About: The Walkers
Disclaimer: B&S isn’t mine.
Summary: It started as a clear and sunny day….
Warning: This story is about an Earthquake and it's effect on the Walkers...
Daniel’s lower lip trembles. He’s been here all alone for what seems hours. He’s scared and the lady doesn’t get up either. He makes a questioning sound. No reaction. He tries once more time. There’s noise outside. Screaming in the hall. But not a sound in the small room he’s in. Tears starts to form and Daniel starts to cry….
“Tommy! Elizabeth!” Luc and Sarah try again, this time on the second floor. This time they can hear Tommy call back. Luc pushes the buttons but the doors won’t open.
“We have to get help.”
“Where would you normally go if the elevators are stuck?” Luc asks. Sarah shrugs.
“We call the number in the elevator. But I think that Tommy and Elizabeth must have already tried that.” Luc has to agree with Sarah on that one.
“And those who must come to repair? Are they in the building or outside?”
Sarah has to think over the answer for a few seconds, trying to remember it herself.
“There should be one man in this building. In case of an emergency… I have his number upstairs… I’ll get it!” She rushes off and Luc shakes his head.
“Tommy! Can you hear me?”
“Sarah is trying to find out if she can call someone for help…” He realizes his words don’t inspire much faith.
“Oh. …. Thanks.” Tommy replies. No, not much confidence there either.
“Justin? It’s Aaron. I thought I’d return to your mom's house anyway. Found her in the garden. I’m taking her to the hospital now.” Aaron informs Justin.
“Hospital? Why? Is she hurt? How serious is it?” Justin starts to freak out. The thought of his mother in the back of some ambulance makes him all cold inside.
“Don’t panic. She had a wound on the back of her head. She must have fallen back-wards somewhere. She looked disorientated when she saw me and passed out. I’d like to see her checked to see if she doesn’t have a concussion or something, but I think it looks worse than it really is…”
Scotty curses himself. What had he been thinking? That he could simply drive to Daniel’s day-care? Now? With so much debris in the city? Idiot! He parks his car. It’s no use to drive anyway. The only thing he can try is walk the rest of the way. He picks up his phone and dials Kevin’s number. No reply.
“Kevin, where are you?” Scotty whispers, scared and confused about the absence of news from the man he loves. But he has no time to worry. He has to focus on his son and daughter. He gets out of his car and starts to walk. He’s worried about his loved ones, until, in the distance, he sees two figures…
Sarah enters her office just in time to hear her phone. She quickly grabs it.
“Sarah? Oh, Sarah….” Kitty is breathless.
“Kitty…. I’m fine, so is Luc, but Tommy and Elizabeth are stuck in the elevator.”
“Oh, my God! And the rest of the family?”
“Don’t know. Haven’t heard anything from anyone else. As soon as I’ve taken care of Tommy and Elizabeth, I’m going to start looking for Paige and Coop and … Kit?” Sarah listens, but the line is dead again.
“Oh, no!” Julia sinks down on her kitchen-chair. “Is my little girl okay?” She asks and if Kitty is at all annoyed that Julia isn’t even remotely worried about Tommy, she’s not making it known.
“I suppose so. Sarah would have been more panicked if she hadn’t been….” She answers.
“So, young lady, how are you feeling?” The doctor asks kindly.
“Like crap… with a head-ache.” Nora answers. The doctor laughs.
“Well that’s quite a big cut you have there… We’re waiting for the results of the tests we’ve done…”
Nora closes her eyes again. Her head hurts too much. The doctor takes her hand.
“Mrs Walker? Stay awake, please, I know you’re head hurts, but can you tell me your first name?”
“Date of birth?” Nora rattles the date. “Do you know what year this is?” Nora opens her eyes and gives him annoyed glance.
“If I say 1965 will you force me to stay here in the hospital?”
“Most likely.” The doctor answers dryly. Nora sighs and gives him the right year.
“Uncle Scotty!” Paige hugs Scotty and Cooper wraps his arms around Scotty waist.
“What are you guys doing here?” Scotty asks.
“Searching for Olivia.” Paige answers. “I went looking for her, but her class-room was half empty and her teacher was in shock.”
“Oh, my God.” Scotty’s heart beats faster. “Where can she be?”
“Wellllll,….” Paige starts. “My first worry was for Cooper, since he’s close by…. I figured that maybe Olivia feels the same about Daniel.”
“Daniel? … Let’s hope so.” Scotty answers.
Daniel stops crying the moment the door opens. A last whimper and then he gets picked up out of his playpen. A familiar scent, a familiar voice and he latches on to Olivia.
