It isn’t loud, the sound of impending doom. It isn’t quiet, but it isn’t loud.

I’d always assumed the opposite.

Instead of a sudden dislodging of one’s solid footing with a sudden tap-tinkle-tumble of Grandma’s antique urn that had rested too near the mantel’s edge –

I expected a fanfare. I anticipated an alarm. At the least, I thought there’d be a Horseman.

But, no.

As I clutched my children against the shivering wall and listened to the silence that shook my world, I learned: there’s only the rumble of the moment.

It isn’t loud, the sound of impending doom.

Fallen debris is seen at a building at 500 South and 400 West in Salt Lake City after an earthquake on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Written, then considered for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo ©2020 KSL Newsmedia

58 thoughts on “Earthquake

  1. masercot March 19, 2020 / 6:38 am

    We had one in D.C. a few years ago and I was on the tenth floor. We REALLY felt it…

    Liked by 1 person

      • masercot March 19, 2020 / 7:00 am

        Just as soon as well all figured out what it was…

        Liked by 1 person

          • masercot March 23, 2020 / 5:43 am

            Actually, I started running for the stairs but then it stopped. We all went back to our offices and, a few minutes later, we were told to evacuate…

            THAT took forty five minutes…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. tnkerr March 19, 2020 / 7:17 am

    An Earthquake? In Salt Lake City?
    Not something you guys are accustomed to. Hope all is well with you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 9:09 am

      Yes. Yes!
      I know we should be, but they’re old fault lines. :/


  3. LA March 19, 2020 / 7:19 am

    Sending love and thoughts! Hang tough!💗💗💗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ellenbest24 March 19, 2020 / 9:43 am

    Wow, you are a true survivor. If the horsemen arrive you will be so over it *clicks fingers* wonder-woman will be recruiting you. You got this, and more. Be safe lady and keep the power. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 10:19 am

      Psh. I wish. I’ll decide on a name for my superpowers later.


  5. obbverse March 19, 2020 / 12:36 pm

    I’t’s an unsettling feeling when you can only roll with the punches. Sadly we’ve been there, done that. 4 September 2010/22 February 2011 Christchurch. There went the ol’ homestead!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. petespringerauthor March 19, 2020 / 1:44 pm

    5.2 yesterday just off our coast. The second good shaker in two weeks for us. I could use a little less drama and a little more routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bereavedandbeingasingleparent March 19, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    We once had a tremor which got to 2.0 It knocked one book off a shelf. Thar was enough for us. I bet the was so unsettling for you, Sending you a hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 3:16 pm

      Very unsettling, as it was my alarm clock and my first experience with one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. robstroud March 19, 2020 / 2:29 pm

    Earthquakes are different in different places… I’ve been through them in a fair number of locales. In Guam we had several that lasted nearly a minute. I was used to 10-15 second shakes, so that was a bit alarming.

    Years ago I was helping my brother relocate from CA to WA. After loading the trucks and getting a few hours driving in before crashing for the night, we checked into a motel in central California. I was watching tv when my bed began to shake and I turned to my brother accusing him of slipping a couple quarters into of those bed vibration machines. Pretty funny memory.

    Fortunately, I’ve never been around any that caused fatalities. Thanks not funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      A full minute?? Wow.

      Thank you for the interesting perspectives.


  9. gregoryjoel March 19, 2020 / 2:38 pm

    Love the picture your words painted but sorry for the inspiration. We deal with tornados but not earthquakes. I guess it’s all a trade off. Hope you and your are well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kat March 19, 2020 / 3:21 pm

    I grew up in California, where we’re taught practically from the time we’re born how to prepare for an earthquake. My mom thinks I predicted a major one when I was just a few months old, so I can’t help but love earthquakes. Then again, California is better prepared to withstand one than most of the country. My husband and I experienced one when we moved to Maryland several years ago. In California, it wouldn’t be anything too noteworthy, but I quickly learned they are serious incidents in areas that don’t usually get them so are unprepared for one. So, I feel for you, especially now when there’s enough uncertainty. They may be brief, but, when you’re not used to them or are never on your toes expecting one, it can be really scary. I hope you and your family are okay and the damage done to your area wasn’t too severe. And, hopefully, you’ll never have to experience one again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      ❤ We live on old fault lines but haven’t had one in a while so we get complacent. It was the first I ever felt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kat March 19, 2020 / 11:02 pm

        Ah, I can understand that. There are more old fault lines around the country than most people realize, so it’s easy to forget they’re there. I guess I like the constant reminders California gives us that “the big one” is coming any day now, though my mom says they’ve been saying that since she was a child.

