Hail Mary

Susan O’Malley

I arrived home from my 7th grade volleyball game, I was still wearing my mesh blue uniform. I think we lost that day.

I was in the kitchen alone, I think making a snack. Our kitchen had this amazing wallpaper, the kind where there was a scene of the ocean in three panels, along with a Kelly green lattice pattern.

When the earthquake started, I ran to the nearest doorway. The house was moving from side to side and so I held on and started reciting the Hail Mary. Just outside I could see our blue swimming pool, waves swooshing back and forth with such energy. That’s when I realized that this was really bad. I was scared. Holy Mary Mother of God prayer for us sinners now and at the hour of death…

When it finally stopped I went outside to cry. I mustered the courage to go back into our house to see if anything was terribly damaged. One of our goldfish was displaced on the carpet but still managed to survive after we plopped him back in his tank.

We camped out on my neighbors lawn that night. I ate junk food like Teddy Grahams and Oreos. It was actually kind of fun.