Are the 'Doomsayers" correct?
Twelve year old Jenna didn’t fully understand everything the reporter on CNN was saying, but she was old enough to know the news was bad. She had seen the grave looks on her parents' faces as they listened intently to every word being said. The news and the somber looks frightened her.
Ten days ago it had all began as nothing more than a curious phenomenon. Scientists had said it was a quirk of nature. Nobody could explain for sure, why the geyser “Old Faithful” had ceased to erupt as it had done, day after day, year in and year out. Most people didn’t know or care about geysers or what was happening in the wilds of Wyoming.
On the eleventh day, animals in Yellowstone National Park began acting strangely. Herds of bison, elk and antelope began migrating to the southeast. Park rangers reported all the bears had disappeared from the park. Prey and predator; side by side, were leaving the caldera. Nature’s warning went unheeded.
Twenty-fours ago CNN reported that geothermal activity in the Yellowstone Caldera had changed. Temperatures below the earth’s surface had risen at an alarming rate and the ground level in most areas had risen several feet. Geologists, as well as seismologists, predicted a volcanic eruption, 2,500 times larger than the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 was imminent. Men of learning stated that if it happened, the entire earth would be shrouded with a volcanic ash cloud in forty-eight hours. The sky would darken and the cloud would block the sunlight for many years into the future.
The majority of the population that heard the prediction labeled the scientists as “Doomsayers” and ignored the possibility of such a catastrophe happening in their lifetime. They felt safe in their country, their cities and their homes. Government officials questioned by the media stuck with their usual no comment statements while thousands of vacationers enjoyed the scenery in Yellowstone Park.
Jenna’s father quietly rose from his chair and looked out a picture window from his living room. He gazed across the lawn and beyond at the best field of wheat he had ever grown on his North Dakota farm. Not quite ready to harvest, but he was confident it would mature into a bountiful crop.
“Can I go feed my rabbits, Daddy?” Jenna asked, interrupting her father’s thoughts.
“What … what did you say, Jenna?”
“I haven’t fed Hoppy and Brownie; can I go to the barn and feed them?”
“You can, Jenna, but don’t stop to play, your mother will have supper ready before long.”
Jenna skipped to the barn, glad to be away from the television and the images that were making her parents worry. Before she had reached the barn, the ground began to shake. Scared to go on, she turned around as her parents ran from the house calling for their daughter.
They heard a muffled explosion from far, far away.
The Yellowstone Caldera had erupted just as the “Doomsayers” had predicted.
Prompt: In 500 words or less. Write a story about a natural disaster.