The Big One……….Chapter 8

                                       The five youngsters managed to get back to the farm house fairly quickly but things were a buzz long before they got there with friends and loved ones scrambling here and there. Buggies were being packed and heading off to various farms or homes to check on loved ones, properties and what not. A social fellowship luncheon held by the parents of Jacob and his two sisters had ended abruptly when the second quake had hit. The three girls and Jacob were pressed into service right away being sent here and there to run errands but Abe had become disengaged and was able to block everybody out. He was deeply curious as to what this quake had done and felt silently certain that this frightening event was far from over. Slipping away from the others he managed to climb the stairs of the old farm house undetected to the second floor and went to a back bedroom that looked over the back side of the farm. The land was open between the house and hill where the old barn once stood and one glance in that direction told Abe that the barn was now totally gone. There was at that moment a gripping feel of urgency that fell over the young man and he headed back down stairs to find Greta and the others and as he exited the side kitchen door and bumped into Greta the whole world began to heave and quake sending dust and a gas like substance into the air culminating in a moan from the bowels of the earth that sounded like a savage beast.  People ran and stumbled around in fevered bewilderment and large cracks burst open in the earth around them. A large well in the yard shot its water straight up in the air in one huge blast and that was when the house dropped in one motion into a large sinkhole leaving dust and mayhem of any composer that had remained amongst them.

                          Feeling a burst of inspiration Abe grabbed Greta’s hand and headed out across the nearby meadow shouting for all to follow him but only his sister came with him. They had not even gotten half way across the meadow when the folks at the house were killed by a deadly gas that belched from the cracks in the earth and the sinkhole that swallowed the house was soon to swallow their dead bodies. Abe and his sister never looked back as they rapidly crossed the meadow and climbed the hill into the woods on the other side.

                           Just as they mounted the hill and entered the woods, the meadow behind them fell away into a massive sinkhole and smoke mixed with gas filled the air. Weaving through the trees the two kept on running heading for a distant river on the other side. Trees fell here and there as the earth shifted and the soil moved under their feet making balance difficult. Finally reaching the river bank Abe left Greta at its edge to prepare the small canoe they had tied there. Turning with the small craft to bring it over to her he froze, Greta lay there over a crack that opened up under her with gas billowing all around her. Abe new she was dead and sorrow seized his very soul as he trembled and wept for his dear sister. A sudden crack brought him to his senses as the crack under his sister widened swallowing her body and all in one motion Abe dove into the canoe and was off down the river paddling towards  an area he hoped to be stable weeping, wailing and asking why………..but still……….he paddled.

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