Not again... Swaying lamps, shaking ground, tilting pictures.
How long can it last? How many times should it come to be over.
Since the big quake in the north, followed by tsunami and radiation leaks, came endless big, small and medium size aftershocks disrupting life in multitude of ways.
Regular blackouts, transport erratic schedule, shops with odd work hours, shortages of necessities and the worst of it - inability to get some deep refreshing sleep.
She felt annoyed. Tremors would come and go but never disappear completely. She has been constantly on guard for another earthquake. Nobody could with any degree of certainty predict if or when it comes or how strong it would be.
Tremors may subside over a period of months or... not an optimistic 'or', terrifying 'or', implying the probability of the 'Big one' close to the city. The reality of which no one wanted to anticipate. Look at what's happening here now, 200km away from the direct impact.
It's been an credibly stressful couple of months with uncertainty about practically everything.
She wished for at least few hours a day of rest and peace, unconscious oblivion of quiet dreams completely unrelated to the current events. But dreams avoided her. Lack of sleep began to become a problem. Moments of extremely high concentration and efficiency were taking turns with periods of blank spacing out and inability to move.
Deep down she feared what's coming. She could trust her gut that it wasn't the end, not yet. Unfinished business of this whole situation was still hovering insistent in its relentless remindings.
Spring was making its way through despite all the mess. Sunny days with blooming flowers of all colors, chirping birds, families on picnics on the first grass and under the snowstorm of white petals were defying all the odds.
Still, this quite equilibrium was too deceptive to believe it completely, without a grain of salt. After just a month of constant nerve trying events, it was simply too good to be true. Everyone wanted to believe it could be, wished and preyed for it to be - the end of the nightmare, the light at the end of the terribly uncomfortable tunnel.
That's what it meant here, in the city - discomfort, fears about the future. People here couldn't even begin to fantom the life in the north. It was a completely different dimensional experience only modestly channeled through the media and blog posts.
What if the Big one is coming... She needed to think of it, however unsettling it was. What then?..
Almost 30million people in the greater city area. How?
Run fast, run far - seemed like a logical choice but so many things were tied up here.
She had these periodic dialogs with herself, the ones without either beginning or end, sort of diving in and out of the conversation. It helped to channel thoughts, clear the mental clutter.
Another tremor interrupted her yet again.
'Oh, no'... She stood up and waited. (It became a habit to be upright when these things happened.) It seemed to be subsiding and then... the screeching sound, sharp rattle, increasing in its vigor tremors were tearing at the building, small mementos falling... Everything was happening within fraction of a minute.
The whole world tortured and twisted around her was breaking apart and there was no time for anything planned, nothing but watch it crash and die.
The last glimpse of light was vaguely visible through the strangely triangular shaped corridor exit but it also slowly faded into a darkness.
The last thought on the edge of consciousness - 'it's nothing what we think it is' resurfaced and was gone.
The Big one was here.
Continued at: http://literaryescapades2.blogspot.com/