- Author: Emma Hamm
Read book online «The Goblin Bride (Beneath Sands Book 1) by Emma Hamm (good short books TXT) 📕». Author - Emma Hamm
THE GOBLIN BRIDE
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Copyright © 2015 Emma Hamm
All rights reserved.
I never thought I would ever complete a book. I likely never would have without the never ending support and love from my parents. Thank you Mom for the hours upon hours of editing. Thank you Dad for being a well of creativity and support. Much love to my family and friends, here’s to book number two.
MEN STRUGGLED OUT of the mouth of the mine. Dirt smeared their faces and the helmets on their heads sagged as they were incapable of keeping them lifted. Work in the mines had always been hard, but the further they dug the more work it seemed to be. It was dangerous for anyone going Below.
It would have been easier but for the rumors of creatures underneath the earth and stone. At some point a few years ago, they had broken the seal on whatever lock had kept those beasts at bay. Miners went missing frequently with nothing but their helmets left behind to let the others know that they were gone. Some said that these men merely slipped. It was far too easy to fall into one of the crevices that seemed to have no end. Others firmly believed in the tales that somewhere in those depths were creatures that feasted upon human flesh.
They called the creatures goblins. In the years since the rumors had started, these creatures had become the horror stories of the children in the mining town of Silnarra. “The Goblins will get you,” became the threat that parents used to keep their children well behaved. No one knew what they looked like, some said they appeared to be the stuff of nightmares. However, most would agree that their eyes were black as night and their claws could rend flesh from the bone.
Work always had to continue. The mine was the only thing that kept Silnarra alive. There were no other sources of income in this cursed encampment. Those that were born here rarely left, and those that struggled to better themselves frequently found their eyes turning back towards the black caverns. Men struggled to find coin to feed their families in this world and the mine held promises of riches that kept them returning week after week.
The mine had certainly never made a rich man, but it kept people alive. Anything of value could be sold to the more privileged. People who lived in the City preferred to live in luxury. The gemstones within the mine were precious to those who had the money to buy them. It was because of this desire that the mine held fortune within it. “Just a few weeks in the mines, and you’ll strike it rich.” That was the fable on the lips of every man that walked into the pitch black.
These stones were given to the Company. Every man worked for a nameless, faceless entity that paid them. No one in the mines knew that the funds paid to families were only a fraction of the price that these stones could be sold for. There were always rumors of a more precious stone but in reality nothing was ever going to be worth the high price promised.
Find a gemstone and suddenly you were looking at a life of leisure. Of course, it all depended on the value of the rock. Until they were able to find a gemstone, the men were given a weekly stipend that was just barely enough to keep a family alive. No one wanted to pay the poor sods any more than they needed to.
It had been nearly a year since anyone had found a stone here. The Silnarra mine had once been the most prosperous mine the Company owned. Now, the gems were simply gone. The families that had found them all were either moved to a better place or the City, and no one had heard from them again. The dream of all the poor in Silnarra was to follow in their footsteps.
The words echoed in the ears of every person that needed to pick up a paycheck. Next please, keep going, move your feet! It was in this line, hearing those words every few seconds, that Jane Penderghast found herself. She had been waiting for three hours already, her feet twitching as she tried to keep herself patient.
The Penderghasts were known around these parts. Survivors, the lot of them. The eldest daughter, Jane, had a spine of steel and a hard look about her that made others nervous. The next child, Luther, kept to himself thankfully. But he thought himself too high to work in the mines, struggling as he tried to get himself into one of the Universities in the City. Little Willow was the youngest and a known pickpocket. The best of them all was their poor father, a man who had worked in the mine for nearly ten years hoping to strike it rich. He was a good man who did his best to keep his family happy. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to do so.
Well, he had been the best. Their father had met his inevitable end in the mines just two weeks prior. A cave in, all the men said. They had