“It will be alright, baby-brother. I’m here.” Olivia talks sweetly, while bending over to Janice.
She got hit by a large piece of plaster from the ceiling and she has a large wound on her head and there’s quite some blood on the floor. Olivia starts to shake. This is bad. Very bad. She backs away to the door and gets out of the room holding Daniel tightly against her.
She hears noise in the other room and goes in to check. There she finds Janice’s colleague, Samantha. Samantha turns around expecting to see Janice, but instead she sees this young girl holding a little boy.
“Daniel is my brother.” Olivia says with a little voice. “I think the lady is … dead.”
She points to the other room with her thumb and Samantha’s eyes become big.
“I… I see…” She stammers, not knowing what to do. She’s all alone with too many kids around her.
“We should get out of here. The ceiling may not be strong enough, there are pieces falling down.”
Olivia makes sense, but Samantha is not sure where to begin. She looks around. There are ten children in the room, between the age of 1 and 5, how will she be able to take all of them with her? She stares at Olivia as if she should have the answer. Then the door opens again.
“The elevator is stuck between the second and the first floor.” Luc is annoyed by the disinterested way the technician speaks.
“My brother-in-law and his little daughter are in there.” Luc points out with a frown.
“They’re not going anywhere. They are perfectly safe there.”
“How can you be so sure?” Luc has to count to ten to not strangle this arrogant man.
“Good elevators.” The man shrugs.
“In case it completely escaped your attention. We just got hit by an earthquake. Anything could be wrong with those elevators.
Luc can practically see the steam coming out of Sarah’s ears. The man shrugs again.
“If you insist, I’ll open the doors manually and we can try to get them up here.” He replies in a slow fashion that infuriates Sarah even more.
“I insist.” She hisses.
“Daddy!” Olivia starts to cry when she sees Scotty and Scotty is with her within two steps, wrapping his arms around both his children.
“Are you two alright?” Olivia holds Daniel very tightly, but she nods, while accepting a hug from Paige.
“We have to get out of here.” Olivia says again. “There are too many kids though.” Scotty figures that Daniel is safe in Olivia's arms, there's no way she'll let him go now. Scotty looks around and grabs the first stroller he sees.
“We can put two kids in this one. Paige can push that one. Not the safest way, I’m aware of that, but Olivia is right, the kids have to get out of here.”
Samantha nods, glad that Scotty seems to want to take charge.
“How many can walk on their own?”
“These five for sure.” Samantha points out. Scotty motions Cooper to come closer and he speaks to two of the children Samantha chose.
“You two kids, go outside with Cooper. That’s right, both, take a hand and stay with him. Cooper, they are your responsibility. Good. You two go with Olivia. You, hand on the stroller here and stay with Paige. Which ones are the heaviest of the 3 remaining children?” He asks and Samantha points out two kids. “I’ll take those. You take the last.”
Julia paces the floor, not knowing what to do. She’s here in Seattle while her little girl is somewhere in earthquake-stricken Los Angeles. If anything were to happen to Elizabeth…. No, she mustn’t think like that. She picks up her phone and calls Tommy’s number again, but no one answers.
Nora feels annoyed. She doesn’t want to be in this bed, she wants to go out and look for her kids…
“Can’t you just let me go. I feel much better already.” She tries to prove her point by pushing away the sheets and getting up.
Immediately the room turns into a merry-go-round and she sinks back on the bed.
“Yes, I see how well you are. Better stay in bed.” The nurse pushes Nora’s legs back under the sheets. “Now, please, I understand your concern, I’m worried too. Please, don’t make me waste my time running after you, when I could give help someplace else.”
Nora stares at the nurse. Her words are not angry, but sad, and the guilt-trip works.
“I’m sorry.” Nora says and she means it.
“Nora! Oh, my God, Nora!” She suddenly sees Saul enter.
“Saul? Jonathan? How did you get here?”
“Jonathan and I were here for our check-ups when it all started. We’re waiting for Jonathan’s results…. And then we saw you being brought in… So, maybe we can sit here with you while we wait… And we will stop you from running off, so that this wonderful nurse can do her job…” Saul teases and it earns him a smile from the nurse.
“Can’t you call someone?” Elizabeth asks. “I’m hungry and thirsty.”
“We have no reach here.” Tommy answers. “But you heard Auntie Sarah, help is on the way.”
“I’m scared, daddy.” Elizabeth’s lip starts to tremble.
Tommy takes her in his arms and kisses her curls.
“It will be alright, baby…” He gently rocks her in his arms and Elizabeth nestles even closer to him. “It will be alright. It has to be.” He whispers in her hair and he looks up at the ceiling as if he expects help from there.
