Sunrise Over Pompeii

“Brigida, my love, wake up!”
“What is it?”
“Sunrise over Pompeii! We made it!”
Brigida stood up from her pallet on deck, “Thank the gods!” She squinted slightly north of the sun, its weak rays attempting to cut through a yellow haze that had not dissipated in weeks.
Prince Cesario wrapped his arm around her and leaned in to kiss her neck. “My uncle will take us to the magistrate, who will wed us, and we will buy a nice house. I will be a simple Ferrucio and you my lovely Clio.”
“You really think we can do it? Your uncle will not report back to Rome? A missing Prince is a big deal.”
“I’m a second son! Hardly worth noticing!” He kissed her to stop any more arguing. When they parted, Brigida looked again at the coast.
“Cesario??” A hint of worry in her tone made him also examine the landscape. In silence they sailed to the beach, bypassing the dock.
Nothing moved.
And everything was gray.
Passing a docked ship, Brigida screamed. The deckhands were still there, curled in a fetal position.

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