My shift was uneventful but long. Ten hours didn’t feel that long since my first years underground. Every noise I heard caused me to jump. Until I heard at last the bell announcing the shift change. I swallowed hard and walked to the checkout booth. It took all I had to keep my face as impassive as possible. Continue reading →
The next morning I dropped my rent payment in my landlady’s mail slot on my way to work. It was still dark out and the temperature dipped below freezing. I pulled my coat tighter around me but it didn’t help with the chill.
I walked to the bus stop and waited. The normal crowd gathered waiting for the bus. A few of the others searched eyes of fellow passengers looking for understanding from last night’s events. So I wasn’t the only one affected. But one thing I learned in my years working in the mines is not to communicate anything. I dropped my head and kept my eyes to the ground to prevent anyone reading or misreading my eyes. No story here. Continue reading →
I arrived home an hour after my normal time. This threw my routine off and left me feeling a little angry. With each passing day I was fortunate to grow older I relied more on routine like an anchor.
My landlady peeked out of her apartment when she heard me coming up the stairs. “Rent’s due,” she croaked. Continue reading →
We sat in silence.
Of course we sat in silence. On the bus ride home there was always silence. Even though we sat in clusters of departments in the HUB. In the front sat the chemists. They mostly kept their noses face down at their screens. Presumably still working. In the middle sat the office workers. If there was occasional chit chat it came from this group. Usually from new hires. Soon enough they learned it’s best to keep quiet. They also kept their noses face down looking at their screens. Presumably they communicated with their families outside the gates. In the back of the bus sat the miners. That was my group. We avoided anything with lights and just kept our noses down and usually our eyes shut. At least, most of the miners did. I sat by myself and stretched out on the seat so that I could look out the window. Continue reading →