AN: Did you know that Mt. Vesuvius had erupted before the famous Pompeii eruption? During the Iron Age.

Dawn had passed, bright and clear. The land was healthy with green, wet grass, multi-colored flowers and a deep blue sky.

The young man walked away from the small village toward the empty field. Behind him, a little girl followed. They were of a countenance with long yellow-white hair and pale green eyes. The young man walked as if unknowing of the girl's presence, yet every few minutes he would glance back to watch her .

A huge cloud that blotted out the sky suddenly covered the sunlight. The young man glanced up and then realized that all was silent. No birds sang in the trees.

Then came a loud, deafening crack. Like a snap of a whip, it was. The girl fell to her knees and let out a wail. Her brother ran to gather her up and comforted her.

Beyond the field, a mountain rose with a gentile slope. For all the years his people had lived on this land, it had been there, a silent god. Now a dark cumulus bellowed out of the top and towards the heavens.

The man rose with the girl in his arms and ran to the village. His sister clung tightly to him and cried all the harder. The earth shook violently as the first shockwave hit them. Beyond the village, the bay rolled with unconstrained ferocity.

He glanced back, over the girl' s hair, and saw small glowing red rocks spew up from the volcano. They traveled through the air like an arrow, in every direction. With a wordless cry, he ran for home.

Stumbling, he reached the wood hut that his father had built. His mother was inside, weeping. When she saw her children, she ran to hug them to her breast. Cries of pain and death were heard just outside the hut. Giving the girl to his mother, the boy went to the door and found much of the village on fire.

He pushed his way through the mob of people running away, toward the bay, to see the mountain. It was covered with that fiery reddish orange liquid. The liquid rushed toward the village. It ate all in its path. None were spared. Some tried to grab their belongings. Several women had their furs and blankets and children. Many of the men took their spears and hunting arrows.

The youth raced to the edge of the village and called out for all to leave to village. Danger approached. Unknown to him, his sister followed him through the throng of people. They were a mass of panicked people. They pushed and shoved others out of their way to save their selves. He heard her cry as she was pushed under dozens of stomping feet.

The blood seeped from his face as he struggled to get to her. Finally, he found her hand and pulled her into his arms. Shuddering, he scolded her and saw to her wounds. Her knee was badly bruised and her fingers were red and swollen.

Another rumble reminded him of his purpose and he carried the girl to the far edge of the village. There, there was a hole dug into the ground. Several paces away, another hole seeped smoke. He stepped into the opening and called out to his father.

Deep inside the small man-made cave a fire burned brightly and a metal smith worked at creating spearheads. The youth reached out and gripped his father's shoulder and pulled him outside. As they exited another rumble shook the earth and they ran.

The lava had reached them.

As they ran, father, son, then daughter, the smoky ash caught up with them. They choked on the fumes and tried to hold their breaths.

The girl, little with a bruised knee, stumbled in the night-like darkness. She fell to her knees and cried out to her big brother. Her face was streaked with ash and tears. The heat of the lava was at her back and her legs were too tired to carry her.

Then her brother was there. He held her and whispered soothing words to her. She hugged him and felt him tremble. She leaned back in his arms and said, "Thank you for not leaving me."

AN: Please read and review. Please.