The Earth trembled violently, crying to the inhabitants of its surface as if it were in pain. Something fell from the bookshelf, its precisely and ornately painted surface shattering mercilessly into thousands of pieces across the polished mahogany floor, symbolizing the way the man felt. Shattered, broken and confused.
He ran a hand over his face, releasing a sigh as the world offered one last shudder before settling into a hushed and pacific resolve. He ignored the vase that now lay scattered across the floor, its pieces glinting in the light that fell softly through the curtains. Instead, he collapsed onto the couch, its ashen tincture tempting him.
The TV ́s news channel shouted silently at him, depicting scenes of torn terrain. Areas of land that were completely divided, ravines and dark abyss that scared the planet. Unexplained chasms, unexplained panic, turmoil and destruction. No one knew anything about the mysterious phenomenon, least of all Zhao.
The screen showed men, women, and children falling into the abyss as the murderous chasms opened up to devour them without warning. He could just imagine their screams,
Their cries simply disappearing with them, the darkness a merciless blanket of silence as they slipped on loose soil, finding nothing to grasp.
Zhao slammed his eyes shut, switching the television off without a moment's hesitation
The sky pressed in on Zhao, but he didn’t seem to notice, neither did the bright eyed woman that grinned out at the world around them. She laughed pushing Zhao’s shoulder playfully, it was a pleasant sound. Soft and enjoyable, like water bubbling gently from a stream or the tinkling of small bells. It was a sound he wished he could bottle up and keep forever.
He breathed in her smile as she tapped his arm playfully before bouncing away, strawberry blonde hair and periwinkle eyes disappeared in a flash. The sky darkened to an unpleasant tone causing panic to gain a vice like grip on his chest. His breathing stopped, and he found himself paralyzed as he watched the scene unfold. In an instant the woman he loved was gone. Swallowed up by the ruthless mouth of a neverending dark abyss. Her scream whipped away with the dirt that fell into the darkness with her.
With a gasp Zhao awoke, his whole frame shook, cold sweat trickling its treacherous path down his temple, his breathing coming in quick sharp spurts. Turning to rest his head on his arm his eyes fell on the picture that rested on his nightstand. Zhao grimaced, gently placing the picture frame facing down, he sighed and turned back to stare into the darkness.