From the Diary of Lucretia Celerina

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20th August, 79 C.E.

Stabiae

From the diary of Lucretia Celerina, daughter of Pompeia Celerina.

Soon after Mother woke me today, a great shaking began. The very Earth trembled and pots fell off shelves in our kitchen. I sat, shaking, as Mother, also shaking, held me. After we stood, she told me we must do our duty, and help those that need it. She then stood, brushed off her clothes, and walked out of the room. After I had composed myself again, I stood and walked after her, know I must be like her, be strong and collected.

We walked outside and looked around. To our utter astonishment, people simply got up from where they had been sitting through the whole thing, no fear whatsoever on their faces. We finally found some women at the fountain and asked why no one was worried, the ground had just been shaking. They laughed at us, saying it was normal, nothing to worry about. They had gotten used to it.

We got back to our lodgings and Mother immediately announced to the few servants we had taken with us to start packing and meet us in Stabiae, where we would finish our vacation. Mother then led me out of the house and took me with her as she collected soldiers and a chariot. She demanded the fastest horses. The locals laughed at her and pointed, saying she was delusional, overly-worried. I maintained a straight face, but inside I was furious with them. I was scared too. Anyone with sense would be scared.

So we arrived in Stabiae, a popular spot, unannounced with absolutely no arrangements made. I am scared, I am hungry, I am tired, but most of all I am bored. I am glad I convinced Mother to let me take some scrolls. She scoffed at the waste this writing is, but I need something to do, and this is the way to do it.

-L.C.

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24th August, 79 C.E.

Surrentum

From the diary of Lucretia Celerina, daughter of Pompeia Celerina.

Today Mons Vesuvius, which is right next to Pompeii, burst. After a loud, loud noise that could only be the shout of a god, there was a great column of smoke and rock, and I could only stare. I fell to my knees, praying to every god I knew to deliver me and Mother.

When she saw the column of smoke rise, she told me to just drop what I was doing and run the road to Surrentum. As we were leaving Stabiae, we could feel the air growing hot. It tasted dry and dusty and smelt of the springs around Stabiae which stunk of rotten eggs. It felt heavy, and I did not want to run. I told Mother I was tired, and that only the gods could save us now. I then fell to my knees and started praying again, this time to Vulcan. Mother pulled me up and slapped my face, told me to toughen up and run. I told her to leave me, it was too hot, too humid, but she pulled me to my feet and told me that if I didn't run, Father would be very angry.

So run I did, and each time I ran out of breath and stopped, Mother slapped me again, harder each time, I think. When I grew thirsty and begged to stop for water, she told me to stop talking, and keep running. We saw other people on the road, running, but no one else ran the whole way with us.

Mother tells me that it happened because Vulcan is very angry, and that the people of Pompeii must pay for that. She says it is perhaps due to their disregard of the god's awesome Might. She is still rather miffed about the laughter of Pompeii's locals.

-L.C.

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25th August, 79 C.E.

Surrentum

From the diary of Lucretia Celerina, daughter of Pompeia Celerina.

Great flows of hot, melted rock were still coming in this morning, although not to Surrentum, thanks to whatever god delivered us. Such a flow even reached the edges of Stabiae, half of which has been buried under ash kilometers thick.

As I look at my mother, who sits beside me, staring into space as she waits for Father, I know I must thank her, too, for making it so that we were not among the dead. Frequent travelers to the area think that as many as 30,000 people have been killed.

30,000. It is such a large number to wrap one's head around. I do not think I've ever seen 30,000 people in my entire life, and yet as many lay dead, buried under ash and cooled rock.

Mother says as soon is father gets here, we will go to Misenum. I do not mention that Father was to meet us in Pompeii either yesterday or today. He may be among the dead.

-L.C.

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26th August, 79 C.E.

Surrentum

From the diary of Lucretia Celerina, daughter of Pompeia Celerina.

Father still has not arrived, nor has word of him. Mother is miserably arranging for the trip to Misenum. She makes arrangements for Father, too.

Meanwhile, I try to find out as much as I can when I go fetch water at the fountain, as I have offered to do already twice today. So far, no one seems to know what has happened or why, although several people think it was Vulcan, just like mother. They find it odd tat so much destruction was caused the day after Vulcanalia by an act that surely could onlybe caused by a god. I sit and listen until they see me and tell me to leave, but still, I have not yet found more than that. I think people are afraid to go there. There's no telling whether or not another flow of hot rock will come, or if the others have yet cooled.

-L.C.

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28th August, 79 C.E.

Misenum

Form the diary of Lucretia Celerina, daughter of Pompeia Celerina.

Still no word from father. I am certain he is dead, buried with the thousands of others.

There is a historian here, and avidly records what details he can find. He was very eager to talk with Mother when we got here, as she had escaped, barely. I said I would speak with him if he would only tell me what he has found.

He says that the eruption was a Plinian eruption, and although I don't know what that means, I dare not ask. He says there have been six pyroclastic flows (I think he means the hot rock and ash) so far.

Towns from Herculaneum to Stabiae and maybe even beyond have been mostly of completely buried. Destruction has been scattered beyond that, somewhat.

Mother says that we will go back to our estates in Carsola, and see if Father maybe got held up there. I once again stay silent on the matter of Father.

-L.C.

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So, this was a writing assignment for school, but funnily enough, it wasn't for English, but Science, which is why there's a bunch of random facts stuffed in.

Thanks for reading!

-neverknowtheflow