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The San Andreas fault. Mount St. Helens. The entirety of the Pacific Rim. You don’t have to look very far to see stories of pending alarm about forthcoming earthquakes and/or volcanos. Heck, even Oklahoma is being beset by earthquakes (which may or may not be related to fracking, depending on who is telling the tale).

Some of these stories are clearly being told by kooks. If their avatar isn’t wearing a tin-foil hat, it’s a picture of either Scully or Mulder.

Others, though, are quite serious. Something is going on beneath the crust of the earth. You can find no shortage of scientists ready to quickly point out that something is always going on beneath the surface of the earth, but there are experts a-plenty, with smart initials tagging along behind their names, who are trying to tell anyone who is listening/reading that our “doom is impending!”

While I have a late uncle who was head of the geology department at the University of Houston, I rarely understood what he was talking about if the subject strayed away from guns other than the one time he told me there was no such thing as a dead volcano, only a dormant one. So I don’t claim to have special knowledge about what might or might not be coming, but I do wonder about the aftermath if it does come.

If you want something to be nervous about, all you need to do is Google the words “Yellowstone volcano”. You’ll find thousands of articles, from kooks on the fringe to PhD’s on the faculty, which will tell you about the cauldron that is bubbling between one of our beloved national parks. Some will tell you that it’s been bubbling for a long time, and will keep bubbling for a longer time, and there’s nothing to be alarmed about.

Some will tell you—some really intelligent people, even—that, if the Yellowstone volcano were to erupt, that would be the end of North America. The shocks and aftershocks would be terrifying, but the ash cloud would cover the entire continent, choking out all life from Mexico north.

And there’s nothing we can do about it.

My family, sitting on the edge of a dormant volcano (Capulin, NM)

So even if they’re right, there’s no need to panic or “take steps” beyond any religious needs you feel you need to meet, because if it goes, we go, too. Even if you’re reading this from Capetown [yeah, right, sure you are], the resultant ash cloud will disrupt the entire world to the point that life will not be the same for anyone who survives.

Will anyone survive? Within some of those writings by writers—I won’t call them kooks to their faces but I might think it behind my hand—one can find the idea that the Yellowstone volcano is how God will choose to bring about the apocalypse. I guess they could be right.

I believe in God, the God of the Bible, and I believe in the end of the world. I just don’t know when it’s coming (and neither does anyone else on this planet). I am confident, though, that if the Yellowstone volcano erupts, and if God still has plans for mankind, he will provide a way for some or all of the inhabitants of this blue ball to go on.

“The Last Valley”, my trilogy of novels that is available on Kindle and Nook and in paperback, postulates what life might be like under just such a scenario.

In “Ashes to Ashes”, the volcano has blown, the ash has covered the continent. In a little valley just off the Continental Divide, the capricious winds have allowed life to be livable for the three score people who were in that valley when the ash hit. They are cut off from the outside world and, indeed, have no idea if the outside world even exists anymore. While many of the survivors think that they are, at best, engaged in a holding action as they await their demise, 18 year old Josh and his younger sister Claire are determined to carve a life out of the ash.

“Crazy on the Mountain” finds Josh and Claire leading the village of Overstreet into a fairly hopeful future, but still with no contact from the outside. Until, that is, Deanna Pembleton shows up. Bedragged and clearly wrestling with some demons, Deanna tells them of another town where people survive but are in need of help. So Josh and his bride set out to help Deanna, in spite of everything that would seem like better sense.

Finally, in “Book of Tales”, we find the story of Jerry and what is going on in what’s left of the outside world. War, famine, plague … it’s not pretty. But there are a few people with hope, still. Hope for a future that involves more than just ash.

Find them all, along with handy links for ordering them (and 24 other novels), at www.garisonfitch.com!

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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