Footprints of Thunder

Free Footprints of Thunder by James F. David

Book: Footprints of Thunder by James F. David Read Free Book Online
Authors: James F. David
cave.
    The lights went out on schedule and Kyle dropped. As he swung down into the darkness the rock in his hands crumbled. His swinging legs continued upward as he fell, bringing his head and shoulders down. He hit the cave floor with a loud thump. Pieces of crumbled rocks avalanched down on him. A large chunk smacked him in the face, bloodying the bridge of his nose.
    The hostages were screaming and crying and the gunman was yelling for everyone to “stay put” and “keep quiet.” Kyle rolled to his knees and started to get up and then he realized he’d lost all sense of direction. One way was the back of the cave wall. Two directions led to safety and one to the gunman. Each second he hesitated seemed like an eternity; the flashlights would be on soon. He flinched when a thump sounded next to him and a hand touched his side, moving up until it gripped his arm. He was pulled up and directed forward into the inky blackness.
    Suddenly a light filled the room, and he felt himself being tripped and pushed to the ground. Someone landed on top of him. More tiny spotlights filled the cavern. The gunman yelled until quiet was restored, and as he was yelling Kyle lifted his head and looked carefully around. He was on his stomach behind the stalagmites. He twisted his head around and could barely make out Shirley’s face inches from his. In disbelief she shook her head and started dabbing off the blood from the bridge of his nose. Kyle felt like an idiot and began wishing he was back on a country road aiming his radar gun at girls on horses. Shirley finished with his nose and then kissed it. Kyle hoped it was too dark for Shirley to see his face turning red.

 

    Time Quilt
     
     

 

    9. Mariel Weatherby
     

    One novel feature of spacetime predicted by Einstein’s equations is called a wormhole. These holes in spacetime connect one region of space with another distant region, and one time with another distant time. To travel through one would be to travel through time. One wonders in the vast universe, if there might be other spacetime phenomena that would permit such travel.
    — Robert Yee, The Einstein Revolution

    Somewhere over the Atlantic the laws of time and space were suddenly rewritten, and the resulting effect began to spread east and west. Land suddenly appeared in the ocean—not dropped, but layed down gently on a watery foundation that could not support it, and soon, like ancient Atlantis, those lands were lost beneath the waves. In the skies flocks of seagulls in flight disappeared, as did the military and civilian aircraft in the affected regions. Tourist, pilot, exchange student, airman, and junketing congressman were all treated equally and ruthlessly. The air itself was instantly changed, the replacing air either noiselessly filling the void, or, if air pressure differences were too great, violently expanding. Titanic booms were as common as soft whooshing.
    As the effect reached the East Coast it continued on land. Streets, cars, homes, office buildings t and fast-food restaurants were replaced with forest, grassland, ice, lakes, and ocean. With the artifacts of mankind went the people who constructed and inhabited them. Men, women, children, rich and poor, teacher and student, Muslim, Christian, Jew, and atheist, all whisked away together.
    The effect was systematic, but not thorough. As the effect washed across the planet’s surface, it rippled t leaving some regions untouched. People, awakened by thunderous booms, looked to see neighborhoods sundered, their houses intact, the other side of the street impossibly changed. Inhabitants of other large regions slept through the night, untouched, unknowning, only to wake to confusion.

    New York City
    Time Quilt: Saturday, 8:35 P.M. EST

    M ariel rocked by her open window, her hands crocheting while her mind listened to the sounds of the autumn evening. She didn’t get to hear the sounds very often anymore. Summer used to be the best time, but now

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