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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2064578
Danger and death isn't always the cause when you are a Mineral Miner.


     ‘SpaceMiners aren’t miners that mine Space. They are miners that go from planet to planet mining. My father, Quamim, was one of them. I say ‘was’ because he never came back from his last mining mission. He was a Mineral Miner. Which meant he went to a planet to mine its natural resources.’

     ‘That was twenty years ago. I was just a little girl when he went to Heagon. And I know he never came back from there for two reasons. One was that he always came home to be with us a few months before he went to his next Mineral Mission.’

     ‘The second reason was that about five years ago, when I became legal age on our planet, I went to that world to find my father. I didn’t find him. But I did find his Writings. He wrote down everything that happened to him. And a lot happened on that planet. I didn’t believe the Stories I heard about that planet. But after reading my father’s Writings I do believe them now.”

     ‘According to my father’s Writings there was a big bird. I’m not sure what he called it. But it was about twice as big as others birds he had seen. And three times as mean. That bird was following them from Section by Section. There was about a hundred of them on their team. And most of them were killed by that bird. But as of this Writing my father wasn’t one of them.’

     ‘My name is Iziabella. And I am on my way to Heagon to find out what really happened to my father. But for my fellow SpaceMiners they are going there to mine. There is still some mining that needs to be done one that planet. That’s another questions that needed to be answered.’


     “Dadin, where are you?” Quamim was looking for Dadin in a Mine Tunnel.

     “I’m in Tunnel L-12.” Dadin shouted. But he didn’t stop from mining the Kalgian there. He examined a large lighted gold rock in his hand. A small light glowed from within it.

     Quamim joined Dadin a few seconds later. “What are you doing here? We were off duty two hours ago.”

     “Look what I found.” Dadin showed Quamim what he found. “It pure Kalgian. I told you I’d find it. It’s the biggest supply I have ever seen. We are going to make a fortune in Bonus Units with this find.”

     “We aren’t supposed to be here.” Quamim checked out the Kalgian rock sample. “It’s too dangerous.”

     “That’s what the ‘League of Planets Mining Company’ said. And maybe it’s true.” Dadin picked up another Kalgian rock sample. “Or maybe that’s just what they want us to believe.”

     Quamim practically had to drag Dadin out of there. And it took him almost an hour to do it. But when they reach the exit they couldn’t leave. That bird was there. It was pecking someone. “Who is it? I can’t tell.”

     Dadin tried to see who it was. But he couldn’t tell either. ‘Whoever it is they are all already dead. I just hope they were dead before that bird started pecking them.’

     “It looks like that bird is almost finished eating another miner.” Quamim and Dadin took turns peeking above the rim of the entrance into that cave opening.

     ‘I hate that bird. I’ve seen it peck to death several live Miners over the past few months.’ It was Dadin’s turn to peek. When he did – that bird was gone.

     “Did you see which direction it went? I have always wondered where it goes when it’s not killing one of us.” Quamim climbed out of the cave opening first.

     “You know I am lousy with direction. But I think it went in that way.” Dadin pointed in the direction of a mountain in the near distance. A mountain that could barely be seen by Quamim and Dadin.

     Quamim started walking in that direction. Dadin was right behind him. “You don’t have to go with me if you don’t want to.”

     “We are partners – and best friends. Where you go I go. Besides, I am tired of all the deaths. There was one hundred and ten of us when we got here. And now there are about thirty of us left.” Dadin had caught up to Quamim.

     It took them almost three hours. But they finally found that bird. Only that wasn’t the only thing that they found. They also discovered who was really behind all the deaths. It was four of the Miners.


     Iziabella was checking out some bones in the blue sand. “This isn’t my father.”

     Thamme was standing over the scattered bones of a skeleton partially buried in the sand. “How can you be so sure it’s not your father?”

     “It’s too short for one thing.” Iziabella got up and walked over to the cave opening nearby. “Besides, that’s a female.”

     “Are you sure this is where your father was last seen?” Thamme joined Iziabella by the opening.

     “According to his Writings it is. He wrote it just after he found out why that bird was killing all the miners. But he never wrote that down. I’ve always wondered why.” Iziabella was careful as she peeked into the cave opening.

     “Another dead end. Sorry about that. Bad choice of words.” Thamme was also peeking too. “Do you think he’s down there?”

     “Maybe it's not a dead end after all. The Writings were found at the base of that mountain over there.” Iziabella pointed toward the mountains. “That’s my next destination. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

     “We are best friends. Of course, I’m going too.” Thamme was right next to Iziabella.

     It took them almost four hours. But they finally found the cave toward the top of that mountain. They also found to skeletons in there. One of them with an outstretched hand near the cave opening. “I think I just found my father.”

The End?

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