Somehow I'm Alive (part 9)

Thank you for all of the positive comments, and thank you for being so patient. There is a big turning point in this story, so be prepared. A lot happens. :D

Once again I would like to thank you for the positive comments on part 8. I love making these quizzes, but sometimes there isn't enough time because of other stories I'm working on. (I don't put those ones on the internet. For now, they're staying on my flashdrive.) :P

Created by: Topaz
  1. What is your age?
  2. What is your gender?
  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View***It is the next day. The sun will be setting in a of couple hours. We are on the outskirts of a Jordanian town. Landon is sleeping across the front seat in the truck and Tammy and Rayla are sleeping in the back part. I just got up a few minutes ago. Now that I have some time to myself, I will read my most recent letter. I still have the other ones that were written to me on the ship. I kept them in the cover of my Bible and they are still there. Taking a deep breath, I remove the thick white paper from its envelope. It reads: Dear Jaslina Rowe, I know that it’s been a while since you last heard from me. You are probably freaked out that I know where you are and where you are heading. Don’t mind how I know that. I’ve got my sources. Anyway, there is much you need to know. What I’m about to tell you isn’t good. Your master knows where you’re going. After you guys left, he searched Landon’s cabin. He found all of his plans written down on a piece of paper hidden under a brick in the wall. The worst part is that he has already sent the White-dressed Woman and the twins after you. If you don’t change courses in a matter of hours, you and your friends will be killed. It is only by the grace of God that you got haven’t been caught yet. I’m pleading with you to listen to me. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go anywhere but Jordan. I’m praying for you. Yours Truly M.S.G Thank you M.S.G! I don’t know who this guy is, but man am I thankful for him. I tuck the note into the cover of my Bible with the other two letters. I’d better wake up Landon. Man, he isn’t gonna like this. I tap on the window of the truck arousing him. He sits up and scratches his head. After stretching he steps out. “What’s up?” says Landon, “Usually I’m the first to wake up. Is there something wrong?” “Well, sort of.” I say. “Sort of?” he arches his eyebrows critically. “Yeah, something’s wrong. It was in the letter I got. I don’t have time to explain every detail. All I can say is that we need to get out of Jordan now. The Caroga’s know exactly where we’re going.” Landon takes a second to consider what I’ve said. It is as if he’s considering alternative options. Finally, he says, “I’m not totally sure about this. But for the safety of the group I guess we should head in some other direction.” “Okay. So do you know which country we’re going to now?” “I’m not sure about that either, but I do know about one other place we could go. It’s in Baghdad, Iraq. It should be a good place to hide out for a while.” Now I am the one considering things. If he knew a place in Iraq where we could go then why didn’t we just go there in the first place? “Does it sound like a plan?” asks Landon. “Yeah, it sounds like a plan.” I say. “Alright then. I guess we aren’t going to Amman after all. You wake Tammy and Rayla and tell them we’re switching courses. I’ll start the car.” I go around to the back and shake them both awake. “Come on guys,” I say, “We’re in trouble. We’re switching courses. Now we’re going to Iraq.”
  2. ***Ryan's Point of View*** I'm on the side of the road watching them drive away. They don't see me; I blend in perfectly with the shadows. To be honest, I've never flet like more of a stalker in my entire life. However, it isn't stalking if you're doing it to protect innocent people. I just hope that those three girls don't get too close to Landon. I don't know why, but I don't trust Landon in the slightest. His boy-genius, good citizen persona seems kind of put on to me. To put it simply, he seems dangerous and untrustworthy. Yet again, I could be overreacting. After all, there are a lot of people that I didn't trust in the past that I should have. This is probably another one of those cases. As they get farther away all I can see are the red glow of the tailights. Pulling up the hood of my black sweatshirt over my face I follow them trying to look like a man taking a morning walk. A very early morning walk at four o'clock in the morning. They're moving slowly enough to were I can easily keep up with them at a slow run. At first I can't tell where they're planning on going, but after looking at all of the names of the streets they're taking it's obviouse. They're going to Baghdad. Great. Now they're putting themselves in more danger than they were before. They might have been safer in Jordan than in Baghdad. Hopefully they aren't going to hide in the place where I think they are. If they do then they'll be in even greater danger than they were before.
