Another Day, Another Blog

March 19, 2007

White clouds for the sky

Filed under: ficlet, the joy of life — iamza @ 8:49 am

Monday returns, face streaked with coal-dust. He coughs, wheezes, points back the way he came. “There’s no way out, that way.” 

“And Sat and Sun?” I ask, already knowing the answer.

“No sign of them. They must be trapped on the other side of the collapse.”

“Shit.” Sat has the only working radio. Still, if he gets a message out, then maybe there’s still hope? If they survived, and aren’t buried under tons of rubble.

Monday walks past me, a few steps further into the mine. “I don’t suppose we can get out if we carry on this way?”

I shake my head. The only exit is behind us, through a mountain of loose rock.

“Well, then,” he says, “I guess we’d better get to digging.”

We’ve been digging for hours. My fingers are torn, black from coal-dust and blood. I can hear barely hear Monday’s gasps and wheezes for the sound of my own. Everything is wet, soaked in sweat and the water that trickles in slow drips from the walls.

I am hot, and thirsty, and so tired of the dark.

There’s a rhythm to digging: lean, reach, grab; swing, and release. Pick it up; turn, and let go. Like a dance — step and one-two. One, two, three; spin and again.

Don’t think, don’t feel. Just go with the flow. Don’t think about a mountain that seems only to grow with every second that passes, with each breath that we take. Don’t think about a thirst that cannot be slaked.

It’s night and it’s dark, and I’m under the stars. Mary’s hand warms my own, which warms hers in return. Our breath steams upwards, white clouds for the sky. And I’m looking around me, thinking, did I die?


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