“Come on! Move your ass!” I shouted as the four of us hoofed up the mountain. The rumbling roar of the giant wall of water behind us grew louder and louder until it became deafening. Suddenly, I heard Marissa scream behind me.
When I turned around, I saw that she’d tripped and fallen. I ran back to her, reached out, and grabbed her by the hand.
“Get up! Come on, you gotta get up!” I screamed frantically, barely able to hear myself for the deafening roar of the approaching tsunami. With my help, Marissa got to her feet, and we continued to run up the mountain.
We managed to make it to the top just in time to turn around and watch as the wave engulfed the beach below. The people left on the beach, looking like tiny black dots from so far away, began to scatter like frenzied ants before the wave engulfed them all.
“My God! Those people!” Sarah screamed in horror.
We continued to watch in terror as the monster wave moved further inland, swallowing the village whole. The water smashed the buildings and houses to pieces and carried them away.
“Dammit!” Tess cried, “Why didn’t they freaking listen to us!”
The ocean was now a bubbling, churning mess of brown, swirling water, peppered with white foam and debris. We watched as the jeep we had made our escape in got swept out to sea and disappeared.
“Oh, Lord Jesus!” Marissa cried.
All we could do was gape in utter shock and disbelief as the rushing, watery monster ravenously ate everything in its path.
Suddenly, we heard rustling in the bushes around us. We turned and looked. One by one, people began emerging from the bushes- a few villagers, the woman and her dog we’d seen on the beach earlier, a local family with four small children, and two young twenty-something male tourists.
More and more people came out of the bushes. It was incredible that we had survivors other than just the four of us! I pulled my cellphone from my beach bag and tried to call home but no luck. The signal was gone.
“The towers are gone. We’re not going to be able to call home.” Tess reminded me.
“So, what do we do?” Marissa asked.
“We sit here and wait,” I answered.
“For how long? And for who?” Marissa asked again.
“How do I know how long? We’ll wait for the helicopters. Somebody’s bound to send some choppers sooner or later.” I said
We opened the large backpack, took out a beach blanket, and then spread it on the ground before the four of us sat upon it and huddled together. Marissa opened her tote and pulled out a throw. We then each took our beach towels and rolled them into makeshift pillows.
The other people had their beach bags and backpacks too and began unloading their necessities. We all shared everything, giving the hungry villagers a portion of what we had to eat and drink.
We each had three full water bottles, but between the four of us was an overnight bag full of packs of Lance crackers, slim jims, Cracker Jacks, and cheese snacks. We shared them with the people who had the least food and water.
“We’re going to ration everything out. It could be several days before help finds us. You can bet there’s no drinking water available on this island now.” Tess said.
As the day wore on, the water below began to recede and flow back into the ocean. We all sat atop the cliff and watched as the receding waters carried bodies and all kinds of debris back out to sea. The shock didn’t wear off very quickly. Everything was too surreal, and we felt as if it was all a bad dream.
As late afternoon approached, a few villagers built a fire. We all joined them in building two large lean-tos out of limbs, bamboo, palm tree bark, and leaves. We also made beds of soft leaves, grass, and brush. We worked as quickly as possible because we wanted to get as much accomplished before running out of daylight.
As night fell, stars began to appear overhead until there were millions of them. A full moon shone brightly in the east as we worked by the light of the fire. A soft breeze started to blow, and the leaves on the surrounding palm trees and shrubbery began to flutter. We could hear the faint sounds of wind rustling through the trees along with the crackling and popping of the fire as it danced in the cool night air.
Although there were stars overhead, we began to hear what sounded like distant thunder. Stopping what we were doing, we all looked across the water at the vast ocean below us. Sure enough, we could see remote flashes of lightning in a row of cumulus clouds barely visible on the horizon.
Although it was a beautiful sight, we noticed that the clouds were growing more prominent on the horizon, and flashes were growing more visible. But we couldn’t stop gazing at it. The moon was so bright the clouds were almost as visible as day, and the dark shadows of the trees loomed clearly on the ground. The bigger and more fluffy the clouds got, the more the breeze picked up.
(Continued in Part 4)