After pushing his glasses back to the bridge of his nose, Doulas took another bite of his dripping sandwich. He glanced out the window and shook his head when he didn’t see a single cloud. Nothing but baby boy blue out there, he thought to himself .
The television screen showed a different story. Rain fell in bucket sized drops. Already flooded roads flowed like rivers. He watched as a car was drawn through the streets by the water. He thought it did pretty well until it crashed into an overturned RV.
He took in what the announcer said, as he loaded a thick pinch of marijuana into a bowl. “Meteorologists are still baffled by the strange weather patterns taking place in Northern Arizona. A storm system has clung to the San Francisco Peaks and has hovered over Flagstaff for more than a day now.
“Shit, I hope Alex is okay,” he said aloud as he took a big hit and then handed the bowl to his girlfriend.
She brushed a thin lock of blonde hair behind her ear and took a hit without saying anything. When she had a cherry of red going, she said. “Wish we could get some rain.” She paused, took a second hit and then handed the empty blow back to hit. “Hey can you help me move some things out of my car, my mom says I can’t keep my futon at her house anymore so I have to go get it.”
He contemplated loading another bowl, but instead rose to his feet and led the way out into the bright desert afternoon. He noticed an odd stillness. Unlike to the north, the air hung heavy. Not so much as a twig moved. No birds song and even the noise of the passing traffic sounded muted.
Blaming his feelings on the weed, he quickly discovered that helping his girlfriend meant doing it all himself and her car was a mess. He grabbed a handful of old paper bags and headed toward the large plastic garbage receptacle.
Halfway there, the ground started to shake. If wasn’t too much as first, but then he found himself preforming an awkward dance just to stay on his feet.
His girlfriend didn’t fare as well and with a cry tumbled to the gravel between the cars.
“Julie,” he yelled and tried to make it to her. It proved a difficult task. The ground buckled under him and he tumbled back hitting his shoulder against the fence. Wincing in pain, he used the fence for support as the world went to hell around him.
He gasped as a telephone pole crashed to the ground sending off sparks. Another one, three houses down, did the same thing, but its sparks hit a pile of leaves and caught them ablaze. Within his own yard, potted plants tumbled to the sidewalk and shattered loudly. His husky began to howl like he was lamenting the end of days.
Swearing under his breath, he managed to make it to Julia just as the quaking began to slow.
“What was that?” she asked wile rubbing at her bleeding knee.
“Earthquake I guess, but if you’re okay, I need to make sure that fire is out or this whole neighborhood could go up on flames.”
Again, he found his progress slowed for live power lines crisscrossed the pavement between him and the fire. They moved like the twitchings of a dying squid and he looked on with dismay as the fire grew.
“Hello!” he shouted. “There is a big fire out here.”
Some people were already out of their homes and a few of his neighbors reached the fire and put it out, but he doubted the small fire was the only problem he faced.
Julie appeared at his side. “The power is out and even the cell phones aren’t working.”
“Looks like you won’t be visiting your mother today.”
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