Describe an occasion when you were very frightened.
It was yet another occasional cable car ride to Sentosa except that this one was with my nonagenarian grandmother who had just arrived from Switzerland to embark on an annual one-week visit. We were in high spirits and the mood was set for an enjoyable day.
The cosy carriage greeted us invitingly and I boarded the cable car impatiently, pleased to get away from the blazing sun’s heat. I rushed to the clear glass windows and pressed my eager face against the cool glass surface, staring in awe at the panoramic view below me. It seemed that every skyscraper had turned into Lego toy blocks, and us humans on the ground looked like tiny ants, shuffling their feet in a hurried manner, as if rushing to gather their food. The cable car continued to move on. I gazed at the azure blue sea from above and observed the waves advancing and retreating like indecisive, cowardly enemies. It was such a scenic view that I ogled at it, completely oblivious of the animated chuckles and carefree conversations that filled the cable car.
Minutes later, the sound of a tightened rope being stretched to its limit spun me out of my reverie. I was bemused at first but froze at once when I witnessed the sight in front of me. A portion of the rope holding our cable and the other was frayed, leaving a small part to secure the two cables together. Upon seeing this, terror immediately engulfed the whole of the cable. My entire body was bathed in cold sweat, with my heart pumping with a jackhammer;s ferocity. All faces in the cable car registered anguish and some panicked despite a navy’s officer assurance thorough the loudspeaker to tell everyone to calm down. Horrid thoughts skittered in and out of my mind, unable to take shape. I held my grandmother’s hand tightly until my knuckles turned white, trying to soothe her that everything would be alright. Meanwhile, the cable car swayed whenever someone moved.
After a few shell-shocked minutes, a helicopter advanced towards our cable car. I was relieved but once again, my mind turned blank when I caught sight of just a few frayed strands securing both sides and was on the verge of snapping. I knew that rescue effort would be difficult. However, before I could even react, the propeller of the helicopter had cut the rope into two.
Fear screamed in my head and gripped my heart. A monstrous terror seized me and my heart pulsated, pumping ice-cold dread into every capillary of my body. For a moment, I hugged my grandma fiercely, muttering “ I don’t want to die… I can’t die…” These thoughts spun in my mind like an accelerating carousel, and I was almost certain of my doom.
Suddenly, I felt an abrupt halt. Carefully opening my tightly shut eyes, I looked out. Our cable car had actually enmeshed with another cable car, leaving us dangling like a yo-yo in mid-air. I was about to break into relief when what happened next chilled me to the bone. As soon as the rope snapped, the cable car next to us plunged right into the sea and was instantly engulfed by the water, with faint cries of the victims still lingering in the air. I slumped back in disbelief and my heart thumped down into a dark abyss, with an icy-cold hand clutching at it. My lips quivered as I had just witnessed the immediate deaths of four innocent souls.
Eventually, all passengers in the cable car were rescued and miraculously, none was hurt, save for a few bruises and emotional trauma. I was distressed by the four deaths, and these mournful memories still linger in my mind, whenever I was reminded of the adjacent family in the next cable car who died in the tragedy.