Tommy's Last Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boys first day going down the coal pit with his dad for the first time.

Submitted: August 25, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 25, 2012





Short story by William. Gibson. Kyle


Tommy's First and Last Day



Tommy woke with sheer delight, at going to work for the first time with his dad beneath the earth the two would go, but only one would return. You could hear the miners going to work with their ticked boots up on the cobbled stones, and there was Tommy with his dad, one man shouted “your first day lad, hi said Tommy”, don’t worry your dad al look after aye.


And so they reach the pit head were all the miners were waiting their turn to go down in the cage to the pit bottom, most of the miners slapped Tommy on the back and said "gid luck son, when you come back up you'll be a man", with his adrenaline running high he gave the cage man his token "right son in you get stand next to your dad", the cage door dropped down and Tommy felt his dad's hand on his shoulder "aright son his dad ask" “I'm fine replied Tommy”.


The cage man pressed the bell ounces, them he press it again to let the engine room know that the cage was ready to be lowered to the pit bottom.

As the cage started its descend the cage man winked at Tommy as his face peered throw the slats on the door, a voice shouted “switch on your lamps men”, and Tommy hang on to his dad, in return his dad squeezed Tommy shoulders to reassure him that he was there.


For the first time Tommy was in his father’s world, a world that he would never forget, for with in a instant there was a screeching noise and then a amity bang like a whip cracking, the cage stared to free fall hitting off the sides of the pit shaft, the cage man shouted "the cable has broke” the bells and the siren started whaling, one man shouted "O my God those poor souls" there was a cloud of dust coming out of the pit shaft and then silence, by his time the miners on the pit head had reached the shaft. When a thing like this happens all miners become one no more religion or radicalism enters their mind, they are united together, hand to hand, foot to foot; shoulder to shoulder we will work together.


Most of the miners wives were up at that time in the morning and Tommy mum was no exception, she was standing at the sink drying the breakfast cups when she heard the siren sounding, she dropped the cup and as it crashed to the floor she yelled "O Tommy my God our wee Tommy" , she grad her shawl and started to make her way along with the other wives to the pit head, by the time she got their some our wives were standing confronting each other, experienced living in a mining community had tot these women well for over the years they grow up living with the fear of the siren and its wailing noise, they knew not to ask about the men trapped below as they  would be told when the time was right, the fear and the expression on their faces told it all, by now over a hundred men and women rallied at the pit head.


A deadly silence fell over the pit as they listen for any sound or responds coming from the pit shaft, Tommy mother stood gazing towards the heavens praying unto herself as a tear drop fell to the ground, not a sound was heard as the rescue brigade prepared to descend to the pit shaft.

Now the time had come for the wives to be told about their husbands and sons, that the rescue team where doing all they could to reach the trapped miners. Mean while the wives rapped their shawls around their shoulders, some with babies in their arms, one wee lass asked her mother "when will daddy come home, soon was the reply soon?



For miners, life was hard, a family to feed, roof collapse, gas exploration, working in conditions that were not fit for any man, in the winter they never saw the daylight, getting wash in front of the fire the wives had to wash their backs, on a Saturday they had their football, pigeons, whippet racing and some like a wee dram, but on a Monday they would all report back for work.


Four hours had passed before the rescue team reached the stricken cage, was it possible for any survivors? That was the question everyone on the surface so asking, a voice ring out crying "O let my husband be OK please God" the surface became alive with hope, but within minutes the horrific news reached the surface that the rescue team could not hear any sound or signs of life, the wives stood anxiously waiting for the news to be confirmed.


The engine house was being turned into a makeshift clearing station for the injured men before they were taken to hospital. Another hour had passed and still the full extent of the disaster was not confirmed.


Meanwhile Tommy's mother had a strange felling that her son was calling out to her, she ran towards the pit shaft shouting "my Tommy is alive, my son is alive I can hear him" one of the men had to stop her from going to close to the shaft, she told the man "believe me, my son is alive I can hear him calling me" by this time the rescue team had started to make their way inch by inch clearing the striking cage, the miners how where already down the pit heard the crash of the cage and run back to help, they themselves were trapped so they had to start and clear away the rubble hopping that time was on their side.


The cage was constructed mostly of wood with a iron supporting frame, there would have been little of it left by the time it crashed to the bottom of the shaft, a report send to the surface said "there is no sign of life, the men are piled on top of each other, we will start to remove them once we make the work place safe". The families on the surface where told of the devastating news, the wives did not know who the men were that were in the cage at the time of the accident, or whether their men had already been down the pit, it was a anxious time on the surface for both men and women alike.


As time passed more and more details were starting to piece together, a list of the men on the cage was draw up by means of the tokens given to the cage man. Silence ounce more broke the surface as the names where read out, women cry some collapse to their knees holding their baby in their arms, shouting "O God please know our John or Willie, Jimmy" and of course Tommy mum "I know my Tommy is alive I'm telling you he's alive".


Somehow Tommy mum knew he was alive but how? The rescuers were still hard at work making the place safe, they started to remove the bodies one by one with a make shift cradle that went to the surface, as one body reach the surface it was identified, the widow was called upon with tears in her eyes she would bow her head and nod, the rest of the women would comfort her as best as they could knowing that only God could do the heeling.


After a short period of time Tommy’s dad reached the surface and Tommy mum took her husband hand and squeezed it with a firm grip she knew then that Tommy was alive, she called out loud “my son is alive, please he’s alive” the overseer re-laid her request to the rescue team below.


As the team done their job a voice from the other side called out “wait wait I see a light it’s moving, yes it moving we got a live one, my God in heaven “ he cry “tell the surface we got a live one” as the news broke Tommy’s mum new, my Tommy is alive.


One of the miners stretch his hand out towards the source of the light, to his amazement a hand griped his and a voice said “dad help me” Tommy was trapped his legs where beneath the rubble all the rescuers could hear was Tommy “where are you dad help---dad”.


Tommy was the only one to survive at disaster, fourteen men lost their lives’ that morning, but that was Tommy's First and Last Day


For the rest of Tommy life he walk the earth preaching the word of God, why even Tommy doesn’t know, but he still get this felling of a grip on his shoulders, is it his father or is it all in the mind?


God bless and let’s hope that this story never happens, close your eyes and pray for a better day, a day that will bring you joy and hope, that you too can feel some one pressing your shoulders?

The End.

© Copyright 2018 gibson kyle. All rights reserved.

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