Chaos of the Mountain

By Wapitzer

The sky went black. People rushed about, trying to fathom the sorrow that was soon about to befall them. The ground began to shake, slowly at first, but then faster. People began to run, creating a chaotic mass that only had one motive: escape. The white, smooth, perfect marble edifices that surrounded the people started to blacken, slowly loosing their grandeur.

I stared, looking at the horror. Falling ash, buildings crumbling, small innocent children being trampled, forgotten, and rushed away by their parents, leaving all that they loved behind. It was 79 AD, and I had just been married some months ago. I was a fairly successful merchant on the streets of Pompeii. Thalia and I were planning to move to a small residence near the southern border. None of that mattered now. The dwelling had collapsed, and Thalia had died not five minutes ago from stress and suffocation.

Running with grief and pain, I threw myself through the chaos. The heat was unbearable. As I ran, I saw the faces of the sick, the injured, and the elderly. Some were shrieking with fear, others were praying, some crying, and some were sitting calmly, accepting their fate. I tore my eyes away from them. There was only one thing that was on my mind, and that was survival.

There was not one man that was indolent! All were striving for the common goal of safety. I took a shortcut through a now abandoned villa. As I ran, the building was caving in behind me. Wiping the ashes and tears from my eyes, I took the final turn.

The ceiling was almost upon me. With the exit only fifty feet away, I ran faster that I had ever done before. 40 feet. 30 feet. 25 feet. I was at the final stretch; everything depended on this final leap. I jumped toward the exit.

Comments are closed.