IT’S A WIBBLY WOBBLY VACATION! Chapter 4

A/N: Finally, the monsoons arrive in Goa an’ I welcome the smell o’ wet mud that’s in the cool air!  In fact, at this moment, as I post this, there’s lightnin an’ thunder an’ heavy rain…..an’ I’m lovin every pittery-pattery bit o’ it😁 ☔
P.S  Song choice for this chapter: Instrumental version of Wake me up by Avicii  https://youtu.be/XSs2cR2Tvuk

Earthquakes and Avicii

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They finally checked into a lodge called Grassroots. It was past the girls’ bedtime, but they insisted on staying up, that was until Martin threatened to withhold ice cream privileges if they didn’t go to bed! Olivia, being the more mischievous and stubborn one, decided to sneak out once her timid sister and the unknowing grownups had dozed off. She tiptoed out into the hallway. She heard violin music waft from downstairs, so she made her way to the ground floor curiously.
The violinist stopped playing, letting out an exasperated sigh as he put down the instrument on the wobbling table, next to the rattling vase. He and his wife had returned from Sao Paulo late at night. Music usually relaxed him, but the earthquakes which popped up every two minutes interrupted his daily ritual and got on his nerves. “That was a beautiful piece of music. Why dontcha continue? I’d like to hear the end.” Gia urged, emerging from the bathroom and drying her wet hair before she made herself comfy on his lap and wrapped her arms lovingly around his neck as she spoke. “I think someone else seems even more interested in it. Say, isn’t that the girl who almost fell into the sinkhole earlier today? ” he asked, pointing to the window. “Indeed, it is. ” she replied on noticing Olivia peeping at them with her curious eyes and her cute face pressed firmly against the glass window. “Olá! An’ what might bring you here, young lady? ” the friendly woman enquired, letting her in. “I heard the music. I didn’t know ya lived ere too.” she replied, gazing around the room as she came in. “Well, we do own the place.” he revealed, watching her from his perch in the armchair. “Oh! That explains the name….an’ the vending machine which only dis-puhn-sees the bland, organic snacks! ” smartypants Olivia deduced. “Que menina inteligente! You’re Martin’s daughter, right? Don’t tell your daddy I said this, but thank God you didn’t inherit his brains! ” Gia joked, acting impressed by the witty child. “So, I noticed that ya were grumpy this mornin, but then ya were happy just now…an’ now yer grumpy again now that you’ve stopped playin….so, I’m guessin there’s a connection between music an’ feelins. Why’d ya stop playin? ” she asked, starting to show off because she enjoyed the attention. “Quite a deduction, Sherlock! If it wasn’t for the bloody earthquake which hadn’t shaken my concentration, I wouldn’t have stopped. That’s the thing with earthquakes- Even the smallest ones are enough to give one the shakes, while the big ones force one to cower under a table! Say, d’you know how earthquakes occur? ” he replied, before deciding to share his knowledge with her, beckoning to her to sit next to him while his wife brought her some wheatgrass juice (which was left untouched, of course!) “Daddy says it’s cuz a monster’s shakin the Earth. Mummy scolds im an’ calls it utter rubbish, but he defends imself by sayin he’d rather not spook us out with the real reason, so we’ll have to settle for rubbish! ” she rambled on, while the couple listened in amusement. “Well, here’s the real reason. Ya see,earthquakes occur anywhere in the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane. The sides of a fault move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the fault surface that increase the frictional resistance. Most fault surfaces do have such asperities and this leads to a form of stick-slip behavior. Once the fault has locked, continued relative motion between the plates leads to increasing stress and therefore, stored strain energy in the volume around the fault surface. This continues until the stress has risen sufficiently to break through the asperity, suddenly allowing sliding over the locked portion of the fault, releasing the stored energy. This energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves, frictional heating of the fault surface, and cracking of the rock, thus causing an earthquake.” he explained, as if he was giving a lecture to his students instead of to a little girl who looked like she was on the verge of nodding off halfway through his scientific explanation. “I think I’ll take daddy’s version o’ it o’er yers! ” she quipped with a yawn, while Gia let out a snicker on hearing her. “Would ya like to listen to me play somethin instead? Who’s your favorite composer? ” he asked, picking up his violin before plucking at the strings with his nimble fingers and tuned it. Though he was an amateur, he loved to pretend he was a professional and quite the expert at it! “Avicii. He’s hot! ” her answer surprised him. There was silence as he scrunched his face up. He rearranged his mind, finding it hard to replace the music sheets of the greats like Bach and Mozart which he’d stored in his brilliant brain with that of Avicii, whom he hadn’t heard of till a few weeks ago. He brought to his mind something he’d heard over the radio a few weeks ago- a song called Wake me up. The females waited impatiently as he tried hard to figure out the notes and rhythm. It was a treat to listen to him when he finally began to play. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish the song as they were interrupted by a knock on the door.

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