The opening section from ‘Desolation’, channelled from my muse Ino.

A pall of ash hung over the town. The volcano had erupted last night, quite unexpectedly, leaving everyone in a state of fear and anguish. They were not prepared for it; in fact, most of them thought that it was long dead and that never a spark would come from it again.

They tidied up slowly and wrapped the dead in linen cloths, placing them tenderly in biers and tombs upon their plot of land in the shadow of the volcano. Tears ran down faces already blackened with soot from the eruption, and stung by sharp sparks that billowed across the space between the mountain and the village.

The way up the mountain was along tortuous hidden paths, which wound around bowls of dust and pitted holes in the track, and only the bravest of the intrepid climbers would dare to venture up there. It was long since the village dwellers remembered anyone climbing up, and even when they did they did not bring any knowledge back of how to navigate the topmost heights, or most important of all, of how to stop the eruptions of active volcanoes. A few old men recalled seeing someone once on the brow of the crater and waving to those below, replete with knowledge of something but not of mountain lore.

Animals ran along the rivulets of mud that were in the middle of every street, spreading the mud further with their paws.  Thistles showed on plants that grew down by the river now black and full of debris; there was no blue water, no coloured flowers, only the ubiquitous black was to be seen. Any leaves that remained on the trees were coated solid with the thick sludge of wet volcanic ash, nor were even the tree trunks free of it.

Down in the ditch by the side of the road, a cat struggled to get its paws free from the mixture of marsh and volcanic sludge that stuck firmly to them. If it did not manage to escape the cat knew it would perish that night, for no-one in that place kept cats as domestic pets and it did not have a home to shelter in. The cat had to survive by hunting and needed its paws intact. With a final howl it wrenched itself free from the gooey substance in the ditch and began chewing and clawing the coating off.

Melaine was only five and she had been hit particularly hard by the eruption. Her parents were both dead, and she was left clinging to the skirts of her aunt, her face black with soot. Even her toys and balls of wool were gone. She had no idea what her future might be, and of course she had only recently learned what ‘the future’ meant.  Melaine cried a little, but mainly she was paralysed by the remnants of the fear she had felt when charcoal and fire had crashed onto her house, collapsing and scattering everything.

 This is from my short story collection Chaos Dreams Part 1 which is all channelled from Ino. Around half of Chaos Dreams 3, Chaos Dreams 4 and Chaotic Dreams are also written by Ino. All my books are free to download on Smashwords here:

Image is of Pele the volcano Goddess, source unknown.