San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault

Below, and on the following pages, is the full version of San Andreas Fault. A much shorter flash fiction version is here. I spread it out over 7 pages because I hate reading long pages on the computer myself. Click the page numbers at the bottom to continue reading. This, and all long posts, are best read using Readability (IMHO).

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San Andreas Fault

Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay

“Look, it’s the San Andreas Fault. It runs right under the highway and out through the bay.”

Tanya Cho was speeding down the Shoreline Highway, pointing right, across the dashboard toward Tomales Bay. The top was down in her convertible BMW and she had to raise her voice to be heard over the wind.

Her boyfriend, John Laughlin, looked over to where she was pointing. He didn’t see anything that looked like a quake fault. He saw wild grass and shrubs next to the road. A few small pine trees growing on a slope leading down to the bay. Across the water, long rolling hills. Things you see all over northern California.

But as he looked out at the bay, then to his left across the road at more dry hills rolling golden to the east, he tried to think of how he should respond. He was uncomfortable, and his discomfort made every gesture seem overwhelmingly difficult. He didn’t mind not driving, but he hated being in this car – this typical entry level white BMW junior lawyer’s car. He didn’t like having to yell or strain to hear. He really didn’t have much interest in talking at all. But he knew he had to say something.

“It’s not San Andreas’ fault,” he said, almost to himself. “It’s nobody’s fault.”

“What?” Tanya yelled back. “Nobody’s what?” She held her hair back from her face with her right hand as she turned to look at John. She was smiling, excited by the beauty of the drive, following the fault line, looking forward to coffee and breakfast in Point Reyes Station a few miles ahead.

Posted by Scott Alumbaugh in San Andreas Fault, 4 comments

First Story

The San Andreas Fault where it separates the Point Reyes peninsula from the mainland.

The San Andreas Fault where it separates the Point Reyes peninsula from the mainland.

So for my first step, I decided to write a flash fiction story.  I thought that if I had a project which was short (1,000 words or fewer), and had rules (like requiring links and some connection to Pasadena), it might be finite enough not to be overwhelming. I had certain things I wanted to try with this first story:

  • A beginning, middle, and end
  • Recognizable characters
  • A happy ending

The result was a story called San Andreas Fault.  It is now published in the flash fiction anthology Rose City Sisters, run by my friend Paula Johnson.  I am very happy with how the story came out.  It is not a great story, per se.  But it has all the elements I wanted to be in the story, so in that sense, it is a success. The original draft was almost twice the final length.   You can read it here.  I like the longer version better. I am not yet adept at super efficient writing.

Posted by Scott Alumbaugh in Flash fiction, San Andreas Fault, 0 comments