        Liked by 1 person

          • kat March 19, 2020 / 11:13 pm

            I remember those… It’s weird that now my son comes home talking about them. Well, he used to come home talking about them. Oh, I guess I’d better do drills at home seeing as we’re becoming stuck at home for longer and longer periods of time.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. mymindlessdrivel March 19, 2020 / 5:57 pm

    Very true. Quakes are felt more than they are heard, usually. And where you get them a lot, you can even learn to judge how bad they are (allowing for distance, depth, etc.). Sometimes you’re not even sure you felt it. Sometimes you think a heavy truck rumbled past and shook the house. In a high rise, it’s even more subtle because they tend to absorb some of. No matter what, though, it is a bit heart-stopping. That you and the kids were tucked up against the wall was the right reaction. Too many panic and do the wrong things. If you can’t get to a sturdy wall, get under a heavy table and hold on to it so it stays over you. Pending doom can sometimes be thwarted. Glad you are all safe, if shaken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 6:24 pm

      I can’t help but feel something worse will come, and we’ll be asleep, and the children will be crushed.


      • mymindlessdrivel March 19, 2020 / 6:42 pm

        Then anchor furniture, and move things away from the beds that could fall on the bed. Teach the children to either lie still in bed or drop down beside it and hold on. Just think through the possible dangers and plan for them. A big mirror over the head of your bed? Right…that’s coming down on your face. Time to relocate it. When we had the big Northridge quake here, I had my room arranged so the floor around the bed was littered, but nothing on the bed but me. Preparation eases fear.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens March 19, 2020 / 6:55 pm

          ❤ Thanks. You’re right.

          I had them all make backpacks. It was like that part of Harry Potter where she said Dudley was trying to sneak a TV into his…


          • mymindlessdrivel March 19, 2020 / 7:00 pm

            *snicker* There are a good many adults whose planning for trouble isn’t much better. Hey, at least the kids will be entertained.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Pam Webb March 19, 2020 / 10:50 pm

    Wow! You are certainly experiencing interesting times. Glad all is well.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. S. Chersis March 20, 2020 / 12:28 am

    That doesn’t look so good. I’m glad you and your family are alright! I heard the kind of rock/grounding in Salt Lake makes it so the shock waves travel farther than what we have here in Cali :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens March 20, 2020 / 8:11 am

      It wasn’t a bad shaking, really. I’m just nervous for it being worse next time it happens.

      Liked by 1 person

      • S. Chersis March 20, 2020 / 10:09 am

        Totally. Earthquakes are real annoying like that–the quake was either pressure release or a warning. I hope your nerves can calm down and you can start to relax soon 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Norah March 20, 2020 / 5:28 am

    An earthquake and a virus. What next?
    Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joanne the geek March 20, 2020 / 5:42 am

    They’re pretty unsettling eh? I still get flashbacks to the one we had here in 2011. It wrecked a large part of my city in around 50 seconds.


  16. H.R.R. Gorman March 22, 2020 / 12:48 pm

    This implies you’ve seen Bojack Horseman which makes me simultaneously happy that I’m not alone and really depressed because that’s show’s really depressing.


    • Chelsea Owens March 29, 2020 / 2:15 pm

      Ha! Yes, but I was specifically referencing an apocalyptic one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • H.R.R. Gorman March 29, 2020 / 8:20 pm

        Good goobledy goop – how did I overlook *that* and go straight to BoJack?

        Now the piece has a different tone when I read it.


  17. Jules March 23, 2020 / 7:59 am

    While I have not live in CA, I have live in to other states that have had mild quakes. One my china hutch rattled and I was ready to blame my boys… but they were in the car waiting for me to take them on a visit…

    There are more fault lines than folks aware of…

    Liked by 1 person

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