To be continued...
Chapter 1: Rude Awakening
A great rumbling is felt beneath our feet as the building shakes violently from its foundation. It sways to the left at a sharp angle knocking books off their shelves and sending us toppling over grabbing onto fixtures trying to regain our balance. A look of sheer panic is sprawled across my brother’s face which matches the terror in my racing heart. We exchange frightened glances and run into our mother’s room to wake her.
“Ma! Maaa!” I yank at her bedsheets desperate to get her up in time, “Maa wake up! Look!”
Groggy, she yawns and rises taking a peak out of the bedroom window in the direction that I am frantically pointing at. The trees and landscape outside are rushing past as if we were glancing out of a speeding car. The building seems to be sliding down hill at a steady pace. My heart is in my throat now, yet my mother looks on unbothered.
“Yeah, this is asinine,” she comments nonchalantly before stretching and rolling out of bed slipping on her house shoes. She twirls a finger in the air without a care and trudges off to the bathroom to brush her teeth. “It’ll stop”.
We stare at her mouths dropping and eyes wide with confusion. Without realizing when it happened, the building comes to an abrupt stop some feet away from its original location. The elementary school that was directly across the street now positioned far left.
“What the hell?” My brother asks out loud baffled. He’s on her heels in a heartbeat. “What are you doing?! We gotta go!”
I hear her chuckle sheepishly. “We don’t have to go anywhere. Now move,” she pushes him playfully out the door. “I gotta pee.”
He catches it mid-swing with the side of his foot. “Mom!” He grabs her by the shoulder giving her a frantic shake. “What is wrong with you?! The building is about to collapse we need to go!
The shake seems to have stirred her out of her sleep state. She nods her head slowly “The building? Right… fine, let’s go check it out”. She grabs a robe off the rack and slips it on before we rush outside.
The sun is inexplicably blinding today. I hold my hands above my eyes peering through them like binoculars as they painfully adjust to the brightness. The air seems thicker as well. I take in deep breaths lungs feeling heavier with each inhale. I turn back half expecting mom to explain it away again, but the look on her face reads anything but confident. Worry is etched into the little frown lines on her forehead and I can feel my stomach sinking at the sight. She’s looking up at the sky spinning in circles, frazzled.
“Maybe it was an earthquake.” She comments out loud more to herself than to any one of us.
“How could an earthquake move the whole building though?” I asked sincerely confused and still a bit shell-shocked.
“Well I’m thinking mayb-“ Mom’s cut off by a low grumble followed by the ground moving. Surely, it’s the feeling of another tremor happening. I can feel the vibrations under my feet again, but now I also hear something in the distance behind it. Coming from down the hill, it sounds like the echo of faint murmurs coming closer and closer.
Mom instantly tenses and turns her head sharply in the direction of the ruckus. She gathers us behind her like a human shield. My brother opens his mouth to question her while I’m frozen in place with fear. “Not right now Leon!” She hisses at him before he can get the words out. We’re staring down the street unable to see past the hill top when a figure emerges on the horizon. I squint to see past the glare when the figure is unexpectedly joined by another, and then another right after it. Dozens of people appear and pause next to the first. It raises a hand and they begin to march forward at a hastened pace. The nearer they get, the clearer their faces become: furrowed in anger and deadest on where we are standing.
Mom whips around with a horrified look in her eyes, shoving us back towards the building entrance, she commands us with a deep booming voice, “RUN!”