This will be the last short story I post up here for a little while, as it concludes a series (of a kind). Well, at least it does for now.

World Inside My Head, The Quiet Man and The Karachi, all written a year apart, were short submissions I wrote for a themed writing feature at a site run by a friend of mine along with a friend of his. The site’s gone now as they’ve since moved onto social media but the annual themed writing events were always a lot of fun. a while back.

Anyway, Gabriella was the last of the stories I wrote for the site and a far different story from the others three I’ve published here. Admittedly, they all have their own distinct flavor. But Gabriella is the one I’d say was sweetest.

You can also find Gabriella as a bonus story at the end of my short novel, The Martian Archaeologist.


By Hamish Spiers

About 2.5 million years ago, magma rising through the Earth’s crust about a quarter of a mile from here caused it to expand forming a mound that increased in size until it became a mountain. It then exploded in a violent eruption, so I’ve read, and has been silent ever since.

There’s a village just a few miles from its base these days, a little to the west of where I’m sitting right now, and many little farms scattered about the rolling foothills and picturesque plains surrounding it. The locals wonder what I’m doing here. I wonder that myself.

There are some people back home who also wonder, though for different reasons. The volcano is only dormant, not extinct, they’ve told me. It could erupt again. But so could the volcano overlooking Naples. So could Mt. Fuji. You can’t worry about these sorts of things. It’s like watching the sky all the time in case a meteorite hits you.

The locals aren’t worried, I know that. For the most part, it doesn’t cross their minds. One old man says it’s pointless to worry over it since they don’t have anywhere else to live. Others say if the old volcano does erupt, then it’s just God’s will and they’ll go along with it.

I’m not sure if I’d feel the same way but I get where they’re coming from. Things will be what they will be and all that. Besides, I can’t fault them on being religious. I think everyone’s religious in one way or another. Some people worship a god or a variant of the concept. Some worship the almighty dollar. People have faith in the ones they love and there are people out there who dedicate their entire lives to a single cause. And I’m no different. I’m not quite sure what I believe or what it is I’m looking for but I’ve got this blind kind of faith of my own that one of these days I’ll find it.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been living in the hope that I might find it here.

To read the rest, download the free PDF below:


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