It was impossible to focus with her head so full of spinning images and thoughts. Somewhere within the swirling muddle of her head was a warning, but it refused to surface. Sara had never tried drugs, but wondered if that glittery goop she had just swallowed might actually be some kind of illegal narcotic, or maybe something which had spoiled over time. What was she thinking, ingesting that stuff? Was she crazy?! Her stomach rolled just a bit at the thought of some exotic fungus now growing inside her belly, all because of her impetuous nature.
Her room dipped again, and her walls trembled hard enough to knock the hanging photographs to the floor. Sara sat atop her covers and looked dumbly at her bare toes, willing them to spring into action and carry her body from this earthquake-stricken house. But they did not, they remained planted on her bed and only waived at her.
The house rumbled again, and this time she heard something in the attic fall to the floor above her head. She had only experienced an earthquake once before, in sixth grade. She had been in her seat, rummaging through her backpack on the floor, when suddenly the entire room swayed and made her grip her desktop to steady the vertigo. But that incident had been very brief and minor, something barely memorable.
This was terrifying.
Suddenly, her feet freed themselves from their stagnancy and Sara jolted from her bed and out her bedroom door. She hit the stairs full throttle and descended two-at-a-time until she collided with the ground floor. She sprinted out the front door and didn't stop running until she was out by the mailbox by the sidewalk, what she assumed might be the minimal safe distance should her home collapse.
She looked down the street, expecting to see power outages and downed limbs. Instead she saw only her placid, tree-lined street. The Wilkersons leisurely walked their dog farther down the road. Either they didn't feel the earthquake or they didn't care. Pushkin didn't seem to care either, for he casually sniffed a bush in preparation to relieve himself.
But another rumble hit, bigger than a tremor, and Sara had to grab for the fence to keep from falling in the grass. For some strange reason, she looked up, past the lush green leaves of the overhead tree canopy, and into the sky. Perhaps she needed to make sure the stars hadn't been dislodged from their appointed spots in the heavens and were currently plummeting to Earth to obliterate all of humanity.
Nope. The stars twinkled uneventfully, as they had been for millennia.
Sara wrapped her arms around her body and shivered as gooseflesh crawled across her skin. A cool breeze ruffled the overhead leaves, which reminded her that she wore only her bedclothes -- shorts and a tank -- and she was freezing.