The following is a description of what happens BEFORE
Yosemite National Park
The big event would take place in two minutes and fourteen seconds, but the pregnant woman sitting at the far end of the lobby wasn’t expecting it. No, not the arrival of her baby, of course she would have known if she were in labor. What she wasn’t anticipating was larger, much larger than her enormous stomach. The world was about to fall apart.
It happened on a Monday, the fifth of February, early in the afternoon. The first sign of trouble began at the peak of an immense granite cliff, not far from where Yosemite Falls cascades gracefully to earth. How could something so ugly happen in such a beautiful place?
Thirty-seven seconds to go. The expectant mother, who was now curled up in a cozy chair near the window, gazed out at the scenery. She sipped her hot green tea, contemplating names for the baby.
Aqua, she thought, watching The Falls tumble down the sheer rock wall. Or maybe Rain… She wanted her child to have a beautiful name, something inspired by nature. Unlike her own name, which had nothing to do with the beauty of nature. In fact, she was named after a legendary rock singer, who had died of a tragic drug overdose. She twisted her mouth into a frown. Of all the names in the world, she thought, shaking her head slowly. And mom and dad had to pick Janis.
Sixteen seconds. Janis squirmed in her chair. She wished she were out hiking with her husband and stepson. “No way,“ her husband had said when she showed up in the lobby with her hiking boots on. He had patted her beach-ball-sized belly and added, “You’re sitting this one out. Eight months is too far along for a trip to the falls.” She knew he was right, but still, she hated to miss the fun.
Four seconds. Three, two…she tipped her cup, drinking the last drop, which was the exact moment it happened. Two powerful beings came into existence. The first, who would eventually be known as Brinfrost, was born of betrayal and vengeance. The second, like no other, would be feared and called an abomination of nature. Like fire and water, darkness and light, their conflict was set in motion. Some say their arrival caused something deep in the earth’s crust to shift, and others believe the world stopped spinning for a moment. Either way Janis never dreamed of it as she carefully placed her cup back on its saucer. It would be the last peaceful moment she would have for a very long time.
It hit her. A wave of stabbing pain twisted through her abdomen. Bending forward, she clutched her belly as the ground trembled beneath her feet. She looked up just in time to see the huge stone cliff give way. The deafening noise was unlike anything she had ever heard before. A thunderous crack as if a million guns had been fired. She cupped her hands over her ears, as the sound seemed to pierce her very soul.
Suddenly the windows exploded and tiny glittering shards of glass rained down around her. The force was unbelievable. It seemed like the earth itself was breaking, even the air shook.
As the hotel fell apart around her, Janis felt herself falling. Her chair danced up and down in jolting waves, then it lunged forward dumping her rounded body onto the floor. She desperately tried to grab on to anything she could. Her ears were ringing and her heart raced in terror. Sliding downward, she looked out through the hole where the window had been and searched the mountain for her husband and stepson. She caught sight of them, high on the crumbling cliff. Then they disappeared, tumbling into the massive rockslide.
“No!“ she screamed, collapsing on the floor. Sinking helplessly down, her world went black.