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The Mountain
(Fiction)


Status: Barely Started
Current Word Count: 502 [Were I to continue with this, it could end up as a short story, or potentially reach novel length.]
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Download: Word Document
Posted Below: Full Text

Smoke poured from the mountain, filling the sky with its pale green color for as far as the eyes could see. The thick column of smoke towered into the night sky. Just hours ago, the clear darkened blue of the heavens appeared as usual for early morning. A half mile from the wall of smoke and hundreds of feet in the air hovered a helicopter with two women onboard.
“The guys back home are going to be so jealous,” one of them said, glancing at the pilot, whose eyes were wide open.
“Been tracking this for so long,” she continued. “And I tagged the time. Perfectly. The others were at least a hundred years off.”
She had several computer touch screens in front of her, and her hands were speeding from one to another. Dozens of external cameras mounted to the helicopter rotated and zoomed as she wished.
“Beth?”
The pilot glanced over.
“Move closer.”
“Closer?”
“Closer.”
“Are you mad?”
“What do you think could possibly happen?”
“Jackie, you never mentioned that we would be flying next to an erupting volcano.”
“Erupting? Who said anything about erupting?”
Beth stared for a moment, and then pointed at the column of smoke.
“Oh, that. That’s no eruption. Vesuvius hasn’t erupted since 1944.”
“Then….”
“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.”
“Why not?”
“Think about it. Do volcanoes usually spout green smoke?”
“Ummm…. I guess not. Maybe the lava is moldy.”
“Ha ha. No, this is no eruption. This is much, much more.”
The aircraft moved to within a hundred feet of the column. Jackie turned to her left and flipped on a small television screen. A reporter was standing in front of a green-screened image of the smoke.
“Scientists around the world are dumbfounded about what you are seeing. This is no ordinary eruption, but just what it is, no one seems to know.”
“Idiots,” Jackie muttered.
“Theories are swirling,” the reporter continued, “and we will have more for you when we can.”
“They couldn’t reach the truth in a thousand years,” Jackie snapped, switching off the television.
Beth gasped. “My imagination I’m sure – no! There it was again!”
“There was what?”
“It was a – oh, I’m sure it’s just my mind fooling me. You’d think I was crazy.”
“Try me.”
“It looked like a face… with bright white eyes. Flowing up the smoke. Maybe I’m tired. Sounds like crazy talk, doesn’t it?”
Jackie smiled. “I don’t think so. That’s exactly what I’ve been expecting.”