The ring of his alarm clock startled him, and he slowly rolled off the bed. Only a glance at his clock told him that he was running late. The stumbling 36-year-old Ásgeir had nothing going for him, working a low paying job in retail, making only a couple thousand kroner a week. He had no higher education, trading it for a start-up that fell flat on its face. He rushed to his closet, grabbing whatever seemed clean, filled his thermos with coffee, and sprinted out his small apartment. Just down the street was a Strætóbus stop, Hlemmur. As he arrived at the stop, bus 73 pulled up, not exactly where he wanted to go, but he needed anything to get him there quickly. He felt his pockets to check if he had his wallet. Left pocket, no. Right pocket, no. Coat pockets, no. Back pocket, no. Uh oh. He looked at the bus driver with a sorrowful look. "Afsakið," he cooed. "I seem to have forgotten my wallet, could you please spare me a free ride?" The driver sighed, staring at him. "Fine, now sit down before I change my mind."
Ásgeir sat down in the only open seat in the back and breathed a sigh of relief. He knew it couldn't get worse. His eyes got heavy, and he drifted off to sleep. The announcer came on, crackling through the speaker, "Stopping at Fíladelfía, Stoppar við Fíladelfíu." It jolted to a stop, and Ásgeir too. The doors opened, and he sprinted out the bus and down Austurstræti, to the Krónan where he worked. He straightened himself out before entering and tried to hide from his manager. Creeping to his locker, his manager caught him, erupting in fire and anger.
"What the hell is wrong with you? You're 15 minutes late! This has been the 4th time this month! Do you even try? Mess up one more time, and you'll be on the streets. Now get your name tag and go." He threw his nametag in his face. Quickly, he grabbed his vest and went to his designated station. Each customer went by, slowly carving him into an angered state.
"Takk fyrir að versla á Krónan, viltu borga með kredit eða debet?"
Glass shattered. Items fell. People screamed all while the ground violently shook the world as if the gods jumped up and down in celebration. The customer's voice faded away as all the noises and vibrations cluttered Ásgeir's ears. He ducked under the register, as gum and candies fell behind him onto his back. He felt dust settling onto his back from the ceiling. The dust made him retch and unable to breathe. The tremors stopped. He stood up. Around the scene around him was apocalyptic. People, children, cuddled together on the ground. Apples and bananas everywhere. Bits and pieces of the roof sprawled across the floor. He opened his mouth but no words came out. He wanted to yell, he wanted to help. But no, he ran. He ran as fast as he could. He wanted out. Ásgeir was always told in schools that the first shock was always followed by two more. The thought saddened Ásgeir. He didn't want to try, he couldn't try. No chest compression he could do, no person lifted out of the rubble would stop it. The creaks and cracks of all the steel beams and drywall echoed in the road as the sound of his steps was unhearable. The ground cracked beneath his feet as he felt the mud water seeping into his soles. His feet slipped every step he took, but he didn't care. He ran and ran and ran. Just only past Roost, his favorite café, he slept.