It had started out as one of those annoying Saturdays.
The ones were regardless of how hard you prayed or tried to bribe God, it just wouldn’t stop raining. The sun had handed off its day shift to the oppressive clouds then beamed away to shine on some distant part of the planet.
Four teenagers, friends since babyhood, gathered in a basement and tried to drown their depression in cans of soda as well as their various past-times. An 11 year old boy, who was well aware that he bore the status of an outsider ventured into the depressingly somber room. He was determined not to give up in his silent battle against boredom without a fight.
“Let’s have an adventure!” he sang with his tiny voice.
“Let’s not,” Dan drawled, readjusting his lanky frame which he’d spread over the entire length of the peach colored couch.
The 11 year old maneuvered his lips into a pout, gearing up to kick up a fuss.
“Maro, we’re not sneaking into Mrs. Margaret’s backyard,” Bex said, “I’ve told you a thousand times, she’s not a witch. Even if she was, this weather’s insane!”
“Fine, whatever,” Maro said, sticking his chubby brown nose in the air.
“Whatever,” Bex muttered, watching Maro move away to examine a ceramic vase with drawings of cavemen for the thousandth time.
After a few seconds he redirected his attention back to his algebra assignment, the bane of his existence and soon forgot his brother. On the couch, Dan fell asleep with his most prized possession, an autographed football lying beside him.
Leslie and Remy, the fraternal twins, lay on their stomach next to each other on the rugged floor. Leslie was in her ‘addicted chatter’ phase. Her hazel brown eyes stayed glued to the screen of her smartphone while her nimble fingers remained in ceaseless motion. Remy however, preferred to get lost in a good book.
Every head in the room snapped to attention.
“I swear it wasn’t me,” Maro said, backing away from the heap of ceramic lying on the floor with his hands raised in front of him.
Everyone just stared. Remy folded a page and put her book away. Leslie spared Zack a glance then returned to her cellphone.
“Bro,” Maro said, his eyes flicking over to the sofa where his brother was seated. “You believe me right?”
“Well,” Bex said. He scratched his head while he searched for something to say other than ‘you are so dead’.
Maro looked to the others for help but soon realized he would find none who would champion him. At least the twins and his older brother felt sorry for him, Dan just yawned.
“I’m so out of here,” he said then took off up the stairs.
“Your mum’s gonna kill him, isn’t she?” Leslie said, primly adjusting the pleats of her red skirt over her folded legs.
“He didn’t touch it,” Dan said though his eyes were closed.
“And how would you know?” Remy shot back, “All you’ve done today is either sleep or worship that filthy foot ba-”
“Hey, cut it out,” Bex said straightening up from the sofa, “Do you guys feel that?”
The ground was vibrating, the intensity increasing by the second. For the first time the whole day, Leslie put down her phone. Her mouth opened in silent protest as she watched it fly across the room and scatter to pieces upon impact with the wall. Then the lights went out.
“Guys, calm down-”
Dan tasted blood in his mouth as he was knocked against the floor then flung across the room were he collided with another body. Though his body had only made contact for a few seconds, he could tell it was Bex. Even as he succumbed to the darkness, he whispered for Remy.
Leslie heard the glass from the windows shatter when the room tilted. She couldn’t hold in the scream that bubbled to the surface the second her sister left her side. The ground beneath her was suddenly nonexistent. When she screamed again, she screamed for Bex.
Bex felt like his body was being dragged in ten different directions and someone had dropped an anvil on his head. The world had finally stopped spinning but the lights were still out. Picking himself up from the ground, he sent up a silent prayer for his little brother. Squinting into the darkness, he tried to feel his way around.
“Dan? Remy? Lez?” he called out, but there was only silence.
In a flash, light poured into the room. The sudden brightness made him shut his eyes on reflex. When he opened them again, he found the room empty but everything else was just the way it had been before the earthquake. If it had been an earthquake.
“What the hell is going on?” he whispered to the empty room.
It had started out as one of those annoying Saturdays…