The Miner

The first thing I heard was rain on my faceplate, then I could see it collecting on my eye-ports. My back still hurt from the fall into the waste pit at the old foundry so I figured I ought to just lie there on what I assumed was moss and dirt.

Now hang on. I've seen some strange things before, stuff you wouldn't believe, but to fall off a ladder into a pit and wake up in a rainy forest? That's foolish!

I hauled myself to my feet, wondering how long I had been there after seeing the dry spot on the earth, and began to take in my surroundings. I stood in the middle of a dark, wet, old growth oak forest. I knew for a fact that there weren't any forests like this anywhere near my village, maybe not even in my country. Where was I?

I began walking in no particular direction, realizing as I went that I only had half of my equipment; I had three shells and a bayonet but no shotgun, I had a compact oxy-acetylene cutter but no sparker, I had a sledge hammer and a steel pipe but I had lost the case of dynamite! Useless old man! The shotgun alone was expensive, but the dynamite? We needed that for... whatever it was we needed it for... I couldn't even remember why we needed the bloody explosives in the first place!

I screamed, I hammered on a tree with my fists, the air was almost blue with profanity by the time I colapsed, panting and weeping.

I was lost, I was hungry, I was tired, and worst of all I was scared. I hadn't been scared in the army, I hadn't been scared in prison, I hadn't even been scared in the Visitation Zone! But here I was, brave old me, in an oak forest.

It was then that I saw the house through the trees and mist, and I ran toward it. I couldn't hear anyone inside, and no one answered when I knocked, so I placed my knife against the lock, drew my gloved fist back...

And the door swung open by itself.

"Better not look a gift horse in the mouth."

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Just so this makes some sense: I was in an English course a while ago, and we had to write either a novella or collection of short stories based on the work of another author. I wrote a collection of interwoven stories called Five Stories based on the book Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers.

I liked the collection, but Lord only knows what happened to it. I'm trying to write it over again, and right now I'm just trying to get back into writing.

The End

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