General

The volcano has been simmering as long as I've been alive. The white wisps rise from the top like the fumes that give away a secret smoker. The sides are much like any other mountain, covered with old growth forests, the farmland below is fertile and around it are the very flammable homes we all live in. One day it will blow, of course it will, but for now the air is sweet and the fruits are good. It's a slice of heaven no-one else wants, so it's ours. Our days are long without the ticking clocks they have in the city, dividing time into ever smaller slices.

General

Red hot lava flowed down the side of the volcano magma spew out of the top

By koala, June 30, 2014.
General

The volcano lies craggy against the bright blue sky, like a bomb in wonderland. There is no timer, no red wire or green, we live never knowing if it will rain lava and rock, if it will destroy us and all we have worked for. But like anyone who lives with a constant danger, you learn to put it out of your mind. Then one day a stranger comes and has that wide eyed look that lets you know that they think you're out of your mind completely.

General

When the volcano blew it was like a psycho-killer climbing out of a television set; something my mind demanded should stay fictional burst into my reality, filling my senses with the horror it promised. The rain became rocks, the sky filled with a choking smoky powder and the air warmed quicker than that night we poured kerosine on a bonfire and stood to close with those stupid marshmallow kebobs. If it wasn't for the car being fully gassed up we'd never have made it out. Eric was taking footage from the back window, I just put my foot on the gas and kept my eyes on the horizon, my heart beating faster than a hummingbird's wings. I thought it would explode...

General

The volcano has been dormant for living memory, but our stories tell of angry Gods casting the heavens charcoal for months. The rumbling anger was so loud that the sky fell down, almost kissing the earth that was starved of light and clean air. It's hard to imagine, if it weren't for the peak being a little sharper than most I'd just laugh it off. But according to the tales the death toll was high, taking everyone that couldn't flee on horseback. We pray that it never blows again, but what can we do? This is our home.

General

I thought I knew all about volcanos; I'd sat through geography class and flicked through National Geographic. I even watched a show on them once. The flow then had meandered black with vivid red cracks, lazy like treacle. I'd watched it while eating pizza and flicked the channel. I never knew they smelt so bad or were so loud when they blew. It could still be loud and I wouldn't know, I can't hear a thing. My lungs are full of rotten-egg smoke and I can't see through the constant streaming of my eyes. The late fall is as hot as summer, but not a pleasant heat, more like I've just been put in an oven to cook. Even if I could outrun the lava, my lungs are as dry as a seven day carcass. My head is light, dizzy, but I have to think, to get away...

General

The rock around the crater is ruched like a ball gown, but harder and more rough than the concrete on the road that leads to the base. The tourists come from far and wide, grins wide and wallets wider. So we take them up through the forest, scale the loose rocky screes to the crater and wait while they take selfies and group pictures. Then we sell them merchandise, meals and exclusive samples from the crater. Then they go, only to be replaced, adrenaline junkies after a fix. I'm not judging though, I love'em. Maybe if I was rich and bored I'd do it too. Hard to say.

General

Without warning the ground under-boot shakes and the cold November air is rent with a noise that leaves our ears feeling like they just exploded. Without a conscious decision to drop we are all on the chilled mud and rock, hands clasped over our ears tight. Julia is first to recover, and though all I can see is the profile of her face, I know it's bad. Her eyes are tilted upward and her unspeaking mouth is a perfect “o.” There is no colour to her face. She stands statue like before sinking to her knees. When I turn the sky that was blue just moments before is filled with black smoke, billowing upward in growing plumes. All that can be seen of the mountain though the dark veil is the lava that flows in thick rivers, burning a path as it goes. We can't out-run hot magma and it will burn everything in its path. Already Julia is digging a hole, not for herself but for the evidence we gathered on our mission. She's got it bundled with a GPS tracker and stuffed in tupperware. I get my shovel