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  1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Manchester, England

    Short Story Contest (46): Theme - 1st Person Narrative - 'You Are A Wall'

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, May 30, 2009.

    Short Story Contest 46
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: 1st Person Narrative - 'You Are A Wall'​

    Open to all, newbies and established members alike. Please post your entries as replies to this thread. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a seperate thread. Sadly there are no prizes but honour on offer. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner.

    Theme: 1st Person Narrative - 'You Are A Wall' (courtesy of member LordKyleOfEarth). Any interpretation valid.

    Suggested Wordlimit: 500 - 3000 words.
    Deadline for entries: June 13th 2009 10.00 am (UK local)

    If you would like to prepare entries in advance, the next contest will be themed '1st Person Narrative - I Wish I Were Someone Else' (themotions), and the one after that, 'Comedy (an open topic)' (themotions). Do not submit an entry to any of these contests until instructed to do so.

    There is a 10% leniency with regards to the wordlimit. Please try to stick within the limit. Any piece outside of the suggested limit will still be entered into the contest but flagged as such, and eligibility determined by vote alone.

    Try to make all your entries complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece seeming outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece manner to decide its legitamacy for the contest.

    Submissions may not have been previously posted on this site, nor may they be posted for review until voting has closed. Only one entry per contest please.

    Please try to refrain from itallicising, bolding, colouring or indenting any text to help avoid disappointment. These stylistics do not reproduce when I copy-paste them into the voting thread.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    If there are any questions, please leave me a visitor message or PM me. Please do not clog up this, or any other thread, with your questions.

    Thanks and good luck.
  2. Time Glitch

    Time Glitch New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Title: I am a wall.
    Word Count: [894]

    I am a wall.

    I am an un-moving blockade. A rigid, hard structure that does not bend with the breeze. I do not age. I am eternal. Nothing may break me. Nothing may tear me down. Try as you might, I remain. I keep you here because you want to be here. Though you struggle, though you claw and bite until your teeth shatter and your hands cake with blood, you want me here.

    You need me.

    You need me to keep you safe from the demons that lie beyond. You need me to keep you from losing yourself. You need me because without me, you are nothing. You are not who you thought you were. You would change.

    And change terrifies you.

    What lies beyond me is not known to you. You have never seen it, felt it, or even heard of it. All you know is that it is unknown. It is totally alien. So, why do you want it so badly? Why would you fight me, the one thing that is certain in your life, to get at that which is not known? It does not make sense. You do not make sense. Inside my womb, you know your place. You know your world. It is constant. It is real.

    So why do you fight?

    Why do you fight me? I am a barrier against pain and uncertainty. A friend in the howling dark. A shield against the wind. All I am is your friend. All I have ever been is your friend, a part of you that you have always known is there. A part of you that for so long has protected you against the evil, the sickness, and the disease that lies behind my structure. I am your protector. I am your guardian. I am your savior!

    So why, little one? Why?


    I understand now.

    Even you do not know why. You do not know what I block you from, what I prevent you from seeing, but you want it. It is because I am here that you fight against me. You want so desperately to find something that regardless of what I have done for you all these years, you would tear me down to find it. You would destroy all that you know, change all that you are, for this one thing.

    But you don’t even know what it is!

    It is not right! It is not sane! Why would you throw all you know away for something you do not know what is? Why would you take such a risk? Why would you gamble so much on so little? I know what is beyond, and you do not want it!

    Let me help you.

    Let me keep you safe, and guide you. Do not listen to this madness. Do not listen to the shouting, crying sounds of your own mind. They are but small, meaningless voices designed to lead you astray from your path: The path I have chosen for you. Listen to my voice, and heed my guidance. You will be safe here. You will be content here.


    Why do you ask about this? It does not matter whether or not you are happy. It matters that things stay as they are. That the world not change, and that things continue as they are. Without consistency, there is nothing but chaos. I provide safety, protection, and serenity. I am constant. I am forever. And within me you too shall share in my gifts. My blessing to you, little one, is consistency: Assurance that things will forever stay constant, and things will never change. You will be content here, knowing that all things in this world are safe. You will know every aspect of your life, from beginning to end. You will know clearly the events that will come to pass, and I shall prepare you for them. There shall be nothing that is unexpected, and therefore, nothing that will upset you. You will be perfectly content, and I will be the vessel that brings you there.

    You refuse me.

    I demand explanation.


