The soldiers were intent on taking us across the river and began pulling us toward the ice. We frantically tried to cling to bushes, the ground, anything that would keep us in Chinese territory, but we were no match for the angry soldiers. The one guard standing above me was particularly ferocious. His grip was strong and his eyes piercing. To let me know he was serious, he kicked my jaw and shoulder with his heavy black boot and then delivered another crushing blow to my shoulder. I felt my neck snap from the first kick, and my whole body went numb from the second one.

Before we knew it, the soldiers were dragging us back onto the frozen river. Euna and I scrambled to grab each other. Not wanting to be separated, we grasped each other's hands. The soldiers violently ripped us apart and continued to haul us across the ice.

I tried to make the weight of my body as heavy as possible as I lay there on the frozen river. The soldier who was dragging me by one of my arms looked down at me with a fiery intensity, his eyes burning with determination.

"Please, please, we're sorry," I yelled, hoping some Chinese border guards might hear the commotion and come to our rescue. "Mitch!" I screamed, wondering if he was still within radio frequency and could hear my voice. "Help us. I think we're going to die."

I saw the soldier's boot coming for me again, this time pounding the right side of my face. I could feel my body writhing from the pain.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I screamed, looking up into the soldier's cold eyes. Seething with anger, he raised his rifle. I froze in terror. This could be the end, I thought. In a flash, he struck the butt of the gun down against my head. Immediately, I fell into a daze.

Excerpted from Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home by Laura Ling & Lisa Ling. Copyright © 2010 by HarperCollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.


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