#5

It was almost always late at night but sometimes it was a weekend afternoon when they felt it: an almost imperceptible shaking of the walls and floor, just enough movement to cause the whiskey glass and the menorah in the hutch on the eastern wall to rattle.

At first she would let a few minutes pass, and then Google current San Francisco earthquakes, but nothing ever showed up on the real-time quake maps, not even little tiny 2-point-somethings that were supposed to be too little to feel. But they kept coming, these phantom quakes. Sometimes bunched together, three or four in an evening.

She thought at one point that maybe it was all in her head, that maybe she should get her inner ear checked out in case she had some kind of undiagnosed vertigo that caused the room to move around her without ever actually moving.

But then it happened when they were both home together one night, watching an old Star Trek episode on the too-large television that had been a hand-me-down from her parents. He felt it too. The real-time quake map was blank.

They listened. Maybe this whole time it was just the downstairs neighbors having sex. But the shaking had stopped, and they couldn’t hear a thing.

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