Tagged: tremors

Dispatches from the Cinnabon

Dear Planet Earth,

I just heard another rumbling in the background. We’ve been hearing one every few hours now, some louder and more earth-shattering than others. It’s the drill snake, burrowing underneath, searching for more humans to kill. Searching for us.

It’s nine of us now: Mr. Ozawa and Mrs. Bing, both injured from our run in with the metal monster; Randall, the science teacher who must have been injured in Vietnam or Korea; Maria, who I’d try to flirt with if I could stop from shaking; Halston, Linares, and Karter, the hardened soldiers with no more than ten years on me; innocent Rachel, my quirky computer thief; and me, quiet, terrified, bitter, sleep-deprived me.

We’re hiding out in the back of Cinnabon now, having already raided See’s Candies, Taco Bell, and Hot Dog on a Stick. I’d worry about my girlish figure if I wasn’t already worried about being torn to pieces by a mole man super weapon with chainsaw arms.

As far as our game plan goes, no one’s offering any compelling ideas. There was some grumbling about heading back to the library, but we don’t want to lead the drill snake there when it’s unlikely Talpa and the rest of the troops could fight it off. It’s more likely that we’ll try to ride out this storm right here, listening for the rumblings and shitting our pants.


The Apple Valley Massacre

Dear Planet Earth,

We’re still playing cat and mouse. We’ve been playing (and losing) for the past five days. The nine of us left.

It started when we felt some tremors from below. Our first thoughts went to the October earthquakes that heralded the entrance of the mole people’s massive drills. They got more and more intense the closer we got to a city named Apple Valley. (I dare you to try to think of a city that sounds safer and more unassuming than “Apple Valley.”)

Just as we reached some decaying factory at the city limits and got out of the trucks to search for supplies, the ground broke apart and the monstrous behemoth drill snake appeared. Women screamed. Soldiers screamed. Shit, I probably screamed. I was face to nightmarish face with a weapon I could never hope to comprehend. My years and years of dutiful study of alien invasion movies hadn’t prepared me in the least for interacting with this very real — and very fast approaching — threat.

We sprinted back to the trucks. I lost my cane somewhere. I didn’t care — I couldn’t care. I could hear the vibrating hum from the drill grow louder and louder as the ground tossed me up and down and backwards. The serene, albeit decrepit, scene I had walked past only minutes earlier was now transformed into a full-fledged war zone. Bricks crumpled like Legos on all sides of me. Cars exploded in swift yellow clouds, the heat and smoke determined to engulf me. And all the while, the unforgiving earth was steadily pulling me back towards the torturous death machine.

I don’t know how I made it onto the truck. I don’t know how we starting camping out in this mall. I don’t know how we keep putting off the inevitable.


Dear Planet Earth,

The plot thickens. Dr. Eimer revealed some more details to me about the ominous drill. He seems to think that it might not be a drill at all.

It turns out the radio signals I was told about before aren’t what you and I know as radio signals. The object is giving off incredibly fast vibrations to send out messages. Through the ground.

He calls it seismic communication and it’s used by some animals like elephants to speak to each other. This could make much stronger signals, conceivably from one side of the planet to the other. The only problem is this takes a lot of energy, more energy than any current country could utilize for this scale. On Earth, at least.

The strangest thing the good doctor told me was that he doesn’t think this is the first time we’ve been visited. He said the army brought him here to consult about his theories of past visitations from these kinds of objects spanning back to the dawn of mankind.

I’m going to let that one sink in and drink some more of his whiskey for the next several hours.


Dear Planet Earth,

New York City is gone. Washington, D.C. is gone. Miami is gone.

The whispers I’m hearing from an assortment of soldiers (originally stationed all over the country) paint the stark picture that this is exactly what we’ve feared all along — an invasion. Our planet is at war and we’re losing. Badly.

Every major military installation on the East Coast was obliterated shortly after one of those so-called “drills” made an appearance. Some of the men I spoke to who were there said the attacks came from small, controlled tremors while others just remembered seeing explosions everywhere. Some chose not to remember.

Whatever happened (or whatever’s about to happen) I’m just happy to be alive, out of custody, and no longer on the terrorist watch list. I’m free to leave whenever now that I gave my full debrief to General Talpa and convinced him that I’m not a member of the body snatchers.

The truth is, I have nowhere left to go, no one waiting for me. And if this drill is going to be the source of the end of the world, I’m saving myself a front row seat.


Dear Planet Earth,

I had to get away from the house — every house, really. They’re nothing but constant reminders of normal, domestic lives filled with schools, jobs, and families. They’re a stark realization that I may never again have what I never really wanted.

I walked down to the Strip again to see if there was anything new. It’s strange to think a place that once  symbolized every sinful, unrestrained impulse of America has now become my source for world news. I met a guy who said he was coming from Missouri with his family to escape the earthquakes they were having there. The last words he heard from his radio said that similar quakes were occurring all along the East Coast and that FEMA was starting evacuation measures. I don’t know if I really believe his story — or if I want to believe his story.

I heard other people too, with less reliable information. One girl swore she saw a swarm of UFOs in the sky the night before the tremors started. Another man claimed he saw a news report about the Russians starting a controversial military exercise before every TV channel went off the air.

Before I left, I stopped by the New York-New York again, which undoubtedly got hit the hardest during the shakes. It was still insanely dusty, but I was relieved to see that a little bit of order had been restored. Two weeks ago, I would have been suspicious seeing a cop walking around and asking if everyone was all right, but today it really brought me a sense of peace. For a second, I started to think that everything just might be okay as long as we stick together and help our fellow man. I snapped this:

And it just took a second.

The Shakes

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s been about a week since the non-stop shaking began. These used to be called “earthquakes,” but this word no longer has meaning to me. This normal word from this normal language implied that there were a set of immutable guidelines that had to be followed by nature or God. These are “shakes” — constant, unyielding movements that slowly rock us back and forth out of our once comfortable reality.

The biggest fear comes from the isolation, from not knowing what the hell is going on out there in the world. Or if there is a world left. A couple of sites have popped back online, but none of them have any useful information.

Escape from New York-New York

Dear Planet Earth,

You are looking at the one of the first images of the New York-New York Hotel & Casino as it now appears on the Las Vegas Strip. At 2:20 PM, we felt one of the strongest tremors yet, and as you can see, the results were devastating.

I headed out into the city once I heard what happened at New York-New York to see if I could help out, or at the very least, get a better idea of what the hell is going on. I’ve never seen myself as a heroic or selfless person, but I’ve never really been in a situation to test that. This afternoon, I failed that test.

There was dust everywhere. It caked my skin and clothes with each new step I took. I felt like I just walked into the middle of Baghdad or Tripoli or some other place I’d never be able to point out on a map. I could hear screaming and car alarms and the ever-rumbling sound of these constant tremors, but I had no way of knowing whether these sounds were two feet or two miles away. As more and more dust filled my lungs, I began to understand the very real concept of my own mortality. And I ran. I took a quick picture on my crummy camera phone and I ran.

And I don’t know if I can stop.