The sinking trailer
Another collaboration by Carolyn and Riwa
Allison walked out the door and got into her BMW. Before she turned over the engine, she took a long look at herself in the mirror. She saw her (beautiful, in her opinion) face with brown hair that went down past her shoulders and complimented her brown eyes.
Raising a hand, she did a tiny adjustment on her make-up and took a final check of herself. Expensive jewelry, an outfit by Channel, and high end shoes finished her package. The only thing that put her off, as it did every day, was the sight of the hovel that she lived in. The large lake behind it was nice to look at, especially since she owned the property. But there was no mansion…just a trailer.
Inside the trailer were more expensive clothes and high end make-up, everything that make her look the part of what she was – a high powered lawyer that was maybe 6 months away from getting a partnership. Allison knew if she was to secure it that she had to look the part. So she never brought anyone back to that dump that she lived in. They saw her, her clothes, her car, and talent. But letting anyone see her residence was out of the question.
A bad divorce, huge medical bills -.anything that would have put her where she was – would have been accepted by the lawyers in her office. And deep down she wished she had gotten creamed in a divorce. But that simply wasn’t the case.
Never married, she’d let herself get scammed out of her life savings by a Ponzi scheme that she never should have fallen for. She’d only been able to retain her clothes and other personal items. All she had left was enough to buy the dump that she was in.
Once she was in the parking lot, she had only gone several feet when she almost went to the ground. Two of the people in front of her did the same, and a car alarm went off in the distance. That was one thing that she hated about living in California…the ground moving.
Several nights later while just watching TV, but still in her high end outfit, the ground moved again. It wasn’t a tremor this time – it was the real thing. Allison was knocked out of her chair and onto the floor.
She suddenly realized the ground under her miserable home had given out as the ground moved. Her trailer was sliding down towards the lake! As quickly as it began, the shaking stopped.
With another bump, the entertainment center came loose from the wall and came down on top of her. Allison cried out in pain and felt her leg snap. A quick look out the window and she saw that the trailer was moving forward until she felt it bob underneath her. Alison didn’t know what to make of it – only that she was in pain and her leg was pinned underneath the entertainment center.
The TV was off; the power was out. Alison moaned as she tried to push the entertainment center off her. Something shifted, giving her a sharp pain in her leg. She screamed in agony.
She panted for breath, whimpering as she looked all around. The place was a mess; everything had come crashing down. And there was the unnerving sensation of movement underneath her.
She quickly became aware of a hissing sound. Her first reaction was a snake having gotten into the trailer. But it didn’t sound right.
She heard gurgling and bubbling. As the trailer rocked, it felt like she was on water. The trailer must have slid off its foundation, lost the supporting jacks and gone pell-mell down the hill. She thought the ground had been more level than that.
Had the earth shifted; had the soil sloped downward? She couldn’t be sure. But one thing seemed certain: her leg felt broken. She had to get out from underneath the entertainment center and get out of her trailer while she was still close to shore.
She grunted as she tried pushing the entertainment center off her. When that failed, she tried sliding out from underneath. It caused more pain, but she stubbornly refused to scream, grimacing in the near dark. Then she felt something wet as water began to flow all around her.
Alison tried to look behind her but, with her leg pinned she couldn’t turn all the way around. Propping herself up on her elbows she looked around. The window on the right was sealed, and outside there was nothing but darkness. The window on her left was cracked open slightly, and she could see the moon easily. The trouble was: it was moving across the window too fast. She knew that it was because the trailer was still moving away from the lake’s edge.
“The kitchen window…fuck!” she said to herself. She usually kept it open because her miserable excuse for a kitchen didn’t have a fan and she didn’t want to stink up the place or put a smoky smell into her clothes.
She felt the trailer tip up, and all the water flew past her and settled by her feet. No more came in. In the next moment though it tipped the other way, and all the water that had slipped down came back again, flowing all over her and getting her soaked. Then it came back again, and she thought that there was more water flowing over her this time.
Ignoring the cold water, she tried to get herself loose again. Alison was able to bring her free leg up and almost brought it to her chin. She got a good hold with her foot against the entertainment center and pushed against it.
It rose a few inches and then came crashing down again, making the throbbing even worse. She realized that it wasn’t just the entertainment center, but also all the stuff attached to it – the TV, stereo, and such that was making it to heavy. This realization came to her at the same time as more water came flowing over her body from behind.
When the trailer tipped back again, it seemed to her that it took longer for the water to pass across her body…as if there was more. Also, looking out the window, the moon seemed to be a bit closer to the panes upper edge than before.
She felt the trailer begin to angle forward again. All that water came rushing forward. There was definitely more of it.
She was slowly sinking; she couldn’t stay at the surface forever. And the trailer was not designed to be water proof. She could hear more hissing and bubbling – air escaping as she took on more water.
She felt the trailer drifting forward, no doubt further out into the lake. But this time it didn’t tip back. There was too much water in the front. And once that open kitchen window dropped below the surface, she might sink like a stone.
She struggled to get the entertainment center off her. Why the hell did she have to have all those electronic gadgets… and why had she bolted them down? The answer to the last part was easy: it was because of the quakes and the shakiness of the area.
She’d learned her lesson by bolting everything down, guaranteeing it would take a major shaking to work it loose. But in her attempts to save her electronics, she might have doomed herself once the stupid thing had fallen on top of her.
