Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Listen to the Pulse by Penny Pepper
Hantor stroked his white beard as the young woman looked through the window.
‘Your job must be so interesting,’ she said, not moving. ‘Can you honestly do a countdown to eruption?’
He nodded on a half smile. Luana was eager, expectations held in, like the lava, ready to burst.
‘This is the power of Mars, its heart,’ he whispered,guiding her along the protective walkway.
‘Sir, I’m a beginner, I don’t understand.’ She turned towards him, skin kissed with the red of a Martian sun.
He laughed but was gentle. How different she looked tohis old eyes. Mars-borns were taller, their frames lankier, than the remnants of aged Earth-borns.
‘You understand more than you know. All this,’ his shaking hand swept to the cityscape behind them. ‘This is surface. The mere controlling.Start, Luana, with the listening.’
He was at the edge of the transparent walkway. Hecould feel the surge, the lifting within the planet. Demeter, as he had named her, would erupt in seconds.
As he tapped the force field protecting them, it openedand he jumped.
Heregretted Luana’s look of shock, but as he fell free into the releasing upsurge of heat, he was pleased to see her smile.
Prompt: Vice President In Charge of Volcanoes