The Shake That Changed the World


Hector Bohon

It was an extremely odd day in July. The high of that day was 68 degrees outside. Stephanie was a 38 year old mother of one child who maintained a career of an architect and resided near the beach. She lived so close that she had to often shut her bedroom window so that the morning surf would not dampen the dresser that sat near her window. Stephanie had been warned to move very often due to rumors of a big earthquake that could create a tidal wave that would engulf her and her 8 year old son Alonzo.

Stephanie was on 3-way with her two other friends

"Get away from the beach" her best-friend would stress to her everyday.

"Haven't you heard all of the facts on the news? When the earth's surface, under the water moves the water above it is tossed out of place violently causing a huge amount of water to move in a wave across the ocean until it gets to a shoreline.... Hello Stephanie!!!!, you live near if not right on top of the shoreline," Her other friend exclaimed with a sense of sarcasm in her voice.

"Nothing is going to happen, God, calm down!!!!" Stephanie answered them both. They all hung up and called it a night.

The very next day the temperature skyrocketed to a boiling 103 degrees. Stephanie didn't really think much of it since she lived near the beach. She went on with her day as she normally would.

"It's too hot mom" Alonzo exclaimed.

"Yeah, it is but don't worry about it nothing is gonna happen." Stephanie responded.

"Mom I heard somewhere that when it gets too hot the earth starts to move and that can cause earthquakes"

"Well yeah that's true, but it hasn't gotten that hot."

That evening 8:30 rolled around and it was time for dinner.

"Alonzo come to dinner" Stephanie called up stairs.

"O.K., mommy" Alonzo answered.

He was upstairs playing with his toys when she called his attention to the dinner table where she had his favorite plate waiting for him. Alonzo got a whiff of the Macaroni and Cheese that was waiting for him downstairs. He stormed down and grabbed his chair. As Alonzo began to firmly grasp his chair to sit and eat he paused..

"Mommy, I had a bad dream today during nap time," Alonzo said with a sense of fear in his voice.

"It's O.K. honey, tell mommy what hap..."

Before Stephanie could say anything else the ground began to shake violently. Stephanie went with her first instinct and grabbed hold of Alonzo's arm and ran out of the house with him. Stephanie wasn't aware but as they were running out of the house the electric stove fell but only a few inches away from Alonzo's face. The stove set fire to the house. However, the fire was immediately extinguished by a huge wave of water that hit the shore side of the house. Alonzo's hand slipped from Stephanie's and he was knocked unconscious when the wave hit him, carrying him away where his limp body was flung onto a rock.

"AAAAAAAAALONZO!!!!!!!!!!!!" Stephanie hollered with a sense of devastation in her voice. She tried to get to Alonzo but the fear she had and the sorrow just overwhelmed her and she fainted. By the time she was rescued by lifeguards she was lying only a few feet away from Alonzo. She was in a state of shock and was half conscious and couldn't make any sense of what was going on when the ambulance took her to the hospital.

"S-Stephanie, honey wake up." Her husband Joshua whispered.

"Huh?! Where is Alonzo." Stephanie exclaimed as soon as she got to her senses.

"The paramedics found him near death lying limp on the sand"

"Is he..."

"Honey, we have to be strong, he's in..." Joshua took his wife into his arms.

"NNNNO!!!!!, it's all my fault, I should have listened," said Stephanie.

"Nobody knew what was going to happen," responded Joshua with tears in his eyes.

They were both in tears as they had been going through their minds re-collecting their thoughts and remembering Alonzo's birthday that had just past.

There was a knock at the door to Stephanie's hospital room. It was a female paramedic who looked identically like Stephanie. Her name was Stacey.

"Mr. and Mrs. Lazada my name is Stacey, I was the paramedic who found your son on the rocks."


"Well, as I picked up your son he looked at me and must have thought I was you. He looked up at me and said, 'Mommy I dreamt you left me alone, but you're not going to, right?' I held him in my arms, and he was gone before I could do anything for him."

A year later Stephanie and her husband Josh took a walk near the place that Alonzo was found. Stephanie laid a single flower on the rock. As they walked away Stephanie broke down in tears as she saw the flower being swept into the ocean by a gentle wave.

About the Author


Hector Bohon is a Junior at Manual Arts High School in the College Prep. Magnet program. His favorite class is English, and his hobbies include writing poetry and shopping. He plans to attend U.C. Riverside or U.C. Santa Barbara and major in fashion design or criminal justice.


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