When Carson sat down for breakfast, the house started shaking. At first he thought someone had grabbed the back of his chair and started shaking it. He turned around, but no one was there, and then he saw the pictures on the wall shaking. Some pencils rolled off the hall table and rolled around on the floor.
Carson jumped from his chair. What were you supposed to do during an earthquake? Run outside? Hide under the table? Just then, his mom walked into the kitchen, looking perfectly calm. “Mom,” Carson said. “It’s an earthquake. What do I do?”
“Oh, don’t worry about it, Carson,” his mom said. She set out two cereal bowls and started pouring cereal. The cereal flakes jumped around, and a few managed to leap out of the bowl. His mom set the box on the counter and opened the fridge. The shaking stopped.
Carson sat down, feeling confused. Was that it? His mom poured milk into the bowls and handed him a spoon. He started eating. “But it was an earthquake, wasn’t it? Shouldn’t something bad happen, like the dam bursting and the house flooding? Something like that?”
“Don’t worry about it,” his mom said. Then she continued munching her cereal.
Carson ate another bite, and continued to look around to see if anything had broken during the earthquake. That’s when he saw a dark spot at the back of the hallway, racing towards the kitchen. It came closer and Carson could see that it was water. Icky, muddy water.
“Mom, the house really is flooding,” Carson said. “Look, it’s coming into the kitchen.”
His mom didn’t look down. “Don’t worry about it,” she said.
“But, mom, look,” Carson said. The water was lapping at his feet.
His mom looked down and continued eating her cereal. “Mmm-hmmm,” she said.
The water got higher and higher. Carson stood on his chair. His mom sat on the table and continued to eat her cereal. “Should we be climbing onto the roof so rescuers can find us?” Carson asked.
His mom finished her cereal and set down her bowl. “Don’t worry so much, Carson,” she said.
The water got higher. “We need to go now, or we won’t get up the stairs,” Carson said.
He clung to his mom’s arm as they waded through the kitchen. They went upstairs and out a bedroom window onto the garage roof. From there, they were able to climb onto the house roof. The whole neighborhood was flooded, and water looked like it was pouring in faster and faster.
The neighbor’s roof was on fire, and the wind suddenly picked up, spreading the flames faster. “I think our house is going to catch fire next,” Carson said. “We need to get the roof wet so it won’t catch fire. What should we do?” Carson asked. “I could grab the trash can from my bedroom and fill it in the upstairs bathroom and pour the water on the roof.”
“Don’t worry about it,” his mom said. She sat on the roof and smiled when the wind blew through her hair.
“But the neighborhood is flooding and our neighbor’s house is on fire,” Carson said. “The only thing that would make this worse is if the water was full of sharks.”
“Mmm-hmm,” his mom said.
Carson looked down. There were triangular fins circling in the water below. “I can’t believe it. Sharks,” Carson said. “Now can we worry?”
“Don’t worry, Carson,” his mom said.
“Why not?” Carson asked.
“Because this is just a dream,” she said. And Carson woke up.