She found herself tumbling sideways. Somewhere close by a roar began and rose in pitch as the ground below her feet began to jump and shake. She found her knees after she fell and skidded across the roadway as she tried to hold herself, but the shaking was just too hard. She collapsed back to the roadway and the relative softness of the slush and snow her body jumping and shaking as she seemed almost to bounce across the short expanse and into the snow bank on the opposite side of the road.
The roar went on for what seemed like minutes as she tried to catch her breath and steady herself at the same time. Both seemed impossible to do, but almost as soon as she had the thought the trembling of the earth became less and a split second after that the roaring stopped. There was no silence. The sound of breaking glass tumbling brick blaring horns and screams in the dark night replaced the roar. Sounds that had probably been there she decided she had just been unable to hear them.
Pearl made her feet and stared back down the street where the car had been. The car was still there the nose tilted upward the back seemingly buried in the street itself. She blinked, but nothing changed. She noted the broken asphalt and churned up dirt and realized the car had broken through the street. There was no sign of the men including the driver that had been hanging halfway out of the window.
She drew a breath another and suddenly the noise and smells of the world rushed back in completely. The screams became louder. Horns blared. The ground trembled under her feet as if restless. She could smell sewage on the air. Broken lines below the pavement her mind reasoned. She swayed on her feet as the earth trembled once more lurching as it did. She waited, but the tremble was not repeated. She sucked in another deep breath and then began to walk slipping on the broken pavement and slush as she did.
Franklin Street appeared untouched as she lurched from the side street slipping over the broken pavement and retching from the overpowering smell of sewer gas. She collapsed to the icy pavement skidding on her knees and was surprise to hear herself crying as she struggled to get back on her feet.
She nearly made it to her feet before the next tremor hit this one much harder than the last one. She bounced sideways knees slamming into the ground crying out as they did, but unaware of her own cries...
Disaster strikes and brings out both the best and the worst in those who survive it: It also brings life out of death...