I remember my first day down in this hell hole. I was just like him, a terrified kid who had to grow up too fast. My lungs burned from the dust, my muscles ached, and when I finally emerged from the black pit I could hardly recognize myself. I could taste nothing but coal for weeks. Now my lungs have gotten used to the air down here and my muscles have becomes accustomed to this type of work.

By shoal, February 4, 2016.

I watched my brother bow his head to the blackened ground and draw a cross over his chest. It was his first day at the mines and only a week after our dear father was lost in an accident. Now Bernard had to take over as the bread-winner and this was the only industry for miles around. He stepped into the blackness and was swallowed instantly, only the dim light he held kept me from thinking he'd vanished. Then before i knew it my feet were pounding over the coal dust and into the shaft after him. The cold dirty air invaded my lungs and stung my eyes. Underfoot was rough, I tripped and called out, my childish voice echoing off the walls. Then he was there, pulling me to my feet and then up into his arms, carrying me back toward the blinding light at the end.


The claustrophobic tunnels, foul air, suffocating darkness on all sides. But after my father and several other miners were killed in an explosion, I could barely force myself onto the elevator.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, April 28, 2012.

Found in Catching Fire, authored by Suzanne Collins.

Buy her amazing book