25 April 1902

Dearest Mother,

Phillip and I arrived on the Caribbean Island of Martinique on April 20. Our ship was a week early due to favorable winds and weather. I am certainly not one to complain. My excitement can hardly be contained. Finally! We are on a Caribbean Island for our honeymoon.

I'm still in a daze from all the beauty! I cannot wait to see more. Phillip is now with the officials of the hotel planning our day trips while we are here. I am so excited, I want to see everything! I am suppose to be resting but I assure you that is not possible for me right now.

I love you and will see you soon. I hope you receive this letter before we get back home!




28 April 1902

Dearest Anne,

I am not sure this letter will reach you in time but I must write anyway. Your father has taken ill and we must leave for Atlanta tomorrow. Dr. Amos wants him to see a specialist there but I do not know what on earth for. Please keep us in your prayers.

With Love,



08 May 1902

Dearest Mother,

Phillip and I have been having a wonderful time but something is happening with Mount Pelee. It is spewing steam, spurting gaseous flames, raining ash with violent shocks and rumbles. The locals say that it happens every few years and we need not be afraid, but mother, I am afraid. I am trying to get Phillip to leave early but he says there is no need, according to the locals.




05 May 1902

Dearest Anne,

Your father and I just returned from Atlanta and I'm afraid the news I have for you is not good. Your father has cancer and the specialist thinks he only has six months to live, if that long. I am so distraught, I don't know what to do. I do so wish you were here.

With Love,



15 May 1902

Dearest Anne,

Oh my precious daughter, I pray you and Phillip are on the ship on your way home now. We just heard that Mount Pele'e is erupting violently and that almost 30,000 people were killed on May 10. I am terrified for you and Phillip, my darling. I hope and pray you and Phillip are on the ship and headed home now. You are both in my prayers and I pray I will see you soon.

With Much Love,



Almost 30,000 people were killed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelee on May 10, 1902. There were warning signs; steam, light earth shocks and raining ash prior to the eruptions but the Martinique people did not heed the warnings.


  • Prompt: Write a scene about a volcano that has never fully stopped erupting.

This is my submission for Ryan Lanz Writing Prompt: Volcano



61 thoughts on “Volcano

  1. This was a poignant story. I really liked how you had it evolve through the letters. I always enjoy reading your writings πŸ™‚ It was a sad story, but very well written!

  2. Oh, Joy! What a beautiful story. And very effective. Each point of view is so clear. The times kept them separate and unique. Something that cannot be done in today’s world. The fact that they were in letters made each POV so complete. This is the very best response to a prompt I have yet seen. I cannot praise you enough for this story. It seems it was just waiting to be written.

    • Thank you Judith! That is one of, if not the most, wonderful comment I have ever had. I really felt nervous about publishing it. Also, I had to cut some out so I was afraid that would harm the story. Thank you Judith, you don’t know how much your comment means to me.

  3. This is beautifully written. You have done your best job. The letter writing style works very well. The way the mother and daughter communicates is amazing. The daughter was happy,eager to share her story with her mother. Mother was concerned about her husband’s health. In the end the mother desperately wanted to know about the whereabouts of her daughter.

    Hats off to you PJ:)

  4. I must say: This is good! It kept me pinned down to read up to the last letter. Well done.(I’m new at writing and am trying it to see if I’ll get somewhere. I enjoy it and that is the importance of it all)

    • I am getting ready (tomorrow) to publish a post about starting a Flash Fiction Challenge for Aspiring Writers. I don’t know if you follow my blog, but if you do you will see the post and you can respond to it – if you are interested in joining something like that. It is A LOT of FUN!

  5. This is a wonderful and extremely poignant story, PJ. I always love the use of letters to convey the developing plot and characters. The story of Dad’s illness adds a further dimension, and we can focus on the mother’s anguish while we contemplate Mount Pelee’s warnings of pending eruption. You have also left us with the intriguing question of whether Anne and Phillip were fortunate enough to escape the dreadful events of March 10. A really enjoyable and well written story. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Millie! Receiving feedback from you means a lot to me because I know you are a professional writer (author). I was very nervous hitting that publish button on this (as I am with all of my writing) because of it being written through letters. I had another letter from Anne in the original draft but decided I needed to cut down the length and I hoped that wouldn’t hurt the story. Again, thank you so much!!

  6. This is a heart gripping story. I love how it ended with we, the readers, wondering about Anne and Philip ;). I have concluded in my head, that Anne and Philip ended up being the only survivors of the eruption, haha .

  7. Great story and I love the style. You don’t need to be nervous about posting anything. I’ve read your posts and they are all well done. It’s a joy to read them and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  8. Wow! This is so heart warming. I felt sad towards the end. But kudos to you for such a brilliant story; which kept me tight till I read till the end.

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