The cry rolled out, silencing all other sounds. Wide eyes, shocking white against mud-coated faces, stared at the low flames in the Davy lamps. Tools clattered to the ground and feet pounded: Hell was coming. A young boy stood, looking back into the darkness for the other miners.
Only his voice echoed back. With a whimper, he bolted forwards.
An old miner caught him, pulling on him. "Ye cannae go, lad!" he shouted. "Rotherhithe's got 'em."
"Dad!" he screamed again, tears leaving silver streaks on his cheeks.
The old miner peered into Hell's maw for any light from dying lamps. He saw nothing, muttering truth into the boy's ear. He keened, then stiffened: the lamp at their feet guttered into a taunting wisp of smoke and light.
"Run!" the miner growled. "Stop for nowt."
He fled, and the miner smiled, even as blue wisps danced for him.