. It is impossible to be calm at a time like this. Twenty minutes later Frank and Landon return. In his hand, Landon is holding a key and a small, canvas bag. “We’re ready to go,” says Landon, “The truck is up front.” We walk outside and around to the front. Landon is driving. I’m about to hop in beside Tammy when Frank runs up behind me. “Wait!” he hollers, “You! Jaslina, you have a letter!” I step down from the step immediately, and I hear my heart thumping. “A letter!” I holler back, “Did you see who left it?” “No. It was delivered while I was gone. I drove into some town to get food, and when I got back it was clipped onto my front door. It says to Jaslina on the front of it.” I take the letter from him, grasping it tightly. Before I even look at the front of it I know who it’s from. I thank Frank for giving me the letter and hop in the truck. Sure enough the words “To Jaslina” are written on the front of the envelope in the handwriting that looks all too familiar.
  11. ***Ryan's Point of View*** I emerge from inside of the underground garage the moment Frank informs me they're gone. "Thanks, Frank. I appriciate you lieing for me." Motioning for me to sit down he says, "Don't mention it. Now, tell me, what was that letter all about? If you're a Caroga then why are you helping them kids?" I run my fingers through my hair feeling stressed. "It's a long story." "Hey, we've both got plenty of time. Now tell me what that letter was about first." "Okay. See, I was about ready to leave as my mom asked me to when Akmal came to speak with us. He said he'd searched Landon's cabin, and that they were heading for the capital of Jordan. After he told us that my mom told to catch up with them anyway, and that she'd be only a day behind me." Frank has his eyebrows arched critically. "So you're telling me that even though you helped kidnap these people you're going to help them escape. Why?" "Because I'm not that person anymore. I know that I've done a lot of things that I'm not proud of, but that doesn't mean that I can't set things right." Frank stands up and walks toward me giving me a pat on the back. "Boy, if there's one thing that I can say about you it's that you've got guts. You're very brave." "Thanks for the compliment, but I think that you and I both know that it's only God that's gotten me this far." He laughs. It's not a mean laugh. Actually it sounds like a joyful laugh. "I never thought that I would hear those words come out of the mouth of a Caroga. So, Ryan, do you want to stay here for the night or should you move on?" "I really need to move on. If I lose track of Jaslina and the others then I can't very well help them." "Okay, I understand. If you need anything you can always come back here. You have my blessing." "Thanks, Frank. It's nice knowing that I finally have some support." "Don't worry too much. You know in the stories that good always conquers evil. The same can be said for the real world. Never give up hope." I walk out of that house and into the unknown feeling comforted, but only slightly.

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