Reader, do you enjoy suspense? Do you like it when the author gives you hints but does not tell you? Then you will enjoy these four survival stories. “The Life Cycle: A Journey's Tale” is a survival story about the perils and struggles the main character must endure in the cycle we call life. It is the reader’s job to figure out who is narrating the tale. “A Boy's Search for Midnight” is an adventure short prose about a boy who is saddened with grief about losing his dog. He decides to go on a quest to find his dog during the dead of winter. While the boy is searching for his dog, he loses his way and slides down the bank. The reader follows the boy as he struggles to find his way home. “Surprise! A Gift of Revenge” is a quick read thriller about a woman who receives a disturbing photograph in the mail. At first, she thinks it may be a prank. As the story unfolds, certain events happen that cause the woman to fear for her life. “The Traveler: A Portal Fantasy” is an easy read fantasy about a boy who escapes getting killed by accidentally transporting himself to a fantasy realm. The Traveler must overcome several obstacles on his quest to find his way home.
“The Traveler: A Portal Fantasy” I sit on my Huffy Stingray staring at the 45-degree hill. I’m going to kill myself. This went so much better in my head. Besides, I have taken all the precautions. I have my football helmet, my Evel Knievel pajamas, and my emerald amulet that my grams gave me before she died. She told me it would protect me. I do not believe it is true. But it never hurts to be safe. I exhale and lift my feet off the ground. My tires echo against the asphalt. The mountain road winds and dips like the Texas Cyclone. The houses zip by in a blur of black and white. MY handlebars shake from side to side. I tighten my grip as the downtown traffic echoes through the stretch of the last 50 yards. The cars drive back and forth as I brake. The chain falls off. My muscles become tense. I ride through the blinking red light and close my eyes. Everything becomes as dark as night. #### The thunder awakens the night sky. Lightning flashes through the cabin’s doorway. I clutch my chest and roll onto the dirt floor into a ball. It feels like a giant hand is squeezing and twisting my heart. The pain is unbearable. My legs shake as I crawl to my feet and I stumble out of the cabin. The thunder vibrates under me. The suffering intensifies. I collapse. #### The ocean is pitch black. My eyes burn, but I keep them open. A faint light below me is a distance of about 30 yards. With a swift kick, I dive. A school of strange-looking fish swims past me. My chest feels like it is going to explode. I cannot hold my breath much longer. My arms and legs throb with pain. I gasp. The midafternoon sun shines… wait a minute. The moon is where the sun should be. It’s bright and radiates heat. What kind of place is this? My grams said the amulet would protect me. She forgot to mention that I would be transported to another world. I have had enough adventure to last a lifetime. All I wanted to do was pretend I was Evel Knievel and ride down Seminary Hill. If the amulet brought me here, it can send me home. I squeeze my eyes and think of my bedroom. Nothing. I try again. This time, I grip the amulet. Nothing. I peer at it. “How are we going to get home?” First things first. I need to find dry land. Birds fly overhead and dive intermittently. Smoke rises on the horizon. I swim using a lackadaisical backstroke. My dad taught me how to use my hands and legs in a relaxed manner. He said that I could swim for hours using his version of the backstroke. I stop and turn around. The shoreline is about 200 yards away. #### The stench of dung fills my nostrils. I spring to my feet. Great, I collapsed in a pile of poo. Several wolves lie across the meadow. What the fairies is going on? I creep up to one of the wolves. “Hey,” I yell. It doesn't move. Maybe a sound sleeper. I kick it. Nope, it’s not sleeping. What the fairies. Who killed them? How is that even possible? They’re fierce fighters... I kneel next to one of the wolves. A blanket of black ash covers the pack. It’s as if someone roasted them over a fire. Fairy magic. I jog across the meadow to my cabin. #### A stick jabs me in my shoulder. I turn over. It pokes me in the butt. “What the hell.” I open my eyes. “You dead?” says an old fox wearing a tunic. Where in tarnation am I?...
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