Surviving The 7.1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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This is a assessment I had to complete for a creative writing topic in English. I got a level six for this, which is close to NCEA Level One, which means this was written three years above my age and two levels above what is expected.
It is about a 7.1 earthquake I felt in the dead of night, on September 4th 2010. This was written earlier this year.

It was the sound that yanked me from my deep slumber that eventful night. A horrid, menacing snarl that sounded like it came straight from the mouth of the devil. Such a terrifying sound that it made the earth tremor brutally.

Dazed and confused, I shot bolt upright in bed, bewilderment rapidly circuiting through my system. Groggily, I fumbled with the switch of my reading lamp, desperate to shed some light on the puzzling dilemma. Abruptly, the light bulb lit up, producing a buttery, yellow light that painted spooky shadows to my walls.

Without a second thought, I stripped the sheets away from my body and leapt from the bed, disregarding the fact that my balance was totally thrown. Stumbling like I had too much to drink, I lunged at the door and threw it back, clasping both sides of the door frame so hard my knuckles turned white.

Shifting my gaze away from the quaking ground, I glanced up towards my mum’s room, and locked gazes with her. Mum’s green eyes were seemingly luminescent in the darkness, mirroring the same emotions that no doubt glimmered in my own eyes. Perplexity … Astonishment … Shock …

Cringe worthy sounds greeted my ears. The commotion of plates and glasses shattering that caused me to wince impulsively. Pots crashed to the ground, creating a noise like symbols being smacked too hard. A state of pandemonium should have been officially declared.

“Earthquake!” I yelled, my voice scarcely audible over the din of various objects toppling to the ground. I was positive there was no need to state the obvious, but it looked like mum seemed t relax ever so slightly, like it was reassuring to know this wasn’t some haunting nightmare.

In my peripheral vision, I noticed my sister emerge from her bedroom, a look of complete and utter trepidation etched into her features. As if by some lucky charm, the monstrous shuddering ceased.

A small whimper of fear escaped my sisters tightly pursed lips, and I sent her one of those extremely rare ‘it’s going to be okay’ looks. I noticed tears had stained her face, and a twinge of empathy twanged in my stomach. In fact, I was holding back a cry of terror myself.

Completely at loss for words, I slowly sank to the more-or-less stable floor, and drew my knees up to my chest. Adrenalin had evaporated from my veins, leaving only an overwhelming sense of exhaustion in its wake. Awakening at some ungodly hour in the morning was certainly not my forte.

“Let’s go check out the damage” mum breathed and I nodded, bracing myself for the wreck site and whatever else mother nature could possibly toss at us next. Little did I know there was still a whole handful to come …

Author's Note: The epicentre of this earthquake was Christchurch, New Zealand. I live three and a half hours away from here, so we felt it quite bad. The picture I have included is just only a tiny portion of the damage actually done. Since September there have been over 4000 aftershocks, and about three large earthquakes. One on Feburary 22nd actually did more damage than this 7.1 in September 4th. I ask that after reading this you take a moment to send your deepest condolances to Christchurch, who are currently dealing with heavy snow falls as well as the after-math of all these earthquakes. Thank you for reading.


Submitted: July 26, 2011

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