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Time StormTIME STORM

By Rosalyn Alsobrook

Pinnacle Books, 7/95
(Time Travel involving the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889)
ISBN: 1-55817-728-0
Excerpt from end of Chapter Seventeen
...Still, she<JoAnn> continued to force one foot in front of the other, knowing in less than five minutes, Adam's fate would be sealed. She had to keep running. She had to save him.

Conscious of the equal risk to her own life, she continued toward the front gate of the Institute. She was only several dozen yards away from the entrance when the rain slackened to a light drizzle. Seconds later, the unbroken blast of the Cambria Iron whistle warned the citizens of some untold danger to which no one knew how to react.

The citizens of Johnstown started shouting and darting about in the drizzling rain, calling to each other with panic tearing at their voices. They had no real direction since they had no idea what the impending danger might be.

But JoAnn knew. Someone had finally paid attention to the messages being sent down the valley from telegraph stations along the way. The dam had broken. The twenty million tons of water and wreckage had established its course.

JoAnn was just short of the front steps when she heard the loud, steady rumble of the approaching water. It sounded like nothing she had ever heard. The ground beneath her vibrated from the coming assault.

With a combination of fear and disbelief for she truly believed there would be time to save Adam, she turned to watch as the towering black wall of death crashed through the valley like a rolling avalanche, taking whole buildings in its wake.

The incessant sound of people screaming was broken only by the ear-splitting crashes of buildings going down and the desperate brays of animals crying their last. Glass shattered as whole houses were ripped from their foundations, making the scene before her more terrifying than any of the accounts she had read in books. The water was more violent and the destruction more devastating than anything she had imagined.

Helpless to save herself, she stood there, gasping for air, her lungs still throbbing with the want of oxygen while she watched the giant avalanche devour house after house, drawing the remains into its craw like a child sucking Jello. She heard the frantic screams of the people still desperately scrambling to get out of the water's way, yet finding no safe haven.

The hills were too far and even the tallest trees offered no refuge to those agile enough to climb them--not from a mountain of water forty-foot high.

Horrified, JoAnn watched while the wall of death rolled steadily toward her. She did not turn away and run like the others. Nor did she scream. She simply stood there, facing the torrent, frozen with the realization she had lost her race against time.

Having accepted her fate, her last thoughts were of Adam.

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