Archive for April 30, 2013

IT BEGINS A NEW MOON IS RISING

Traffic through the shop was light, had been for months. Three-thirty arrived and Foster told Joe he was thinking of riding some waves until Heather came home. “I don’t think I’ll be able to handle this crowd all alone,” Joe said as he looked around the empty store. “Go ahead; get your butt on the beach.”
Foster got a couple good rides before Rich showed up. They rode together for a while until Rich caught a wave that Foster missed. Foster paddled back out to deeper water turned toward the beach and was preparing to get up on his board
It was 4:20.
He could see Rich on the beach taking a breather, when his friend suddenly fell to the sand. Foster thought to himself, “What the hell is he doing now?” Then he noticed branches falling from the palm trees. In quick succession, the roof of the shop caved in leaving a pile of rubble where the shop and apartment had been. He quickly paddled to shore, and as soon as his feet made contact with the sand, he fell to his knees in the shallow water. He looked up and down the beach and the few people still standing were holding onto a tree or other stabilizing object with looks of shock and disbelief on their faces.
The trembling lasted minutes, but it seemed like hours. Time slowed as the Earth shook. The violent shaking subsided, settling down to series of lesser and lesser ripples of movement. Foster ran around front and found Joe sitting on the grass clutching a blood-soaked towel to his head.
“Is this what we’ve been waiting for?” asked Joe.
Foster pointed to the south. “What’s that Joe, a fire?”
“If it is, it’s one hell of a fire.”
Then they noticed pillars of smoke dotting the horizon.
“I think some of our dead volcanoes have come to life. Come on, we need to get to the B&B. Although the trembling had ceased, the trembling of both men had not. A mixture of adrenaline, fear and awe fed emotions waiting for months to be released. Both men knew in their hearts THIS WAS IT.
They hopped into Joe’s jeep and began the short drive to the bed and breakfast. A drive that should have taken minutes took nearly an hour. The narrow road was littered with tree branches and debris from collapsed buildings and clogged with people walking, stumbling in a state of shock, and not knowing where to go or what to do. Screams could be heard from some of the partially collapsed structures, but for now, aid was nonexistent.
Joe could see the column of smoke issuing to the sky before his business came into view. As they turned the last bend in the road, there stood the B&B, or at least what was left of it, engulfed in flames. The men felt relief when they saw Lulu and Heather standing in the parking lot holding the baby. Their clothes were torn and they were both covered in soot, but they were safe.
They parked the jeep a safe distance from the fire and approached the women. Lulu was in hysterics, sobbing and could not be consoled.
“Thank God you’re all safe. It’s only a building,” Joe said as he embraced his frantic wife.
All Lulu could say over and over was, “Oh no, no, no.”
Foster noticed Heather was also crying. He hugged her and his son. Through choked-back tears she explained what had happened. “Lulu and I were in the kitchen. Thank God we had the baby with us. We were preparing tomorrow’s breakfast when everything began to shake. Things fell off the shelves and the ceiling started coming down. We made it out just in time before the whole place came crashing down and began to burn.”
Lulu stood listening, clutching herself and moaning.
“A few hours ago we had the first guests we’ve had in a long time check in, a young couple from California, along with their five year old son. They went upstairs to get some rest before they began their tour of the island. They never came out.”
They all watched the burning structure as it caved in further. As the flames singed the nearby palms, they knew it was also a funeral pyre. Both women sobbed as the men stood helpless. Oahu and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands were also helpless, caught in the grasp of a power that was no longer a theory.

April 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm 4 comments


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