Here is a glimpse into the mayhem that is going on in author Melissa Hosack's latest work, 2012.
Lilly reached for a piece of fruit, and her eyebrows drew together in confusion as she watched it dance around in her cup. She frowned and glimpsed up at the restaurant. She knew to be cautious with food from other countries, but wiggling fruit was a bit crazy.
Against her leg, the metal frame of the table began to shake and clatter. She looked down at it in confusion, and then shivered as her feet tingled with vibrations coming from the ground.
She glanced up and around, expecting to see some type of animal stampede. Instead, she saw the similarly confused expressions of others nearby. The ground began to tremble more noticeably under her feet, causing the table to rattle against the stone patio it sat on.
Lilly’s heart leapt to her throat as she realized these were the beginning tremors of an earthquake. She jumped to her feet, but then froze, uncertain of what she should do now. She’d never been in an earthquake before and didn’t have a clue about what to do. Was it safer to be inside or out? She remembered something about getting in a doorway, but that was if you were already inside a building. She wasn’t sure if that still applied if you were out in the open.
She shuffled her feet back and forth in nervous indecision as people around her began to scatter. The ground gave a violent shift under her feet, and she was forced to grab onto her table to keep herself upright. She felt herself starting to panic as people raced past her. Everyone else seemed to have a plan of action while she just stood there. She felt like a deer frozen in the headlights of an approaching car, and that thought was less than comforting. She’d seen the results of what happened to those deer. Anyone who’d ever driven near a highway had seen those results. She didn’t want to be one of those deer.
The ground was quaking constantly now, making her teeth chatter together. She spun in a circle, looking for a sign of what to do, some guidance from the behavior of the others around her. When she reached a full circle, facing the direction in which she’d started, something suddenly slammed into her. She was driven to the ground, and something heavy landed on top of her. The air was driven from her lungs, and her back roughly hit the stones underneath of her.
It took her a moment to catch her breath before she was able to focus and open her eyes. The ground was still trembling beneath her, making her vision waver, but she was able to make out the familiar face above her own. “Tex?” she asked in disbelief. “What the hell are you doing?”
Christian glared down at her for a moment before ducking his head to protect himself as an umbrella from a nearby table crashed to the ground inches from their heads. He stayed silent, his body above hers, protecting her from falling debris and rubble until the earth stopped shaking.
It felt like forever, but the ground finally stabilized underneath of them. A soft rumble swept through the street as everything settled itself after being violently shaken.
When the last tremors subsided, he lifted his head and glared at her again. “My name isn’t Tex. Stop calling me that. I’m going to get a complex…or I’ll start talking with a southern twang, which is something neither of us wants to hear.”
He climbed to his feet and offered a hand to help her up. “As for what I’m doing, that big chunk of building almost crushed your skull into tiny fragments. I saved your ass by knocking you out of the way. Apparently, you’re displeased by this.”
Startled into stunned silence, Lilly let him help her to her feet. She stared in shock at the large chunk of stone that lay smashed against the ground where she’d been standing. “Holy crap,” she breathed. “Wow.”
“Yeah. They’d have been scraping your brains off the patio for a week,” Christian agreed.