This is part eighteen of my novel in progress, The Last Grain of Sand. <– Click on the title to read the previous chapters. Don’t miss part sixteen, Too Easy, and part seventeen, Something Down the Road, which were posted earlier today!

Part Eighteen: Surreal?


We sat for a long minute, not speaking—I was holding my breath—wondering what would happen next. The earth shook, and glassware tinkled behind the bar.

Ed whispered, “Oh, man, that’s all we need is a damn earthquake in the dark.”

My voice was unsteady as I said, “This is more than dark.”

There was a noise like far away thunder, then the table seemed to move down and to the right. I stifled a squeak, and Ed said, “Oh.”

That was it. Just, oh, then silence that seemed to spread through the darkness like a disease. Somehow I knew he was gone, but I didn’t want to believe it.

A flicker of light—like a strobe light—told me I was correct. Ed’s chair was empty, and the table was lower than it should have been, and slightly tilted. Ed’s beer bottle teetered slowly then toppled and shattered on the floor. In the pulsing light, it all seemed surreal. I almost laughed. Surreal? Life had become surreal. I had no idea what real was anymore.

I did not emit one of my girlie squeaks when Ed tapped my shoulder. No sir, I let loose with an Oscar worthy scream that could’ve made me millions on the horror film circuit.

“Jeez, dude,” Ed said. “Get a grip.”

When my heart began to beat again, I said, “Get a grip? Get a grip?” I sounded like a girl!

The sun came back on—I don’t know any other way to describe it—and I was temporarily blind. Complete blackness to stark daylight is not something my eyes were used to.

I jumped when Ed’s hand touched my shoulder, then winced as he squeezed it hard and said, “Oh, crap! What the hell is that?”

“What?” I hissed, pushing his hand from my shoulder. I looked up and saw he was staring toward the parking lot, and followed his gaze.

The building swayed, as another rumble of earth thunder rippled beneath us, and a window blew outward toward the parking lot. Our visitors paid no heed to the glass that tinkled at their feet, continuing to stare intently at me and Ed, as if we might be dinner.

I heard the almost noiseless click of the safety lever on Ed’s gun, and clasped my hands to my ears just before he pulled the trigger.


  1. tense! I like it..

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    AGAIN? I’m telling you, my heart can’t take it!

  3. elizena said

    Tense? Tense? This is beyond tense, Charles! My heart is racing and I’m asking; no pleading, please don’t make it be zombies! Those things scare the poop out me. Wait a minute!!? So the same thing is happening all over the place? What is it!!?!?!?!? What are they?!? Like Sherry, I don’t know if my heart will be able to take this tense situation these poor people find themselves in and I’m still wondering why animals can be heard and their actions can be seen, but they physically can’t be seen by the naked eye?
    I’m wondering is it aliens? Has the government been experimenting on humans? Was it they that caused this? Arghhhh!! I’m pulling my hair out, because this has been so exciting, but frustrating at the same time. LOL!! I’m way too into this story. I’m now waiting for the exciting chapter. Yay!!

    • Okay, I promise. I don’t do zombies, so that’s definitely not what’s out there. Government experiment? Hmmmm. Something evil, I betcha.

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