    You want that which is uncertain! You do not know of this! You do not know with full confidence that this is what you will find! All you know is what I have given you. All you know is the world you are in. I tell you now, that all that is outside is chaos, ignorance, and uncertainty! I fend off the very fires of Hell itself for you, and all you want is to tear me down and let those demons consume you?! You are mad! You are insane!


    Do not do this. All I have done, I have done for you.

    Because you want me to, because there is a part of you that has always wanted me to. If you take up your hammer, and strike me down, there is nothing left to protect you. Nothing left to defend you from the evil things in this world. Nothing left for you to hide behind. Do not abandon yourself for that which you do not know. Do not abandon all that is constant, all that is real, and all that defines your world for something you know nothing of. Do not abandon that. Do not abandon me.


    I am a wall.
  3. jonathan hernandez13

    jonathan hernandez13 Contributor Contributor

    May 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Mount Vernon New York
    The Wall (warning for violence)

    The Wall
    [2003 words]

    I stood, and as I did, rubble and debris fell from my alloy chassis. At my full height I was almost as tall as the broken, pocketed building that surrounded me. Downtown New Berlin must have been a beautiful city once, before the war. I performed a few quick scans in the various spectrums to check the perimeter. Before me laid the corpses and the broken bits of the enemy equipment I destroyed, all littering the road that I protected like some kid’s toys out in their mamma’s lawn. The separatist rebels would come again, and when they did, I would plug their hides just like I did to their chums. They wouldn’t get past me, around me, or through me. I was an immovable object, I was a wall.

    For some reason I began to daydream, lapsing back into old thinking, human thinking. I thought about being a boy in my home town in Illinois, and about running through my grandma’s wooded tract by her old house, and building a tree-house, and pretending it was a superhero headquarters. I skipped forward to High School and my fight with that six foot tall clown, Jody, and the girl he stole from me. I thought about walking into the recruiter’s office, seeing the immaculate blue uniform of some Aerospace Marine Gunny, and shipping out from the spaceport that same month for basic training on the Moon. I thought about my first deployment, my first fire fight, and my last battle.

    I nearly got blown in half by those colonists at the battle of Epsilon Eridani. There wasn’t much left of me except for a torso and half a limb. The docs did something to me, put my brain in a giant, nuclear powered gorilla suit bristling with guns. Someone turned me on, and I became their weapon, and I’ve been fighting for the Alliance ever since. I hardly paused a second to give my past any thought, why should I?

    An aircraft flew overhead, low altitude, low visibility. I scanned it for a friendly signal, it was one of ours. I let it pass, probably a scout or a transport, bound for somewhere else, someplace besides the road, and not of my concern. I didn’t bother trying to signal it because I didn’t want to give away my location. It was quiet on the road, the way I liked it. I did a quick weapons inventory, I had enough ammo to stop a battalion of riflemen, but if the war kept going on without me getting a chance to restock or get some repairs done---

    I didn’t want to think about what could have happened so I focused on the present instead. Just as I did I spotted the sapper sneaking into a sniping position in the building a few hundred yards across from me. He was good, he moved slow, tried to use what was left of the city as a cover. He probably had something on his skin to mask his thermal trace, but his minute movements, (which I could track in a storm) lit up my sensor board like a Christmas tree. I suddenly felt very exposed, even with the little camoflague I had. I was bigger than a dirt mover and the heat signature from my reactor alone showed up as a big bloom on anything with a thermal scope. I watched as the sapper pulled out a Mark IV launcher, he steadied it on his shoulder, and aimed it, and I had no doubt what he was aiming for. He was aiming for me, the big wall that was blocking the road.

    I didn’t waste another second, before he got a chance to fire his weapon, I fired one of mine. I peppered his building with a shower of anti-personnel ballistics and looked for signs of survival. I thought I saw a red mist, good. Something rumbled nearby, I gave away my position, and now the sapper’s pals knew where I was and were coming for me. A Class V Main battle tank rolled around the corner of the demolished city block, it had a platoon of infantrymen in tow like little ants trailing a cake crumb.

    I loaded up all of my missile launchers with anti-armor rounds and hoped that the tank didn’t have a lock on me, yet. It swiveled its turret at me just as I turned my torso towards it. It spotted my movement and fired a shell, almost as a warning. It missed me entirely, but brought down what remained of a building behind me. I locked on and let loose a few missiles. Direct hit. The turret popped off like a Champaign cork and slammed down on some of its own men. The infantry started to scatter, firing over their shoulders as they spread out and sought cover. I squirted some rounds back at them, using short bursts, to conserve ammo.

