The Last Refuge
It was far too soon, Richey thought to himself. He had expected to be waiting for an hour, maybe two. He had prepared for longer, of course. Experience had taught him to bring something to pass the time, as these things could be interminable sometimes.
At the supermarket checkout line earlier that morning he had bought one of those cheap puzzle books that gets peddled among titles like 52 Ways to Love Your Cat More and 7 Weeks to Savings. He had just taken the last sip from his bottle of plastic, from-concentrate orange juice and cracked open the little book to a new crossword puzzle when the ground shook.
He thought for a second it was another train going by above him. But this came from the west. Richey stepped out of car. He could see a think plume of white smoke appearing about two or three blocks down. This was far too soon. He started running, unconsciously patting his jacket for the circular tin, hearing its rattle as he jogged. He cursed Dahlia under his breath. What had she done this time?