WRITING PROMPTS: VOLCANO

They say never to look up twice. In passing,the earth’s mouth opened that day to vomit out the molten blood skyward and ten years later has yet to cease erupting. Many years ago, others have forgotten our name, they have forgotten the heritage of our people and the island has become an attraction from many cultures abroad.

D’clau men tell them tales, horror stories of villagers who were caught in the gaze of the mountain before consumed with the fire. “How long now?” I smile to the crowd, “over ten years this volcano has erupted strong. We can use the molten to provide power and heat to our people.” Their eyes are wide in my words, with long sweeping gestures I can evoke a fear of the mighty mountain spewing forth rockets of charged rocks.

Excitedly the tourist always cheer in the earth’s split vein, promoting photographs as the open tour grows closer in our carriage. The dense iron vehicle rocks along the ash, churning through the mountain side like a great animal. I have to cry out loud over the great gears of the behemoth. We drive closer, a path I have followed with precision many times. All the world begins to follow a gaze at the wide maw of the volcano.

“Our ancestors have told us, never look up twice.” Underneath me a tremor, subtle as a whisper takes hold. Before I can shout an explosion rips the lower half of the metal monster. Over the radio chatter from the engine room calls of disaster forcing us to pause a moment. “Forgive us,it seems that we’ve some minor repairs down below.” I muster the best English I can and smile. More chatter over the radio that the repairs could take time,so wait is inevitable now.

We as a people for as long as I can recall always faced the crowd, as they settled in the bench seats idling, a great heat wave surfaced behind me. I turn to face the railing, the sight of the great volcanic maw casts a shadow of Grey smoke thick before a strike of flame rips through the air in a noiseless explosion. In the blast a roar follows as the molten excess flows towards us. The behemoth beneath me churns and the crowd cheers on as we begin our descent. Fear has gripped me but I return to the crowd, smiling as much as my small round face allows. “Exciting , we hope you enjoyed the tour. Remember, never look up twice.”

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