Root of Fire

Sometimes I wish I had stayed awake that night
Now all the sleep I get can’t wipe the memory of that night from my mind.

That night
As I settled in for the night shift I sipped my coffee
The frigid winds
Blankets sweeping across the harsh mountainous land
And winter’s frosty arrows
Pierced the inky darkness outside

A confetti of snow and hail
Buffeted against the doors of the cabin
But inside
Darkness gave way
To warm
Fuzzy light

A shadow appeared
Walking closer
It was Jen

“Have we done the survey yet? We need to start drilling, and we’ll have to start soon, otherwise we’ll never meet the quota in time.”

Too tired, maybe the coffee was too weak
Sleepy eyelids, with leaden weights hanging

Glancing down at the excavation below

Fiery red,
Vents of yellow-red Lava, bits of a Phoenix
Strewn everywhere

Miners, workers, builders
Hm. It looks like they completed surveying, I thought.
I forgot that survey equipment was broken.

“Cleared. Begin drilling.”

Thus done. Slipping off into sleep
Borne along ceaselessly by the magnetic current
Of fatigue
Carrying me to places
Where the grass is greener


A big sound.
Out of nowhere,
It was a Titan of old
It was Atlas or Hercules
Shaking the very pillars of the world

A bright light
Slapping the dark in the face
Kicking my eyes in the nuts

The walls shook and the roof shook
And everything shook
And the cabin
Suddenly flipped over

Knocked my head
Got up,
Blood dripping everywhere

Staggering to the entrance
Wounded, limping,
Lady Luck
Saved me that day

Sometimes I wish I had stayed awake that night
Now all the sleep I get can’t bring those dead workers

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