    I saw one of them squatting by a concrete pillar and yelling something into his backpack radio, the son of a gun was calling in support. I had to shut him up before he invited all of his buddies to the big turkey shoot, and I was the turkey. I loaded up a frag round and lofted it at him, knowing that unless a gale breeze of tornado speeds came by my trajectory would be on point and accurate to an inch. The frag hit the deck; I saw a flash of orange, jets of gray and black smoke, and heard the bang of the explosion.

    The riflemen were getting ballsy, they were closing in all around me. They were making bold dashes for cover, and the closer they came the less of them I seemed to be pegging. They were getting close enough to lob their grenades at me. I felt one of them bounce off my armor and plop right in front of me. In a second it was joined by half a dozen others. They all clicked and clacked on my armor like hail hitting a car roof.

    White puffs shot up and surrounded me, making a blanket; smoke grenades. The bastards were rushing at me and I couldn’t see them. They were invisible on thermal, just like their sapper. A grappling hook shot out at me through the smoke and latched onto one of my crevices. A tiny commando flies up, like a spider swinging on a silk rope. I swat at him, but more hooks are grabbing onto me, by the dozens. Tiny soldiers with demolition kits and satchel charges were swarming at my feet.

    I used my flame unit to torch them, like a kid with a magnifying lens frying insects, but there were too many of them. I could feel them clambering onto my chest, using their plasma torches to separate my limbs from my joints, and one on my head, trying to blast his way through my brain case with a shaped charge. I shook violently, my hydraulics were pumping at ten thousand PSI, I sent men flying through the air like wood chips. They were too close for me to use my anti-personnel weapons, I would have to use my mitts. I slammed on the ground with one of my massive manacles, turning the demolitions men into red sprays and pulpy mass as I swiped at the other pests climbing on my chassis.

    I felt something come loose, one of my weapons fell from my shoulder, it crashed to the ground with the sound of a truck being dropped from a cliff. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be able to keep it up, but I didn’t like the way that things were going. It would only be a matter of time before one of them got to my brain, and then it was game over. I had to doff my cap to their talents and their bravado, but I absolutely hated every last one of the bastards. My only regret was that I wouldn’t be able to keep my watch on the road, but at least I would take every last one of them with me. I dumped all of my coolant and deliberately overheated my reactor. I hooked, jabbed, and haymaker’d at the riflemen as I counted down the minutes to my own destruction.

    Amidst the rending of torsos and the reducing of bodies to red stains I heard a radio signal and saw an aircraft not twenty degrees from the horizon. It was the friendly that I spotted earlier, it had its nose down as it came in. It was saying something to me in encrypted battle language, I don’t remember what the hell I said back, but I imagine that it was colorful. It came in close for a hover, it was a VSTOL, and began to unleash a barrage of anti-personnel rounds on the poor devils still trying to bring down the wall. I didn’t mind too much the rounds hitting me in the process, they did no more damage than an acorn hitting someone on the forehead, merely an annoyance. I bared the assault as the last of them dove off and aborted their attack. I thought about swinging at them as they ran, but I consider it bad form to attack an enemy on the run.

    The VSTOL made a vertical landing as I got my reactor back under control, and it wasn’t a moment too soon. Tiny friendlies started spilling out of the transport’s rear end, they maintained a tactical formation and checked their perimeter as they came near. I registered the look on their faces as a sort of surprise, I imagined that they weren’t expecting a mechanized unit that far downtown in the middle of no man’s land holding onto a single road. One of them got close enough to touch.

    “Watch out.” I yelled at him, my speakers squawked, they were a little beaten up.
    “My reactor is---hot.” I warned him.
    “Identify yourself, cyborg.” One of them said. I took a look at his collar, he had a Second Lieutenant’s gold bar insignia. Great, here I was explaining myself to some butter bar boot officer.
    “Corporal Rodd, sir. First Mechanized battalion, First Aerospace Marine Regiment.”
    “The first Mechanized battalion? Hell, that unit’s been wiped out---Corporal.”
    If I still had a face and facial expressions, shock might have showed. Whatever momentary feeling I had though, just like my memories of a life as a human, quickly went away. After all, what need did I have for feelings anymore?
    “No sir, not all of us.”

    They chuckled.

    “I see that, Marine. How long have you been here, alone?”
    “Ever since the beginning sir, see?” I said and pointed at my legs.
    “You were immobilized?”
    “Yes sir, right at the beginning, an anti-armor mine took out my electro-mechanical actuators. I’ve been here ever since, waiting for relief, or a mechanic.”

    More chuckles.

