the whole thing was tilting: walls, floors, doorways, staircases, all gone crazy. windows idiosyncratically aimed gazes into sky or, alternately, ground. everything inside trembled, live and inanimate– elderly lapdogs cowered under beds while antique dressers heaved themselves across hardwood floors. and each time we moved, the whole thing shifted with us: make for the door, and the floors headed south; retreat too quickly, and the walls ground backward in sudden overcorrection. we were frozen in place, terrified to turn it, to send everyone and everything crashing down one way or another. still, some made dashes and attained the outdoors– but once outside, how could they live with the guilt? a few ran back in to do what they could toward salvation, ushering out anything they could lay hands on– a cat, a stranger. some worked the exterior, searching for ropes and adequate anchorage. we were miles from civilization, off the map, off the radar, unlooked-for. we were on our own, doing our best with disaster. I discovered a cell phone in my hand and told the rest I’d call for help, but somehow never placed the call. maybe there wasn’t time, maybe we tipped, maybe I had immediate issues staring me down. eventually, we knew they were on their way, but what could they do? we knew we were in for it. we were in it: to go down or make it out alive all on our own devices. we gritted teeth, touched one another’s shoulders, readied ourselves for whatever was coming next.