The Countdown

“Three… two… one…”

Counting under my breath, I ticked down the fingers, bracing myself against the crumbling stones. Just after I hit “one,” the ground shook beneath us, and a mighty roar filled my ears, leaving them ringing despite the earplugs I’d inserted. They said that we wouldn’t have much sustained hearing loss, but who believed them these days?

“You were early, I think,” Harry said next to me, after the ringing and echoes had died away.

Across from me, Donson nodded. “Yep. Half a second or so.”

“I’ll get it next time,” I replied, as we hauled ourselves back to our feet on the still-quivering earth. Continue reading