  3. ***Jaslina's Point of View~Two Days Later***Landon quickly leads us into this huge, beautiful hotel. Now we are out of the dessert and into the big, Middle Eastern, city of Baghdad, Iraq. This is the most beautiful hotel that I’ve ever seen! The outside of it is white and sparkles in the sunlight. It looks to be around twenty stories high. I didn’t think that any part of the hotel could possibly be as gorgeous and magnificent as the outside until I get a look at the Lobby. The Lobby furniture looks to be brand new. All of the furniture is a peachy color, and the carpet khaki. When I look over at the manager’s desk, I see that it’s made of maple wood and that the designs are carved by hand. How do I notice all this while crawling on the floor? I don’t really know. I am so curious about where Landon is leading us that I can hardly stand it anymore. I can’t blow our cover though. So I guess I’ll have to play along. We turn the corner carefully and quietly. We can’t risk being seen by anyone. Not the manager, not a hotel guest, not even by a small child. I peer up at the manager behind the desk. Lucky for us he’s sleeping. Now out of sight, we stand up. “Here we are.” says Landon. I look up and see nothing accept the door to a supply closet. “Landon,” whispers Rayla, “that’s a closet. Where is this big, secret hide out you said you were taking us too?!” “You’ll see. Just follow me okay.” This is great. We are being chased by some psychotic woman and her freak children and the best we can do for a hiding place is a supply closet in a hotel! We slip inside. Landon grabs a flashlight from the top shelf and starts shining it around. Don’t tell me. Another secret room! Well, it’s better than the closet by itself. Landon carefully pulls out a shelf halfway. Directly in front of us, the ground opens up into a small narrow hole. This is more dramatic than most underground room entrances. He squats and looks into the hole with the flashlight. He turns it off and sets it back on the shelf. Side-stepping carefully, Landon whispers “Follow me. No one will find us there.”
  4. He takes us down several flights of stairs. They’re very slick. I almost fell twice just on the first flight. Although, I must admit being barefoot makes it easier. It’s been around two months since I’ve worn shoes. How I miss my shoes! Of course, our cloaks are so long that no one would even be able to tell that we’re barefoot. Once we’re at the bottom, I see a room. No actually it’s more than a room. It’s like a one-story house underground. It’s very elaborate. There is a huge pantry filled with canned food and bottled water. (That should really make our money last longer.) Then there is also a microwave and two cupboards with dishes. Then, to the left of where we came in, is a door that leads to a bathroom. In the bathroom is a shower stall. Finally, a place to bathe that doesn’t give you splinters! I hate wooden washtubs. Finally, there are six beds in here that fold into the wall. The beds are to the right of where we came in at. The only things missing are a phone and computer. Oh, and there is one more thing that I forgot to mention. There is a metal desk here too for some reason that I don’t understand. No phone, no computer, but there is a desk that none of us will probably use? “Wow,” says Rayla, “A person could get used to this.” “There’s even a shower!” cries Tammy. “There is?” cries Rayla in response, “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted a decent shower.” “Landon,” I ask, “Just out of curiosity, how in the world did you find this place?"
  5. “There’s a lot to tell,” Says Landon, “but since we’re here, I think that I’ve got time to tell it. A few years ago, about the time when I found the entrance off the plantation, I found out about this place. Once master Akmal was sick and asked me to help assist him, so I did. “Once he asked me to lock up his study. He forgot to lock it and he doesn’t like his children messing around in there. There was also the fact that if I refused to lock up his study, I’d get twenty lashes. So I agreed to go lock up his study. I was about to lock it up when a draft of wind came in through the window and caused papers to fly everywhere. “I went in to shut the window. I was in his study only for a second. After I finally got that stupid thing down, I picked up some of his papers for him. One of those papers was a blueprint to an underground room in a hotel that he owned at the time. Of course, later on he sold the hotel to a new owner because people were catching on to him being in cahoots with the White-dressed Woman. “It was an amazingly brilliant design. Everyone, accept the housekeeping slaves, were outside that day. For that reason, I had time to make a quick copy. That night in my cabin I looked the copy of it over better and noticed a footnote. Master Akmal is the only one who knows about this place. Not even the hotels new owner knows that this is here. “Like the map I made, I never thought that I’d actually need that blueprint copy. It ended out that I did need it after all. So here we are safe and sound. We should be able to stay here for a few weeks until we figure something out.”
