#29PlaysLater Brief 18 | Unfathomable

architecture blocks blue sky bridge
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Night.
 
The audience is driven to a site in the middle of nowhere, in an unmarked mini bus. The driver doesn’t talk to them or acknowledge their presence.
 
After about 3 hours, the driver parks and opens the door to the bus.
 
Driver (indicating a dark shed): Go there.
 
The audience walk to the shed. The door is locked. The driver in the mini bus drives off. Eventually, if the audience knock hard enough, the Foreman comes to unlock the door.
 
Foreman: In.
 
The audience enter the shed. There are pegs, each with the name of the audience, an orange coverall, a hard hat with a light, a thick wool coat and steel toe boots.
 
Foreman: Get dressed. Shout when you’re done.
 
The Foreman goes out. He can be seen through the window having a cigarette. He coughs.
 
The audience change into the gear. They shout when they are finished.
 
The Foreman re-enters.
 
Foreman: Follow me.
 
The Foreman leads the audience out to a lift. He presses a button, calling the lift to the surface. He opens the grill.
 
Foreman: In.
 
The audience all get in. The Foreman follows slamming the gate behind them. He presses another button and it goes down a long narrow shaft underground.
 
Eventually the lift grinds to a halt.
 
The Foreman opens the gate.
 
He steps out and switches on his head torch.
 
Foreman: Out. Turn on your light.
 
The audience walk out, turning on their head torches.
 
The Foreman reaches for the lift button, sending it back to the surface.
 
The Foreman hauls a huge tub of picks and hands them out to the audience.
 
Foreman: Dig.
 
The Foreman goes to the walls and starts to chip away. The audience join.
 
The audience work together to fill carts of the chipping from the walls which they send back up in the lift.
 
Every so often a Overseer comes down to check on progress and deliver necessities – food, water, blankets. They also measure the progress. Literally, with a tape measure. No matter how much the audience has dug, it’s not enough to be allowed to leave.
 
Hours, then days, the weeks and months go by. The audience begins to develop chest problems as dust and coal fills their lungs. The lucky ones are taken back to the surface for medical attention. They are bought back down once recovered.
 
Sometime the walls cave in. People die. The audience have to dig more to recover the bodies.
 
If anyone tries to leave, the Foreman shoots them, before returning the body to the surface in the lift.
 
Months turn to years. As audience members die, their bodies are carried out by overseers to be replaced by new audiences.
 
No matter how much everyone digs, it’s never enough.
 
It never ends.

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