By Mark Harris


A miner is trapped by a tunnel collapse. While waiting for rescue, he debates issues of life and death with himself. Based on a true story.


Narrator (voice only)
Voice of God


Blackened jumpsuite, face smudged with black, hardhat with a headlamp attached.


Head lamp, small flashlight, 2 large rocks that won’t break when struck together,  time slides, slide of a headline that reads: “One Body Recovered in Bellah Sue Mine”, slide of a picture of a black rock with a fish symbol etched in white.


Narrator: July 28, 2002. Lord, I thank you for hearing our prayers for the nine miners. There were so many things that could have gone wrong - the water level could have left no air pocket, the air could have become so foul with deadly levels of carbon monoxide, they literally could have frozen to death. The tunnel that was to rescue them could have collapsed or it could have collapsed the shaft they were in, or it may have taken so long to dig that it would have been too late. I know you held them in your hands and protected them, then you guided the rescuers to them through hundreds of feet of dirt and solid rock.
(Scene: stage is dark and stays dark as if in a cave. The only light comes from the miner’s headlamp and flashlight. At the end, a single stage light shines down on the miner. Miner enters with his head lamp on.)
Miner: (shines light on his watch) Almost 5:00! I can’t wait to get home, Susan’s cooking my favorite dish tonight.
Sound Effects: There is a low rumble that quickly builds to an explosion sound, sound of water flowing.
Miner: (shouts) Cave in! (starts running toward the other end of the stage)
(Miner falls and head lamp goes out. Rumbling fades out. It’s quiet and dark)
Time slide: Day 1 - 5:05pm.
(The body is seen lying still)
Time slide: Day 1 - 5:38pm.
Miner: (regains consciousness, groans) Huh, What, what happened? (tries to get up but screams in pain) Oh man, I think my leg is broke! Oh great, my light's out, too. Don’t panic, panic will kill you down here. They must have hit a methane pocket in #9 and that caused this tunnel to partially collapse. I hope the rest of the crew is all right. Wait, I think I put a mini-lite in one of these pockets. Ah, there it is, (small light comes on and he shines it on his leg). Yep, it's broke all right. OK, OK, stay calm. Breath slowly, conserve oxygen. I need to let them know I’m alive. (bangs two rocks together repeatedly)
Slide: Day 1 -  8:05pm
Miner: What’s that? (sound of water) Oh no, the shaft is flooding. Dear God, what am I going to do. I can’t even move. If I don’t run out of air first, I’ll drown. I hope they’re looking for me. (bangs the rocks a few times) I wonder if Susan knows yet? I wish I could see her, touch her, hold her one more time. I am so tired, I think I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes.
Slide: Day 2 - 1:25am
Miner: Oh man, my leg hurts and my feet are so cold! (turns on his mini-lite and shines at his feet) The water’s up to my knees, how long was I out? (shines light on his watch and turns it off) 1:25 in the morning. Well, at least the water seems to have stopped. They must be pumping it out. (bangs the rocks a few times - silence)
Slide: Day 2 - 1:55pm
Miner: You know God, Susan tried to tell me about you and Jesus, but I wouldn't listen. There was always another day, another tomorrow. I remember my Sunday school teacher telling me how much you loved me and what you did for me on the cross but I didn't listen to her either. Well, you’ve got my attention now. Just like there is nothing I can do to save myself now, there is nothing I can do to get to heaven. I don’t know if I’m doing this right Lord, but you know my heart. Jesus, I’m a sinner but I believe that you are the son of God and you lived a sinless life here on earth and you gave your life on the cross for me. Thank you for saving me. Amen. I am so cold and sleepy, Lord. Please be with Susan and little Johnny. If I don’t make it, please let them know somehow that I became a Christian. I’m so tired....
Slide: Day 3 - 4:45am
(miner has passed out - spotlight shines down on him and he wakes up)
Miner: What, what’s going on? I, I can’t believe it, they’ve found me! (shouts) Hey, I’m here... I’m right here!
Voice of God: Come home my son.
(Miner stands - looks at his leg which is not broken anymore, then looks up and raises his arms toward heaven.)
Miner: I’m ready Lord.
(Lights out.)
Slide: (Headline) One Body Recovered in Bellah Sue Mine.
Slide: Picture of a fish symbol etched in white on a black rock.
Copyright 2002 Mark Harris. All rights reserved. This script may not be altered without express written permission from the copyright holder. This script may be freely copied, distributed and performed provided it is done so in its entirety. This copyright information must be reproduced on all copies of the script. In return for free use, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at