“Hanging in the Balance” by Amy Tao, age 12

against all odds

What’s one good way to start a story? By setting up a dangerous situation in an exotic location!

    The small pale blue cable car slid smoothly along the wire. Above it was the brilliant blue sky and the occasional wild bird. Below, a wide river rushed on, dark water gurgling and swirling around the stones and the towering rainforest trees. The occupants of the cable car, two teenaged girls, had happy faces. The one with dark brown hair stuck her head out of the window and snapped a photograph while the other with black hair shaded something on a sketchbook. Both marvelled at the breath-taking and magical view. Happiness and excitement hung in the air, and all was well, but the deadly Amazon Rainforest had not earned its notorious reputation for nothing.
           Suddenly, there was a screech, and the cable that had been taut and stretched out suddenly went slack, and the cable car went into free fall with a great whoosh of air, crashing against branches as it did so and finally coming to a shuddering stop. It hung in mid-air, dangling and shaking five metres above the forest ground below. Screams echoed through the forest.

From “Against All Odds”, published 2012

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