The ground below Moussa’s car exploded. Spikes of black tar rose up like Hell’s own fingers to drag him to the abyss, the road bursting to life as they were ripped asunder. He’d seen bombs explode in his backyard, frames rain down from air-carriers and rip his countrymen apart like wet paper and some genetic engineer’s project rip up his town. This wasn’t any of those. This was something beyond the scope of anyone or anything he’d seen before, a fact laid blatantly bare as the ground under entire buildings rose to meet the sky. The Earth itself roared like a wounded animal; infected black pus oozed from the cracks in the ground.
Moussa’s car whinnied with a sick, sputtering cough but it moved all the same. Every other person, by foot, by bike, by car, was rushing to escape the city centre where the ground flowed like fresh gelatine. Moussa was determined to go the other way, deep into the city where a bright blue orb was slowly expanding.
“For God’s sake!” he grunted, urging the car to move forward as strips of concrete tore themselves from the ground under pressure from giant invisible fingers. “Move! Move!” The zippy little vehicle coughed and wheezed, running on fumes by this point and soon would not be able to function at all. Until then, Moussa was going. And he was going with haste.
Above his head, a skyscraper teetered like a tree in a hurricane, monstrous cracks ripping up the side appearing as if giant beetles bored through. Anyone caught inside was snapped in two, easy as a twig, and tossed aside. Elsewhere entire neighbourhood blocks found themselves elevated, broken off from their foundations and spun into the air. The razor-sharp wind, an unnatural destructive force, eroded concrete and steel into fine grey sand, whirling into bladed tempest that sliced apart anything they caught. All the while, a low metallic din filled the air, a demon’s dirge for the metropolis.
Cracks snaked for kilometres, gobbling up anything and everything too slow to evade them. Moussa nearly befell such a fate, a late reflexive swerve saving his skin. The bumper smashed into a lamppost, sending the pole high into the air to be swept up by the vicious air currents. As if ground down by a machine, the pole turned to dust and floated into the air, a titanic cloud of debris, rust and broken chunks of civilisation expanding in the sky. The light of the sun, a half-sun, was slowly being drowned out by the ever-growing mass.
The man grimaced and blood trickled down from his forehead. In the collision, a shard of glass had flown across his face. Moussa wiped the blood from his face and flung his door open, abandoning his vehicle without hesitation. He leapt into the open mouth of a deserted doorway, watching in horror as his car split down the middle and folded in on itself. The steel screamed as it broke, its toughness meaningless in the wake of the storm…