One minute I was hanging onto Charley's outstretched hand as he hauled me to my feet. The next second I clutched my throat. It felt like drowning except for the lack of water, that awful awareness that although the atmosphere was too thin to feel, it was too solid to breathe. I tried to draw in breath and the effort left me so weak, I fell against Charley and clung to him.
His hands grabbing me under my arms were all that kept me from collapsing to the floor.
“Try not to breathe,” he whispered. “Hang on to me.”
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