I don’t think we’d ever run so fast in our entire lives. We got to the parking lot in what seemed like only seconds. We threw our beach bags, towels, and backpacks into the jeep before jumping in and clicking our seatbelts.
I cranked the engine, shifted into drive, and we peeled away, squealing tires. When we turned onto the main road, I made such a sharp turn at such high speeds that the passenger side of the jeep tipped upward and for a second or two, we were only riding on the driver’s side two tires. The other three girls grabbed the overhead bar to steady themselves.
After I completed the turn and corrected, the passenger side of the jeep dropped to the ground with a loud bang and jolt that bounced everyone off their seats.
“Easy! EASY! We’re not going to be any better off if we tip over and roll!” Sarah yelled.
“Just hang on!” I shouted back, pushing the gas pedal to the floor.
We sped toward the mountains, which were just beyond a village. With one hand gripping the overhead bar and the other holding her beach hat in place on her head to keep it from blowing off, Tess accidentally removed her hand to dig in her bag. Sure enough, the hat blew off and slid down the road behind us.
“Shit! My hat!”
“Screw the hat! Punch it, Lanie!” Sarah shouted.
We came to the crowded village and noticed that the people there looked as if it was just a normal day and they were just going on about their lives. Business as usual.
“Jeez! What the hell are they doing! Why aren’t they running for higher ground!” Tess cried.
“We’ve got to stop and warn them,” I said.
“We’ve gotta what??? We don’t have time!” Marissa cried.
Ignoring Marissa’s rely, I hit the breaks and we came to a screeching halt that threw us all forward and pulled our seatbelts taught against us. I then shifted into park, unfastened the belt, stood up in the jeep, and began yelling while pointing toward the ocean, then toward the mountains.
“Hey! Get to higher ground! Hurry! There’s a wave headed for us! C’mon! You got to get out of here! You gotta go NOW!” I screamed.
To our horror, the locals only stood there looking at us as if we’d flipped our wigs. One man turned and looked at the woman beside him. He put a finger next to his temple, doing the classic finger twirl, and I thought I heard the words, “Crazy Americans.” In English but with the native accent.
We tried warning them again but with no success. They only began laughing and pointing at us. Sarah spoke up.
“Forget it, Lanie! We tried! There’s nothing more we can do for these people. Now we have to save our own asses.” She said in a dreadful tone.
“Damn it!” I exclaimed as I dropped back into the seat, threw it into drive, and floored the gas. I looked through the rear-view mirror and noticed the locals standing there gawking at us as we speed away. Once we made it through the village, we made another turn at the foot of the mountain, onto a dirt road that led up it.
As we started up the mountain, we slung dirt and gravel everywhere and hit potholes, which jarred the jeep and everyone in it. Less than a quarter of a mile up the mountain, I glanced through the rear-view mirror at the village and ocean behind it and sure enough, I could see what looked like two white lines on the water. Suddenly, there was another loud bang with a hard jolt that threw us forward once more. The jeep had come to an abrupt stop!
The engine revved loud as I continued to floor the gas, but the jeep didn’t budge!
“What the hell!” I cried as I shifted gears again.
Once again, I shoved the accelerator to the floor and the front tires spun, slinging more dirt and gravel. Still, the jeep didn’t move.
“Come on, Lanie! Punch it!” Sarah yelled.
“I am! We’re stuck!”
“Oh God! That’s it! We’re screwed! ” Marissa shouted.
“Shut up!” I shouted back as I fought with the controls in the jeep to get us free from the hole we were stuck in.
Once more, I looked through the rear-view and could see the white wall of water looming larger in the mirror. I then saw a yacht that was in its path capsize!
I frantically shifted gears a third time and stood on the gas. Nothing!
“It’s no use! We gotta BAIL! We gotta go the rest of the way on foot!” I cried.
With that, we all quickly came out of our seat belts, hopped out of the jeep, and grabbed our things. As we began hoofing it up the mountain, we could hear the distant, rumbling roar behind us, and, second by second, the sound grew louder.
(Continued in Part 3)