Unto The Night

Unto The Night
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Passion Of Ash (Fiction)

Ron Koppelberger
The Passion of Ash
The sunshine was obscured to a difficult blur. Ash flittered and fell in black cloying waves of smothering sentiment. The passion of ash, to exclaim the cycle of fire and revolution, charcoal and tindered heat, heat so intense that his body was slick and muddy with soot.
Maser muttered something like a curse as he spit a dirty mouthful of liquid onto the ground. The Gatorade was a blessing as it washed away the thick mucus ash from his mouth. He had to keep moving. The T-shirt he was wearing came off a moment later. He covered his nose and mouth while shielding his stinging eyes.
The usually dormant volcano had erupted in a giant plume of black sackcloth without any indication, any hint of it’s intent. The handful of people who lived on the mountain had ran for their lives as the plume devoured everything in it’s path. Remembering Mt. St. Helens and the explosion that had torn away a mountain they ran with the expectation of a possible reoccurrence.
He stumbled and plodded along the wooded path, the soot was a thick black blanket, hot, blinding. The cabin, his safe harbor was invisible to the front of him. Maser brushed through a briar thicket entangling himself in the cruel huddle of thorns. The snarl of pointed briar snagged his pant leg and he fell face first into the thicket. He yelped in the murky haze as the nettle dug into his flesh. The ash was a pliant carpet beneath him, warm and stinging. He lay there in the darkness as moted flakes of ash burned his bare chest and arms. He wondered if he would survive the cloud of ash. He overcame the sudden feeling of helplessness and regained his footing as he coughed up a gob of flem and soot.
The path was barely visible as a mirage of shallow tire ruts lead him closer to the shelter of the cabin. He squinted ahead, coughing, he was feverish with the heat and the thick shawl of soot. Finally, he saw the distant outline of the cabin, vaguely visible and holding the promise of salvation.
In measured amounts of joy and relief he ran to the front door gasping in gulps of anticipation. Catapulting through the doorway, he slammed the door shut and collapsed onto the cool wooden floor. He took a breath of clean air as he thanked god, he was alive.

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