Hot liquid minerals form the rock we call Earth. The geological record reads of flows, floods, and extrusions that raise and weather. Rocks define a place, such as the Keweenaw Peninsula dubbed the Copper Country. Molten lava can be more than elemental and serve as a metaphor for heat. And more.
Give writers a prompt and they’ll follow it with different perspectives and story ideas. Molten lava flowed through imaginations and stories this week.
The following are based on the August 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about molten lava.
PART I (10-minute read)
My Valentine by Deborah Dansante
On that fervid night, long ago, near the brook, you said you would run like a serval, if I kissed you. I kissed you…
I baked a thousand loaves of bread with the grains you grist-ed. You taught me how. I parched peas and canned tomatoes. There were no notes. No cards. Everything came from you. Just you. Your hands were my instruction. Your eyes my recipe. I pleased you. I meant to please you.
I miss our garden. I miss our life. I miss you.
February use to bring paper hearts and seed catalogs.
Dear Burpees, please unsubscribe.
Molten Lava by Anita Dawes
The sudden hot blast as you take
hot cross buns from the oven
Balmy temperatures that drive most people
to the nearest beach
Looking at the sun through dark glasses
Reminding yourself it’s a ball of molten lava
Boiling seas of golden fantasies
Hot pavements, melting tarmac
Car tyres in danger of melting
(It has been known)
Desert sands, hot springs
Shooting geysers you cannot bathe in
Only admire the height it reaches
A falling star so hot
It melts sand into glass
The only heat I appreciate
Is between cool cotton sheets
Should I be telling you this?
Surviving the Storm by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Pace the living room, arms hugging my chest. My growling belly needs comfort and protection, not for need of nourishment, but because it craves. Outside, snow drives sidewise, piling up outside the doors, gathering in dark window corners.
The fire’s lit, has blazed and quieted to embers. Red is poured, been airing and warming for half the day. White rises, bowled, in stiff peaks in the refrigerator. Dinner’s been dispensed with, a thick, hot mess of beans, beef, and tomatoes. Yes, I’ve planned this winter respite.
The timer dings, chocolate molten lava cake is ready.
Bring on the Whip!
Epoch Weekend by D. Avery
The only one more disgruntled by the arrangement than her was her grandson. Sulking in the bow of the canoe, he showed no interest even in the great blue heron. In a huff she planted the paddle and turned the canoe abruptly. The heron, startled, lifted to flight.
They followed the pterodactyl. It landed in the marsh. There, miniature pterodactyls, light as dragonflies, landed on their knees.
They ate Hershey bars by the fire and turned marshmallows into molten lava. The sun slipped low over the mountain. In the fog draped morning it would be a fire-breathing dragon.
Joshua by Saifun Hassam
Eons ago the sea burning with fiery molten lava cooled. Immense rocks spired out of the sea. On a remote peninsula, a lighthouse watched over the rocky seas. Over time more than once lighthouses slipped into the sea as tremblors shook the seabed and coastal lands.
Inland several cinder cones dotted the valleys. Joshua was an artist, a geologist, and an archeologist. His keen observations led to the discovery of ancient villages, boats, and kayaks buried inland. His discoveries found their way onto canvas. His vivid imagination saw a phantom ship riding the waves far from the molten rocks.
In a Guard Tower Cut from the Rock by E.A. Colquitt
New recruits often wondered how it was that, even on dungeon duty, the stone beneath their feet was always warm.
On Initiation Day, they marched into the bowels of the mountain range. The air grew stuffier as they descended. Eventually, the tunnel opened into a vast cavern: black rock walkways, lit by a lake of molten lava.
‘This place is sacred,’ their captain yelled. ‘Without it, we can’t do our job.’
‘And what about Lís?’ someone piped up.
‘Don’t you worry. We’re further down than even their deepest ice caves.’
‘So, what are we doing here?’
‘Crossing the lake.’
