The Big One……………Chapter 4

                      Dave had to wait a little longer than he thought he would have to because the three women and two men in his group were close to an hour late. Being the good natured fellow that he was, it did not bother him when they finally arrived and joked about being late. Dave simply shock his head in understanding at their joke with a smile. Janice was an outgoing feminist and school teacher from Omaha Nebraska and she had brought her sister Amanda with her who had brought her tom boy friend Tonya. Tonya had brought two of her baseball buddies Reggie and Arnold, both of these two gents seemed to be silent types. All of the talking was mostly done by the outgoing, seemingly type A personality Janice. The entire conversation on the one hour walk to the large cave mouth half way to the summit was dominated by her. Dave was silently grateful that his girlfriend was not there today because he knew that she would not be the type to suffer such a person for long. Even he being the easy going fellow that he was found himself growing weary of Janice as they entered the mouth of the vast cave network below the towering mountain peak. Dave gave specific instructions to stay with him but he was ignored as Janice did not stop her chatter throughout his brief talk. Heading into the cave with his flashlight now in hand Dave made a couple of attempts to explain things but was no match for the thundering voice of Janice who seemed to know everything. Every person in the group was athletic except the loud mouthed Janice who’s talk turned to complaining when they began the steep climbs and descents that this trek demanded of a person. Dave’s patience was really growing thin when the group paused in a large open area to rest. Turning to answer a question that Tonya had asked Dave did not see that the two sisters Janice and Amanda had ignored his instructions to stop and had simply went on without the group. Realizing suddenly what had happened Dave shouted for them to return to the group but as he did the entire cave gave a rending heave as a howling type groan belched from the bowels of the earth and distant tortured screams came up from the descending tunnel that the girls had gone down.

The Big One…….Chapter 3

                                    Kevin Cross lived just outside Los Angeles California otherwise known as the American west coast. This tall, young twenty three year old had one passion alone and that was riding the waves on his surf board. It did not matter who was with him or even if he was alone, when the surf was up Kevin was out there on his board. On this particular day Kevin had just come out of the basement apartment of his parents sprawling suburban home that he was still promising to some day pay rent for. He got a text message as he got in his black jeep, it was his buddy Joel Ramirez asking Kevin to pick his girlfriend Tiffany and himself up on his way to the beach. Kevin did not mind these two, Joel was a fairly good surfer. Tiffany on the other  hand tried her best but was always good for a laugh. Pulling up to Joel and Tiffany’s apartment he saw that they were already waiting there. Joel hopped in the front and Tiffany in the back after strapping their two boards up top with Kevin’s.

                                 “Ready for another day in the surf”, ask Kevin?  ” You bet”, replied Joel as the they took off towards the beach.

                                   There are those who get to the beach when they can and others who live there, on this day it was packed with both. It did not take the three youngsters long to get into the water and ride the crest of the waves. The day was warm and the waves fairly high and this made for good surfing. A couple of hours went past and the three got hungry and so they sat on the beach to eat the lunch Tiffany had packed. They were fairly tired and so not much conversation passed between them, but they did however decide to stay into the evening and have supper on the beach. As the three of them finished lunch and headed back to the water with their boards the sandy ground beneath their feet seemed to heave up then down and a horrible groan came from beneath the earth.

                                “My god”, exclaimed Tiffany but one look  around told them that many on the crowded beach had not even noticed.

This was California and quakes on such a small scale were common place. So it was back in the water for more swimming and fun…….for now.

The Big One Chapter 2

Greta Yoder was your normal run of the mill beautiful blonde haired and blue eyed Amish girl. Her hair went way past her waist when she let it down. Her group was considered the second largest order of the Amish. The Weaver Amish were strict when it came to rules and enforcement especially when a member was being shunned. This thought was heavy on her mind this fine late June morning in Lancaster county Pennsylvania as she and her brother Abe went down the lovely country road to visit friends at the counties edge. The dark American standard breed horse named Waffle who pulled their buggy moved along swiftly oblivious to the troubled thoughts of concern churning in the mind of young Greta.

“We will be shunned if anyone catches us”, she mutter to Abe presently as if she spoke to herself.

