This was written as a writing exorcize for the February 8, 2012 meeting of the Vernon Area Writers' Support Group. It has been transcribed here with only spelling mistakes being fixed.
The description for the exorcize read: "It's spring. Your character is walking out of doors and sees the burgeoning trees and flowers, hears the birdsong. But the character's reaction to all this newness and freshness is not what you would expect..."
It had seemed like such a long time being stuck in that pit, the darkness, the closeness, the press of the other miners, of the rough rock walls. To emerge into this picturesque spring day was exactly what they had all talked about as hours became days, as the canteens ran dry and their throats became coated in dust and grit. Hadn't David talked about walking out into the sun and praising any deity that would listen? And Tony wouldn't shut up about the first thing he was going to eat when they were finally dug free.
Clarence had gone along with all of it, had his dream of dunking his head into a barrel full of icy water. And then there was that jar of shine he'd been saving for a special occasion.
But as they emerged into the light and openness it was all wrong. The birds were too loud. The media people with their cameras and shouted questions. It was too much. Clarence drifted back toward the hole.