My aching shoulders beg me to quit, but with blistered fingers I tighten my grip on the pickaxe. Sometimes my body fails me; my mind seldom does. With dust in my lungs and sweat dripping from my forehead I raise the rusty pick above my head and follow through with my swing. As the dust settles a bright sparkle, like a full moon bathed in blood shines through cracks in the splitting rock. These gems are as precious as water. I’ve found another crystal.
While prying it loose with the tip of my pick it pops out and bounces near the chasm beside the mineshaft. I dive for the crystal before it falls. I’ve got it. But now I’m leaning over the edge, teetering on the precipice of a bottomless pit. A chill shiver shoots up my spine as I watch a chunk of dirt fall, fall, and fall until it’s consumed by the darkness. I squirm back a couple inches taking a deep sigh of relief. Opening my hand I find the precious stone cradled in my palm.
I peer over the ledge. Cold air stagnates above the pit. What’s lurking down there in the shadows? Only death.
Hey, Death,” I say, “Whassup? Didn’t see you down there at first.”
“No worries, Paul B. Just give me that crystal or I’m gonna shake shiv that pick into your head till the moon shines through the bloody cracks. You know the rules. You work for me now.”
“But digging for blood crystals is in my nature," I say.
“It was in your nature. Now you swing for me, dig? Now turn on the fan and don’t make me get up again.”
I don’t like my new gig, but hey, it's a living.
Opening: Eric Bendas.....Continuation: JSF