Smoke on the Water (The story of Mt. Vesuvius)

By , winter park, FL
Smoke on the water
The ruins of Pompeii are magnificent, considering the history behind the city’s fall in an epic battle against nature. The residents of this ancient Roman city were shocked as they felt the roar and heard the shaking of the earth, or so it seemed as they were so scared in the sheer terror of smoke on the water, and fire in the sky…

It began as a normal day in Pompeii, the normal birds singing a slightly abnormal song, the sun that kept on shining its normal rays, and the normal hobo that was walking the same dogs with-again- a slightly different and almost fidgety walk. But besides the tiny differences, one thing was of course the same… the great wealth of the Prius family.

“Mom!” shouted Jack Prius, a wealthy young boy who was very selfish, and- because of the little knowledge obtained on the matter - thought that the sun revolved around him. Jack Prius lived in a family of three, with his mother, his sister and himself. Again, let me remind you that the Prius family was indeed very wealthy, and on that matter that their dog was indeed not broken.
“Mom! The dog is broken!” screamed Jack Prius over his loud yelping dog, whom usually was very quiet in his luxurious bed in the back of the room. Jack’s mother marched in with an empty grin, but a full wallet. Jack complained about his dog, and his mother took out some money as she said, “Well I guess we will just have to buy a new one.” And at that, Jack greedily snatched the money from his mom’s hand and stormed out the door to the trading market, where he would pick only the most expensive dog he could find. On the way, he stopped at the foot of a homeless man by the market and glanced at the money in his hand. Should he spare him a couple of coins? No! And at that, Jack spat on the man and ran for the market. He was laughing, though inside he knew what he did was wrong. Maybe if he counted his money, he would feel better. He counted the large amount of money to find that he had carried $500 in his hands. Ah, money was his best friend.
By now, Jack was in the market and thoroughly examining the dogs, though none of them seemed healthy either. All of them were barking and yelping, causing a lot of commotion in the market. This place is too loud for a rich kid, thought Jack as he left the market. He decided to take the long route, because of his homeless friend (probably) awaiting his arrival on the left road. He knew that it would take much longer the way he was going, but he also knew he didn’t want to run into any trouble, so in the end it was worth it.
Jack Prius was not familiar with this side of town, though he sometimes ran through on his way to a small kitchen he liked to eat in. He looked around, uncomfortable with the surroundings as he continued to bound forward, when suddenly, he stopped as someone had called his name, “Jack!” Who knew him on this side of the town? Jack slowly turned around to face the stranger who had called his name… Nobody was there to receive his response. Jack was scared now, an emotion that was never often found in Jack Prius. As Jack was running, he could notice it was getting darker out, the sky turning a darker blue. Jack struggled to keep his balance as he looked back upon the unpopulated streets, when through his peripheral vision, he saw a dark figure appear. He hauled to a stop and looked upon a powerful presence. It was a person, but this specific being projected a powerful aura that made Jack aware of who this man had to be. A sage, or a foreseer of some sort. But before Jack could really observe this man, the sage asked, are you Jack Prius? With those simple words, so many questions had stirred and arisen within Jack’s head. But instead, he choked out the one answer he knew was right, “Yes.” And there was silence…

Chapter two: A prediction - A prophecy
A musty smell of incense tinted the air of the miniature shack that was hidden beyond the trees on the city limits of Pompeii as Jack Prius eagerly pursued his destiny while walking into the sage’s shack. Jack did not know what to expect from the stranger, but he could tell that his stomach would be expecting a gourmet meal, and soon.
The stranger seated Jack down in a rather comforta-ble chair that made him feel very, very, relaxed. Though Jack was oh so relaxed in his chair, he could not help but noticing a very noisy bird that was very annoying and irritating with its squeaking and squawking in a decently sized cage. Trying to ignore the bird’s odd behavior, Jack listened to what the wise man was telling him. “Okay, there isn’t much time left, but I must tell you something.” Just at that, about a dozen more questions popped into his head, though he could only process some, for with the comfortable chair, the incense in the air, and the loud bird, Jack was very confused and dazed. The old man said this and just this; “The mountain. Avoid the Mountain. Listen to the creatures, follow the clues. The mountain, the mountain avoid the mountain.” As the man finished, the bird got louder and I ran from the shack. As I ran out, I stopped and looked up. There was the mountain. I knew something was going to happen in the mountain. Something bad. I got one last glimpse of mount. Vesuvius as darted home. I didn’t look back as I opened the door and ran in, screaming “Mom! We have to leave this island!” I explained to her what had happened earlier, when for what, her only response was, “Sure honey.” I couldn’t convince her. I walked slowly to the kitchen to eat my dinner, but as I was grabbing for my goblet, the earth fissured and shook quite gently, but it was enough to send my dinner flying off the table. My mother screamed, and I knew it was the mountain. We both ran for the door, but I accidently missed a step and fell. I watched as my mother (Who by the way was often considered “Ring Lady”) darted off to the coast. I got that feeling again… Fear. I felt the roar and heard the shaking of the earth –or so it seemed- and knew I needed to get up fast. I could hardly feel the pain through my fear, but I had sprained my ankle and was unable to walk. I saw someone running and screamed for help, but when I recognized the bum who I had spat on, he cursed at me and ran off. I had made huge mistake. It was too late, I knew I was going to die in sheer terror with smoke on the water and fire in the sky…





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