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مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: زلزله / درس 3

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CHAPTER 3 Silvia’s Story

The ground moved under Silvia’s feet.

‘Help! What is it? What’s happening?’ she thought.

There was a terrible noise, and she looked up into the sky.

Perhaps the noise and the shaking came from a plane.

Suddenly, the lights went out, and it was nearly dark. Then people started to scream. Silvia didn’t move. She couldn’t move.

‘It’s an earthquake,’ she thought. ‘Oh, no, please, no!’

The ground moved again. A long crack started to run up from the bottom of the wall in front of her to the top. Then the wall opened, and Silvia could see The people inside the restaurant.

They tried to run. Their screams were terrible. She could see hands pushing and pulling. She could see their faces and their eyes. They were terribly afraid.

Then the wall fell, and the roof came down. Silvia couldn’t see the faces and hands now. The Oasis Restaurant wasn’t there. It was only rubble.

Silvia couldn’t move. She couldn’t scream.

‘Marco’s in there!’ she thought. ‘Marco, and the manager, and . . . and those people. They . . . Oh, I c a n ‘ t . . . I don’t …’

There was another loud noise behind her. Silvia turned.

Another building fell. And another. And another.

Suddenly, she remembered her mother.

Silvia tried to get out of the garden into the street, but it wasn’t easy. She had to climb over a broken wall. She couldn’t climb in her evening shoes. She took them off and carried them in her hand. She got up to the top of the wall and fell down into the street. Her pretty dress was dirty now, and she had cuts on her feet.

There were people everywhere. They ran up and down the street and screamed. Some people tried to pull the rubble away from a building.

‘Come and help!’ one of them said to Silvia. ‘My little boy’s under there. Help me, please!’

‘I’m sorry,’ said Silvia. ‘I have to find my mother.’

There were cars everywhere, too. Everybody wanted to get away from the buildings and out into the country.

‘Stop! Take me with you! Take me home!’ she screamed at them. But they didn’t hear her. They didn’t stop.

‘I’ll have to walk,’ she thought. It’s a long way, but I can do it. I have to go home and help my mother. I have to!’

Silvia began to run. It wasn’t easy. There was rubble across the road. A roof fell to the ground behind her. A wall suddenly fell in front of her. She climbed over it, and started to run again.

It wasn’t dark now. The sky was red and

black with fires and thick, black smoke, Silvia had only one idea in her head.

There was nobody with her mother.

She was ill in her bed. She couldn’t move easily. Perhaps she was hurt Perhaps she was . . .

‘No!’ thought Silvia. ‘She’s not dead! Oh, please, no, please!

She’s all right. I know she is!

Mother! Mother!’

She was in the centre of town now. She looked round the square. There were some houses, and the big church clock showed the right time.

But the hotel next to it was only a ruin.

The Plaza was in the same square. For the first time, Silvia stopped and watched. Firemen and policemen carried people out of the cinema.

‘What happened?’ she asked a girl.

‘The roof fell,’ the girl said.

‘Hundreds of people are dead.’

‘Perhaps Gabriel didn’t go,’ thought Silvia. ‘Or perhaps he came too late, or …’ She didn’t want to think about Gabriel now.

The idea was too terrible.

The Delgados’ building was near the town centre, at the end of a street. Silvia began to run again. She could see a big fire. She could hear people screaming.

The building next to the Delgados’ home was a ruin.

Men and women pulled at the rubble. Silvia knew them.

They were her neighbours. They wanted to find their families and friends. But the Delgados’ building was there. There was a big crack in the front wall, and some windows were broken. But the building looked safe.

‘Hey, don’t go in there!’ a man called to Silvia. ‘It’s too dangerous!’

But Silvia didn’t stop. She pushed open the door and went in Inside, it was dark. She tried the lights, but they didn’t work.

Quickly, she ran up the stairs to the flat.

The front door was open.

‘Mother!’ she called. ‘Are you all right? It’s me! Mother, where are you?’

She went to her mother’s bedroom. The door was open, but there was nobody in the bed. Mrs Delgado wasn’t there.

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