Diamond Dreams
(A Minecraft story)

Crack! The handle of his iron pick splintered with a loud, startling crack that reverberated through the solid stone tunnel he was mining in. He tossed the worthless pieces of wood and iron casually to the ground, where they joined the littered piles of cobblestone debris. He carefully withdrew several large splinters from his calloused hands before retrieving a new pickaxe from his back pack.

“They just don’t make iron pickaxes like they used to,” he muttered to himself.

He knew he was close to pay dirt; he could feel it deep inside. He had already found traces of coal and iron; sure signs that his quarry was close at hand. He sneezed violently as the dust and grit stirred by his mining tickled the hairs of his nose. He sneezed again for good measure then wiped the dust from his face with a sweaty hand.

Through the stone walls he could hear the sound of bubbling molten lava melting away the earth’s rocky crust. He instinctively double checked that his trusty, life-saving bucket of water was at hand; ready to douse any burning flesh should he accidentally unleash the fiery liquid death. He would need to exercise extreme caution from hereon in.

His back ached, but with every swing of his pickaxe he put his full force behind the blow, chipping away large chunks of cobble with each strike. The clanging and scrapping sounds were audible from nearly a quarter mile away. His biceps and triceps bulged with power from years of laborious toiling behind these manual tools. Another block of stone gave way beneath the forceful blow of the iron implement, crumbling to bits and pieces and sending forth another cloud of minute stone particles into the stifling air filling the tunnel.

After several more minutes of breaking blocks and clearing a path forward, the pick burst through the rock suddenly, nearly flying from his hand at the loss of expected resistance, causing him to partially stumble over as he shifted his weight with the thrusting blow. A wave of heat wafted through the gap in the rock face, and the distinct glow of lava illuminated the cavern within. He quickly worked to widen the gap into a hole and then widen that into an opening and widen that until he could comfortable make his way into the newly discovered grotto.

With blazing torch outstretched before him, he cautiously stepped through the gapping opening into the musty smelling cavern, quickly surveying the dark recesses for any signs of trouble. Seeing no signs of immediate danger he began the task of placing torches around the area to add a little light to the situation.

“Redstone!” he exclaimed as the first torch reflected red off some ore in the floor. It was quickly followed by the cry of “Lapis!” and “More Iron!” as more torches were placed strategically around the area.

The room was a veritable treasure trove of valuable ores, yet the most valuable of all was not to be found. Still he had that unexplained sense that what he sought was so close, like the proverbial word on the tip of your tongue. It was at that moment that a blue-green sparkle caught his eye from behind some gravel and his skin tingled and goose bumps formed on his forearm.

His eyes grew wise and his jaw dropped in disbelief as he counted the blocks of diamond ore. He tried to shout for joy but no sound issued from his mouth. He could swear that angels were calling his name!

“Taskmaster… Hey Taskmaster… Task!”

The diamonds disappeared in a flash and he lifted his head groggily off his desk. “Huh? What?”

“Dude, you fell asleep on your keyboard and drooled all over it,” scolded his coworker. “Have you been staying up all night playing that silly Minecraft game again?”

Taskmaster nodded slowly and closed his eyes… the diamonds reappeared and he greedily excavated them from the surrounding stone…

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