The Day the Earth Shook

 Saturday ended up being a big day besides the boxing match that resulted in worldwide disappointment.  Being the second day of may I was a day behind on my release schedule for my next book Remnants of the Day.  Downtown I sat in the library and uploaded the file, created the cover, and finally approved the end result.  I’m still not happy with the cover.  I find the title blends with the background and the image doesn’t have enough contrasting color to truly stand out. Needless to say I will be updating the cover in the near future.

 After uploading the book I went fishing to find out how much food I can pull out of a lake if needed.  The day before I had experience a bit of fishing rage from a fellow fisherman and Saturday was a better experience.  I was on the lake for about four hours.  

 An hour after I arrived at the lake IT happened.  The growing sound of a rumble grew around us.  There were at least a dozen people standing on the shore with me.  Where I was standing is about half a mile away from any of the surrounding roads.  The rumble sounded like an approaching diesel truck without a exhaust system.  I looked around in the woods expecting to see a truck driving down the small trail.  Then the ground shook.  I felt similar vibrations at construction sights when large heavy items were dropped or pounded into the ground.  The sound passed by and the ground shook beneath my feet.  The fishermen looked at each other.  All was quiet until the rumble disappeared into the distance.

 “was that an earthquake?” a college student asked me.   

 “maybe it was Manny warming up for the fight tonight.”  I replied.

 Cell phones were pulled out of pockets.  The college student text his girlfriend.  Others sent messages to their friends and family.  The apartment complex across the lake was alive with loud women yelling on the walkways to each other.

 “oh my god that was an earthquake. I lived in California, I know what a earthquake feels like.”  

 I sent a text to my girlfriend.  I start receiving messages from a few friends asking if I felt it.  

 Twenty minutes later things died down and I looked out at the lake as bubbles of gas rose up to the surface.  

 Jokes started going up and down the lake about the New Madrid fault line and the Yellowstone super volcano.  It may sound stupid now but there were a few times I would turn to the west and look to see if ash was approaching.  

 I finished my fishing trip with twenty fish in my bucket.  It wasn’t the limit but after four hours it was time to go before the older fish in my bucket went bad.  

 I spent forty-five minutes scaling, filleting, and freezing fish.  The large bowl filled with fish bodies was taken out side.  I dug two small trenches between the rows of corn that are already coming up and placed the bodies inside.  I covered the fish and went about my nightly duties of watering the garden.  I had read about the Indians using fish to fertilize their crops and hoped it would have the same effect.  Out of all the corn I planted I still only have two stalks growing at the moment.  I knew corn would be a pain since I have never tried growing it before but I didn’t expect this much trouble.  

 The neighborhood has been acting up like I expected it to.  The kids are not out of school yet and things have already gotten rowdy.  Last week saw a hit and run on my street.  A small cars with a woman driving and kids in the passenger seats was side swiped at an intersecting by a minivan.  I heard the crunching sound and went to the front door. The woman was out of the car and getting her kids out as the minivan backed up and took off down the road.  

 “oh my god I hate this shit,” she said getting one of her kids out of the booster seat.  

 The cops showed up and the car was taken away in less than 30 minutes.  

 On Friday I was on the front porch reading a book.  Two Hispanic guys approached the same intersection where the hit and run too place.  They drove through with no problem.  At the next intersection both bikes punched the gas and the crunching, crashing sound of metal and plastic on asphalt caught my attention.  I look down the road to see a body flipping through the air and smacking down onto the pavement.  The bike rolled and slide as parts flew into the air.  Neither bikers had helmets on.  The man on the ground was helped up and limped to the sidewalk.  The second biker parked his bike and picked the second bike up from the ground.  He parked he second bike and went back to his friend.  A few minutes later the police showed up.  

 For some reason driving in the ghetto is more dangerous than driving anywhere else I have been.  The people fly down the side streets.  It’s not uncommon for drivers to lose control of their cars, crash them, and proceed to run away on foot before the cops show up.  Many people here do not have insurance on their vehicles.  The temporary plates that you see in the windows are usually fake and made from a photocopy.  

 Except for the guy that was arrested with the gun a few weeks ago I haven’t heard anything about violent crime around here.  Like I said the kids are not out of school yet.  

 The days have been slow.  I am happy to see I am still on schedule.  So far everything is going how I expected.  

Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.

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