Another Day

Image copyright: Stephen Baum

Image copyright: Stephen Baum

The lamps on the helmets pick up the crayon markings on the rock face. There is the reef, there is the ore, there is the gold. Drills are hefted forward, positioned, activated. Water and sand spew over the floor of the stope. Metal bites deep into the wall. The holes are charged with dynamite and detonators, fuses fed to safe places.
The miners retreat, make their way towards the shaft, towards the cages that will lift them back into the world.
As they surface they look at the sky, breath in fresh air, make thanks for no accidents this day.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Read more 100 worders here.

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40 Responses to Another Day

  1. Mining is dangerous, hard work and you perfectly captured it, Patrick. Well written with great detail. 🙂 — Suzanne

  2. Nice job, Patrick! I like the distinctly unique direction you took this prompt. The mining angle is wonderful!

  3. kirizar says:

    You must have a background in mineral recovery, either that, or you do killer research. I looked up STOPE to see if you’d made a typo…nope. I was highly impressed at the facts cleverly seamed with this flash fiction.

  4. Amy Reese says:

    Such a tough job miners do. Well captured here by your tight writing. Nice job!

  5. i b arora says:

    that’s life for hundreds of them, well written

  6. afairymind says:

    An interesting take on the prompt. 🙂 The constant fear of accidents for miners must be quite draining.

  7. Margaret Leggatt says:

    Great descriptions of the details of the work, and their relief and gratitude at the end is well shown.

  8. gahlearner says:

    This is so full of realistic (I think) detail, how do you know all these details? Great story!

  9. Jan Brown says:

    A very original interpretation of the prompt, and a very interesting description of mining and men. Well done!

  10. A beautiful, unusual perspective you created — I looked at the picture again after reading your story, and what seemed to me to be a horizontal tunnel suddenly became a vertical shaft with light at the top of it in your story!
    And the “make thanks for no accidents” part really got me.
    A painfully difficult life rendered with much empathy.

  11. ansumani says:

    I held my breath for the minute it took to read this …what a relief it must be for those men each day they come up and imagine feeling this dread each minute/each day of their work.
    Nicely done.

  12. storydivamg says:

    Good work, Patrick. I grew up in a town with two salt mines, and your tale brought the subterranean atmosphere back vividly.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  13. gravadee says:

    A day safe in a miners life is a gift for them. Tough job. Loved the write up

  14. Dale says:

    I could never work underground. Great description.

  15. ceayr says:

    Great picture you painted there, Patrick.
    And sunshine at the end.

  16. Dear Patrick,

    You had me there in the mine. I was relieved to breathe fresh air at the end. Well written.



  17. Sandra says:

    I could identify with that. I’d hate to work underground. Well done.

  18. I’m just about to start a book about the col mines in the early part of the century.

  19. I think you have captured the relief of every miner in the world.. to see the light and know this was not the day to meat the reaper.

  20. Vinay Leo R. says:

    I thank God for that too. This was a realistic fiction. Well delivered!

    Leo @ I Rhyme Without Reason

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