The Miner from Below by SeanMartin ()
Members remain the original copyright holder in all their materials here at Renderosity. Use of any of their material inconsistent with the terms and conditions set forth is prohibited and is considered an infringement of the copyrights of the respective holders unless specially stated otherwise.
"You have an interesting look on your face," the Woman with the Shaved Head said. "Surprised. Perhaps even a little shocked."
The Listener studied the floor for a moment. "There are forces we cant..."
He shook his head.
He'd worked in the mines for well over a decade. Every day, he and fifty-three other men would descend in the cage they called an elevator, deeper and yet deeper into the earth, where they would toil endlessly to extract the ore that, unlike them, speeded topside to revel in the sunlight. It was a good job. Tiring, but good. The mine was certainly making enough money that his job was secure for as long as he wanted it, and as the years passed, he felt himself become more and more comfortable with the darkness and the perpetual damp chill.
He came home one night to find a crowd of people in the street and his distraught wife standing outside their home. "Someone broke into the house!" He raced inside, and it was clear someone had indeed been there. They'd burrowed their way in from the cellar via a system of tunnels that seemed to go from one house to another. The burrows were huge, too huge for just a man to use. Curious, he put on his miner's hat with the lamp and followed them.
They travelled just outside town, then dropped sharply, descending into the earth. His light couldnt even begin to pierce the blackness beneath him. As he turned to head back home, he lost his footing and fell, sliding down the dirt chamber in a tumble. He landed several minutes later, in what appeared to be a huge cavern. His lamp dimly lit the space, and as his eyes adjusted, he realized he wasnt alone. There were... others... here. Large creatures, moving slowly along the edges of the cavern, their fluorescent eyes lighting the way before them. He looked in another direction, and there was a pile of... things. Chairs, TV sets, clothes, books, all on fire. Several of the beings stood around the blaze -- not warming themselves so much as studying the flames. He recognized his wedding picture and stormed angrily across the space to save it...
-- only to be stopped by one of the creatures, its eyes casting a fiery glow onto him. Now, he could see how brutishly huge they were. "I.. just want... my picture back. That's all."
The creature stared at him, then spoke in a halting, clumsy voice. "Not yours."
"But it — "
"You take from us. We take back from you."
"Take? From you?"
The creature angrily nodded. "Our... possessions. You take... and do not ask. So we take as well."
"But... we didnt know any of this was yours!"
"But my picture..."
"... is ours now. Leave."
"My word," the Woman with the Shaved Head grinned in shocked surprise. "I gather he no longer works in the mines?"
"Refuses to go anywhere near them," the Listener said softly. "... Tell me..."
"What do you hope to learn from all this? Why am I doing this for you?"
"Because you can," she replied with a sweet smile.
Image Comments (5)
perpetualrevision () 5:33AM | Sun, 19 April 2020
Good reminder that just b/c we can "take" stuff out of the earth, that doesn't mean it's ours to take! Cool image to go with the story!