Thirty men had died in a mining explosion exactly ten years before. The widow laid the rose on her husband’s grave, but she didn’t notice the prick to her finger and drop of blood on the hot restless soil. Under the full moon, the first body clawed to the surface, the scent irresistible. Others followed, young men with hollow eyes, hungry for life stolen by the volatile earth.
The air hissed into vacant graves. The dirt filled its lungs with oxygen, and the coal seam ignited.
The bodies howled with haunted memories as the flames of destiny reclaimed their dead.
Author bio: E. M. Eastick was born and raised in northern Australia. She recently moved to Colorado after years of travelling and working as an environmental professional in Britain, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates. Her creative efforts can be found in the Literary Hatchet, Splickety Prime, and Mad Scientist Journal.
Reclaimed is part of 101 Fiction issue 10.