My First Earthquake


“A huge tornado is coming, so be prepared,” the weather people were saying on my TV in my room. Even though it was sort of a big deal, they didn’t have a new expression on their faces. Only the same ones that they had every day when they were talking about the president going to, like, Israel or something like that. But this was sort of big. Not as big as a earthquake.

I took a bathroom break, and as I was washing my hands, I heard something like very serious damage to the state. Quick as a flash I dried my hands, unlocked and opened the door, sprinted back to my room, and hurled myself onto my bed. Two things happened then. Number one: the expression on the weather people’s faced had changed severely. Number two: the people had just said something that made my heart sink. I’ll repeat it for you even though it might make me a little uncomfortable. Okay, here we go: An earthquake is headed right to where my family lives in Los Angeles.

AN EARTHQUAKE!!! Don’t people die in these kinds of things? Both my older brother and my younger brothers are autistic and it is hard. They were both screaming at my poor mother who had to look after them while an Earthquake was about to explode. I decided to help out, because with no Father my mom can sometimes wish we weren’t there, but she has a kind heart so I don’t think that she would really give us up to some orphanage.

“Tessa, can you come down here to help me?”

I plopped off my bed, thinking of when to tell her about the terrible news that I did not want to talk about at this moment, thank you very much. When I reached the kitchen, there was food everywhere. I decided not to tell her the news just by the strained expression on her face. Also, it might not have been the best idea not to tell her because if she found out that there was an earthquake and that I knew about and that I didn’t tell her there would not be some happy, smiling faces.

“So what do you need help with?” I asked.

She seemed to be trying to clean up from dinner but I could always be wrong. “Cleaning up from dinner and getting the boys to the basement to talk about this upcoming earthquake. I have some big news that may not be the best.”

Okay, I was a little bit worried right here but I wanted my mom to have at least one good child so I did as she asked. When we were all settled in the basement “main room,” my mother started.

“Okay, this is really hard for me, but will be the hardest for you all.”

I sucked in my breath so hard into my soul that lung started to hurt and I got a little dizzy. When I found my breath again I asked her, “What is it, Mother?”

My brothers chimed in too. “Yeah, what is it, Mother?”

I couldn’t tell if they were mimicking me or wanted her to go on but I found it annoying either way. “Alright, I’ll say it, even though I will probably cry. But I’ve made up my mind and there is nothing in the world that will make me change my mind. I think it’s for the best. Okay, I’m going to have to let you guys go to an orphanage.”


This was the worst thing that could ever have happened to me. I felt like screaming my lungs out which is exactly what I tried to do.

“WHAT!!!” I screamed at her. I wanted to cry. I had expected her to say something like, “Calm down, Tessa, it’s no big deal,” because usually she didn’t understand what was a big deal and what wasn’t, but she didn’t say anything. I think by saying this she had realized that with a family like ours a lot of things were a big deal to me.

Something that did not help my brain think was the fact that my brothers kept saying, “We go on vacation without Mommy.”

I tried to close my mouth to be quiet but my jaws forced against it. Tears welled up in my mother’s eyes and mine. I ran to her for dear life. She took me in her arms and held me. When I stopped shout-crying I looked her in the eye and said, “I’ll do anything. I’ll be the mother of this house for you. I’ll do the dishes make the dinner just please don’t give us up.”

“Oh I’m not giving you guys up,” she told me.

“You’re not?” I looked at her. Was she playing a joke on me? A terrible joke.

“No, I’m only giving you up.”

I didn’t understand that. My vision blacked, and I went falling to the ground.


I woke up by the motor of the car gliding on the earth. In just a moment we were arriving at the orphanage. I didn’t even remember saying goodbye to my family. The car came to a thundering halt.

I rubbed my eyes. They were teary. I must have cried in my sleep. The door opened and a teenage kid stepped out.

“Hello, are you here for the orphanage?”

I jumped out a little tingly from all the cramped stuff in there. “Um, yes, but I don’t want to talk about it right now. Are you the manager person?” I asked him, even though I knew that this would be a very weird and interesting orphanage.

“No. The current person who runs this orphanage is on his honeymoon. He just got married last week. He just recently suffered from a horrible wife and pretended to be dead, just because he hated his wife. It is a very interesting story about his three kids and how his wife kicked him out without being able to say goodbye to his children. Anyway, I am a normal orphan and am happy to tell you all about my story. Oh, almost forgot, I’m Logan by the way.” He shook my hand.