  6. “I’m really glad you found the blue prints,” I say. The only question he didn’t answer is how he found the copy machine. I’ve been in the master’s house before. I know every inch of it. I’ve never seen any copy machine. I decide to let it go. I have to admit, Rayla was right the first day I met her. Landon is brilliant. He always somehow manages to do something to help. I especially love it when he tells his stories. He always seems so “in the moment” when he’s story telling. There is so much life in him. I can easily tell that he is tired at the same time. After showering and changing into our tattered, patched up slave clothes we slept. Sleep is what we all need, especially Landon. He has been acting weird ever since he has seen Frank. It isn’t too much of a change, only slight. I guess it could be weariness. Since Landon is the leader of our group, everything does wear on him the most. Maybe I should just give him a break.
  7. ***Ryan's Point of View*** Mom, Sapphire and Akmal have joined me. We're in Iran right now; a whole country away from Iraq. Right now mom and Akmal have no idea where they've gone. They know nothing more than the general direction that they were going in. Of course, I know where they are. I was sitting outside of the hotel when they went inside. I had a hunch that they were going to hide out in the secret room there. Well, I was hoping that my hunch would be wrong, but it was right unfortunatly. "Ryan, you've been tracking them for days! It took you two days to get back here even with the rental car that Akmal gave you money for. You're really telling me that you have no idea where they've gone?" I lift my chin up in the arrogant fashion that I've leared since birth. "Mom, I really don't know where they've gone. I was tracking them, but I lost them. They could be anywhere." "Ryan, I'm starting to get the idea that you're lieing to me, and that you care about those people." "Mom, do you hear what you're saying? Do you really think that I'd lie to you?!" Just then Akmal walks through the door with a twisted smile on his face.
  8. I take one look around the dimly light motel room that we're in. It could be the last thing that I ever get to see. After clearing his throat Akmal says, "My friends, I do belive that I know where those children are hiding. I looked at the license plate on Ryan's rentel car. Guess what the name of the country is?" "What?" says mom and Saphire in unison. "Iraq. Ryan tracked them all the way to Iraq and didn't tell us. If that's the country those children are in then I think that we all know where they're hiding out." Mom scoffs. "The hotel? That would be way too obviouse." "Yes, it is obviouse and that's probably exactly where they're hiding." Mom and Saphire turn to me. "Why didn't you tell us they were there Ryan?" I don't know what happens to me. I have no idea why I do this. For some reason the truth just comes spilling out of me. "I didn't tell you because I don't want you to know! I'm sick of you hurting people and breaking the law! I'm sick of all the things you've made me do in the past. If you and Saphire go down I'm not going down with you, and niether are Jaslina and her friends! None of them deserve to be living in fear!" Akmal claps. "You've been on their side all along. I knew you were; I saw the bible in your room and I saw your obsession with Jaslina. All I wanted was a confession. You're lucky that I'm after those runnaways right now." "How does that make me lucky?" "Because I want to kill them before I kill you." To mom he says, "Come on, Gina, and grab your daughter. We've got places to be and...things.... to do." I feel so shocked that I can't move. How could I do that?! I hate myself! Before I can finish hating myself I feel a heavy object hit my head. Before I compleatly pass out I hear mom say, "Lock him in the basement. It'll hold him off long enough. Too bad we don't have any rope."
  9. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** The whole next day we don’t leave the secret room at all. Honestly, it feels good to not be running. Instead, we spend all day trying to come up with a clever plan to get us back to the United States. Going back to the U.S. is what’s safest to do. Also, with my mom’s help, we can track down Tammy, Rayla and Landon’s families too. The only problem we’re facing is we have very few ways of getting out of here safely. So far we’ve only got three options. Our first option is to leave the same way all of us got to the Middle East in the first place. To go back through Saudi Arabia and take ship out of here. We can’t go with our first option; it’s way too risky. Our next plan is to live in the secret room for the rest of our lives. That plan is just stupid. So we’re going with our second, most risky plan. We will leave Iraq under aliases. Once we get into the U.S., we will stay under our fake names until we find our families and contact the police. “Not bad.” Says Tammy, “Although, there is a slight problem.” “What’s that?” asks Rayla. “Even though Frank gave us money, we still don’t have nearly enough to buy plane tickets.” “Now, Tammy, who says that we don’t have enough money,” asks Landon with his eye’s teasing. “What are you talking about? You know we’re almost flat broke!” exclaims Tammy. “Oh, we are? Well then what do you make of this?” In his hands Landon is holding a huge suitcase full of money. I don’t know how much that is in Iraqi money, but if it were in dollars I’d say it was about five thousand. Where did he get that?
