Sarah stopped and straightened, wiping the sweat from her brow as she looked around at the mountains surrounding her. It was a steamy spring day in the tropics of Australia. On the horizon threatening foreboding storm clouds gathered and slowly drifted inland.
She turned to review her morning accomplishment in the garden and walked back slowly towards the farmhouse to make lunch for her herself and her small son Bailey, who was playing quietly under the mango tree which was bursting with pre-season fruit nearby.
As she stepped into the house, she stopped a moment and frowned, peering outside again into the sunshine. It was so still, unusually so for this time of day, calm and very silent. No birds were chirping away in the trees that were gently swaying on the hills nor were the rabbits skipping over the meadows and playing hide and seek with each other. “Eerie”.
She shrugged as she stepped inside and went to switch the television on as she made the sandwiches.
She froze as the picture came on and the voice boomed into the room. The midday newscaster was highly agitated as he spluttered out his lines. Sarah listened and watched intently, trying to grasp exactly what she was hearing.
“I repeat, New Zealand has been totally destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption and numerous deathly shockwaves that have caused the island country to sub duct between two tectonic plates. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in the catastrphic disaster”
“No, thought Sarah and shook her head, this cannot be happening and leaned forward to hear more.
The newscaster continued, Sarah’s face and body was beginning to register the horror and enormity of what she was hearing. A chain reaction had occurred along the Pacific plate, starting with deep quakes registering in the New Guinea region and after a period of calm it seemed all hell had broken loose. Volcanoes spewing molten lava had suddenly sprung up along the pacific and nazca plate edges where it intersected with smaller plates, instantly creating new islands where none had previously existed. The stresses caused from the plates shift had caused quakes all over the planet at it’s weakest spots, culminating in a massive horizontal slide of two plates intersecting south of new Zealand.
Shakily while still listening to the newscaster Sarah ran and called Bailey inside, stopping a moment to reflect and observe the dark formations on the horizon, they took on new meaning now, she thought as an ice cold chill ran up her spine.
She lived inland about 200 kilometres from the sea, on a mountain meadow, which seemed at the moment to be a safe spot as the newscaster began to list the areas affected by the massive tsunami’s that the series of seismic events had created. Her face fell as the television switched to footage of a massive wall of churned up muddy, dirty brown water barreling towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge, swallowing the Opera House, with just the peaks of the sails visible as the water consumed everything in it’s path.
What was happening here, she hugged Bailey to her chest, He seemed to sense something was wrong and he looked quizzically into her eyes, His own deep blue eyes staring innocently and questioningly at her. “Mummy” he said and touched her face with his tiny warm hand. “What is making you sad”.
Sarah choked and couldn’t answer him, she kissed him, then held him tighter as the voice and images droned on and on through her senses. The newscaster was fairly yelling now, his face was beet red as he told of the currently happening destruction of California. Ten minutes beforehand Mt St Helens had exploded, blowing a nearly a kilometre off the top of her and spewing lava miles into the sky, the shocks had triggered the San Andreas fault to give way in a reaction of quakes through to southern California, each measuring over 9 on the Richter scale.
The newscaster stopped as a hand came into camera view and passed him yet another sheet of paper. He frowned and sighed as he turned to face the camera. It was almost with a dull monotone that he read from the latest item to hit the desk.
“Due to the massive series of seismic events along the pacific rim of fire, the earth has created such a wobble that it is now believed the moon has been thrown erratically out of it’s normal orbit around our planet. It seems that these events will continue and it is as yet unknown when the events will subside. Emergency marshal law has been enacted all over the country. Please stay tuned for instruction bulletin to follow.
Suddenly the earth beneath Sarah’s feet became unstable. She squealed loudly as she felt a rush of power come towards her. She felt like she was on the edge of a high cliff, with a steam train rushing at her full steam, a roar rang in her ears as she ran to escape the confines of the house, Bailey still held tightly against her chest. Sarah fell out of the front verandah and laid there as the Earth rendered, shook and screamed beneath her. The air around her rushed and roared. Bailey started screaming, his voice blending in with the screams of the earth. The wrenching and tearing continued as the sky darkened and a thick orange brown cloud filled the air. Inside the house the TV became silent, but the shaking continued, getting stronger and stronger.
Sarah pulled Bailey closer and crawled away from the house as behind her the foundations of the 150 year old farmhouse tore away and the building collapsed with a screech of torn metal. The ground tore apart in front of her and she stopped crawling and she watched in seemingly slow motion as the garden she had tendered to so lovingly that morning slid away down into a pit that had appeared, swallowing it all in one long movement. Sarah screamed now as on the distant mountain peaks, bright red rivers of molten lava appeared, bursting into the heavens like New Year’s fireworks against the darkened skies.
Bailey stared transfixed as steam vents sizzled up in geysers and all around cracks appeared on the ground like a maze of spider webs over the area. Trees were uprooted and crashed back down with an almighty wrenching sound
The roar was louder now, the shaking seemed to be building to a crescendo, a symphony of horror and Sarah found she could not move or make a sound and then it happened. The crescendo peaked, there was a flash, a crack of sound, blinding colour and in that instant of agonizing pain Sarah called Bailey’s name. Then there was nothing as an explosion ripped through the solar system and the Earth was no more.
Sarah woke up sweating and reached over to hold Bailey and kiss him
She was shaking as she remembered what could be….one bad nightmare.