Us “girls” stood there staring in simple shock. The terror had not yet sunk into our brain meat but the morbid fascination with our own demise kept us riveted.
Our eyes were affixed to the interactive model world globe every premises had to have, by law. Can you remember when fire alarms became mandatory with all new dwellings? Well this is a modern day fire alarm but on a global scale.
It’s extremely high tech, I don’t know how it works anymore than I could figure out fax machines when they were first launched all those years ago. Each model is somehow linked to the world and reflects the worlds status by changing colour, shape and form in direct and live response to mass personal and environmental upheaval incidents like war, tsunami, earthquakes, invasion.
We were watching the north american continent turn yellow and begin to peel and lift from the surface of the earth. This was bad, worse than bad. This was code red equivalent and signalled the end of the world as we know it. This was the Judgment Day that Sarah Connor most feared or the Super Flu that Stephen King foretold.
We, earth’s occupants, had all known this was coming for some time. Governments collaborated (for once) to set up warning systems such as the globe to try and give us humans a fighting chance. Although we’d done this preparation, as a race we thought we had more time. Don’t you always think there’s more time than there actually is?
We were on a girls “weekend away” and staying in a high rise hotel in Melbourne. This is a first for me as I don’t normally indulge in “girls only” things, never have. It seems that my 40’s are bringing changes though, perhaps more than I ever bargained for. While the girls stand all wide-eyed and motionless gawking at the globe, it occurs to me that it’s an odd group. There’s Gill, Carly, Alana and Vicky from work but also Leanne who I knew through my ex-boyfriend, over 15 years ago.
It didn’t add up – why was she here? Don’t get me wrong, I like her and she seems to be getting along brilliantly with everyone but she’s just the odd one out as everyone else used to work together. How does she fit?
Someone turned the hotel TV on which snapped me out of my unrelated and useless thoughts.
A news bulletin, breaking news. It was like watching War of the Worlds or some such movie – marshall law, lack of control, bedlam, panic, chaos. All hell had broken loose.
As suddenly as it came on, the TV snapped off with an audible pop. Power failure? A glimpse was enough anyway, I didn’t want to see any more.
This seemed to urge everyone into action. We had to leave, if the USA was going down Australia would surely follow soon – if it hadn’t already. We needed to get out of the hotel and home to those we love.
The girls were scrambling to gather their belongings. So many of us for one small hotel I think, I can’t even make out who the rest are. Work colleagues I surmise, my thoughts are jumbled and I’m focusing on the inconsequential. Loose, scattered thoughts float past my conscious mind – I vaguely wonder why the hell I didn’t have a survival pack all ready to go. I should call home, I need to touch base.
I also need the loo, I can’t think when I need to go and I need to think now more than ever. I leave the others to their scrambling and holler to them to make sure they don’t leave me behind.
I lock myself in the bathroom and sit on the loo. I’m strangely calm. I can think better in the cool, white, tiled space.