mary bay

Mary Bay on Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park – Photo Credit: Yellowstone Vacation Blog

“It’s so serene here. I’m having a hard time believing you’e right, Craig.” Geologist Joanne Palmer looked out over Yellowstone Lake from Mary Bay, which was thought to have been created sometime in the last 14,000 years by a Hydrothermal explosion. It was a favorite spot for Park tourists and reminded her of family vacations with Mom and Dad.

“Most people worry about the next volcanic eruption but hydrothermals occur independently. Data from our experimental geosensor device says just about all of southern Idaho and eastern Wyoming will have to be evacuated within the next 12 to 18 months.”

“Are you sure? I mean, displacing millions of people…what if we’re wrong?”

“What if we’re right and don’t say anything about it, Joanne? We work for the U.S. Geological Survey. We have a responsibility…”

“I know. We have to tell America that the next Armageddon will be happening right in their own backyard.”

yellowstone hot spot

Location of the Yellowstone Hotspot. Numbers indicate the time of the eruption, in millions of years ago – Found at Wikipedia.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image and/or location as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Yellowstone National Park. I live in southwestern Idaho which isn’t all that far from Yellowstone, but I remember it mainly from all the vacations my family took there when I was young. It’s fabulous place with lots of interesting features.

Of course, the idea of having a supervolcano in your own backyard is a fun idea, but I discovered that hydrothermal explosions are also a thing, so I decided to create a mini-disaster story based on them. I also found a map tracking the Yellowstone “hot spot” over the last 16 million years and saw that it “traveled” all across southern Idaho. What if it all went up along that track at once?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.


cape crozier

© Google, Nov 2016

The Adelie penguin colony at Cape Crozier, Antarctica had long been the subject of study. There were over a quarter of a million breeding pairs of birds identified. Scientists inhabited several tents at the site plus a crude permanent structure that vaguely resembled a collection of shoeboxes. However, this expedition was not here for the penguins.

“What do the latest readings look like, Scottie?” Carter Roberts addressed the party’s Chief Volcanologist Amanda Scott. She ignored the unwanted familiar use of her name.

“Not good, Carter.” She didn’t bother to glance up from the seismology report. “If these readings are accurate, then given the progression we’re seeing, we’ve got less than three months.”

“So Mount Terror is aptly named.”

“We always thought it was an extinct volcano, but sometime next October, it’ll make the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa look like a firecracker, plunging the whole world into a new ice age.”

Written for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the Google street image above as the inspiration for a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149.

Today, Pegman takes us to Cape Crozier, Antarctica. I looked the place up at Wikipedia, and when I saw “Mount Terror” and “extinct volcano,” I knew I found my hook.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.