Which is to write a passage that leaves you hanging at the end, and then to re-write the ending into a bigger cliffhanger. And here it is. What do you think? Ready?
Sheila cried out. “There isn’t time, we need to go now!”
Barry was still on the phone talking to the head of the department. “Doctor, the storm is looking really bad. We need to pull out and…” He was cut off by whatever Doctor Fine was telling him. Sheila looked to the others for a sign of agreement. They stood there like statues, completely indecisive of their next steps.
Barry pulled the phone away from his ear to speak to us. “The doctor wants us to stay and finish the experiment.”
“There is a hurricane bearing down on us right now” said Sheila. “If we don’t get out of here soon we’ll never make it.”
“He says it’s only a Category One hurricane and we should be fine.” Outside the sound of the shed roof being torn off drew their attention. It sounded like a cat being strangled for a very long time. It was drawn out by one bolt that wouldn’t let go, allowing the tin roof to bang against the side of the shed for a few moments, then with a screech it was torn off and flew by the window.
“Give me the phone” Sheila shouted. Barry held it out to her and she snatched it into her fist.
“Listen Doctor, the shed just got mangled by these high winds and we will be too if we stay any longer. I’m getting us out of here!”
His stern voice became commanding as he spoke to her. “Look here, I’m not paying you to run from storms, I’m paying you to run an exper…”, and the phone went dead.
“Hello?” said Sheila. “Hello? Dammit!” She slammed the phone down as it was no longer useful. “The phone just went dead and we will be too if we don’t get out of here.
“But the doctor…” began Barry, and then the lights went out, leaving them blinded for a second before their eyes adjusted. The small light coming through the windows gave them just enough to make out silhouettes of each other. Outside the wind yowled like a banshee, bending trees thought immovable and making cars dance.
From a distance there was a groaning, creaking sound. It was coming from another part of the lab, the side facing the storm. Sheila cried “What fresh hell is this?” Barry, Ann and Vince unknowingly gathered together, looking for safety in proximity. Sheila began thinking of a way out. It was too late to avoid the storm, now it was time to find a place to take cover.
From somewhere inside the building came a grinding sound that shook the entire room. Sheila turned to look at the door, wondering what could be happening now.
Suddenly something crashed through the windows. Instantly the room was turned into a vortex of wind and rain, causing everyone to duck and cover their heads from the onslaught. Barry cried out, “The experiment!” But it was too late. The glass case was cast from the table and smashed open on the floor, letting the spores escape into the whirling air.
“Cover your mouths!” Sheila cried, but she knew it was too late. She also knew what was about to happen to them. As she covered her head from the debris, she cursed the doctor’s name, and prepared herself for what was about to happen next.