Cara held tightly to her father’s hand as they surveyed the scene before them.
Two months ago, they had left on the long trek to Rome to sell the pottery that her father, Flavius, was famous for. That morning, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the grass beneath their feet was a luscious green. They looked up with a never-ending awe at the sparkling, snow capped crest of the mountain. The gods seemed to smile at them as they began their journey. In the Roman marketplace, Flavius showed his mastery of bartering as he acquired better prices than ever before for his earthenware. Although she was excited to be away from home for the first time, Cara could hardly wait to return home to show their small fortune to her mother. She could almost imagine the look of pride that she would see.
As they returned home, they talked of many things, and their hearts were filled with joy.
Now, as they stood looking at their village, they realized just how much could change in two months. The evening sun was a crimson pool of blood in the hazy sky, and the entire landscape around them was bathed in an eerie, rusty glow.
Cara looked up at her father with tears streaming down her cheeks. “What will we do now, Papà?”
“Oh my dear, precious child,” he said in a broken voice, “what can we do? We will go find someplace to start over.”
Hand in hand, they turned their eyes away from the ruins of Pompeii, and their backs to the still smoking Mt. Vesuvius.
Written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week’s challenge was to use the 3rd definition of the word “rusty” from the Miriam Webster Online Dictionary