When the quaking stopped, she was sure the world must have ended.
She didn't know what to expect when she stepped outside. She imagined what might be on the other side of the door to the abandoned house she now hid in. Frozen, she saw a world of ice, or maybe of fire. Maybe there was simply nothing at all. Or, she allowed herself to think, maybe a new world had been born in the chaos. Maybe it will be Heaven, she thought.
She stepped over the wooden planks, snapped, that had fallen from the ceiling above her; she could see a grey sky through the spaces where the roofing had caved in, pushing aside wrecked household appliances—destroyed cushions, dismembered chairs.
She took a deep breath, standing by the door, her hand gripping the handle tightly. Was she ready for this? What if she saw something too terrible?
Nevertheless, she forced herself to swing the door open. Rubble was holding it closed, and she had to pull with all her might to squeeze herself through the doorway and out onto the streets of LA.
The first thing she saw was the sky.
It was layered with clouds of ash, smoke billowing up in the distance from an incredible fire in the northern side of the city. The endless skies held no light—and neither did the Earth's surface underneath it.
Cars without doors littered the streets, careened off cracked roads torn in to pieces. As she stepped further out into the street, she saw so, so much more.
Only one, single building remained of the great city, looming over the city on its own, left to rule the city of ashes. The rest had fallen to crumpled piles of concrete and metal on the ground. Shattered glass layered the broken ground.
It was beautiful disaster.
She couldn't believe her eyes as she made her way toward the city and that one, looming tower, now suddenly unbelievable huge next to the leveled grounds of the destroyed city.
She passed cars beyond totaled—tipped sideways and upside-down—their glass windows all shattered from impact.
She traced the yellow line running up the street. She found difficulty when the street plummeted into ditches created in the chaos. Cracks ran along the entire ground, and she wondered if they stretched on for miles.
She saw no people.
She stopped when she finally reached it, the single tower poking the serrated sky. The grand door was held open with a large chunk of debris. Inching herself through the space, she found herself gravitating to the stairs. Mindlessly, she climbed and climbed until she was at the top. By that time, she felt as if she'd been reaching for the tip of the world for an eternity, but she finally found the one window, a whole wall's length, that stretched over the city. And as she stood there, looking at the whole city all at once, she knew she was the only one left.
A/N: I know my fatal flaw is starting sentences. Now, it's like, "She! She! She! She!" and it's bad. Usually, it's all "I"s. But anyway, this is my entry for Figment's Seventeen Magazine contest. Wish me luck! :)
Song Inspiration: "Time" by Hans Zimmer.