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Four Minutes to Midnight

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It was cold. I could feel it, even under the covers of my old bed. No, the house wasn’t drafty, and no, it wasn’t winter. In fact, it was a beautiful autumn night- my brown wood bed seemed to creak- or maybe it was the floorboard outside my bedroom. I sat up, shaking myself awake; it was 11:56 on my glow in the dark digital clock. Four minutes to midnight. Maybe mom was just getting a late night coffee or watching a horror flick. I groaned- barely mumbling “turn it down” I nestle my head under the covers, prepared to back to sleep.

I woke up again.

11:58.

Two minutes to midnight.

The creaking grew louder- if mom is watching psycho I swear I’ll- I thought, stopped in mid- sentence by the slow whooshing sound. My room seemed to grow slowly lighter.

11:59.

One minute to midnight.

The room felt like it was spinning- probably a dream- the light grew brighter. I popped my head up, searching for anything that could explain it- then the voice came-

“welcome to zero hour, Sofia”

it was slow, lilting, like my father’s when he boarded that plane…

“There are thirty seconds until midnight”

the voice continued, this time a booming explosion like outside the airport

“use it wisely”

the voiced said, full of innocence, like my six-year old brother Tyler tugging on my sleeve saying “Sofia, why is mommy crying” I shuddered- this was becoming too creepy- I tried to scream, but nothing came out

“Sofia, here is a chance to start your life over, make your father come back, your Mother happy again”

It reverted to a cooing comforting voice, like my babysitter five years ago- when I was ten.

“Make your choice now.”

The voice said imperiously, like my schoolteacher when I got a C.

I looked at the clock- I still probably had ten seconds left, it had happened so fast

“Yes” I whispered, and the voice heard. The room whirred, the digits on the clock spun, finally clicking to one number-

00:00

Suddenly it all stopped- I opened my eyes, it was morning- it had been a dream after all. the bird, a cardinal, I think, chirped outside my window. I could hear the dishes rattling upstairs-

Mom was making breakfast? I tried to remember the last time she did that- the day dad boarded that plane… a voice called from the hallway “Sofia you’ll be late for breakfast” it was deep and lilting, like my father’s- my fathers!

“Daddy!”





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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

guardianofthestars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:40 am
I was hanging on to my seat with that one! That was well written and made me keep guessing!
 
SmileyRayyn said...
Feb. 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm
It was quite suspenseful, I liked how you used the different tones of voice.
 
TheGirlWhoDancesWithSnowflakes said...
Feb. 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm
:O That... had me on the edge of my seat! I think I ate my nails to the point of no return! I DID not expect that ending! Good job at creating the element of intense suspense!
 
readaholic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm
aa! BIG SURPRISE, it was AMAZING!!! :) I didn't really understand it until the end...and what a great end it was!!
 
Ethereal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Thanks so much, it really does mean a lot.
 
samiasaskia24 said...
Feb. 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm
WOW Wow you got me hooked! The way you built up the suspense in the beginning made me shiver at the end of the story. You really capture the reader good!
 
Ethereal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Thank you!
 
Randomscreennamelalalala replied...
Sept. 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm
Wow. Really suspenseful. I usually give lot's of feed back, but I didn't see anything wrong with this. Maybe add a little more confusion? She seemed to take the voice in the night pretty well. 
 
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