Faculties Petrified by Anne Goodwin
First the sting, then smothering, then slugging down, then stopped. Gaze turned inside out to pick the marrow from my bones. Mouth a Munchian scream until the lava swallows that and blands it over in Mona Lisa smile. “How are you?” “Fine, thanks, you?” Frozen, glued to nothing, brain reboots itself to factory settings, erasing hours of therapy. Erasing the adult.
Barbs can pierce the carapace. Kindness can’t. Shelled in ineffective armour, identity fragments. Dissolves. Only I can save me. But I’s in exile, I’s abandoned me. Depression’s being washed in molten lava. Transforming flesh and faculties to stone.
The Floors are Lava by Kerry E.B. Black
The little boy waved his hands, yelling, “No, no, Momma! Don’t step there! The floors are lava!”
“How am I going to get your homework, then?”
“I don’t want you to burn up. Here,” He scootched over and patted the couch beside him. “Let me snuggle you to keep you safe.”
She wrapped him in a hug. He giggled.
“You know I do have to get to the homework, though.”
“It’s a shame, but I’ll have to give up on homework to keep you safe. Can’t have you burn to a crisp.”
“You’re a brave, selfless boy.”
Pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā by JulesPaige
Molten lava once formed the now empty tubes near the bottom of Maui, Hawai’i where the ocean waves rush in creating anywhere from thirty to forty feet tall water spout. The height of a three story building. That lava traveled down Mt. Haleakalā between 1480 and 1600. It was cold when I was at the top of the mountain which is 10,023 feet, in the early 2000’s.
quickly the sun sets
in Maui’s Pacific ocean
the star stays glowing
I prefer the beaches and water warmed by Sol. Yet one is never far to view cooled lava on Maui.
Conversational Gambits by Geoff Le Pard
‘These rocks are incredible…’
‘That woman’s talking to them.’
‘They were made from molten lava…’
‘Do you think she’s dangerous?’
‘Are you listening, Morgan?’
‘Aunt Maisie talked to her knitting. She’s bonkers.’
‘Forget the knitting. This is an agate, and…
‘Colin Airplane talked to his shoes.’
‘He said it kept them pointing in the right direction.’
‘It doesn’t follow that he’s potty.’
‘Prince Charles talks to his trees.’
‘Ok, he’s the exception that proves the rule. Anyway I’d say she’s very sane, talking to her rocks.’
‘Well, it stopped you talking to her, didn’t it?’
Arizona in July by Cara Stefano
One time Hell (Michigan) froze over
Bitter cold and endless winter – Then comes time
Revel in sweet warmth of a glorious Yooper summer that
As a Midwestern girl, born and bred
Rain and snow are in my soul bone deep
Every summer as a child I’d turn my face to sky’s clear blue
Relieved and joyful for the summer’s coming
Surviving, barely, now in the barren burning desert
Cloudless skies, relentless sunshine
All year round
The endless molten blazes make me
Dream nightly of the frozen north.
A History of Rock by Joanne Fisher
“Whatcha doing love?” Jess asked.
“Looking at these rocks. Most of them are extrusive igneous.” Cindy declared.
“They were once molten lava from a volcanic eruption, and formed basalt, or obsidian.” Cindy replied.
“Well you’re the one that went to college.” Jess stated.
“You don’t have to go to college to learn this stuff.”
“I know, but the farm keeps me busy enough.” Jess explained. Cindy smiled and gently threw one over to her. “This is pumice isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s what happens when lava mixes with water. I thought you could use it on your feet!”
PART II (10-minute read)
Molten Lava by Ann Edall-Robson
For over a month water bombers flew through the acrid haze. The old-timers said it was the worst fire season of their memory. Black clouds forming in the West were the only hope of a reprieve. Their empty promises brought nothing but more lightning strikes to bolster the fire stats. Then the wind switched direction, blowing from the East. According to the old boys, that meant moisture was coming soon. Looking east on the morning it rained, the colours of fire silhouetted the ridge, like molten lava wrestling with the skyline. How could a sunrise be so cruel?