“Um, I’m Tessa. My father died and my mother threw me out for no apparent reason.” I turned around to look at the car. It was my last way to get back home. But it was drifting away into the forest. Logan took my bags and led me inside for a tour. I looked around. It had looked like a cozy place to live.

“So in here is the dining room and here is where our manager works,” he said pointing to a chair with armrests. “And here,” he led me into a room with multiple cot beds, “is where we orphans all sleep together. Two more rooms. The kitchen and the chill room.”

He went away to leave me alone. I had not heard or paid attention to anything he had said because I was to focused on my plan to get out of this place. But I was really tired and I might as well spend one night here. I walked into the bedroom and set my bags down at a vacant cot. I lay down and closed my eyes and didn’t wake up till morning.  


Meanwhile back at Tessa’s original home, the mother had found out that her husband had not actually died and was seeking revenge from the lie. She was going to try to kill him without the autistic boys knowing that they have a father. She needed help of an ex-friend of her husband’s, but how?


Meanwhile at the orphanage, which was Tessa’s last home, the manager, a.k.a. the person who owned all the orphans, came back from his honeymoon in Europe, and Logan informed him that the newest arrival had run away and he described her life to him. Logan also reported that Tessa would be out all alone in the earthquake, which was due to happen any day now. The description that Logan gave Tessa about the manager was exactly a description as Tessa’s dad, and yes he was Tessa’s long lost dad.


Now back to me. The weather had picked up a little and got chilly and windy. I didn’t mind. I never thought that she would be hearing about the earthquake in my own home and then experiencing it as a runaway orphan. But I knew the truth: I would die in this earthquake. It was funny to think about that I had been scared about the earthquake when I would have been inside my regular home but now I was outside with no specific home. When I couldn’t run any further, I stopped to take a rest at a rocky beach. Then a thought struck in my brain. I’m not going to tell you because it is going to be a surprise. I untied a boat from the dock and jumped in. I had never kayaked before, but that doesn’t mean that I’m bad at it. I looked around for a something to steer myself with and I found this long stick with flipper things on the end. I was about halfway in the ocean when a whirling noise arose.

The start of the EARTHQUAKE. I paddled faster, thinking I would not be at the first Island in time. But I don’t even know why I was thinking that because I was going to die anyway so why don’t I just suck it up and let it happen now? But something in me made me want to go so I tried to force it down but it surged up to fight the rest of my other ideas so I was headed to the island. Suddenly I thought I was so close to the island that I almost reached out to touch it.

BUMP. The front of my boat hit the sand slope of the island. I got out and huddled next to the palm tree. It was so windy that mist that turned into tears glided down my cheeks and onto the marshy sand at my feet. I minded this time. I wanted to be in my own home with my own whole family and my mom not being evil.

“Tessa,” the wind whispered in my ear.

I sat up, alert.

“Tessa,” it said again louder this time. I looked to see where it was coming from. In the fog ahead was a tall figure in a boat coming right towards me. I braced myself feeling a little bit threatened. He came closer and I say who it was. It was someone very identical to the last picture is saw of my dad and then it hit me, he was my dad!! He stood up in his boat and that like a cue for me to stand up, too.

“Tessa,” he shouted through cupped hands.

“Dad… ” I said, not because I was one hundred percent sure that he was my dad, but just to see if he responded to that. He did and once reached me he ran to me and swung me into his arms. I didn’t need to know if he was my father. The way he had picked me up in my arms was the only way he has ever picked me up and nobody had done it that way. That is how I knew he was my true father.

“How did you find me?” I asked when he put me down.

“Logan said he had found a missing boat, and that I should try to look for you here,” he smiled down at me.

“So you came out all this way in and earthquake just for me.” I felt proud to have a dad like mine.

“Oh, yeah about that earthquake, um, we need to get to the orphanage right away or else we’ll die, and I don’t think you really want to die.”

My dad didn’t look worried, but I think he might be but he doesn’t let me know if there’s anything to worry about.

“You guys can come back home and live with us the way we were always meant to be.” A familiar voice echoed around the island.

“Mom?”  I asked.

“Linda?” my dad was confused. “Where are you?” all three of us said at the same time.

Dad and I said we were on the other side of the island and the my mother appeared, running to us. We both held our arms out and she ran into them. Then we all went home.

The End

You may be wondering what happened with the earthquake, and I’ll tell you. My family spent it in our basement sitting, laughing and drinking hot chocolate while the wind was roaring hard in the whole sky about our neighborhood streets.

The Real End

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