Today, I shall be posting the first part of a story I wrote when I was 12, based on the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. It’s a bit long to go in one post, so I’m going to split it up into two, possibly three posts. Hope you enjoy!
I look at my watch. 12:25pm. Five minutes until Mr Boring will stop his boring speech about the history of ballpoint pens. My mind wanders off. I can’t wait until 3:00. I will dash home to celebrate my dad’s 40th birthday. And then we get to go on holiday for a whole month! Me (Crystal), my mum, my dad, my four year old brother Sammy, and my one year old sister Lily-Rose are going on a cruise around the Bahamas. My dad got a new job, and it’s a birthday/new job present from my mum.
I glance back at my watch. Five… Four… Three… Two… One… Bring bring! I race out of class, dashing for the tennis courts. David bet that I couldn’t beat him in a round of tennis. So I said, “I bet I can!” Now is the time. I scoff down my sandwiches and homemade choc brownie. Then I grab a racket and a ball. “Come on,” I yell to David. We stand either side of the net. I check my watch. 12:51. Just enough time. I get ready to serve. Suddenly, the ground starts shaking. I drop my racket and ball. David does the same. We crouch down and cover our heads.
When it’s over, we walk towards the field. I am saying to David that it was just another small aftershock, but in my head, I know it’s not.
As we sit down on the field, I notice cracks in the ground. For some reason, my family pops into my head.
“They’ll be okay. Don’t worry Crystal,” I whisper to myself. I try to assure myself, but I can’t. I’m too worried. We all watch as the school building starts to crumble. The teachers are panicking, even Mr Boring, who would not get excited if a herd of elephants came into class. They are all frantically calling out the names of students. I hear my name.
“Here,” I call. My body is there, but my brain isn’t. Then the principal says that we can try find our families, but I’m already off. I dash home, as fast as my legs will carry me. But as soon as I reach our cul-de-sac, I have to stop. I pant on the footpath, looking at the devastation. Our house, our beautiful house, is in ruins. I burst into tears, right there on the footpath. Where are my family? They can’t have survived. Am I left to fend for myself? No! Not Lily-Rose and Sammy! I weep and weep. People stare at me, some sympathetic, others not. But I don’t care. I am just too sad to care. I cry and cry and cry. The ground beneath me and my clothes are sopping wet, but there is nothing I can do about it. I cry even more when I think about Missy, my beautiful tortoiseshell kitten. And Sunshine, my adorable Golden retriever puppy. I am like a plane wreck – a complete mess. My tears are spilling everywhere. I can’t stop crying. But then I see someone looking at me, bending over…
That seems like an appropriate place to stop it. Come back next week to find out what happens to Crystal! Who is the mysterious person bending over? Is her family okay? Will her life ever be the same? These questions and more will be answered next week!
This may be a work of fiction, and a somewhat terrible one at that, but the Christchurch earthquake was a real event that happened. Many people died, and those who survived are still affected to this day, especially those still living in Christchurch. I saw some of the damage about two months after the earthquake, and it was awful. Just keep that in mind.