Death Stuff by Bill Engleson
Helga was giving thoughts of death a serious think today. In her wheelchair, waiting for our special seventy-fifth anniversary memorial Hiroshima sushi lunch, our little way of marking that event, she was also agitated by the recent Beirut dock explosion.
What with everyone wearing masks, Covid-19 was also painfully present.
I thought if I could find some eccentric examples of death, that might cheer her up.
Chef Pang Pen being bitten by the severed head of Cobra almost got a giggle.
Poor Phillip’s death by glass shard from his exploding Lava Lamp unfortunately sent her into a deeper funk.
The Writing Group by Michael Fishman
Reading in front of people has never been comfortable for me and tonight was no different. I swallowed.
“My love for her felt like hot lava burning in my heart.”
I saw Jean grimace.
“Not good?” I said.
“Well,” she shrugged. As analogies go . . .”
The other three members looked up.
It got quiet.
“What? We know lava’s hot; and it burns, right?”
She had a point.
“So maybe just ‘My love burned’?”
“Better.” Jean smiled
I felt myself blush.
What nobody knew was that the hot burning lava in my heart burned for Jean.
Missed by D. Avery
“All these lipsticks are some shade of red, how do you choose? What’s that called, the one you’re using?”
“Ooh, hot.” She pushed away his attempted kiss, told him coolly to just get ready and not cause them to be late for the dinner party.
He sighed, but obediently moved away from her, got busy with his tie. “What if, just this once, we didn’t go? They’re all alike. We’d not even be missed.”
“We would be missed. And talked about.”
“Does that really matter?”
Her eyes threw sparks. He headed to the car before she erupted.
Molten Lava by R.P. Biena
Henry thought of himself as someone with little self-esteem. In school, he was too timid to ask Vanessa to go swimming. At university, he was too afraid to ask Jessica to kiss him, although she spent the evening with him. In his job, he was kicked out, because he was not brave to argue against others.
Finally, Henry realized that he had too much self-esteem. He had been ignorant at work, narcissistic with Jessica, and self-absorbed to ask Vanessa. He broke free from his cell. The obsidian wall, that had served as a distorting mirror of his self, molted.
My Girl by Eliza Mimski
My girl she is a hottie
You’ve gotta see her body
She’s bawdy and she’s gaudy
She’s rootin tootin naughty
Her breasts they are the best
Her hips so big and blessed
Her stomach is a nest
Her arms so full of zest
My girl she is a hottie
You’ve gotta see her body
She’s bawdy and she’s gaudy
She’s rootin tootin naughty
Her face is like the sun
Her hair it comes undone
She tells me I’m the one
Her skin is sweet as guava
Her lips are molten lava
My sugar is baklava
I’ve simply gotta hava
Summer Geology by Charli Mills
At what temperature do people melt like molten lava? It’s 110 degrees F for the third day, and the swimming pool glistens like blue silica. Doris slathers more sunscreen on her brown wrinkled skin, rubbing the cream in circles as if softening an ostrich leather purse. It’s so hot she could burst, but the swimming beckons, promising a cooldown. Two weeks quarantined at her daughter’s place is better than self-combusting in her Airstream back at the seniors only RV park. She sinks her body and becomes a secondary metamorphic process, a volcano abating. Her bones crystalize in the pool.
Chocoholics by Annette Rochelle Aben
Tension filled the air, thicker than the fragrant deliciousness wafting around the room. Naturally, the young ones were more than anxious as they planted themselves on the floor smack dab in front of the oven door.
One would think they had never been fed. One would think they had nothing else better to do. One would think they had no patience.
You could barely hear the timer bell for the chorus of cheers as Nana grabbed the oven mitts and pulled out the baking dishes. It was her joy to bake molten lava cakes for the grandchildren.
