Jake, Randy, and Daniel arrived at Mildred’s house. A portion of her
screened-in porch had collapsed around her. Daniel had tried to get her
out, but he just wasn’t strong enough alone. Jake said, “Daniel,
where are your brothers?”
“Who knows?” Daniel said, clearly irritated. “We gotta get
Grandma. We’re running out of time.”
“Relax, Daniel,” Jake said. “We’ll get her. I just wanted to
know if they were in the house.”
Daniel said, “Don’t know. Don’t care.”
Randy, Jake, and Daniel all worked together, moving debris gently, not
knowing for sure where Mildred was, as she was unconscious somewhere
under the rubble.
Then Daniel said. “There! I see her arm over there! She’s not
Jake said, “Daniel, I need to you calm down.”
Instead, Daniel started moving stuff in a panic. Randy grabbed Daniel
and pulled him off the debris, throwing him violently away. Daniel got
up and grabbed Randy from behind, trying to pull him down. Randy turned
around and punched him in the mouth, knocking him to the ground. Then he
grabbed his jacket with both hands, pulled him up, and got in his face.
Daniel shouted, “Dude, calm down!”
“You’re not gonna help your grandma if you cause more stuff to fall
Jake pulled Daniel loose from Randy’s grip and got between them.
“Guys, we have to work together here.” Daniel stood there, stunned
at what had just happened. Randy and Jake went back to moving rubble.
Jake said, “Daniel, come here. When we hold this up, I want you lock
your arms under your grandma’s shoulders and pull her out slowly.”
Daniel just stood there, staring at his unresponsive grandma, oblivious
“Daniel!” Jake yelled. “Can you do it? She needs you, boy.”
Daniel snapped to it. “Yes. Yes, I can do that!”
Jake said, “Randy, on three, we lift. One, two, three.”
Daniel pulled his grandma out. She was bleeding from her head and from
her leg. Daniel leaned down to her nose and mouth and listened.
Jake said, “Randy, grab a couple of sticks to make a splint for her
leg. Then we can transport to the gym.” They got Mildred into the back
of the truck. Daniel jumped in with her, holding her head in his lap.
“Daniel, keep pressure on that head, okay?” Jake said.
“She’s gonna be okay,” Jake said as he put his hand on Daniel’s
shoulder to give reassurance.
Daniel looked up with tears running down his face. “She is all I have.
She just has to live.”
Jake gave a little grin, and they drove to the gym. Victims were laid
out in rows on the floor. Dolores met them at the door. “Mildred!”
Daniel said, “You gotta help her, please!”
Dolores said, “Daniel, we’ll do everything we can.” A few doctors
had come in from surrounding towns to help. They took Mildred right
Excerpted from "Seasons" by Lea Ann Vandygriff. Copyright © 2017 by Lea Ann Vandygriff. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.