A warm breeze drifted over the busy canyon, it was almost lunchtime on the hot June day. The miners had worked frm six that morning, and were ready for a break. As the whistle blew to signal lunch, a piercing scream was heard in the distance. By the time the mine owner had arrived at the site, a crowd had gathered around a recently collapsed mine shaft. As the manager looked down he saw a hand poking through the rubble, upon closer inspection it appeared to be the hand of a woman.
The first police officers to arrive, crept down into the shaft to inspect the body, the first officer looked to his partner, and shook his head. Peter knew this was a sign that the woman was dead. The body was removed from the rubble and taken to the mortuary, where a surgeon could distinguish the cause of death. The miners looked down into the hole, each one puzzled as to how the woman had managed to fall to her death. The manager ordered the miners to continue with their work. The cause was decided as accidental, the case was never investigated any further, attempts had been made to discover the origin of the woman, or trace and relations but nothing was ever found. Life around the mine started to continue as normal, then one by one the miners started to disappear, bears and head hunters were blamed for the odd disappearances, but soon there were only five men left working on the mine. The five would soon become four before the day was over.
Oliver had worked on the mine since it had first opened, he was waiting for the opportunity to speak to the owner asking for a possible raise as he had three children and a wife to support, and a miners' wages weren't much. After finishing his lunch, Oliver made his way to the manager's cabin. He knocked once on the door and waited patiently. He had hoped to hear the shuffling footsteps of his employer by now, but nothing was heard, he noticed that the door was slightly ajar, he nudged the door lightly with his right hand, and peeked round the corner.
He looked over to the manager's desk; he noticed his chair was turned away, facing the wall, in a clear voice Oliver said, 'Excuse me sir, I'm here about my wages' Oliver had never been very good at making himself heard, moving a little closer to the managers chair, he said in a louder voice, 'I'd like to talk to you about the rise we had discussed' Again nothing, believing that his manager had chosen to ignore him out of rudeness, he motioned toward his manager to shake him, to see if he was sleeping, or being rude. As Oliver crept closer, a sense of dread loomed over him soon he would realise why his boss hadn't answered him.
He placed on hand on his shoulder, his boss felt oddly cold despite the heat of the cabin, Oliver swung the chair round to face him. Oliver startled by his discovery, stepped back in horror, his boss was sat slumped in the chair, a gaping hole in his chest, and a blooded pick axe lay near by. Oliver ran to the door, pulling quickly on the handle, shaking his head as if to shake the image out of his mind. The door was stuck, he pulled on the battered wooden door, hoping at least to pull it off its hinges if not open it first, but nothing worked. Oliver stopped suddenly as he heard a dense thud on the floor behind him. Dreading looking over his shoulder for fear of what he
would find, but frozen to the spot, he heard another thud hit the floor.
Oliver's hands clasped tightly over the handle of the door, if only he could let go. He caught himself breathing heavily as if he had been running, he cut himself short as he heard something scrape along the edge of the table. Glued to the spot with no means of escape, Oliver had to swallow his fear and turn around. Oliver could only see darkness, no longer a table or the other walls of the cabin just darkness, startled by the thought of becoming blind, he realised he had shut his eyes. Your so dumb Oliver, he thought it's probably only a mouse the whole mine is crawling with them. Oliver smiled to himself, comforted in the fact that he had been afraid of a mouse, but then if it was only a mouse, why were his eyes still closed. Oliver slowly opened one eye, than the other, he found himself staring directly at his boss's desk and chair, which now was empty.
Feeling a sudden urge and need to escape the cabin, he contemplated other methods of escape; he knew the only way was through the door. Raspy breathing suddenly interrupted his line of thought. He could feel someone behind him, someone's breath on the back of his neck. A heavy hand landed on his shoulder, the
raspy breathing stopped, 'I'd like you to do something for me' The voice behind him said, Oliver too afraid to speak stood there transfixed by the past events 'I'd like you to tell everyone about me, let them know who I am and that I'm coming back'
Trembling, Oliver asked, 'Wh- who are you?' A raspy cackle replied to Oliver's question, 'You don't remember me do you? No one remembers, they all forgot. I remember, I'm not going until everyone knows the truth' Shaken by the voice's remark Oliver asks, 'The truth about what?' 'How I came to be, the reason I am here, he must be punished' The grip tightened on Oliver's shoulder, 'You are going to help me' The cold hand moved across to the side of Oliver's neck, Oliver shivered.
'That is of course you don't want to help me' Oliver pulled away from the hand; he turned to face who had grabbed him.
Oliver's eyes widened, he stumbled back against the desk. Holding his chest, his heart beating furiously, he looked up to face his boss. The corpse looked down at Oliver, slowly bent down, and picked up the axe resting beside the door, 'Are you going to help me?' Asked the corpse, Oliver didn't recognise the voice it was unlike his boss's it was deeper, and dry. 'Time is up I'm afraid, good bye Oliver' With the corpses final remark, the arms pulled the axe down into Oliver's body; blow after blow the corpse hacked away at the body, before collapsing into a heap on the floor.
