The Shaking

Seismic terror is about to strike...

Maverick geologist Brian McLean was ridiculed when he warned London and south east England were at imminent risk of suffering a major earthquake. But when the unthinkable happens buildings collapse, power grids crash, transport is gridlocked, and high-tech life grinds to a shuddering halt.

In the stunned aftermath courier Ryan Buckland journeys through a shattered city to be reunited with his family, Deputy Prime Minister Stuart Pullman sees the emergency as his chance to seize power, while nuclear engineer Alan Carter desperately tries to avert a far greater catastrophe. If he fails, destructive aftershocks will be the least of our problems...

A homage to penny dreadful natural disaster potboilers, The Shaking will rock you to your very core!

A 103,000 word novel. Rated PG 16.


9. Chapter Nine

10.14. London and southeastern England.

An unimaginably strong, elemental force had broken free from its subterranean prison. The bucking, writhing earth tore itself apart a fissure arrowing from the Kentish weald toward the heart of the capital one way and the coast in the other direction; the lengthening splits moving faster than a jet airliner flies. The quake's effects varied depending on the construction and underlying ground conditions of the structures it encountered; some were only lightly damaged, while others ridiculously close by were severely affected. Motorists were startled to find cracks and chasms appearing under their wheels even as they drove, with the tarmac ahead suddenly bursting up or falling away before their disbelieving eyes. Concrete road bridges which had never been designed to cope with this kind of stress collapsed, or if they remained intact were betrayed by the treacherous foundations beneath them.

A Javelin train hurtling along the High Speed 1 line through Kent suddenly found itself derailed as the welded tracks it ran upon buckled under the strain of being wrenched two metres to the left. When the severing of the rails was sensed by its computer the train's safety systems automatically applied the brakes, but there was nothing they or the panic-stricken driver could do in these circumstances: Barely slowed by skating over the compacted gravel rail bed the 265 tonne, six car multiple unit slammed into a concrete overpass support column at 190 kilometres per hour; the carriages' robust aluminium frames crumpling on being subjected to such an incredible impact.

Below the rippling surface of the streets gas pipes, sewers, water mains, and power cables were sheared, setting off mushrooming explosions along with fires where arcing electricity set light to the leaking vapours; or creating deadly puddles when the current mixed with the water. Buildings were literally shaken to pieces, their timber frames splintering, gable ends falling away, brick walls collapsing, chunks of concrete splitting away from steel reinforcement, tiled roofs sliding off as chimney stacks crashed through interior rooms or toppled into gardens and suburban drives below. Giant clouds of multicoloured dust mushroomed into the air.

Amid the bass rumble of the earth rending itself asunder came other sounds of destruction and the anguished cries of people caught unaware by the shaking. Soon their screams would be of agony and grief, for the disaster had only just begun.


Sandbeach Caravan Park, near Rye, East Sussex.

The woman lay at his mercy, arms and legs tightly bound X fashion to each corner of the bed. Her eyes widened with astonishment when she saw what he held in his hand, but then her shocked expression changed to one of eager anticipation.

"Oh George!" she sighed. "Do it to me!"

"I'll do it to you alright, you dirty slut..." the man growled, pulling on the bow holding her vivid cerise silken crotchless leopard print thong together and tugging it contemptuously aside.

George and Irene Fenning had been happily married for the last 41 years. In just a few more months George was due to retire from his job as a cabbie; once he had the couple would quit London's East End for good and move down to their coastal caravan park holiday home located near to the Kent/East Sussex border. Then - at last! - their long-suffering neighbours might finally get some peace and quiet.

When George wed Irene (or Renie to those who knew her) all those years ago he knew she was highly sexed; it was one of the things which attracted him to her. But he didn't fully understand just how insatiable or uninhibited she was until after their nuptials. Not that he was complaining, but many others did. The young couple's noisy bedroom athletics scandalised the areas they lived in, even back then in those relatively permissive times, so the Fennings moved or were moved on regularly from short-term let to fixed-term rental until they could put down a mortgage deposit and put two fingers up to the prurient nosey parkers.

After a while, and only three now adult children, their ardour cooled from boiling point to a constantly bubbling simmer; intense enough to satisfy their shared passion, but quiet enough to give their neighbours the chance of an occasionally uninterrupted night's sleep. Meanwhile the earnings from George's long hours of taxi driving provided an escape from the constraints of crowded city life in the form of a lifetime membership of the Sandbeach Residential Caravan Park: It was their little piece of heaven in a world going to hell.

Here, secluded on the site's boundary close to the beach, at times when the nearby homes were unoccupied or during the early season when they had the place to themselves, Irene was free to express her orgasmic joy which she often did; long drawn out and loudly.

