GENRE: YA Science Fiction
Adelaide has been kidnapped and is trapped on a broken spaceship. She's hiding inside the shuttle bay when she finds an explosive device ready to detonate. Just as the countdown finishes, she leaps off a catwalk to the main floor. Boom.
Pain knifes up my hip, my elbow, my shoulder.
The world above me is on fire, and everything is dead silent except for the shrill ringing that seems to come from within me.
I'm on my back, head throbbing as a ball of flame expands and disintegrates the ramp I was just on. If I hadn't jumped, I'd be a pile of charred bones.
Hot air dries my eyes and sears my lungs. I gasp for breath, cough, and gasp again. I can't get enough air.
Fire burns oxygen.
I roll onto my hands and knees, dizzy with every motion, and scan the walls for the bay door and freedom. Protocol on any ship is to seal the room, remove the atmosphere, and let the fire smother. The rest of the ship's life support won't be affected.
If I don't escape, I'll smother, too.
The LEDs bleed into warning-red and the bay door begins to slide closed. Coughing, I struggle to my feet and stumble as quickly as I can.
The ringing in my head is distracting, and everything is blurry. My vision tunnels and I can't be sure if I'm putting my feet on the ground or flying somehow.
Every breath tastes like smoke, and heat dries the back of my throat. I'll never again be able to breathe right.
As the door thuds closed, I slip out. Just in time.