Italy, AD 2079
‘Old man Ves seems to be grumbling an awful lot today,’ said Fabio. ‘He has too much to complain these days, as all the old geesers do,’ replied Franchesco. ‘I can’t really see what he's upset about though. We have food, water and a living. Sure, crime is on an all time high, but what do you expect? I mean, it IS the land of the mafia,’ he continued in a matter-of-fact way.
Meanwhile, in a shady alley, not too far away, ‘The boss wants an even bigger cut from the cocaine market, Al,’ complained Danielle. ‘I think that the boss is getting too big for his own shoes. Looks like someone is gonna have to do something about it, and soon,’ retorted Alberto. And continued, ‘Say, what is it with old man Ves? What is he groaning and rambling on so much today anyway? You, maybe think that he's gonna finally erupt?’‘No way man. Haven’t you heard? Barking dogs seldom bite. Old man Ves is one such dog. Nothing more, nothing less,’ dismissed Dani.
‘I see the city for what it is. I see its true face. Steeped in layers of filth and grime. Hidden behind drug lords and criminal gangs. Murder, rape and extortion rampant in the streets. Children being made into slaves and peddlers at ages in which they ought not to even know the existence of any vice,’ scowled old man Ves.
‘It wasn’t always like this though. It was once a beautiful town. The most beautiful in the world and at its pinnacle, I stood. People were people then, and not the beasts they are today. There were flowing rivers and clean streets. Fields stretched in all directions and people lived real lives, not the sorry excuse for a life that they claim to have now. They lived those days. Today, they rat for an existence. It’s pathetic to even watch,’ rued the oldie.
‘Something must be done. No one is willing to stand up and be counted. No one has a spine any more. People are just happy to scavenge a living and let the town rot. After all, all they want is to be. It pains me to see that the world has come to this. Where is the bright sunshine and where are the vast open fields? Where is the laughter and merriment?’
‘All that remains is a sorry excuse for a town that was once glorious. I have given them a long enough rope and they don’t seem to be heeding to my warnings. I did not want it to come down to this, but I am afraid that I must take it upon myself to end this …. this farce,’ mused old man Ves, almost apologetically.
Thus seething in anger, Mount Vesuvius erupted, spewing his rage far, high and wide. He exploded in a blaze of glory, with golden lava flowing over the sides of the mountain and rapidly engulfing the entire town, burying all the filth and dirt and leaving it cleansed of the grime and crime.
Exactly 2000 years after a young Vesuvius has unleashed his fury on the unsuspecting town of Pompeii, he did so again. He then cooled down.
The town was in peace. After a long, long time, it slept, enveloping each and every inhabitant in a mist of slumber.
Footnote: This, I actually wrote for a competition, for publication in a magazine. I don’t think that they are going to publish it, so I though why not I publish it myself JThe last line, “The town was in peace. After a long, long time, it slept, enveloping each and every inhabitant in a mist of slumber” was given and we had to make a story based on that. Well, as soon as I saw that line, I remembered a story that we had in class 4 or 5, in our English text book about the town of Pompeii and what happened when Mt.Vesuvius erupted on that fateful day in AD 79. This was inspired from that. Also, people who read this, told me that there was a certain lack of continuity in the flow. I agree, but then I was working with a word limit of 500 word ( which I ended up exceeding anyway J ). Also, I imagined the setting to be like the city in ‘Sin City’ or Gotham City in ‘Batman begins.’ Well, this footnote has run into a foot paragraph, I see, but I felt that it must be told …