Rae heard the rumbling first immediately looking up as if expecting some giant plane to be flying low above the trees. But there was nothing. Rocks thudded to the ground. At first she didn’t even know what they were. The whole earth seemed to be moving; some giant beast shifting and rolling in its sleep. Knocked to the ground Rae gasped as a tree crashed beside her. Missed her by mere inches. Heart thundering she scurried to her feet and clambered up, running blindly away from the mountains. Branches scratched at her forearms as she burst through, tripping and sliding on the uneven earth. The first structure she found she ran into, staring at the windows of the church with breaths blasting from splintering lungs. Rae was too panicked to think straight.
Trees crashed in a sudden advance. They were getting closer. Something was out to get her and headed straight for her. Rae didn’t even top to think what. Jumping down the steps she skidded on uneven ground and hissed as her ankle twisted. It wasn’t serious enough to stop her but was just enough to give her a gating limp as she ran up the bridge and began pacing in a blind panic. Where the hell was there to go?
She watched the water advance swallowing up roads and cut off buildings on both sides of her. Though she didn’t know for certain she was sure she saw people scrambling inside desperate for higher ground. Collapsing on the road Rae clasped her face in her hands and muffled the wince that followed. The earth rolled again. Rae’s nerves were firing as the cement beneath her moved like it wasn’t supposed to, like some living thing. Desperate and without direction she ran back down the road, boots slipping and skidding in rocks, branches and mud. Debris beneath became treacherous as she stumbled and fell several times falling over things she could no longer see. Smearing the mud from her face Rae scrambled half crawled up the road to higher ground.
Staggering through the street she slapped at doors but none would let her in. The first to give was almost the last on her left as she fell into the room frantically searching for others. No one. Rae whimpered sharply. Was she alone in this godforsaken place?! Back outside Rae saw a man standing there, just standing, and immediately feared he were one of ‘them’. Shoulder slammed into the nearest door but unlocked gave way easily. Tripping up the steps she kept looking back over her shoulder to see if that thing had followed her. Nothing. No one. Just more stillness and silence underpinned by the rumble of the restless earth.
On her hip Rae emerged dragging herself across the room like a wounded crab leaving a haphazard trail of mud behind her on the aged carpet. Though she was alone for a few minutes at least Rae felt she was safe. Safe… an odd thought after all she had already gone through with a sense of dull irony. Making her way to the window Rae dragged herself up to stand on weak legs and stared out the window blasting hot air in fleeting clouds of white against the glass. In the distance she could see them; people, other survivors. But she couldn’t hear them much less signal help. Watching the mud slide down the mountain towards them Rae sunk back to the floor and pressed her back to the wall. Hands covered her face. There she sat as tears overcame her and cried in a state of helplessness and shock needing Kane more than ever and convinced now she would likely never see him again.
The following is written on a sheet of paper with notes about a ‘Belle Kimberland’ on the other side. Having sought shelter in the Lost and Found store and with her journal like the rest of her belongings left back at camp, Rae has taken paper from the desk she found on the lower floor and returned upstairs to her new sanctuary. Sitting on the rickety cot with mud smearing from hand to page, an unsteady hand pens the following;
God has it in for us. I swear. First those things, now this. The earthquake (I think that’s what it was?) just hit. Camp is gone. Rocks were falling from the sky and trees were falling and then came the mud. So much mud. It happened so fast. There was no warning. I couldn’t grab anything. All gone.
I ran. Didn’t know where I was going. Only person I saw on the street stared at me. Didn’t panic at all, just stood there staring. Maybe he expected this to be the end. Saw no point in running. I thought he was one of those things but when I went back downstairs he was still there, staring. Arms folded. Maybe (scratches the word out). I’m inside the Lost and Found store like Abigail the woman I met the other day told me. She’s not here. No one is. I’m alone. At the end of the world. Like I always feared I would be. God please help me.
Its started to rain. Can hear it moving the mud faster down the mountain, like a growl. Everything is moving, changing. Nowhere seems safe. There’s no one else here, just me. No food,no water. No power. Just the darkness and rain and that noise. Dear god make it stop. Make it go away. Why have you forgotten us? What did we do that was so bad to deliver us this? Weren’t the other things bad enough? I don’t want to die here alone!
Am almost out of room. Kane if you find this if you’re alive I love you. Always have. I’m sorry for what I had to do. May God forgive me. Forgive us. I hope it’s quick and I don’t come back. If I do you know what you have to do. I love you. See you on the other side. Our babies are waiting. Rae xxxx2