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by Nate Weil
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How can this be happening to me? I thought as I was thrown through the air. Just half a minute ago I was In Heaven. Now I was in Hell on Earth. The scene even looked the part, with a fierce red sky and a menacing mix of fire, dirt & scorching hot rocks raining down, with huge boulders to boot, like the one that had thudded down next to me, sending me flying through the air. I landed hard on the ground. I wasn't hurt as far as I could tell, just stunned. I lay there, my thoughts scrambled like a coded message. I vaguely realized I needed to get up, to be anywhere but here. But my body stubbornly refused to obey so I gave up for the moment.
As my brain decoded itself & I became more aware, I realized that the ground was rising. And I wasn't. And it was rising FAST. It was like a dirt flood. I stood up shakily and looked around. The town looked like a battlefield. Bodies were laying in the cracked streets, and survivors where running around. Except that we weren't survivors yet. The volcano kept tossing more projectiles at us. Most of the buildings were caved in, and those that weren't were In the process. I returned focus to my own situation. The dirt was still rising and there was nowhere safer to go as far as I could see. As I realized this I started feeling sick. Nowhere to go. This was it. I looked back at the source of this doomsday. It was still spewing out hot rocks, lava and other such stuff like there was no tomorrow, which it wasn't looking like there would be.
I was sinking deeper into the dirt. I kept trying to stay on top but it was impossible. I was slowly sinking. There was no order to my actions, I was just kicking and digging wildly. It was painfully slow, but I was definitely drowning in dirt. About half an hour later, my whole body was covered. My eyes stung from the dust. My mouth and nose were clogging up with dirt and I could hardly breathe. Slowly, my head disappeared under the brown ocean. I lost track of what was going on as I slowly fell unconcious. Then, the sound of the eruption slowed to a stop and I woke up. Almost out of breath, I dug frantically to the top. Coughing up dirt rocks and blood, I lay gasping for breath. The pillar of fire over the volcano was barely bubbling over the rim now. And I was Alive. That's all I could do, is think those words over and over again. Slowly I sat up. I was sore, bruised, cut, and burnt all over. I couldn't remember where I was or why. But slowly it came back. A trip to Pompeii. With my older siblings and dad. The volcano erupted, VERY unexpectedly. I got separated when the boulder threw me somewhere. So where was everyone? I looked around. The landscape now consisted of rolling hills of brown. With, oddly enough, a light brown dirt path leading off into the distant volcano. There was a long line of people trudging along the path, heads down. A small group was also headed the opposite way, to the sea. I wandered over to the path, looking for my family, I finally found them, standing near the path. They looked almost as bad as me, but not quite. We all hugged and cried for a while.
Then my dad said, "we should get to the sea so someone can pick us up." I looked where he was pointing, then towards the volcano where almost everyone else was going. My dad and siblings headed towards the beach.
Then, without really knowing why, I said, "I think I need to go the other way." my dad nodded without a word, and we went our ways. As I walked, I thought about my whole life, from start to finish. Everything. I finished just as I reached the volcano. I looked down into the pit. It seemed to go on forever. A light was approaching, coming up from the volcano. As it got closer, it got brighter. It hurt, but I couldn't look away. Then, when it could get no brighter, I wake up with a start. My throat is dry. I'm still half asleep and I wonder how I'm suddenly in bed now. But as I wake up more, I re-enter reality. But unlike any other dream, I still feel like somehow, all that happened. I can still picture it all vividly, more than any other dream. Like... A memory. Soon, my eyes start to close. I roll onto my side and go back to sleep.

As has always been my habit for both published and unpublished pieces, I will explain how I wrote this and such.
At least 2 years ago, (I'm 15 now) I had a dream. I was in pompeii with some of my siblings and my dad. The volcano erupted, I survived by constantly digging my way out of the rising dirt. At the end, there was the road, I said I think we should go that way towards the volcano, and after walking for a bit I woke up. As you can now see, I added and modified it. I had tried writing it down half a year after having the dream because I felt it was a special one, but I was very unsatisfied with the attempts I made. But now that I've revisited it, I wrote it all in about 20 minutes, made a few modifications, and I'm pretty happy with it for a first draft. I'm not happy with the title, and there's probably grammar problems. ANY critiques/fixes/suggestions you have are welcome, including for the title. Thanks, and God bless!

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