Volcano Child

Bastille is my favourite band and their song Pompeii is one I really like because people see it meaning either the destruction of Vesuvius or a broken relationship but I think it has a different meaning according to each person.

My protagonist is a 10 year old girl. She doesn't state her name because she doesn't think it important. Because of a car crash, she is mute and must face changes in her life with her Dad in silence. Until one day when her anger bubbles up and after so many years, she finally finds her voice as the volcano child.

My cover of Pompeii will shortly be linked.

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3. Verse Two

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices
In your pose as the dust settles around us

Oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?

 

A few days after the night at the park, Dad spoke to me for the first time. We had been signing when talking but never speaking. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, it was the type of silence, which when listened to, was deafening. I often liked to picture the silence. I can imagine someone who was deaf would have to do it on a daily basis.
Hidden in our silence were pictures of my Mum...but not horrible scarred, tainted pictures of her limp body across the road side surrounded in glass. No, the pictures of my mum were her eyes watering when she found out I had gotten the lead in our school musical, the thought of hearing me sing in front of an audience; I would often sing to my Mum when she was ill in bed. Mum was ill a lot. She would never get to hear me sing in the school musical. I would never get to sing in it. I closed my eyes and imagined me smile singing on the stage with my mum proud in the audience holding a rose which she would always throw onto the stage everytime I performed because she said 'That was how to show the lead that they were brilliant. It is the proper way to be a supporting fan.' She was my number one fan.
I knew Dad thought of Mum in the moments as well. Sometimes I wondered if he doesn't speak because he's worried his voice will break.
The first time he opened his mouth to speak he asked me a question.
"What would you think if I asked Miss Larka to dinner some time?"
I thought carefully. I didn't look up. I cut into my steak and observed the pinkness of the meat. I did this twice to the point Dad almost asked again thinking I hadn't heard him or had forgotten he'd asked at all. I hadn't forgotten. I put my cutlery onto my plate and signed 'why?'
"Well," he put his cutlery on his plate like I had, "she's done a lot for you with the signing program at school so you can communicate with your friends, I thought it would be nice to invite her."
'She's nice.' I picked up my fork and popped a piece of steak in my mouth and chewed slowly.
"Yes she is," he said wiping his mouth with his napkin, "pretty too."
I dropped my cutlery on my plate and sensed my Dad jump. I took my plate to the sink and left the room. I liked Miss Larka but Dad had never called a woman 'pretty' since Mum died. He'd never even looked at another woman. I knew I was overreacting but Dad dating seemed wrong.

The night Miss Larka came for dinner, Dad had me wearing a blue dress with a silver butterfly embellished on it. Mum bought it for me to wear in the musical.
This was the first time I'd worn it.
She arrived at 8. She was supposed to arrive at 7:30. I don't like people who are late; Mum always said patience is a virtue but punctuality is polite. I didn't know what it meant at the time but I did right at that moment when Miss Larka rang the bell and kissed my Dad on the cheek when she walked in. She was wearing a tight black dress with little gold larks on the sleeves. She commented on how lovely my dress was and I signed that her dress was very nice too. She insisted he call her Leila. Leila Larka. I decided I didn't like Miss Larka. Dad decided to change the conversation when he saw the look on my face.
"I was telling Leila about that butterfly necklace your mother gave you. Won't you go and get it? I'm sure she'd love to see it." I nodded, happy to get away and made my way to my bedroom, everything placed in the same way it had been when Mum helped me tidy it the day before the crash. On my dresser was a pink sequin box that fitted in the palm of my hand. I took the gold necklace out of the box and brought it into the living room where I found Miss Larka was kissing my Dad. I stood there, not quite sure what to do. Miss Larka, startled, brushed her hair back and looked down while Dad just sat there awkwardly. I put my necklace on the table and Miss Larka picked it up.
"It's lovely." She said, "want to see something cool?" I shrugged. She grinned and put both index fingers on each side of the necklace and spun it so that the butterfly spun around like it was flying. I smiled a little. Then the clasp came undone and the butterfly flew off the latch. It hurtled towards the window and I ran after it in dismay. As I ran to the edge of the window, Miss Larka grabbed the back of my dress shouting that I'd fall as I stuck my head out the window to look for my butterfly. It was gone. Then I heard a rip. My eyes widened and I slowly pulled my head in. I turned to face Miss Larka and stood staring at the piece of blue fabric that had come away in her hand. At that moment I felt a surge of anger bubble up like a volcano. Then it erupted.
"HOW COULD YOU BE SO INCONSIDERATE, NOT JUST MAKING OUT WITH MY DAD WHEN YOU KNEW IT WOULDN'T BE OKAY WITH ME BUT THROWING MY NECKLACE OUT THE WINDOW AND RIPPING MY DRESS?!! BOTH OF WHICH WERE THE LAST THINGS MY MOTHER GAVE ME!" Then I gasped and looked at the floor. I hadn't heard my voice in years. Dad looked shocked. Mum used to call me the volcano child because as a baby I would scream so loud it was like a volcano erupting. Miss Larka put her hands on her hips.
"I'm sorry sweetie. It was an accident. I care about you and it's not like your mother will miss it." My eyes shot up and I glared at her. She jumped and stepped back a little. I started talking in a quiet voice just loud enough for her to hear.
"I'll miss her though. I'm never going to see her again. She's never going to hear me sing or see me grow up. And you...you took away the one thing I had left. You don't care. None of you do!" I stepped back and looked at Dad who was still in shock.
"Dad, if you cared about me, you wouldn't leave me alone for hours constantly wondering if you're coming back. I came to terms with not having a Mother to bring me up but I'm not prepared to have no Father either. Make a choice Dad. Her..." I looked at Miss Larka, "or me." I looked back at Dad. Miss Larka's eyes narrowed.
"Now young lady, you can't talk to me like that. Your mother is dead, you have to come to terms with that and as for your Father, he can make his own decisions. The reason he'll choose me is because if he doesn't, I will stop your special classes. I know this seems harsh but like you said, you need someone to help mother you and bring you up"
Then Dad stood up and stood behind me, putting his hands on my shoulders, and looked at Miss Larka.
"I think you need to leave."
She looked at him in shock.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You're not her Mother. My daughter comes first and as for her 'special classes', as you can see she doesn't need them anymore. Now I don't want to have to ask you again." Miss Larka let out a frustrated "UGH", pursed her lips and sighed. She left in silence and Dad and I cleared the table. Silence returned and the metaphorical dust settled around us as we sat on the sofa and Dad patched up my dress. When he was done, we looked at the living room and saw all its flaws. Everything in this room reminded us of Mum.
"So the Volcano child is back.” I said. Dad laughed then went quiet.
“What would you say if I decided to sell the apartment?" Dad asked suddenly.
I thought for a bit.
"I'd say it's time for a new start."

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