Ruth, James, and Jack are all in one bed sleeping. The sun has come up, but it is still earlyin the morning. The room jolts suddenly. Ruth sits up in bed.
JAMES, JACK, WAKE UP!
All throw off the covers,get out of bed, and run for the doorway. The shaking is gettingworse. Pictures are falling from the walls and the bed is moving across the room. Dad throws the dooropen and they all huddle in the doorway holding on desperately to the frame.
It’s an earthquake and I think it’s a bad one. Come on, get up quickly, both of you. We needto get to the doorway. The doorframe will protect us.
They all turn their heads as they hear a bloodcurdling scream and then silence from theroom across the hallway. Ruth squeezes her eyes shut as if to block out the sound and Jack whimpers.The shaking intensifies and the building groans and creaks noisily around them. The floor suddenly tilts underneath their feet. Ruth screams and they all struggle to hold on.
It will be over soon, Jack. I promise. Keep a hold of myhand. Don’t let it go.
Mom, I’m scared. I don’t want to die.
Keep hold of the doorframe, both of you. Don’t let it go.
James,I’m losing my grip. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.
The ceiling in the bedroom in which they were sleeping falls through and a cloud of dust surrounds the family, making it difficult for them to see anything. Jack screams. As quickly as it started, the shaking stops.
Ruth, we can do this. It won’t be much longer now.