Sarah Fielding woke in a haze of pain. The last thing she remembered the family had been going to visit Uncle Damon in Piedmont. Then there had been a horrible screeching sound and everything had gone dark. Now, she lay in a different sort of darkness. All around she could hear people whimpering or crying out.

“Sister?” a soft voice said from near her shoulder. She looked up to see the tears-stained face of her little brother. “I can’t get mom to wake up and I can’t find Dad. I – I think the train derailed.”

Sarah moaned and forced herself to sit up. “Are you hurt, Cedric?” she asked softly. The boy shook his head, but his arm was held tightly to his side and he seemed to be favoring it.

“We… we have to get out of the train, Cedric,” she said. “It might be dangerous to stay inside. There might be fires.”

Cedric nodded and helped her to her feet. The train car seemed to be tipped on its side, but they managed to climb carefully over the windows and make it to one of the doors. Cedric looked back one last time at the wreckage, before he looked up at his sister. “What do we do?” he asked.

“Everyone,” Sarah called to the other passengers. “If anyone can hear me, the way out’s this way.” She was relieved to see that there were forms, other people following the path they’d taken. She carefully pushed the door open and clambered out. Once her feet were on solid ground, she helped her brother out as well. Then they retreated a distance from the train.

Cedric whimpered softly and Sarah set a hand on his shoulder, guiding him to sit on the ground. “There now, Cedric, I’m sure help is on the way. It’ll be alright.” She looked up at the starry sky and prayed that she was right.