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 called drugstorebooks.com. It’s a great little site and though a lot of it is geared towards writers, I think there’s also a lot there for those who just want to read. Yes, one of the people who run the site is a friend of mine I used to work with so I may sound biased but it’s full of stimulating short stories and many thoughtful pieces on a range of topics, albeit it ones largely related to writing.
Anyway, Gabriella is the most recent of these stories. In fact, I only wrote it this year. However, it’s 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.
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.
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