The mine was a historic site. Like most of the historic sites Dad dragged us off to, it was as boring as hell. A hole in the side of a hill, some old girders, a bit of track, and heat. There was so much bloody heat.
“Imagine what this was like when it was running!” Dad said.
Mum gave a smile that had taken years to get so noncommittal.
“It was probably just as boring,” I said.
I shouldn’t start with Dad, but I was too hot and bored and dusty to care. Dad twitched a little, but didn’t lose his shit. Yet.
“Australia is a proud mining nation,” he said. “Mining history’s important.”
“It’s not even a gold mine,” I said. “The tourist sign says they used to mine zinc. Like for sun cream and old bathtubs. Who cares?”
Dad was turning red now. I’d seen it before and I knew the drill. Later I’d be telling the doctor I fell downstairs.
“The sign also says they were experimenting with new technology,” Mum said, trying to diffuse the situation. “Isn’t that interesting?”
“Yes, Marty, isn’t it?” Dad said, glaring at me. Offering me a way out, for once.
I just rolled my eyes.
Dad. Lost. It.
He went for the nearest thing to use as a weapon — a length of iron pipe extending from a pile of twisted metal garbage. He wrenched it hard, and a grinding noise began. The pile of garbage moved, shifted, and slowly — slowly resolved itself into a vast metal man, like a robot made of old girders. Dad looked up, speechless — as the thing slowly toppled onto him.
I can’t say I was sorry that he died. But on the other hand, I guess he was right.
That mine was interesting.
About the Author: BG Hilton studied English at the University of Sydney; Writing at UTS, and writes when he’s not wrangling his baby. He blogs about Frankenstein movies, the Leonard Nimoy TV series In Search Of… (aka Great Mysteries of the World) and also writes a free series of rambling soap-operatic spec-fic web stories at bghilton.com. You can also find him on Twitter @bghilton. His short stories have been published in several venues, including Andromeda Spaceways, Antipodean SF and an upcoming story on Pseudopod. His first novel, a steampunk adventure story will be coming out from Odyssey Books in the near future. He lives in Sydney, but don’t hold that against him.
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