Chapter 1

Written by: Lrennes

“...expect thunder storms to move in later tonight, conditions throughout the day remain fine...” The voice on the weather radio trailed on in the background. Neither of Kurt’s parents paid too much attention to it.

“Don’t think he’ll be sleeping too much longer. Think I might mow the lawns...” A smirk crept onto his face as he spoke, though his gaze didn’t deviate from the newspaper he was reading.

“Richard, don’t be mean,” his wife scolded, smiling at the cheeky threat he had just made. “Let him sleep, you don’t have to mow the lawns yet.”

“Fine, fine,” he acquiesced. He hadn’t really been serious anyway.

She glared sardonically back at him as she raised the cup of tea she was drinking to her lips. But the contents of the cup never found its way to her palate, seemingly deviating off course of its own accord. Confusion overtook her as the cup began to shake uncontrollably in her hand. It took only a moment for her to realize that it was not just the cup that was shaking, but the entire room, herself included. Her husband threw the newspaper from his hands, adrenaline kicking in as items on shelves began to fall noisily to the floor. He sprang to his feet and ran to his wife as best he could, his progress impeded by the unsteady ground below his feet. Grabbing her by the hand as she attempted to steady herself against the table he pulled her towards a nearby door frame. As they moved, the TV crept its way across the entertainment cabinet on which it sat and smashed onto the hardwood floor. Neither of the pair discerned the noise of the smashing entertainment appliance from the rest of the background rumbling and crashing. A large crack ran up the wall beside them, splitting the plywood and releasing the insulation inside which sprang out of the opening like candyfloss. The pair huddled beneath the door frame, trying to find as much protection from any potential falling debris as possible. 

And then the world returned to its usual static status quo.

“Kurt!” his mother’s mind quickly turned to her son as she rose to her feet and ran to his door, her jaw dropping in horror as her eyes settled on his messed up, empty bed.

***

The boat’s crew lay back on the deck, beers in hands as the morning sun beat down on them. Kurt’s hand rested lazily on the tiller as he raised his cold beverage to his lips.

The hull carved it’s way easily through the gently rolling waters, its inhabitants oblivious to the carnage unfolding on the mainland. Below deck, a radio crackled into life.

“Kurt? Are you there?” His mother’s voice was strained, stressed, but went unheard. In the background, the weather radio could be heard.

“... the epicentre of this very serious earthquake is believed to be off shore. A tsunami warning has been issued. We repeat, a tsunami warning has been issued.”

Comments

This is really good...The interplay is realistic esp between the parents about mowing the lawns. The banter put me right in the kitchen having the cup of tea. It is not contrived, simple, yet real and it gives us real insight into the parent's relationship which makes the reader like them immediately. And the tsunami is a perfect way to throw them into a crisis and get the story moving along. Well done.