United States

est. 2018
she/her | junior
semi active; chaotic life.
published writer + classics enthusiast.
obsessed with name titled poetry & songs.

Message to Readers


Diego's Burden Was A Volcano, Emilia Lost Her Coins, and Rosa's Left Everyone Behind.

July 28, 2020


Ashes fell like rain, only softer, kinder, gentle as they floated from the silver sky, and settling on the ground so effortlessly. Perhaps it wasn't like rain at all.

The air was warm and thick, itching to be touched by the soft, mundane skin. And so it blew, searching for its desire with very little urgency, knowing how easy it would be fulfilled.

He sat beneath a weeping willow tree, that had no business being where it was. Nonetheless, it stood tall and proud, it's lowest branches and leaves sweeping the ground. Yet, it strangely has remained unaffected by the ash and smoke. In the twenty years of its existence, nothing's harmed nor touched the tree besides a person's back as they rest against it. Yes, it seemed an invisible force protected this weeping willow.

But that did not mean the person was unaffected. No, as Diego leaned against the tree with his eyes closed, the smallest gust of wind tickled him, warm and taunting.

"Let's head home," Diego sighed, eyes fluttering open. Immediately, the air stung them, and small tears formed in the corner of his eyes. "Before it gets any worse."

"I still haven't found them!" A voice groaned.

Turning his head, Diego squinted as he tried to find who spoke. Suddenly, Emilia dropped down from the branches, the smallest bits of leaves and twigs sticking out her hair. Her sun-kissed skin was flushed in the cheeks and her dark brown eyes were wide in question.

"Shouldn't have lost them." Rolling his eyes, Diego jumped up, dusting off his pants. His sweat seemed to mix in with the air, causing Diego to smell of a volcano himself. He stiffened. "Where's Rosa?"

The question was heavier than the air, seeming to linger far longer than Diego anticipated, and almost shattering on the ground before his gaze returned to Emilia.

He raised his brow.

"I thought you were watching her." The words came out barely above a whisper, laced with worry.

Emilia's nerves buzzed. Diego's fingers twitched. The air grew thicker. Ash fell harder. Rosa ran farther.

Yes, Rosa ran farther. While Diego was sleeping and Emilia climbed the willow toward her tree nook, Rosa finally made up her mind. She would finally run away.

It's not like her mother would worry, for she's too preoccupied with her lifeless body in the ground. Her father wouldn't notice, he was always too drunk to comprehend a reality outside his imagination. As for her brother, Diego, he would understand. Or have to try.

And Rosa always believed Emilia never liked her much anyway. Out of all of Diego's lovers, Rosa liked Emilia the least.
Perhaps the village would claim to have banished her for some exaggerated reason, as they had done with the few others who had fled. Yes, because lying was far better than the truth: no one wanted to stay there.

But with the island, there were only two places to go if you weren't in the village: to the water or volcano. And since it was Diego's task to manage the latter, Rosa decided to take her chances with the former. Besides, she didn't have any sacrifices to burn anyway. Nor did she believe any gods would listen to her pleas.

Dropping the bag of coins in the boat, Rosa coughed into her sleeve, as though it would take out the ashes and smoke from her lungs. But no, they've grown lazy and far too attached to leave.

Shouts sounded in the distance. The smallest bit of guilt and longing appeared in Rosa's mind, but she was quick to push it away.

"This place was never home." She told the island, pushing the boat further into the water, silently praying any deity that was listening. Though she knew, none were. "May the volcano be kind to my brother. And may Emilia rot in the bottom of it one day."
Word Count: 650
Finished: 7/15/2020
Been baking banana bread all day (made it to 6 loaves!) and typed this piece on my notes in between loaves and batter. So yeah, I know that if I continue and/or extended this piece, to explain more about Diego and the volcano, however, in this alone it's still supposed to be a mystery. Anyway, feedback appreciated!!


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  • July 28, 2020 - 3:51pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Wisp

    That title alone, gosh, there's a story in itself--and it's just so compelling to read. At first glance, I thought it was going to be about three friends, but as the story progressed I just adore the way you took it.
    So I'm going to do a little hypothetical, and it may or not be right, but your mystery stories always have me wanting to play detective:
    -Diego: I have to say, for his character and the idea that he is connected to the volcano. It's almost as if he is connected to it, and that tree that has not been touched is his only way of solace. It's the only thing that keeps him humane [if you will] and ties him to his humanity. When we think of volcanoes, we think of things that cause destruction and fiery anger, but the idea that the tree has not been touched, shows that maybe it relates to Rosa in a way.
    -Emilia: The idea that she lost her coins and is trying to find it in the willow, shows her pride for material things. Or maybe pride isn't the right word, perhaps want?And perhaps the reason she is with a keeper of a volcano like Diego shows her want to be better and show off what she has, by keeping the best of the best alongside her. The notion of her losing her coins though can signify her losing Diego in the future. If Diego is a symbol for her coins, then it only goes hand in hand that she would lose him too if she only values him at face value instead of valuing him for who he is. Maybe that is why the volcano is erupting, because Diego, as keeper, and Emilia, as his lover, cannot get along, or rather lack of companionship and empathetic levels creates this loneliness that erupts the volcano.
    -Rosa: First off, I love her character. Everything from her fleeing to her history, it just adds this beautiful mystique to her. I touched on it before, but I think that perhaps she is that weeping willow tree. Weeping as in she isn't happy with what she has and that causes her to leave. Willow tree as in she is that moment of untouched peace that holds Diego together and keeps him from erupting. The fact that she chooses to run away, shows so much depth to her character and I just love it.
    I'm not sure you wrote a follow up, but if you did, I'd be so enthralled to read it! Also, the idea of ash and stuff can be the eruption of the volcano coming, as anger courses through Diego at the thought of his sister leaving him. I don't know, this was a very symbolic analysis, and I may be wrong, but I just couldn't resist picking it apart.

    17 days ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    dang that's a lot of banana bread. not complaining tho ;) sounds delicious!
    i absolutely adore the way you did subtle worldbuilding and handfed every detail to us without rushing. there's a greater meaning to everything, but it's all brilliantly overshadowed by our actual characters. rosa's rebellion, diego's apparent concern and even emilia's more subtle characterization (i still don't know what to make of her). the beginning too, a lot of times i try to not start short stories with a description of the setting because it's 'less interesting' but that was before i read this. this is beautiful and so so meticulous, if you're interested in writing a follow up, i'd be interested in reading it!

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    tHaT iS A lOnG cOmMeNt YiKeS

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Woah, this is incredible! I'm obsessed with the amount of intrigue and mystery there is in this piece and the way it still reads very naturally despite that. The opening is so introspective and lovely. "And so it blew, searching for its desire with very little urgency, knowing how easy it would be fulfilled." That is so satisfying to read. "Perhaps the village would claim to have banished her for some exaggerated reason, as they had done with the few others who had fled. Yes, because lying was far better than the truth: no one wanted to stay there." This part is so cool in that it tells the reader so much about the setting while actually revealing very little. I'm getting subtle Giver vibes along with something completely new. I would love to read more about this.

    4 months ago