” Oh drop it”, Abe grunted sullenly, “it’s not like we are going to shoot a church elder for God’s sake, it’s just a ball game broadcast on a hand held radio set”.

” I know I know”, said Greta.” I am just afraid of being caught that’s all”.

Abe simply shrugged, ” relax little sister, you worry too much like our mom, things will be fine”.

The buggy turned right off of the country road up a long farm drive way and came to stop near the side kitchen door of a large farm house. The door burst open presently and out bounced young eighteen year old Ada Stoulphus. She was very happy to see her friends and told them in her normally over excited way that their other two friends, her two older siblings had gone on to the old barn at the back side of the farm to wait. She then hopped into the small buggy and off they drove to the back side of the farm to meet up with Jacob and Ella.

Young Ada was sweet on twenty three year old Abe but he simply ignored her and that was that. As they pulled up to the old barn the door swung open and out came Ella and Jacob.

“Its about time”, said Jacob.” I was starting to wonder if you had chickened out or something”.

Abe ignored his verbal jab, ” you got the radio”? , he asked.

” Yup it’s in the barn”, said Jacob, “come on”.

They all headed into the barn where the wireless radio waited on a pile of hay. The pre game show for the Philadelphia Phillies against the Pittsburgh Pirates instantly had the attention of the two young men . The three young ladies had other things that held their interest with plenty to talk about and so they wandered outside to chat.

The air was warmer now and the barn sat on a bit of a hill so that one could see for miles the entire quarter section of this farm and other surrounding farms as well. The young ladies continued their chatting for the next couple of hours with the two young men still glued to the radio in the barn. Just after they had finished their lunch young Greta stood to her feet throwing her hands in the air uttering a loud and overly exaggerated yawn. At this very moment the whole hill they were on seemed to give a heave and at the same time a sickening groan came from beneath the ground. The three girls stood there, Greta with her hands still above her head and no one said a word.

The two young men burst from the barn, “what the hell” , bellowed Abe. ” What was that” , shouted Jacob?

” We are not sure” , said Ella while Greta still stood there hands over her head. ” It seems to be one of those earth tremors Grandpa spoke about”, said Ada.

With the passing of a few more minutes shock gave way to calm and the girls settled down to slowly relax and progress hesitantly back to normal. Abe and Jacob headed back into the barn to resume their interest in the ball game. All was peaceful……..once more……….for the present time!

The Big One………..Chapter 1

It was a day like any other for Dave Rippley in this wonderful mountain range of Colorado. The mountain tour guide was young and tall with dirty blonde hair. His slender build made it easy for him to move quickly through mountain passes and caves making him the ideal person to have as your hiking mentor. His girlfriend  Martine of similar build and height  accompanied him at times but today she had chosen to stay home in the comfort of their condo on the outskirts of Denver. The mid morning sun shone down on the mountain side and valley below with the air crisp but a tad thinner at this height. Birds swooped down and sang here and there making this late June walk about bring new life to every fibre of the twenty six year olds being. As always before he would take a group exploring caves or just hiking the wonderful outdoors of these mountain side trails, Dave would walk alone planning what he would do that day in order to make the trip enjoyable for his group. Six or seven was normally the largest number of people in his group but today he would only take five. They had asked him to show them a vast network of caves on the mountain he was now on about halfway between the base and summit. It looked so majestic as one peered up just before entering the large mouth of the first cave, where towering over head was the massive mountain top that narrowed near the top making it more tower like. Without another glance Dave headed into the cave with his rechargeable flashlight in hand. The route he had chosen for todays tour was an interesting one that included travel through darkness with descents, climbs and even areas where there was no ceiling and the light of day would shine down on them. Descending now into the final downward slope before completing his pre tour trek his light danced off the walls detecting a batt hanging here and there harmless as they are. Suddenly the whole passage way seemed to heave slightly upwards and down again culminating in the most terrible groan coming from the bowels of the earth. His initial response was one of shock but being raised most of his life in this mountain range Dave knew that this was just what they called a minor earth tremor that happened from time to time. Upon completing his pre tour trek he then hurried to the foot of the mountain to meet his group.