“Quakes” / Memorable Fancies #1033

     We didn’t pay much attention to the earthquakes, at first so minor. People on exercise machines or driving on I-35 didn’t even feel them. The morning paper reported a Doppler 1.5 the next day – interesting to geologists because it hadn’t occurred along any known fault line, and had propagated, unusually, in a straight line and slowly.

     The next day, another. And the next. We became accustomed to the constant slight jiggle under our feet. Geologists said not to be alarmed, but the path of the quakes formed a line aimed straight for Austin, straight for home.

     Jokes, of course: “divine retribution” and “it’s about time, y’know,” for that damn “People’s Republic of Travis County,” as the rest of the state called our liberal outpost.

     In the course of two weeks the daily – sometimes hourly – quakes had approached to within fifty miles, and were becoming shallower. At first about five miles beneath the surface, succeeding quakes were recorded at four miles, three, and now only half a mile – only a little more than 2500 feet. A quick survey confirmed that the one or two mines in its path had begun to collapse; they were hurriedly evacuated.

     The belief spread that we were trapped in the Sci-Fi Channel, part of a bad movie. Some panicked. Others preened for a starring role.



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        See you tomorrow! Whatever happens here, you won’t be expecting it.

00 Seventh Effect front cover small image

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