Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Disaster Writing 1


Thursday 1st May. I'll never forget that day, as it was the day of the Eruption. 

It was in the early evening. About 3:10PM. Small and big earthquakes have struck the Auckland Region for more than two days now, resulting in some minor damage to buildings and houses. Police cars drove through streets, and I had absolutely no idea why. I was watching television at a friend's house, and sadly, I was left there because he went out, telling me nothing. I started to think he tricked me into watching his house. "Dang!" I say. It's worth it though. I didn't do anything in the holidays, not go on the computer, or read the newspaper, actually, I never even got the paper! Anyway, I took some of his food, went back to the sofa and ate some of his chips. Plopping down on the sofa I surfed through the channels, feeling too lazy to get up. I look at the clock. 3:30PM. My phone rings, and when I answer it, everything was distorted, especially the caller's voice. "Who is this?" I say, "Can you hear me? Ca-Hello? Hello! Stupid phone calls."

Turning my phone off, the television pops up with a news report. Said something about an eruption happening. Parts of the video said stuff like, "Evacuate now.". Also, sirens started in a distance. The news are cut off. I am a little shocked. Another small quake. Not surprised. Suddenly a big bang rattled the house. It was black stuff rising. It's here. No...

I had two choices, stay, or go? Go. I didn't know why but I had to do something instead of standing like a statue as if I looked at Medusa, and that was the new volcano. I raced down the stairs, constantly hearing bangs, and some windows cracking. I'm outside. Cars are gone. Houses are left stranded. No one in sight. I felt like the only person in Auckland. Snapping myself out of it, I grabbed a bike, with no one watching, and rode through the streets. Looked behind me. What did I see? Black and white smoke rising, with big rocks the size of meteors flying in the horizon, some even striking houses. As I rode the bike I saw cracks on the roads, roads leading to the shopping centre. Whoa. A ghost-town. Plastic bags flying through the air, which is soon going to be filled with ash. BANG. Thunder breaks the glass of some shops. I ran to a shop that said, "EVACUATION CENTRE". 

4:10PM said my phone. I knocked the door and straight away someone pulls me in. "Crikes sake, man, show manners!" I say to the person, who turns out to be a man with a couple more people, probably 20-25. The building was quite big, with the windows covered with hard wood. Tables were full of equipment, food and other essentials. Radios were on, repeating the statement, "Please remain calm, the eruption is happening. Stay tuned to this radio broadcast.". "What were you doing out there, kid?!" said the man, looking confused, "I just knew about the eruption." I reply, feeling quite sick due to the temperature. "Just knew? Just knew! Newspapers have told us, online updates told us, warnings have been in place since last week, you ignorant! Haven't you seen them?!" he exclaims, "Well, I have not been outside for a while, I have not seen any warnings on tv because I watched another channel, and the newspapers, I never picked them up." I reply, "Also, I haven't used the computer, recently." I said. 

5:34PM. "I think we've been here long enough, am I right?" a woman asks, "Okay, then, YOU go out and check." said the man, whose name was Matt. Never knew his last name though. The tables were nearly empty of food, since we waited a long time. After a few thoughts, Matt then decided that we could go out. "Now, everyone have shoes on?" he said, and we all replied, "Yes!". I opened the door. It creaked open. Covering my mouth, I walked outside, and that was the moment that changed my life. 

Shops have now turned from colourful to just black and dark grey. Cars left stranded were completely destroyed, hot and unable to open. The now orange sky was filled with black and grey clouds. I heard faint fire engine sirens in a distance, along with police sirens and ambulances sound their sirens. Everything was burning hot. I was allowed to go back to the house, and since I had no bike anymore, I walked. 5:46PM my phone said. Houses burned, and one house that used to stand tall is now fallen, damaged, COLLAPSED. Walking down more streets, I saw trees, badly burnt, covered in black, their leaves now gone. At least they still stand tall. At the house, the bushes burned to the ground, the grass now black, and the roof now gone, it is obvious the house didn't survive. I could go inside because, actually the house could be hotter than the sun by now. 

5:57PM. When I thought about the destruction, and how lucky I was to go and not stay, I recieved a phone call. "Hello? Who is this?" I ask the caller. "Hey, man, I'm so sorry I left you.". It's the guy who left me for dead, and I bet he knew about the eruption! "How could you?" I complain, "Leaving me in you home, watching the disaster! Where are you?" I ask. "Well...I'm in Hamilton." he replied. I let go a big sigh. "Okay, now, why could you actually leave me here?" I ask once more. "I don't know, I received a phone call when you were at the house, saying that I had to go to the CBD on my bike. I tried to ring you earlier but traffic messes the signal. I left you a note saying 'Run now, Willy' on the sofa, didn't you get that?" he said. I stand there in silence. Sitting on the sofa at the time of the eruption, the note on the sofa. I sat on it. "Oh, I, um, uh, didn't get it. Well, I better go now, bye!" I say nervously, "Phew!" I said to myself. 

In the distance, I see the new volcano, bursting out lava the colours of fire. It was almost as if that was the only colourful thing in sight.

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