It sounded like thunder. She jolted awake as plaster fell like twisted snow. The entire house swayed under the moaning of the earth, giving way to nature’s power. Her bed became liquid with the jostling as she tried to keep her calm. Pupils dilated, she tried to focus on her breathing, remain calm and this will pass. But it continued. Amanda yelped in panic as a dresser collapsed and the walls cracked and heaved. She tried to escape the nightmare, placing her right foot on the floor, trying to avoid the debris. She swung her hips, trying to place the other foot, but the chaotic rocking threw her to the ground. Arms instinctually stretched before her, a loud snap echoed simultaneously from both her wrists. Writhing in pain, the woman screamed and rolled to her back, looking up at a large crack in the ceiling. That constant shaking brought no consolation to the searing pain, though she still prayed for relief. Suddenly, her screams were silenced by crashing beams and roofing on top of her, stopping the shaking, the noise, everything went black.
Piercing white light emblazoned her vision. Indescribable pain pulsed across her body. Her head rang as she tried to roll on her side, still in a haze. She could not feel her arms or legs, but what she could feel was a large pressure on her torso. Blinking repeatedly, her vision began to return and she realized it was not pain alone keeping her down. Some rubble had crushed and pinned her legs and a large beam from the ceiling lay across her chest. Debris had covered her completely from the outside world, as if this spot in her bedroom no longer existed in reality. A strange silence hung in the air while her head still vibrated. Suddenly,Voices outside came closer and closer. She tried to yell out for help, but she could not let out even a whisper. Eyes darting all over, she hoped to make some sign of her presence. A mug lay on the floor, so she attempted to move her left arm. With a hard pull, her arm scraped against the beam, blood now coursing down to the floor. The beam adjusted, crushing her a bit more as her hand reached the cup.. She clasped her fingers around the handle just as rubble across the room fell over and a man moved in.
He shouted out “Anyone still here?! Susie! I didn’t see you come out! Hello?!”. A tear rolled down her face as she gripped the mug as hard as she could. A muffled moan protruded from her chest as she tried to heave the cup, but instead, her wrist gave out under the pain and the mug clacked, dropping lightly back to the ground. The man had heard something move, hoping to find someone still alive. He moved toward the sound, digging into the rubble. “Susie! I am here, just let me know where you are!” he cried out, moving further into the rubble, having to climb over the exposed beams. Susie could only watch as he maneuvered only a few feet away, heading just right of her position.. He came closer and closer, still yelling out. He came to a large beam and looked around for any signs. She tried to scream, to move, to do anything, but only tears came. The man shouted “Susie! We will get you out of here” and traversed the beam. As the beam crushed her chest, the final gasps of air silently fled her body. An outstretched arm pointing yearningly at the man as he continued further into the rubble.