Compensation for a Native Mineworker
This is a short story I wrote as an undergraduate at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo way back in the '90s. I wrote it for a creative writing course as an English major. I had just come back from 4 years in Africa and was very interested in understanding the travails of African workers.
Set in the 1950s, this fictional piece considers the plight of a South African mineworker who contracts silicosis, a common miner's disease brought on by breathing sharp underground dust. It destroys the lungs. I contemplate how this doomed miner might respond to his predicament and try to secure a future for his family despite the cynical compensation policy of the mining company.
The story is, quite literally, explosive.