The Decay Field

“God damn it,” I screeched.
Chunking a pile of dirt aside, it proved to do nothing more than add to a pile aside a single shovel I had abandoned an hour ago.
The dig yielded complete zero.
My partner, a rustic middle man, had given up the attempt two hours before me. The guy lounged in a folded out chair, watching and double checking maps and papers.
I sat there after a moment, let my screaming words bellow off into the distance. I pressed my hands into my numb legs. I removed the dirt stained gloves and chunked them on top of the dead pile.
No artifacts. No signs.Nothing to bring back. Nothing of worth–
I rammed my right hand deep into the dirt and started dragging buckets away from the hole.
“I don’t think we can keep on going,” my partner said. He turned another page in a notebook.
I stopped again. Loose dirt collapsed in on itself and created another sheet of work.
I kept digging anyway.
“I can’t afford to,” I said with grit. I wanted to punctuate that point. “I can’t. I won’t.”
My partner sighed loudly, intentionally to get my attention.
I continued digging–
The moment seemed passing until my hand touched warmth.
A sharp warmth. Pungent and sending shocks through my hand.
It was tiny. Elementary. Unstable. And performed zero spins deep into my palm.

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