The Big One…………………………..Chapter 26

                                                         Abe Yoder had many thoughts crossing his mind during the past few days of his westward journey and now someone to talk to with little three year old Emily. There was many a time that he silently whispered a prayer for the three year old as she slept against his big shoulder and would call to her mommy or daddy in her dreams. Wild dogs and coyotes howled here and there and shining eyes peered out of the dark night at times but the two for the most part of the journey traveled unmolested. Abe wondered if there were any other humans left in the world. Just before entering the state of Colorado they happened upon the ruins of a large transport truck and found that it had been bound for a department store when the tragedy had struck. Abe was able to get into the trailer and find many changes of clothes for himself and little Emily. Now that she had consumed a few good meals the little girl talked constantly with Abe and a bond began to develop between the two. Abe knew in his heart that the Lord had set this little girl in his way for a reason and that he was now her new parent and he gladly accepted responsibility. They paused now by a nice spring fed pond on entering the mountains and they both toke a bath. They had just dried off when on the other side of the pond appeared a large bear. He sniffed the air while looking over at the two and the horse snorted and began to move about nervously. Abe quickly went to the horse and got him hitched to the buggy and then put Emily and their things into it while climbing in himself. The bear this whole time was wading across the pond towards them and was almost to the other side as they pulled away. They heard a loud scream as they moved away and looked back and could not believe their eyes as what appeared to be a little male cougar stood between themselves and the bear and would not let him pass or pursue the buggy.

                                                “Thank God “, said Abe as they moved away out of site and on into the mountains.

                                                   The roads in the mountains were still pretty much intact and not much had seemed to have changed since his last visit to his uncle and aunt. There did however come a time when they had to leave the buggy and ride the horse and with the gathering gloom of dusk they stood in the forest looking down on the valley farm. The house was a glow with inner lights and a few people sat on the back porch talking. Before he could reach for his horses mouth it stamped loudly and blew out a loud whistling nicker bringing everyone on the porch to their feet.

The Big One……………………….Chapter 25

Dave Rippley had seen much these past few weeks from finding this mountain Valley farm deserted and spending a short time alone to the place being full now that the chopper had arrived carrying three young ladies plus their dead friend with a male scientist. The three ladies were wonderful but this Fred Casper seemed very withdrawn and secretive. Dave had hit it off very well with the young 23 year old Loraine Michaud and following the mishap in the woods where their young friend Kevin Cross had been rendered unconscious, Amber Gershwin who seemed to have eyes for Kevin agreed to stay and watch him. This left Dave and his female companion with time on their hands and so following some farm chores they set out into the surrounding mountains to explore. The mountain trails that had existed before the quake were still for the most part intact but it was evident that some places that had been mountains were no more. It was awesome to witness first hand how a massive disaster could literally change the landscape of the planet. It toke them the better part of an hour to find their way out of the valley and stand upon the closest peak looking into the next mountain range. The next valley was deep and green with a large river running through its bottom like a thick blue ribbon. The higher mountain on the other side was wide and massive and one could see where the quake had toppled some trees and slightly displaced some high meadow grass but other than that the mountain remained intact. The next hour and a half was spent heading into the next valley towards the river and noon time was nearing as they finally got to take a drink and fill their canteens from that clear cool stream. The sun danced off of the big mountain and birds swooped here and there making one forget the troubles of the recent past few weeks. The world had changed forever and a new day had dawned in this seemingly restructured universe. They opened their lunch and sat on a blanket wondering if they should try climbing the massive mountain or head back to the farm and attempt it another day. They were half way through their meal when they both froze at the sound of a distant hum coming from the sky. Dave pointed a few seconds later and said in disbelief …..drone?………A DRONE!!!!