She gasped as cold water reached her pinned legs. She cried out from the pain. Then she started yelling for someone to come to her aid. But there were no sounds coming in from outside. Was she just out of earshot of civilization?
She could feel more water crawling up her legs now. Would it be enough to lift the entertainment center off her body? She suspected not as the other gadgets were helping to make it heavy. Her only hope might be for the rising water to help counterbalance the wood enough to allow her to somehow slip her legs out.
Alison couldn’t figure out what to do about this situation. She tried again to free herself, to no avail. Each time she tried, all she succeeded in doing was bringing the whole thing down onto her leg again, causing more pain. The water was going up in the trailer. She could still keep herself above it on her back and her head safe if she propped up herself up on her elbows. But that didn’t make her feel any more secure.
As if to mock her, she saw a $400 shoe float by her as the water went to and fro. When she looked past it she saw that the wall was starting to be pushed inwards from the weight of the water outside. If the seals holding the wall panels together gave then she knew that water would come pouring into the whole place.
A creak, and she heard the same sound on the other side of her. She thought that she saw a few water droplets coming in under a bolt. Suddenly Alison wasn’t as worried about the open kitchen window anymore.
She heard ominous creeks and groans. She could hear bubbles from somewhere, could hear what sounded like water coming in. Then the trailer groaned and shuddered.
In an instant she became aware of more water pouring in. The trailer was angling downward now. The front was getting heavier.
Her eyes opened in alarm as she started panting for breath. Then she began pushing anew against the entertainment center. The water threatened to overwhelm her, completely submerging her.
She took a deep breath and then went under to push on the entertainment center. She felt it shift a little on her. Was all that water helping her? Was there enough; did she have enough strength to pull herself out from underneath? She wanted to scream from the pain.
She gave up and tried to get her head back above the surface. But she really had to prop herself up on her elbows. The water was at her neck and rising fast. It wouldn’t be much longer until she was totally submerged as the trailer made its descent for the bottom.
The weight of the water in the trailer shifted a bit and then most of it ran down to the bedroom. The lower half of her body was still soaked, but she’d bought a few seconds. Before she collected her thoughts, there was a boom to right side and the panel there gave. Water came flying into the trailer, much faster that it had before.
A huge spray of water hit her solidly in the face. It was like she was being doused by a fire hose. Alison had no choice but to swallow the water.
The sheer force of it was overwhelming. By propping herself on her elbows again and turning away from the stream, she was able to cough out a lot of the water and draw breath. Her reprieve was short though as the panel on the other side cracked open. Water came into the trailer from that angle as well, and she saw the water rising up again as it tipped, allowing the water that had gone into the bedroom to come sweeping in and over her head again.
Alison propped herself on her elbows again and tried to bring her leg up for a desperate push against the furniture that was her captor. No matter what she tried though, she couldn’t get a good hold with all the water that was pouring in and assaulting her from every direction. For a moment she did get a good angle with her free foot. But when she pushed, the water took away all of the strength behind her push.
Up on her elbows again, Alison was able to keep the part of her head that brought her air above water. Then she was covered. Stretching out as far as she could, she got half a breath before her elbows went out from under her. Moving slowly, she went up one more time. But the water had risen above that point where she could clear the surface.
She could feel the trailer angle downward as it began to sink. Water poured in from seemingly everywhere. She let out a bubbly cry as the entertainment center shifted, hurting her busted leg.
She fought to lift it up, fought to move it just enough to get out from underneath. But too much water was coming in. She might have to wait a few seconds for the incoming water to ease up… seconds she might not have.
She could feel the trailer taking her down. She was submerging now, sinking into the night. There would be no one to hear her bubbly screams. Perhaps no one had even seen her trailer slide down into the water. Even if they did, they might be dealing with survival situations of their own before they could check into her condition.
She tried to hold her breath. But the water was getting colder. She sensed the trailer was sinking faster, taking her deeper. There was too much busted metal frame to overcome the wood that might have wanted to float.
She tried the entertainment center once again, feeling a sharp pain in her leg. She cried out from the agony, nearly inhaling instinctively as she lost more of her precious breath. Her lungs were on fire; she couldn’t take this much longer.
She pushed against the entertainment center again in growing desperation. She couldn’t hold her breath much longer; she had to get out now. It was getting dark all around her; it was so hard to see.
The Entertainment center shifted, causing her to cry out from the pain. It shifted again as the trailer shuddered. She almost screamed as her legs finally came free.
She winced, her lungs on fire. Then she heard the trailer collapsing all around her as the structure began to come apart. She lost the last of her breath as part of a wall came crashing down on her, followed by the wall from the other side.
She inhaled sharply, swallowing water as she instinctively thrashed about in a panic. But debris was all around her and had fallen on top of her. She couldn’t get out from underneath it… and now she was drowning.
She was overcome with sucking water into her lungs as she tried to wriggle and twist around. She doubled over as her mouth opened and closed. It was so cold and dark all around her; she was sure she was heading to the depths of oblivion where she might never be found.
She painfully convulsed, coughing up bubbles. Then exhaustion set in as she lay there unmoving, staring upward with her lips twitching. A few stray bubbles slipped out of her mouth as stray muscles twitched. Then she was aware of nothing at all.
© 2016 (Inspired by Carolyn and written Nov 17 ’16 by Carolyn and Riwa)