The couple were looking forward to settling here permanently, well for the ten months of the year the site's licence allowed them to live there anyway; the rest of their time would be spent in a rented flat either close by or in Spain while awaiting the park's early February reopening. Then they could while away the days doing what they enjoyed the most in the place they'd grown to love; taking leisurely walks on the beach or over the Downs; eating meals out on shopping trips in the local towns; or indulging in the beer, karaoke, or bingo nights in the residents' private Sports and Social club. And that along with - of course - what they were up to at the moment...

Time had been unkind to the pair's bodies; George turning wrinkled, paunchy and balding, Irene becoming joweled as well as flabbier by the day despite her constant attempts at dieting; her aged skin blotched beyond the ability of bottled tan to conceal. But they were still attractive in each other's eyes, and bonded in an inseparable devotion further reinforced by bouts of kinky sex such as this, even at their ages.

"Right!" said George in a commanding tone of voice, brandishing the The Alien dildo. "You're going to get it now!"

Teasingly he lightly touched the device closer to the top of Renie's inner thigh, allowing her to feel the vibrations it made on its lowest setting. Already moist with anticipation and staring at the ceiling Irene couldn't see the pulsating implement all that clearly, but by the time George had finished pleasuring her she'd have intimately experienced all of its varied settings, along with the other little unexpected feature built into this the deluxe model. Gently he eased the tip of the lubricated shaft into her, but only a short way; Irene moaned contentedly and involuntarily quivered with delight. She loved to begin slowly before building up to a shrieking perspiration sheened climax.

There was a time when George would have used 'marital aids' such as The Alien as a last resort or for a bit of variety, but that was before his diagnosis of early stage prostrate cancer. They'd operated and caught it in time, thank God; he'd been clear of it for a good while. But the surgery, along with the advancing years, had affected his prowess somewhat.

Fortunately, the aftereffects could have been a lot worse. His doctor referred him to a specialist sex therapy clinic, and their advice had been miraculously effective, along with those pills you can buy online. Ways were proposed to overcome his difficulties which flabbergasted even his and Irene's broadened minds, their attendance as a couple being positively encouraged. One of the clinic's suggestions was humming in his grip right now.

Fully twelve inches long and five in girth, the matt black phallus looked almost menacing: It was a melange of tapering Alien ovipositor, impudicus mushroom, and barrel cactus, textured all around with nodules as well as stiff little spines. Irene was going to get as much of it inserted into her as she could bear, whether she wanted it or not, and then she'd be stunned when George revealed the other tickler he'd brought from Soho's finest emporium, along with where it would be going. Irene's body and senses were going to get overloaded until she teetered on the edge of orgasm, when George would take over from the gadgets to push her the final step beyond. Then hopefully, once blissed out, exhausted, and aching pleasantly afterward Renie had recovered, her inventively twisted imagination would be churning with deliciously perverted repostes when it was his turn to be firmly strapped down under her control... Just thinking about it brought on a further lustful stiffening on his part.

But hold on a minute, thought George, this Alien seems to have a life of it's own! I've not pressed the button again, yet its throbbing is getting stronger! If it's broken I'll take it back and give them a bloody good piece of my mind as well! Or maybe it's not that, but the rattling is one of the site staff driving past in their tractor; that's just what I don't need to distract me right now! I wish they'd hurry up and sod off!

When their static caravan home suddenly tipped downward at an angle Fenning realised the juddering was due to neither of those causes. Irene let out a startled yelp which had nothing to do with The Alien's user programmable settings. Oh bugger it! One of the caravan's props must have collapsed! That's just sodding typical, innit! I 'spose I'll have to get round to replacing them with some proper concrete blocks before the season ends...

The bed lurched; Irene screamed, and George knew this was more than just a dodgy stand failing. All thoughts of passion now shrinking away he looked through the bedroom's net curtained bay window to find out what the hell was going on. The sight which met his eyes astounded him.

It hadn't rained here for weeks; in fact the summer had bucked the trend by being sunny and pleasantly warm for a change; yet outside the dried out grassy turf glistened as if the site had been flooded. Ripples crazed the large khaki puddles spreading as if by magic; some joining together as George watched to form wider pools. There was no precipitation falling yet the surface of the silty water splashed up as if it were being struck by large rain drops or hail stones. The ground appeared to be boiling, almost erupting in fact!

The Fennings had never heard of seismic liquefaction, but they were about to suffer its effects as the earthquake's shaking affected the ground upon which the Sandbeach park stood. When the saturated particles comprising it became agitated by the tremors, the very nature of the soil changed; behaving more like a liquid than a solid.

"George! Untie me!" demanded Irene. "What's going on?"