Mother’s Heart by Cara Stefano
As parents we open ourselves up to an extreme range of emotions, all felt in the same day, hour, even minute. We’ve all heard the phrases “momma bear” or “helicopter parent”. I feel like a (barely) dormant volcano all the time, filled with molten lava; ready to erupt at any time, obliterating anyone or anything that stands in the way of my child’s health and happiness – I am always there, just waiting, watching, biding my time. The fiery strength of love I feel for my child eclipses the sun, Mount Olympus on the verge.
Lava Hot by Frank Hubeny
When twelve Brett told his aunt that chickens were dinosaurs. She laughed. What a stupid kid.
Brett’s mind was lava hot, hot enough to melt chaos into understanding. After reading that chickens were dinosaurs he looked at the hens in the chicken house who’d peck when he reached for the eggs they were sitting on differently.
True, they were smaller. True, they had feathers. True, they didn’t really run like Tyrannosaurus Rex.
When seventy another nugget of reality melted in his ever hot lava lamp of understanding. What if his old aunt was right? What if they weren’t dinosaurs?
Molten Lava Macchiatos by Jack Keaton
Larry liked the convenience of the corner cafe—it was an easy walk from his home. The problem was the baristas always made the coffee as hot as molten lava. Many times he asked if there was a way to make the drinks less searing, but he would receive the same icy, “No.” He was tempted to reply, “If only you had a button on that La Marzocco that reflected your attitude, that would surely cool down my macchiato,” or, “The beans are already roasted, buddy, there is no need to boil them.” Alas, he held his burnt tongue.
No Julia Child Here by kathy70
It is a love/hate relationship with a YouTube chef. While I watch the “simple recipes” I wonder was he born with a whisk in his hand. It seems like fun when he has a smile on his face the entire time, his home kitchen is amazing and all the recipes sound like I might actually be able to do them. The ingredients are not overly exotic. It looks like a dance as he adds in new ingredients. This one will taste as good as it looks, maybe.
Now to sit and enjoy my camera ready molten lava chocolate cake.
New Pool by Colby Clay
I’m finally famous in time for the world to end. I burned myself feeling my new swimming pool so I ordered the neighbors to shovel in ice cubes, but it wouldn’t cool. I was stubborn and said my fame money bought this thing so, god dammit, I was gonna swim in it.
I emerged red and peeling, from the sun or the water, I wasn’t sure. Blake said I looked hot like that and I said, “thank you” even though he definitely didn’t mean sexy. I worked hard for this ruined dream. I flipped off the sky in retaliation.
All Things Must Pass (Part I) by D. Avery
“Hey Kid. Kid? Cat got yer tongue?”
“Whut? Ernie’s fallen inta the well?”
“Jeez, Kid, set yersef down, lemme git ya some cool water. Yer practic’ly steamin’. There’s beads a sweat big as marbles on yer face, yer tongue’s all swoll up, an’, not fer nuthin’, this ain’t yer best hair day neither. Here, drink up.”
“Shanksawwahhawtthawtt!! Ow! Wattah makes it hottah.”
“Whut happened Kid?”
“Was at Ernie’s. Ate. Chili. He. Made. Ow. Hurt.”
“Oh, Kid, ya shouldn’t oughtta done thet. Thet stuff’s powerful hot, stuff’s like molten lava.”
“No shit, Pal.”
“Yeah, about thet…”
All Things Must Pass (Part II) by D. Avery
“Pepe LeGume. Long time no see.”
“Keed! I almost deed not see you. Why do you seet in dat stock tank?”
“Ah’m still overheatin’ from eatin’ Ornery Ernie’s hot lava chili. It burned me good, Pepe.”
“Why deed you eat it, den?”
“Didja know he uses bacon? Guess I ate too much too fast. It still burns.”
“Dees weel pass.”
“That’s what Ah’m afraid of, Pepe.”
“My dear wife, Logatha, she would advise you drink lots of milk and eat bread. Dees weel cool things down eenside.”
“Good idea. Ice cream?”
“You might, Keed. Dere weel be an eruption.”