  10. “Landon, how much is in there?!” exclaims Rayla. “In dollars or Post Saddam Dinars?” “How much is all that worth in American dollars. Knowing how much it is in Post Saddam Dinars doesn’t help me.” “In America all of the money in here would be worth around six-thousand, five-hundred dollars.” “Six-thousand, five-hundred dollars!” says Tammy in shock. “Yup, and every dime of it is in Post Saddam Dinars.” “Will it be enough to last us?” Landon turns to me. “Hey, Jas, you’re smart. Do you think that we’ll have enough to last us when we’re in the states?” I have to think this over. All of this, the whole plan, sounds diluted. Four teenagers, by themselves, all alone, with that much money? Won’t people get curious as to where we got it? Of course, Landon is right. This crazy plot of ours may be our only chance. If we wait any longer then we need to we may be putting ourselves in worse danger. Also when I think of Master Akmal designing the room and all the money being it makes me wonder if there is some sort of strings attached. Like if the money’s counterfeit or if he knew we were going to hide here if we were driven out of Jordan or something like that. I just ignore the thoughts. “Yeah that should last us. As long as we spend only what we need we should be fine financially.” The calmness that is in my voice is imaginary. I am anything but calm.
  11. ***6 Hours Later***A little while later we are all getting ready to go to sleep. We’re going to get ready to leave in the morning. Rayla is already asleep. I can hear her snoring in the bunk above me. She has been sleeping more peacefully due to the soft mattresses. Tammy is still getting her slave clothes/sleep clothes on. Landon is on the bunk behind me trying to figure out all our expenses, and if we could possibly try to get a car in the U.S. I told him we could never buy a car with that, but he won’t listen to me. Me, I am up reading my Bible as always. Now Tammy just came out of the bathroom and is turning in. I look behind me to say something to Landon, but he’s sleeping now too. I’m about to fall asleep myself when I hear a noise from the stairway. It’s probably nothing, but I get up and walk over to the stairway anyway. When I get closer, I can identify the noise. It’s a crackling noise. Now, desperate to know what the source of the sound is, I decide to go halfway up the stairway. At the halfway point, I start to see an orange glow while the smell of smoke is filling the air around me. Oh no. This isn’t happening. Not again. I go up further, which I must say, is a poor decision. It isn’t just an orange glow anymore; it is a roaring fire that is completely torching the area around it. I feel its heat against my face. I attempt to turn back, but it’s no use. I’m trapped in the center of it. All I can do is watch it close in around me. I look for an area of escape. I see one tiny little gap near the top of the staircase. I feel smoke entering my lungs and synching the end of my hair as I run for it. The more I run for my only exit the farther away it seems. I keep trying to reach it; I can hardly breathe anymore and I feel my legs burning. The hem of my dress has caught on fire. Finally, unable to move anymore, I collapse onto the ground gasping for air. My eyes are slowly closing; however, before they close I catch a glimpse of long curly black hair that belongs to someone turning the corner. “Sapphire.” I croak to myself. Now I am lying on my stomach, preparing myself to die. If this is how I was meant to die, then fine. So be it; however, I don’t die. I am close to completely blacking out. Although, I’m still slightly alert, in my great pain, I feel strong arms lifting me up off the ground. He picks me up very gently, as if he knows how painful my burns are. I feel a lot of turning. I think that we’re going upstairs. Now I feel the heat that is surrounding me leave. He sets me down gently. “If you can hear me, I’ll be right back. I need to go put out the fire.” I recognize the voice instantly. It can’t be. I sit up as I see him round the corner down the stairs. I think that the identity of my secret letter writer has just been revealed to me.
  12. ***Ryan's Point of View*** Luckily I didn't stay passed out for long. A janitor actually came down and let me out of the basement; it was a motel after all. My only regret is that I didn't get here in time. I got the fire put out and got Rayla out of the secret room as well. I know very well that Mom, Akmal, and Saphire are long gone. After laying Rayla down next to Jaslina I rush down the charred stair to rescue Tammy and Landon. Who knows how stable this place is! However, I don't have time to rescue them. Tammy and Landon are both nowhere to be seen.

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