Tallamh Cuid II (Earth Part II)
Ρουσόλακκος, Ελλάδα (Roussolakkos, Greece)
The ripple knocked Olivia Wright back, almost hitting Joseph. Her water bottle spilled the last of its contents on the ground. Luca ran towards her.
“Olivia, are you all right?” he asked worriedly.
“I’m fine, Luca,” Olivia replied, getting to her feet. “But what the hell just happened?”
“It could have been a small quake,” said Joseph, “there are a lot of them around here.”
“But that does not explain why –”
Luca was cut short by a yell from Jack. The other three turned to find in staring and pointing, shocked, at the ground.
“Look!” he gasped.
They spotted what he was pointing at. Where Olivia had spilled her water, huge green shoots were beginning to sprout, rapidly transforming into beautiful flowers. Olivia looked in wonder at this new patch of life. Then she heard a rumble, and without warning, the patch began to grow. More flowers bloomed, a blanket of grass spreading underneath it. She laughed in delight.
“It’s a miracle!” she marvelled, as the flora spread among the ruins. The three men laughed with her, all feeling a mixture of surprise and delight.
Of course, it was in that moment of pure elation, that it all went spectacularly wrong.
It started with a roar of pain from Jack. The trunk of a sapling had impaled him, its branches growing out of his head. Olivia started to scream. It was the single most horrific thing she had seen in her life. Olivia was frantically trying to think of a way to save him, but she knew there was no hope, once the trunk expanded rapidly and caused Jack to explode, splattering Olivia in gore.
“Olivia, let us go!” Luca screamed in her ear. She didn’t need to be told twice. Joseph was already fleeing, and she and Luca sprinted after him.
They ran as quickly as they could, while the rampant vegetation followed close behind. With every pace Olivia feared a tree would grow through her. Each step was a risk, and she knew she didn’t have much energy left in her. The forest was closing in, about to surround her.
Then, without warning, it stopped. Olivia and Luca turned around, while Joseph kept running, all the way back to town.
“That,” Luca panted, “was close.”
Olivia could only nod in agreement, struggling to get her breath back, grateful for the sudden respite. It didn’t last long.
A huge, towering oak burst forth from the ground, only a few feet away from them. They fell back with the shock and crawled away as quickly as they could. After a few seconds it stopped, and the forest once more seemed still.
Olivia counted slowly to ten, before turning to Luca and laughing nervously. “No, Luca, that was close.”
Luca didn’t respond. He was too busy staring at Olivia’s feet. Olivia followed his line of sight, and what she saw almost made her faint.
She was right, it had been close. Too close in her case. One of the roots of the tree had grown down through her right foot. She was so struck with horror, she couldn’t even scream. Her mouth hung wide open, frozen in shock. She stared at the foot for a full five seconds.
And then she fainted.
Olivia Wright had asked for a miracle, and she had gotten it.
A miracle which was both a blessing, and a curse.