Mining Men – Excerpt 1

An excerpt that I enjoyed writing from a context piece on a journalist’s view of the mine and the men who work at it:

The edge of the mine comes into view, an apocalyptic vision that stretches horrifically down into the dry earth, sinking further and further down into some dark hell. Its huge expanse could be likened to the mouth of some slow behemoth, having lain dormant for centuries, now awakened by the screeching, screaming machinery and lustful cries of men. Its voracious and grating teeth scythe restlessly at the surface, chewing and gnashing the bodies of men who fall into the great wound. Angry, choking on lumbering and heavy trucks, it coughs as black fumes and dirty poisons seep into its veins. Every eye in the car is drawn to it, inexplicably and without fail; into us all stabs the probing knife of fear, its blade dulled by experience and lack of sleep for the miners, but fresh and curious for me. The huge scale of this scar scares us: these men know better than most the dangers of mining. Yet still they march on, once more into the fray, into the rumbling belly of the beast, sporting their pitiful armour and steel weapons with which they sting and needle it, their eyes half asleep and ears sealed tight against its roars.


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