Jane Roberts, award winning flash fiction author, provides the first instalment to our Flash Fiction Week series with Mining the Pages Not Printed. Jane Roberts‘ short fiction has been published in multiple anthologies; in 2013 she the Bloomsbury Writers’ and Artists’ Flash Fiction prize.
There were those who went to war, now immortalised in some form: by shiny plaques on home turf and abroad; a reference in a memoir; a statistic in a government report; a greening-copper statue of an Unknown Soldier, unknown, yet physically present. All these things perpetuated by future cohorts and simultaneously disintegrating over time; nevertheless, with these small tokens they are written into history and remembered.
But at home, there were those whose gritty industry also contributed – burrowing deep, returning into the foul sulphuric-smelling belly of Mother Earth – and became, not lost, but concealed from record. The unexcavated pages of a forgotten genealogy, unread in the modern age where machines’ efforts rule the epicentre of all things human. Beneath this man-made rubble is an entombed library of suffering; the plaintive ululations etched – sharply – into the shock-absorbing rock amongst tangled up, fossilised history.
Often a peacetime death for these persons, yet without peace. Often without more of a comment on their passing than the birdsong chattering a good distance above the now undisturbed ossuary of Terra Firma.
*In memory of those who toiled – during war and peace – beneath the ground, the miners of our combined countries.
Mining the Pages Not Printed by Jane Roberts is part of a Wales Arts Review series publishing original flash fiction pieces by some of Wales’ top authors in a celebration of the unique literary genre and National Flash Fiction Day.