The final whistle blew outside it was time to return home. The remaining
miners, got into their cars, and started to drive home. Each miner wondering what
had happened to Oliver, and who would be next. Peter arrived at the cabin early the next day; the miners had discovered the body of Oliver whilst looking for the manager who had disappeared. From the condition of the body peter had decided the murderer was angry, and very strong, the weapon had also not been found, peter knew it was some form of sharp object with a point at one end. Peter had no leads, and no other clues. Several years later the mine re-opened, another manager was appointed to the mine, and more miners where hired.
Oliver's wife Clara had mourned her husband's death until she took her own life after killing her two sons who reminded her of Oliver, telling locals he would talk to her at night, taunting her. Her early departure left her two fostered sons, who were the site manager's boys. To live with their grandparents, Simon the youngest of the two died in a car accident, leaving only one son James. The disappearances of the miners had stopped, everything seemed as though it was back to normal.
One cold evening in September, James was working late in one of the mines, he heard someone calling for help, it sounded like a young woman, James wondered
how she had got into the mines. He stopped digging to hear for the cries for help. The cries continued, he could hear them coming from the collapsed mine shaft at the end of the dig site; no one had been there since the accident. James walked over to the sectioned off area, and looked down into the hole, he could see the shadow of someone in the hole. James ran to get a rope to lower himself down into the shaft. James tied one end around an unearthed boulder, and slowly lowered himself down into the crevice. Once he reached the bottom, he peered around in the darkness hoping to catch sight of the woman. He caught a glimpse of a shadow; it didn't look like a woman's shadow though, looked like a tall man, carrying some form of digging tool. Ah a miner, James thought. Odd I thought I was the only one working here tonight.
James felt something brush past his arm, a mouse? The entire mine was crawling with them, did feel larger than a mouse though. James squinted his eyes to
try to make sense of a shape standing no more than three feet in front of him, as the shape moved closer, he caught sight of the gaping mouth, and the half open eyes of a long since dead corpse. He looked down and saw a gaping hole in his chest, unable to speak or move. James stood there staring. 'I've waited a long time for you' Spoke the rotted corpse, 'A very long time' James backed away from the corpse, soon his back hit the wall he knew he had no escape. 'This is where he pushed me' James's looking confused, asked, 'Who brought you here?' The corpse laughed, it's degrading body trembling as it laughed, 'When I was alive, I was pushed down here, I screamed for help but no one came, not even your father' Something clicked in James head, his father had worked at the mine, he was too young to remember what he looked like, he remembered going to live with his
auntie, who had told him that his father and his uncle had died in an accident at work. James had gone to live with his grandparents in Fort Lyon before moving back to Pina springs, to find work at the mine. 'Who are you?' Asked James, ' I am the spirit of your mother' Shocked by this James fell backwards, hitting his head as he fell, 'Let me show you' Whispered the soft voice of his mother.
James found himself looking out over the mine, it looked as though it had only just started, he could see people mining for gold, and miners in the background about to go for their lunch. James looked over to a small cabin, he could hear an argument inside, he looked through the small window in the side to see a young woman, being hit by a strong looking burly man. He couldn't make out what they where saying over the commotion of the miners digging, he watched the door fly open and the man dragging the woman across to the now deserted area of the mine, he followed them. 'I can't believe you did this to me Nancy, after all I've done for you' Shouted the man, 'I took this job to support you and our two children, now u tell me one of
them isn't even mine?' The woman fell to her knee's as if begging or forgiveness, 'I didn't, he raped me. I've tried to tell you for so long' The man didn't look convinced,
'You honestly think id believe that my best friend would rape you?' The woman began to sob into her hands, looking up at the man as if to plead with him, James felt his heart sink, he realised that was his mum. The man bent down beside Nancy,
'This will be the last time I ever hear about you cheating on me.' With that he pushed her down into the mine, the sudden weight on the support beams caused the mine shaft to collapse, the woman screamed as the walls fell down on top of her. Her hand still reaching out from the debris as if she were asking for help. James turned to see the miners' rush over, and the man disappear behind the cabin.
The vision went dark and James found himself alone in the mine, confused by what he had seen, he believed he had hit his head too hard and passed out, as he stood up he was confronted by a spirit, whom looked exactly like the woman in his vision. The spirit floated close to James and said, 'Now you know the truth about what happened to me, I can move on. I have avenged my death by killing those responsible, now my spirit is free, thank you' With that the spirit disappeared into the darkness. James stood in the mine recalling the past events through his mind. He was startled to hear a car engine above his head. Soon light filled the hole, he looked up and saw peter.
Once out of the hole, James got into Peter's car and they drove off. Peter asked if he had seen the spirit the locals claimed to abduct miners.
'There's no such thing as ghosts' James replied.