In the dim light of the tunnel, and unseen by the eyes of the world above him, the miner swung his heavy pick at the coal-face one last time, before stopping for a short tea break. Blackened rivers of sweat, criss-crossed every inch of the muscular torso, which rippled beneath his never to be white again, string vest.
He breathed in the dust-filled air, which would eventually kill him, and reached for his flask.
In the world above him, and unseen by the eyes of the miner, the elderly Vicar, whose last sermon had been entitled, "Give thanks for ALL things," rose from his armchair, to pick up the coal-scuttle.
“That's better,” he murmured ,as he threw the fruits of another man's labour onto the fire. “Praise the Lord for coal.”

By albee, July 21, 2014*.

The miner reached for his sunday bread. Under his nails was the black coal dust he had give up trying to scrub away. The dust lay in the creases of his skin and like black dandruff in his hair, even after bath day. It settled in his lungs where it worsened his breathing bit by bit, slowly so that he thought it was the effects of natural aging rather than the mining. His father had gone the same way and his father before him. Death by respiratory failure or pneumonia was more common than heart disease.

By robertgreen, October 22, 2014.