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The Miner's Dread

Short story By: Akisute
Flash fiction

It was bound to happen someday.

Submitted:Apr 24, 2013    Reads: 23    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

It's not the dark that scares me, it's not the way it echoes and distorts the voices of my comrades, it's the more real threat, the knowledge that at anytime the mine could collapse. That's the real fear.
We enter again with all our equipment like we have a thousand times before, sticks of TNT and wire spread.
This time it happens though.
The Earth can't handle the shock and all around me rock and dirt fall.
When my eyes open finally I see nothing. My hands crawl about on surfaces gritty, dry, and frigid until something smooth is found.
I turn on the old kerosene lantern. I can see the small room I'm trapped in and determine there's no path, small pieces of glass from the lantern scatter the light about,
On the walls I begin to bang with fists and the remaining piece of a shovel. I hear no responses other than my own echoes mocking me.
And so with this I collapse down and ponder when I'll dehydrate. I lick my lips and stand again.
Climbing proves difficult and quite often my climbing shifts the rocks nearly taking my fingers.
It is now I realize I've only been here for a few hours and there is perhaps hope.
In this moment rocks propel away from flame and a man steps through. He tells me he knows no way out.
I follow him through the hold he blasted out. He has food and water, but no more dynamite.
We sit and we eat merrily and talk.
I begin to notice the world growing dark though the light from the lantern has not dimmed. The man turns to look at me and says, "You do know you're already dead right?"


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