Pompeii

Sixteen years.

Sixteen years ago there was an earthquake; the ground had rumbled and shook like pine trees in the wind. The mountain had stormed, but the people still stayed.

A hundred years before, when the mountain had snarled and stormed, the city was buried in waves of red and brown. Papa said it won’t happen again. Like lightning that never strikes the same place twice.

It happened again. And again. The grumblings grew and turned to growls, but the people did not move. False warnings. And days later, all was quiet.

And then there was a blinding brightness and a deafening roar and the unfathomable happened- the mountain erupted again.

The sky turned yellow, burning with dust and fumes, but our city stayed still.

Papa told us to run. He said that the gods cannot be appeased anymore. They are too angry.

And so I did and I came upon you.

You were sitting in a dark corner, praying for your life. I told you to move; told you to run away. You gave me a sad smile and said that you did not have legs; they were torn away when you were but a child.

I did not even know you then, but I stayed. You told me to go; to save myself. I told you I would not leave you behind.

So we sat in your dirty corner and watched, as the smoke spread like branches of a tree, obscuring the sky from our vicinity. And for hours, it stayed that way.

We could see people running; taking boats across the bay. Mothers screaming for their children to follow them, as grim faced fathers led their crying families across the sea. I wondered briefly of my own father, but deduced that he must have taken little Gaius away.

And so we stayed together, sharing a single sweet, as the streets cleared and dust poured across the land and darkness descended. It was a day as dark as a closed and unlighted room.

I burrowed into your side and you wrapped your arms around me. In that moment, I knew that I had found it; in a dingy corner, at world’s end, but it was love. 

~

The ash swirled like the devil’s mist and cloaked the town in black, as the little boy succumbed to sleep, his aching heart now complete.

~

Thousands of years later, the excavators arrived,
And something truly magical graced their sights;
For in the corner, now made of bone
Sat a little boy and a little girl,
Still as silence, in each other’s arms entombed
Smiling, as though they had each found home. 

The End

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