Sunday, 6 September 2015


by John Xero

Kilometres of rock over our heads and still we dig.

Maddie fell five cycles back. You could barely see her hair’d gone grey for all the dirt, but you could see it in her face, her eyes.

Only time I think I ever cried. Not while anyone could see, course.

Only time I ever called her Ma out loud too. Wish I’d done it while she could still hear me. Ain’t no space for wishes down here though. Barely the space to swing a pick.

I asked once, “Why?”

“Dig,” they snarled, spittle flying past cracked tusks. “Deeper.”

Always deeper.

John Xero revels in brevity. @xeroverse &

Deeper is part of 101 Fiction issue 9.

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