Watch Your Step
By Sheri White
When the holes first appeared, it wasn’t so bad. They were mostly just divots, really. Sure they caused a few broken ankles and bruised egos when people got a foot caught in one, but they were basically harmless. Weird, of course; nobody could figure out why holes suddenly opened all over the city, but if you watched your step, you would be OK. And the holes closed up soon after they appeared.
I twisted my ankle in one while playing Frisbee with my friends in Central Park, but I was more embarrassed than hurt.
I doubt I’ll ever live it down; they razzed me all night at the bar.
I swore that the hole wasn’t there when I stepped back; it just randomly opened up. But when we looked a few minutes later, it was gone.
That scared me.
After a while, people adjusted. We New Yorkers always do. Until the holes got bigger, and deeper. I saw one hole open up and swallow a man to his chest. Thankfully he was pulled out before it closed.
Then pets started disappearing. Holes even opened up in the streets and on the sidewalks. Street vendors lost their livelihoods. Traffic was a mess all the time; it looked like the city was overrun with potholes and sinkholes.
People quit driving. At least when you walked, you could carefully navigate the holes.
Until one opened up right beneath you.
At first, the holes were only in New York City. Or so we thought.
Reports started coming in from all over the place - little nothing towns, big cities; nowhere was safe. Even the president had to be pulled out of one by the Secret Service; she fell while playing tennis with her daughter.
But now I think we’re all in big trouble. The holes are closing up faster.
My friends and I were out in the park a few days ago, playing Frisbee again. My friend Tim was swallowed into a hole while running - this time it closed up too fast. Only his head and one arm could be seen.
Tim screamed for us to dig him out; we called 9-1-1, but he died before they got there. The paramedics said pressure crushed him.
And the holes are getting bigger and bigger. I thought I’d be safe in my apartment, but the other night I was woken up by a God-awful rumbling sound. When I got up, I realized the building across the street was gone. Just…gone.
And I imagine all those people who were sleeping when it happened are gone as well.
Is it safer to be on water? I don’t know. When I took the ferry to work, I noticed there were fewer boats in the harbor yesterday. It could be a coincidence.
But I don’t really want to know.
I think it’s the end for us, I really do.
Today I watched the Statue of Liberty disappear.
Here is a little bit about the author:
Sheri White is a writer who lives in Jefferson, MD with her family. She has been published in several small-press magazines and anthologies, both print and online. She is a book reviewer for several on-line sites and is a reporter for her local newspaper. You can check out her blog at Chaos and Contentment.
If you don't know Sheri yet, she is a great writer to network with. I am thrilled to help her. She deserves a chance to show what she can do. Support her blog and get to know another good human being.