Monday, June 13, 2011

SocNoc, Day 13 - earthquake therapy

Today's Wordcount: 2,849
Total Wordcount: 31.935
(includes the part written before SocNoc - 4143 words)
Percentage: 55.6%

Today was a disturbingly eventful day. It got off to a slow start, I began writing in the early AM but it was so cold that I was struggling to put my ideas into words and my fingers on the right keys. So I decided to go to work early, leaving my characters in a sinking boat with only a narrow reef between them and the deadly open ocean.

Work was okay, but I wanted to get back to my story. I foudn jobs to do, and we got a delivery of stock. All was well and good.

Until 1 pm.

The first earthquake* hit with a jerk and a jolt. We - staff and customers, all sort of froze. I stood at the counter, one hand using it for support. The shaking finished, the siren went off. We grabbed out bags and coats and evacuated the mall.

The next hour or so was spent standing out in the sun, with shaky legs and quakey ground. Contacted husband and parents, they were both okay. Husband was heading home. We thought we'd be let back in the Mall eventually - once the engineers had checked it out, and then have to clean up.

At 2.20 the second big one** struck. It was savage. The ground rippled and we all staggered. I dropped to the ground, because it felt kinda like I was going to fall. We were all outside at this point, on a quiet side-street beside the mall but away from anything that could fall on us. It finally stopped.

We were allowed to go home.

Upon arriving home some 90 minutes later, to find we still had power. After picking up everything and putting it in neat piles on the floor (we have a new way of interior decorating in Christchurch - it's called "keep it low"), I decided to distract myself from Mother Nature's wrath by writing. So I did... Then I deleted some and added some more.

Now I am about to head to bed. Whether or not I sleep depends entirely on whether or not Mother Nature wants me to. If I can't, I guess I'll write. It's good therapy.

Anyway, here's today's extract:

Manjoretra's muscles strained as he fought to keep the canoe from the dangerous reef. Beyond it, enormous waves peaked and crashed, smashing against the coral forest.

If we end up in the open sea...” Manjoretra started, but didn't finish the sentence. Didn't need to.

...We're dead. Aurelia finished it for him, in her head. She was too frightened to brave the thoughts aloud. Speaking them aloud makes them real, she thought.

There was a long, grinding ripping sound and the outrigger tore free. The logs were bobbed for a moment on the waves, then ground against the reef, slowly turning in the currents before being snatched up by the waves and tossed away. The sail ripped free, fluttering from one corner like a dying butterfly. Then a violent gust of wind tore it away, and it flew off into the dark, grey skies. The boat twisted and turned, rocking violently. It tilted. Tilted further.


All four of them were thrown into the water. Karazana grabbed Aurelia's tail at the last minute, Hung on tightly. Scrambled onto up the upturned canoe.

Where's Manjoretra?” She shouted. “Where's Chike?”

* magnitude 5.5

** magnitude 6.0

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