Mrs Kildane, Arthur's mother, was a seasoned survivor of earthquakes. She experienced her first as a child living in the San Fernando area in 1961. She was ready for this one. The first tremor drove her outside and away from the five story building she and her husband of 40 years were living in. She made sure to not use the elevator. Good thing too, she could hear people trapped somewhere near the third floor. Holding her "Important Box" she hit Sixth Street just as the second and much larger tremor hit the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco. The shock knocked her off her feet cracking her left hip. Her husband was still out somewhere running errands.
Up and down the San Andreas fault, the world seemed to split in two. City blocks were swallowed up in the Bay Area. Mt Diablo outside Walnut Creek shook so much it tumbled down burying 30 square miles under sloppy California mud. Then it erupted along with 6 other "inactive" volcanoes along the fault. LA, well LA was gone now. The state of California was locked down and quarrantined, armed soldiers parked at every border crossing refusing movement in either direction.Tsunamis, too many to count radiated out from the West Coast. Land fall predictions caused every person across the Pacific Rim to seek higher ground.**
Arthur woke up in a cold sweat. He laid in the dark disoriented for several moments deciding where his dream stopped and reality started. He ran through what he had been doing before finally collapsing some hours before. He had been on duty at the seismic monitoring station when the first shocks came. He figured he was still there. The bed he was laying on did not feel right. He reached over and flipped on the light. And then he smiled. He was crammed into the small love seat he and his wife had purchased for his office. When he got home he figured he ought to call his mother anyway, just to make sure.
"Yes Arthur, why are you calling me at 2:00 AM?"
"We had some quakes up here. Then I had a bad dream. You and Dad were in it. Everything alright?"
"Why certainly dear. Your father's dead to world next to me snoring his heart out and Bingo's tucked in at my feet like always. Why Dear, what kind of dream?"
Arthur relaxed. "Uh Nevermind Mom, just wanted to check in on you. I'll call you ...............Uh Mom, you and Dad are still planning on moving to Phoenix right?"
"Of course dear. Once your father heard there were 86 golf courses there, there was no turning back."
"Well I think I'm going to see if Molly would like to relocate. We might just be joining you. There's a teaching fellowship opening up at Arizona State. They offered it to me. Think I am going to take it."
"That's nice dear...........why don't you call me tomorrow and we'll talk. I'm old and tired and I can hardly hear you over your dad's incessant snoring. Bye now."
Arthur rang off and went to bed upstairs next to his wife. It had only been a bad dream.
Three weeks to the day after Arthur and Molly moved to Tucson, Arthur's dream came true. His mother and father had yet to leave San Francisco.
Thinking Ten - Prompt from 12/28/11
Wednesday, Words, Inc.:
Quarantine, Loop, Box
** Again, the double asterisk is about where I was at 10 minutes.