The tale of a trek across shaking ground.

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Public Domain

The island shuddered and rocked under the immensity of the earthquakes. They would split it apart, experts said, within a day, but I knew this was wrong. I could see the deep cracks already cutting deep into the ground wherever I walked. My home wouldn’t last a day.

But that wasn’t what interested me right now. Perhaps it should have done, I considered dimly as I crossed the high street. A small quake shook underfoot, and a chimney stack collapsed a few buildings ahead. I was still safe. I glanced at the signage on the building; it wasn’t the one I was interested in, so I kept walking.

More quakes shook the ground, and I could barely keep my balance. All my focus was on the building I wanted, and its lure was almost too much to bear; I needed what was inside it to make my life complete. Without it, I probably wouldn’t be able to go on for much longer; I certainly wouldn’t have anything left after today’s catastrophic events, so this was the only way I could survive. I never thought I would turn into a thief, but these riches would change my life. How could I not break in and take as much as I could carry?

There the building was, suddenly in front of me. I stopped, stared, and licked my lips. I felt the grin spread across my face, and I barely noticed the next quake, more violent than the last, almost until I fell to my knees as I unbalanced again. It felt almost prophetic that I should be in this position, so I didn’t move for a moment, staring instead at the holy grail; the building hosting all those riches.

That last quake had shattered the windows at the front of the building; it was a beautiful sight, as I could get in so much more easily now. It was all within my grasp; my eye twitched as I thought of it.

All the crisps I could ever hope to eat were right there in that warehouse. I would never go hungry again.

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Thanet-based author Matthew has three novels published by Inspired Quill, is an inveterate blogger, and writing is his passion.

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