A small snippet from an inspirational and religious novel about growing up poor in Appalachia. Our main character is a young girl, who has just watched the town mine collapse, with her father inside.
Young Adult (18-35)
North American, US Appalachia, US General American (GenAm)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
her daddy would have been working for hours in the mind by now, she reckoned, rarely stopping to take a drink and pouring sweat as the coal dust sank deep into his clothes and even deeper into his lungs. Irma had never actually seen the inside of red ash mine, but envisioned it being dark and all closed in kind of akin to being buried out in the field, like her uncle john who had died of pneumonia during the cold, wet month of december. Just as the child stooped to pick up her baby brother, she heard a deafening roar, then immediately sensed a vibration shoot unswervingly through her body. Everything within a mile of red ash was trembling as Irma's head jerked to look at her mama mama grab the baby, her mama cried, dropping the last of the clean clothes onto the ground. She took off, running down the hill. Irma could see women and Children rushing from all over the tiny mining town as the red clay mud from the path sprayed up onto their legs. She held her baby brother tight, clutched in her right arm and joined the procession of panicked neighbors desperately hurrying to the mouth of the coal mine. She could hear the screams again and again as she followed the crowd. The screams were not coherent words because there were no words for this. As the mine came within sight, she paused to see the black coal dust forming a plume as it rose to the sky. The sight caused her body to tremble with fear. She inched closer and closer, weaving her way through the onlookers, urgently searching for her mama, she saw her daddy far in the distance, standing beside a dozen other men and for a split second she felt a weight lift from her shoulders. The man standing in front of her daddy crept down and disappeared into the vent of the mine. A scream tore out of Irma's throat. Daddy Toko! She pleaded as she saw him stoop his head and vanish deep into the pit of the mountain. Irma could hear the women praying as her mama sunk to her knees and clutched her and Jeremiah into her arms. Why did daddy go back in there, Mom? She asked, between deep, uncontrollable sobs. He had to help the other men. Her mama told her as she stroked the young child's hair quick cry. And Irma, your daddy's gonna be fine. The women, Children and older folks stood at the edge of red ash mine as the sun went down and a slice of moon came up to replace it. Irma closed her eyes and drifted in and out of sleep, disturbed only by the prayers being sent up to God. She startled when the second explosion of flame shot out of the drift mouth and tossed people mules and timber down the hillside toward New River, Please God, her mama started screaming as she shielded her Children's faces from the blast. It took 10 days for them to find Irma's daddy along with 23 other men and her tears tangled with the raindrops as she watched them bury her hero in the murky field beside her uncle john.
Child, Damsel In Distress, Mother, Storyteller, Authentic, Folksy, Narrator, Ominous, Panicky, Sad, Terrified, Youthful, Emotional, North American, US Appalachia, US General American (GenAm)