Ashes

The ashes fell for weeks afterwards. The volcano erupted on the 16th. A Saturday. Around noon. When all the soccer fields were filled with energetic young lads and lasses wearing shin guards and uniforms with numbers on them. We could see it happening from the bleachers long before we felt or heard anything. One minute a snow-clad mountain, the next a dark gray geyser of rock and smoke and trees and earth and river and ash. So much ash. It took almost half an hour before the ashes started to fall and the cloud consumed the sun. In all the confusion of parents and children and cars and parking lots and hurrying home, the soccer ball was left on the pitch. So were the nets. They are there still, under all the ash, an embossed testament to what life was before.

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