A sudden chill in the air as the sun rose had made Maurice shiver and curl into a ball. Then … a rumble, and the mountain cracked open. A blue fog blanketed a broken landscape.
“Mum?” Maurice cried out. “Where are you?!”
A figure flashed through the dust up ahead and vanished. The air temperature dropped, Maurice shivered as blue flakes fell to earth, ash swirling and dispersing into mists, gas.
Ancient sediments of the mountain, aged and hardened under the pressure of geological weight, the mountain bedrock itself began to seep and trickle, then bubble and burst into particles that floated on the breeze like will’o wisps. But then, they crackled and snapped like electricity and popped, to evaporate into puffs of blue gas. The process whipped up winds that carried away the mountain particles.
“Impossible….” Maurice murmured, “solids don’t evaporate … mountains can’t melt?”
Half the mountain evaporated in seconds, leaving Maurice trapped on a high shelf, an edge on the edge of swirling gases. Solid rock crumpled like an aluminum can in front of her eyes. An invisible rage clawed the ground.
Something sinister lurked near, Maurice felt the stare. She could have easily blown away like a like leaf, but she stood strong, peered up as the stratosphere descended and deep space zoomed closer to the planet’s surface. Suddenly, the sun’s light was eclipsed. A monstrous shadow flapped a wing that sliced through the soup of wreckage floating and dissolving into the swirling, blue plasma. And then, Maurice saw the proboscis.
Saliva spiraled ferociously at the end of a probing snout, like a vacuum, sucking up plasma, like a planetary milkshake. The shadow above burped and an eye appeared in a gap through the clouds of gas and dust. Maurice hid. The Consumer moved on.
Maurice ran. Blind fear. Running. The mountain became a tide of chaos. Thunderbolt Way whittled down to a peninsula under her feet. She glimpsed a glistening, colossal wing. Unfortunately, just as the gobsmacked girl raised her eyes from the shifting ground to the sky, the winds whipped away the old truck and she lost her footing. She clung to the earth as high winds battered her to and fro.
“Mum! Mum … Mum … where are you?” Maurice wept.