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12:30pm, Victorville California. Nancy Ruiz, 26, young, beautiful and knowing this to be a fact, pulls to the curb in front of her home. Shutting down her car’s heated turbo engine, she sits quietly behind its steering wheel reflecting on the day’s earlier events. Staring through the front windshield she catches sight of her elderly neighbor walking her playful Rottweiler pup down the quiet neighborhood’s sidewalk.

Suddenly! Nancy hears a slight rumbling noise, which seems to vibrate through her car’s steering wheel. Once again she looks to her elderly neighbor and her pup as they both do a 360 puzzled of what occurring. An eerie silence blankets the neighborhood, not a pin drop can be heard, when instantly! A rumble, which quickly becomes a thunder, like large beast in a stampede through the neighborhood causes Nancy’s car to tremble, Nancy exclaims, “Oh shoot!”

Quickly opening the car door she jumps out. Slamming the car’s door with great force she screams to her neighbor, “Earth quake!Earth quake!”

Nancy grabs hold of her car as if trying to stop it from going anywhere. Her elderly neighbor falls to the ground as her pup pins himself on top of her. The rumbling grows stronger as Nancy too falls hard to the ground. Looking up she sees the asphalt street cracking like ice continuously down its center down the street. Sparks and geysers of water shoot through the widening cracks. Nancy screams, frantically praying for deliverance from God for the first time in her life. The sounds of crashes, smashes, explosions surround her. Then! As quickly as it started the rumbling and mayhem stops.

Nancy slowly removes her hands from her face and begins scanning the carnage around her, fountains of water and the sound of popping electric lines are prevalent. A hellish smell like sulphur and burning wood pinches her senses. Nancy’s heart begins racing when she realizes she was only a few feet from being swallowed by the now emerging gorge running down the middle of the street. Shocked, she crawls to the curbside to safely distance herself from it. A few houses down, a fire hydrant pops then jettisons into the air like a 4th of July rocket. Across the street, the quick blast of a gas-line exploding propels debris into the early afternoon’s sky.

Nancy looks to her neighbor who lies motionless on the sidewalk, as her young pup uncontrollably licks her face, then begins barking demanding her response.
Nancy yells, “Are you okay?!”

The elderly woman raises her head as if to regain her senses, looking to Nancy she calls back in a shallow voice, “What is it? The end of the world?”
Nancy yells back, “It was an earthquake….A damn big one! Stay down! There might be an aftershock we have to deal with.”

Minutes pass when the trembling and shaking begins again, the elderly neighbor again sinks her face into the ground. Nancy’s heart beats wildly, as her limbs tremble in unison with the ground beneath her which seems to be swaying in the wind. She watches the gorge in the middle of the street grow wider, moving ever so close in her direction. Nancy crawls further away reaching her front lawn to escape the earth’s ever widening mouth. Suddenly! Nancy’s beloved sports car lifts up right before Nancy’s eyes and is swallowed by the now widening canyon in the street. Nancy looks to her neighbor who is growing ever so close to the edge of the expanding earth’s hungry jaws.

Nancy screams, “Get up! Move! You’re going to fall in!”
Her neighbor doesn’t respond as her pup circles her in total fear.

Nancy quickly defeats her paralyzing fear, jumps up and dashes towards her neighbor. Reaching her, she grabs the woman’s thin arm as her pup barks uncontrollably. With all her strength Nancy pulls her away from the edge, as the woman screams insanely, “No!....No!....Leave me alone! Let me go!”
Nancy screams furiously, “Move! You idiot…Do you want to die?!”
The rumbling subsides. Nancy lets go falling backwards butt first, as the young pup displays his gratitude with countless sloppy kisses all over the complexion of Nancy’s self loved face. Nancy attempts to push him away, but he continues his barrage of overwhelming gratitude.
Nancy screams, “Come on you mutt! Get off me! You’re screwing up my make-up.”
Nancy’s neighbor raises her head slowly as Nancy yells furiously, “You were within inches of being killed!”
The woman replies nervously, “I was frozen. I couldn’t move”
Shaking her head in disgust Nancy answers, “Well thank God I was here, or you wouldn’t have been!”
“Oh thank you so much!” The woman responds gratefully as she begins to stand. “I’m very grateful along with Hootie.”
Nancy replies sarcastically, “You should teach your dog not to lick people’s faces.”
“Well! That’s because he’s really excited and that’s how he shows his love.” The woman responds.
Nancy snubs her nose answering sarcastically, “Well! I’d probably be biting the noses off all dogs if I was a dog, because I think that’s totally disgusting.”
“Well you know what they say?” The woman questions.
“No! What is that?” Nancy answers.

“A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.”
“I’ll be the judge of that!” Nancy blasts.
“Oh I guess you will!” Responds the woman shaking her head. She then looks towards the street and gasps, “Oh my God! Where did the street go?”
In a subtle tone, Nancy answers, “It’s gone, just like my car.”
Shocked the woman continues, “It’s a disaster! I have to get home and check on my house.”
“Where is your house?” Nancy questions.
“1216 at the end of the street.” The woman answers.
Nancy goes on, “You’re new around here aren’t you?”

“I moved here three months ago from Anaheim. Thought I’d be safer from earthquakes up here.”
“Boy were you wrong!” Nancy replies with a soft chuckle.
Turning to Nancy the woman responds in a serious tone, “I wouldn’t laugh if I were you, from the looks of this disaster; Anaheim may very well be in the Pacific.”
Nancy contemplates the woman’s response; her eyes widen as she then says “You just might be right?”

Once again the ground starts trembling, the elderly woman responds worriedly, “Here we go again.” The trembling stops, both women breathe a sigh of relief, as the restless pup tugs on his leash as if begging to go.
The elderly woman replies nervously, “I’ll be back…I hope.”
Nancy questions the woman, “By the way, what is your name anyway?”“Inga! Inga Stryker.”
“Well! Nice to meet you Inga, Inga Stryker.” Nancy responds nicely. “Be careful! Come back; let me know that you’re okay.” Nancy watches as Inga is pulled down the sidewalk by her inpatient pup.

Contributing Story Teller  Daniel Jay Mc Shane Poet and writer, my works can be found on several sites throughout the web, but I find Contentwriter the most self satisfying of them all. [email protected]

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