She was just about to get into her newly washed car and drive to work, when Marlena stopped dead in her tracks.  Placing a hand on the hood of the car to brace herself, she gazed on in rapt horror as the meteor blazed a wide swath across the sky.  How big was that thing?   She wondered where the point of impact would be…how much longer she had until it struck the Earth, somewhere not too far from where she stood rooted right now, and sent a mushrooming fireball of destruction high into the stratosphere.

How big was that thing…She had to make a decision.  Not even three seconds had passed since she’d first noticed the colossal celestial body hurtling toward Fresno.  Go back in the house?  My God, why didn’t homes in California have basements?  Oh.  Right. Earthquakes.  What about her mother?  Did she even know what was happening?  She should warn her, but how?  There wasn’t time regardless.  Marlena remained with her hand on the hood of the car, the treasured antique car, carefully and lovingly restored by her uncle and left to her in his will when he died suddenly of complications of renal failure.

How bad was this going to be?  She would know soon as the meteor continued its descent, fueled by the irresistible pull of gravity.  There was a brilliant and blinding FLASH of light, then a moment of nothing, followed by a concussive shockwave unlike anything the Earth has endured in millions of years.  In the end, Marlena was only aware for a nanosecond of a hot wind upon her face and then…

Story by Jennifer Robbins-Mullen

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