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Ujung Kulon - from The Volcano

 

The Volcano 

It had been two days since he had left the capital. Now the dark shape of the island was once again before him in the distance, its cone of volcanic ash jutting out from the sea like the head of a gigantic whale surfaced from the depths. Wisps of smoke plumed from the smouldering crater into the still of the tropical noon. Standing in the ship’s bows, Mitchell could already detect faint traces of the volcano mingling with the light sea breeze. He breathed in deeply, savouring the familiar mixture of sulphur and salt. It seemed to welcome him like an old friend. Each breath that filled his lungs ignited half-forgotten memories and ancient images that curled like vapour, up from the core of his being. But he had other memories which lay closer to the surface, memories it would be impossible to even half-forget.

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Ujung Kulon, John Edmiston

 


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