"I dunno!" he answered, fumbling with one of the large chrome plated buckles securing her strong leather restraints. "But we've got to get out now!" As he spoke the words there was a brief sickening feeling of weightlessness as the bedroom lurched to one side and pitched further down at the lowering end. The double bed with the couple still on it began to slide across the floor; as did the dressing table, spilling their personal effects and items of Renie's make up. From elsewhere in the mobile home came the sound of dislodged objects crashing, sliding, or breaking loose. Irene, her arms now free, hurriedly releasing one ankle restraint while George worked on the other, screamed out in uncomprehending terror. The Alien - already unceremoniously yanked out, thrown away, and ignored - fell rolling into a corner still buzzing.

Fortunately for them the moving furniture stopped against the wall without blocking the bedroom door. Equally so it was a good thing their wardrobe was fitted and so couldn't fall on top of them or else they'd be trapped in here. Thumps were heard from within as items stored inside rattled against the closet's pine effect sliding louvred panels.

Clambering awkwardly, George wrenched the bedroom door open and groaned with dismay. The trailer's living room/kitchen area had become a shambles, and worse still the white plastic front door was bowing in under hydraulic pressure at the bottom, allowing a thin sheet of sloppy mud to spread out over the beige carpet. Out of the corner of Fenning's vision something else caught his attention, an opaque dark brown triangle covering the lower corner of the window closest to the door. Their home was being swallowed by the very earth it stood on, and judging by the way the window was being obscured even as he looked at it, the rate of subsidence was increasing.

The couple needed to escape quickly, but the door with pillows of goo extruding past the draught seals on three sides no longer seemed a viable option. George imagined the pressure of slurry building on the other side the door; there could be no way out through it.

As if to confirm his worst fears, at that very moment the door frame began to separate from the caravan's laminated plywood wall, then the door itself gave way with a loud crack allowing a solid torrent of glutinous muck to burst in and quickly swamp the kitchenette. That sight was enough to start houseproud Renie - now released from her bindings and also looking at the mess - off in a renewed bout of wailing anguish. Slamming the bedroom door shut and bolting it - for all the good that would do - George said "There's no way we can get out through the door. We'll have to go out the window. Help me with that bedside cabinet; we'll put it against the end of the bed and use it as a step up!"

Irene did as she was asked, but still it was difficult to move the small drawer chest with the floor tilting at an ever steepening angle. Heaving and puffing they managed to push it into place at last, then George climbed on it up to the window. Fortunately the key was still in the lock. He unlocked and opened it as far as it would go, but to his horror saw the double glazing's pantograph hinge would only allow a limited arc of movement. He might be able to wriggle his way out, but Irene would have no chance of doing so.

Bracing himself as best he could inside the bay window frame George slammed the sole of his bare foot against the pane once, twice, three times. Apart from making his heel go numb, nothing happened. The tough glass stayed bonded into its uPVC frame and the hinge remained firmly attached at the two places it was fixed to. Desperately he tried stamping with both feet at once; despite doing so several times the window refused to open any wider.

"Hurry up! It's getting past the door!" Irene's frantic cry made him look round. The sludge was beginning to ooze its way into the bedroom; they were running out of time.

Again George thrust both feet hard against the the window, this time throwing as much of his body weight behind them as he could, but still to no effect. With the mobile home tilting at such an angle he was having trouble maintaining his position: If he couldn't break or push the pane out soon they would both be doomed.

He kicked out once more; this time there was a gratifying snap as one of the two hinge pins broke free of its plastic mount. With a frantic strength he didn't know he still had Fenning let fly with another two-footed stomp. "Arrrrrrgh!" This time the only result was him scratching an ankle on the point of the dislodged steel screw, drawing a agonising livid red weal along his shin and calf.

Eyes watering with the stinging pain George launched another frenetic effort. Yes! This time the second stubborn pin popped out! He pushed the window aside and scrambled through. Balancing precariously on the outside of his home, he reached in to grasp Irene's outstretched arm, but before their hands could clasp there was a loud sucking noise and the caravan slumped abruptly downwards with a jolt which sent George staggering backward over the window and sprawled the unbalanced Irene onto the bedroom wall, now effectively the floor.

"Are you all right?" he shouted down to her.

"I think I've hurt my back!" she cried.

"Can you climb up here?"

"I'm not sure!"

With a growing sense of dread Fenning grasped that even if his wife could reach up to him now, there was no way he could ever pull her up and out through the open window. In probably less than a minute or so the quicksand, now rising level with the end of the shivering trailer as it was engulfed further, would bury it - and Renie - completely; drowning or suffocating her.

George, stark naked and straddling his disappearing home, began bellowing at the top of his voice for help.

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