Pelican – Australasia – Review


Australasia (Hydra Head)
by Brian Varney

The ground gave a sudden jolt. Just as quickly, it was quiet again, and I paused in anticipation of another. The ground jostled again, this time like it meant it. I was thrown backwards from my feet, the back of my head hitting the ground hard enough that I saw stars. Another shudder issued from the earth and this one didn’t end. Still dizzy and in pain from my sudden fall, I did not attempt to get up, and I leaned my head back so I saw everything upside down. I tried to focus on a single object, just something to try and get my bearings, but everything was shaking more violently by the second and the back of my head was throbbing. As I lay there, willing myself to concentrate on a single object, the ground gave forth a final, terrible shudder and a great roar issued all around me. I saw massive shards of the ground fly into the air, former pieces of the Earth’s crust now transformed into deadly projectiles as rockets of liquid magma spurted violently from the newly-created holes. I moved to shield myself, but not quickly enough. The pointed slivers of Earth opened my face casually as they crashed to rest on my body, the warm rivulets of blood pooling on my skin and then splashing as tiny drops of the magma blowback landed on me, smearing my skin with fiery blood blisters that immediately began to ooze. Between the weight of the sediment that lay on me and the feeling that my entire being was on fire, movement was no longer even a thought. My only option was to continue watching as more geysers of liquid fire broke through the ground, the brilliant orange columns eventually overtaking the marvelous pink and yellow smears of the sunset in my upside down field of vision. Even through the pain and the knowledge that I didn’t have long to live, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty.
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