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Anise shoved at the heavy skid, ignoring the sweat pooling between her skin and the gray coveralls she wore. A glance over her shoulder at the fading light hurried her along. The water would be coming back soon.
For the first time since she’d come to Persephone, indentured for an impossible sum, she had some hope. The rise and fall of the ocean tides had hidden this cave from every other miner in her camp. They’d stuck close to the well-mapped tunnels, preferring safety over the chance of a finding a big strike.
She was after something bigger, something that could fund a trip back to her homeworld.
The ground shifted under her boots, restless and rumbling.
“Time to go,” she muttered. She’d found some good stones, nothing that would catch any undue attention, but enough to offset what she was charged for her tiny tent and two meals in the mess.
As she turned, the toe of her boot caught on the edge of the skid, tumbling her down the slope of the natural shaft she’d been working. Her light bounced away as she landed in a heap.
“Perfect…that’s just PERFECT!” her scream of frustration echoed endlessly and followed her to the corner of the small gallery she’d landed in. She bent over to pick up her wayward light when a flash of red had her knees going weak, and she sat down hard on the smooth rock.
"Persephone’s Tears.” Her shaking hand reached out to pry the first of the three glowing stones from the porous rock they’d been born in. A Tear the size of a grain of sand could pay an indentured’s way home, and cradled in her palm were three stones the size of a baby’s fingernail.
She was going home.
This post was written in response to a prompt from Write On Edge with a 300 word limit:
“The cure for anything is salt water….sweat, tears or the sea.”If you are going with Fiction, have your character resolve a problem using one of the three (or all three!!!).
~ Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke
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