Writing Prompt: Quick Sand Rescues Gone Awry

*Just to WARN you, this prompt contains slightly gruesome and disturbing content. Proceed to read at your own emotional discretion.

One of my BYU Geology professors told us horror stories once about people getting stuck in a certain soil consistency, the name of which, unfortunately, escapes me. Okay, it’s not really “quick sand,” which has more of a water-like consistency that will allow an individual to float. This is different. What happens is, after sinking into mud with this kind of consistency, every time you try to pull up with your boot to get un-stuck this squeezes the water out of the mud and it literally hardens like cement. When you release that pressure, the underlying mud liquefies and you sink a little deeper. Struggle with this enough and you might eventually end up like one of my professor’s grad students who actually sank up to her chest and thought she was going to die (yay for real-life geology adventures!). Fortunately, my professor knew what to do. He spread out his body weight on a couple of wooden planks and slowly dug away at the mud until he got her out.

Here is an example, however of the wrong thing to do when rescuing someone from this soil consistency, the name of which escapes me (I know, so helpful for saving lives this way). Once upon a time there was a woman walking along a beach who got stuck in this kind of soil and sank up to about her waist. She remained calm and was careful not to struggle anymore so she wouldn’t sink deeper, but the tide was coming in. Some people found her and tried to simply tug her out, but they were unsuccessful. They gave her breathing equipment so she wouldn’t drown, and eventually a helicopter was called in to rescue the young woman. They tied a line around her waist…and everything above her waist up came up with the helicopter. The end. YIKES! (I warned you it would be gruesome!) Apparently and tragically it’s a true story. I think the moral of the story from my professor’s point of view was to be geo-hazardly educated or something like that…

Writing Prompt: Quick Sand Rescues Gone Awry (ND)

Write a story where someone gets trapped in quick sand, that lame soil consistency who’s name I can’t remember, a cravace, or some other perilous circumstance and the survivors have little or no idea how to get out of this alive. Fortunately, all they have to do is hang on until help arrives. I’ll let you decide whether the rescuers succeed or fail horrifically in their tactics.

Beauty of Decay Writing Prompts
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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
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