The scientists didn’t believe that she was clairvoyant and could predict a volcanic eruption to the day, hour, and exact second. They knew there’d been activity on their monitors but felt they were within normal parameters and posed no threat. To them it was another nutcase predicting the end of the world. But tabloids had blared her warning across banner headlines which created unease in the area. Cruise lines temporarily rerouted just in case and local hotels staged evacuation drills to assure tourists that their safety was important. Meanwhile, the bands played on and the lavish festivities continued. Hunkering down wasn’t much fun while on vacation.
Justine and Geraldine were on their annual cruise and were disappointed that Fiji had been cancelled due to the warning. Fiji was fun and they’d looked forward to cocktails on the beach under a tropical moon. Now they were stuck on the ship until they reached New Zealand. They’d been to New Zealand several times and always enjoyed it but there was that time when they’d been visiting a sheep ranch and the wagon they were riding on tipped over. No one was hurt but Geraldine’s jacket got dirty and they had to sit beside the road for an hour while repairs were made. They knew that travel involved risk and accidents happen so they didn’t try to sue anyone when they got home.
When the day of the predicted eruption came there was a magnificent sunrise over a calm sea and the tranquility belied any possibility of disaster. Even so, Justine and Geraldine joined others in the ship’s lounge, sipping mimosas and watching the weather channel on a big screen TV. Talking heads were saying that the volcano in question wasn’t puffing smoke and seemed unlikely to erupt but they still made the watch part of their broadcast. Their drones were in no danger so there was no reason to stop the coverage. The hour came and the ensuing minutes ticked away like snails crossing a sidewalk. The big clock on the wall seemed broken and everyone’s stress levels rose as the second hand appeared unmoving.
When the exact second came and passed, people around the world breathed sighs of relief and laughed at their foolish anxiety. But their laughter stopped when a deep rumble came two minutes later and the sky suddenly filled with smoke and ash as lava spewed in all directions. She’d been right but had the time wrong by a very slim margin. Now Madame Zendra would become a legend and never lack clients in the future. Those in the lounge ordered fresh drinks and watched in fascination as the mountain filled the sky with columns of smoke and rivers of magma rushed toward the sea, destroying everything in their paths. When Fiji was swamped by a tsunami, Justine looked at Geraldine as if to say, “I’m glad we weren’t there.” Geraldine raised her glass and said “You know it sister. New Zealand here we come.”
What no one expected was that while they watched the continued coverage of the eruption another one occurred. This one was near a small island that only had one inhabitant. When its island became awash and there was nowhere to sit it waded into the roiling waves. If the world thought Godzilla was a badass they hadn’t seen anything yet. Justine and Geraldine were among the few survivors when their ship was hoisted into the air and crushed. The beast never looked back so obviously their life raft wasn’t worth bothering with. Always the girl scout, Geraldine pulled a small flask out of her girdle, took a sip and passed it to Justine. “Wow.” Seemed to be the only comment needed to cover every possible emotion and reaction.