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Digging For Gold – A Short Story

The house wasn’t a home without him in it. A lifetime of several months had passed since the mud thick black boots were last kicked off by the door and the barely-visible yellow of his hard hat was dumped unceremoniously on the high top table by the stable door at the back of the house. A lifetime of several months since “The pressure that far down is immense…” and “Even if a hundred men dug at the spot for ten years…” had last rang out. With the help of neighbours who knew him well, and had looked on sympathetically at the family minus its vital component, brick by brick the house was brought to the ground, and its parts loaded onto the back of flatbed trucks. There, on the patch of ground high above the spot where the earth had swallowed him whole, the family, the neighbours, and a horde of curious onlookers started from scratch. Miles from anywhere and anyone the last brick was laid. Some of the hundred or so people wept and waved as she closed the door on the world outside. Over the years hundreds more would claim they were there.

Grief is not a science. Mourning cannot be calculated by units of time. We choose to deal with these moments in our lives in ways that we see fit; Searching for reasoning in places it never shows up, asking blindly for explanations and hearing nothing in response, digging for gold and coming up with nothing but the dirt on your hands.

In loving memory.

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