Justin lets his fingers go over his phone and nearly drops it when it starts to ring.
“Justin! Any news from anybody?” Kitty asks and Justin closes his eyes.
“I have work to do, Kit.”
“Please?” Kitty begs. “I’m so worried.”
“I spoke to Scotty. Sarah. And mom is in the hospital….
“…. Most likely nothing serious.” Justin finishes, but he doubts that Kitty heard him.
The elevator squeaks and grinds and slowly starts to move. Tommy holds on to Elizabeth with one arm and presses his other arm against the side, as if that will somehow stop the elevator from moving. It takes him a few seconds to realize that they are moving upwards, and not downwards.
“Tommy! Can you hear me?” Luc yells.
“I hear you.”
“We will do it manually….. As soon as you reach the second floor we will open the door…” Luc yells again, but, less positively, he whispers: “… I hope.”
It seems to take a lifetime in Tommy’s eyes, but eventually he sees how the elevator doors get opened. He nearly swings Elizabeth in Sarah’s arms and he’s glad with the strong arm that Luc offers him. Sarah hugs her brother, laughing and crying at the same time.
“You made it….” She cries.
“Yeah, thanks to your levelheadedness.” Tommy kisses his sister on both cheeks.
“Well, Luc’s actually, I was about to freak out, but he was the rational one..” Sarah gives credit where it’s due. Tommy shakes Luc’s hand, his intense ‘thank you’ gets waved away by Luc.
“I really don’t understand the fuss.” The technician lazily says. “These elevators are the best. Nothing can happen to them. You could have safely stayed there for a lot longer, you know.” The way he dismisses Sarah’s fears with such an infuriating tone makes that Sarah is about to give him a piece of her mind.
But at that moment, the elevator starts make noise. The large cables finally snap and the elevator falls down the last remaining levels to crash in the parking-space.
“Oh, my God…” Sarah is shocked and when she looks at Tommy and Luc, she can see that they too are white as sheets.
“Well, I’ll be … Unbelievable… Just… Wow!” the technician replies, honestly surprised. Tommy and Luc stare at him in bewilderment and Sarah has had enough. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.
“You are definitely and positively fired.” She informs him.
“Justin? … I’m fine.” Just the sound of Nora’s voice makes Justin’s eyes fill with tears.
“I thought you would be.” He answers, not trying to show just how worried he was.
“Yes, I know.” Nora replies, knowing her son all too well. “Have you heard from the others?”
“Why does everyone keep asking me this? I spoke to Tyler, she’s alright. Sarah, Luc, Tommy and Elizabeth are accounted for and they are all safe.” Justin says, realizing that it is a strange way to bring the message, but he figures his mother will soon hear the story herself.
“Kitty, Seth and Julia have been called and kept up-to-date….”
“Kevin and Scotty?”
“Scotty has Olivia, Daniel, Paige and Cooper with him…” Justin answers, in all honesty. He can hear Nora sigh in relief, but not for long.
“And what about Kevin?” She asks cautiously. “Have you heard from him?”
“Everyone, including me, has tried to reach him, but there’s no answer.” Justin says.
“Oh,… I see.”
“This doesn’t mean anything, naturally. Telephone-connections remain unstable.….”
Nora closes her eyes, well aware that Justin is looking for explanations.
“Maybe he tried to reach me at home…” She offers.
“Right.” Justin doesn’t believe it any more than Nora does. Kevin’s first concern would have been Scotty and his kids and not Nora.
Scotty and Samantha watch as another mother comes to collect her child. An ambulance has arrived to take care of Janine, who’s severely injured, but still alive.
“Mom!” Paige cries, she’s the first to have seen Sarah and Luc arrive at the day-care. Both she and Cooper hug Sarah tightly.
Scotty picks up his phone again and dials one more time. Again it rings and rings, but no reply. Sarah comes up to him and hugs him. His face tells her more than she cares to know.
“Why won’t he answer?” Scotty says quietly.
Sarah shakes her head, she doesn’t know what to say.
“Everyone else is accounted for… Why not him?” Scotty fight to hold back his tears. Tommy caresses his back.
“Kevin will do whatever he can to get back with you and your kids, I’m sure of that.”
“Thanks, Tommy. He doesn’t have to come here. As long as I know that he is safe, someplace, anyplace.” Tommy nods at Scotty’s words and this time he tries to call Kevin, It rings once, twice and gets picked up….
“Hello?” Finally there's a voice on the other side, but it’s not Kevin’s voice he hears.
END OF PART 5