WEST COAST GOTHIC
* The seagulls are slowly inching closer. Judging by the glint in their eyes, they will not be satisfied with your lunch this time.
* Every day, one more spot in the vending machine has been claimed by Hot Cheetos. You aren’t sure what happens when they’ve taken over.
* It’s June, and the tourists begin to roll in. Everyone keeps their doors shut, and avoids them at the beach. We can’t shatter the illusion of the postcard-perfect town. Not again.
* Four surfers enter the water one night. Five come out.
* The mountains are alive. No one mentions it. They don’t have to.
* You’re at the county fair one night, at the top of the Ferris wheel. You look out over the ocean, and see something moving. Surely it must just be a surfer, right?
* While swimming in the Pacific one day, you feel something caress your leg. You pray it’s just seaweed.
* There’s an unspoken rule about going into the desert at night.
* You come back home from a night out to see a UFO hovering above your residence. You shrug, and leave to spend the night at a friend’s house. Better safe than sorry.
* You see what looks like a fire burning on the surface of the water one night. It’s too far to be a boat, but too close to be an oil rig.
* You lie awake, unable to sleep. The waves sound closer than usual.
* It rains, just a light sprinkle. The people are celebrating in the streets. It’s been so, so long.
* The hills above town are on fire. Ash fills the air and congests your lungs. No one evacuates, PE classes are simply brought inside for the day. Like everyone else, you simply wait, hoping it doesn’t cross the 101.
* There’s a loud grating noise from down the street. In the morning, you see that the landslides have swallowed your neighbor’s house again.
* Everyone awaits The Big One, the earthquake that will send California tumbling into the Pacific. For many, it can’t come soon enough.