    “You’ve been guarding this road the whole time, haven’t you?”
    “Yes sir, it leads straight to a civilian refugee camp, a supply depot, and the battalion headquarters, or at least it used to.”
    The Lieutenant nodded.
    “You’ve done a great job, Marine, it’s time for you to stand down. We’ll get a transport over here to bring you to the rear. I’ll personally see to it that some ‘mechs get their hands on you.”
    “With all do respect sir, you can go to hell. I’m not budging from here until I’ve been relieved, someone needs to watch the road.” The wall spoke. He smiled.
    “You’re right, Corporal; that is the fifth general order. We’ll need to call in some support then---”
    “Aye sir.” I said and tried to stand as tall as I could as the little things before me marveled.

    In the meantime, as I waited for the arrival of force, in the appropriate variety and proportions, I would maintain the vigil just as I had done alone for a long time. The enemy would not pass.

    I was a wall.
  4. Castlesofsand

    Castlesofsand Banned

    Mar 19, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I am a Wall - 556 words - coarse language warning

    I am a Wall

    I am a wall and I will stand before you and your battering ram. I will take every blow you can muster upon my scarred skin and I will do so without flinching. I will not give in, no, not an inch, for I am a wall and our children’s last defence. Your angered words, painted in loud-voiced graffiti, tell others my worth. Slut, whore, worthless bitch. You spray in spittle in my face, replace my tears. But I don’t care, for I am a wall. A force to be reckoned with.

    I am a brick. Roughed through years of abuse, stained by salt thrown in my open wounds. But I am one of many, and each one will resist you.

    Each one of me.

    You sleep so deeply. The hands that beat us, heavy with callus, lay lightly across my chest. You grope for sexual sustenance. I let them feed. It is far better they hunt in my death valley than those of our fertile daughter‘s. I wait behind my wall, hear you coming, let you have your way. And even as your probing fingers feel for cracks in my defences. I resist. I resist with all my being.

    You leave me when finished; piled deep in the dust of empty promises. Pounded and well seeded by your lust, I still shed no tears but smile. You like it when I smile, but not too much. Crying weakens my will which in turn compromises the strength of my wall. It has happened before but I’ve learnt since then. I straighten my nightshirt, remove the torn panties, wipe the blood from my mouth, check for new bruises in the mirror, and then rebuild my wall.

    He’s showering now. It would be so easy. The hair dryer is next to the sink. Already plugged in. Two weeks ago I managed to short circuit the ground wire. Two movements and it would be all over. But I’m not that brave yet. Too long behind my wall. But I’m not doing this for me anymore. I’m doing it for Becky, for Timmy. I’m doing it so they don’t have to build a wall. Like I do.

    It’s 4 a.m. and he’s singing loudly in that terrible voice of his. The children will be tossing in their nightmares.

    It’s now or never.

    The blue flash blinds me for a moment. He sings out once more and then goes silent. I leave him where he lies and check on the children. They look so peaceful. Kissing them on the forehead I go to the phone and call the police. I touch nothing else, not even him.

    They take me away. Take my children away. Take my wall away. But we are still breathing.

    My lawyer says everything will be okay. That soon we will all be back together. It is a good thing that happened, she tells me and I’m inclined to agree.

    I am the mortar. I hold my family together, fight for their survival. Over time, over tears, over your dead body, since it came to that, I did fight you.

    I get a tattoo. My lawyer talks me into it. She’s become a good friend. It’s small and plain. It rests above my beating heart.

    Three bricks forming a wall.

  5. wesbridges

    wesbridges New Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Denver, CO
    Just Another Day

    It was about twenty-two degrees outside. The gray sky cast a gloomy sheen across the city and as I looked abroad, I saw no opportunity for a change in the famously sporadic Colorado weather.
    I was wrong.
    There began to drop a flurry of lonely snowflakes, and I knew it wouldn’t take long for it to change into an all out blizzard. A heavy gust of wind swept down the block and I felt my whole body stiffen, trying to find warmth within itself. I questioned my own sanity as I stood on the lonely street corner, but I quickly resolved my intentions were correct as Old Dee came slowly from a red duplex about two blocks away. He struggled to make every step as he relied heavily on his cane to keep his body upright, but I anticipated his company like a child, whose parents pulled into a plaza with a Chuck E. Cheese on one side, and a Hobby Lobby on the other.
    I cupped my hands together and breathed into them, hoping to loosen my stiff fingers. A chill went through my body and down my legs and I decided my natural furnace wasn’t working so well. I jammed my hands back into my pockets and began fiddling with my valuable and dangerous merchandise.
    Crack. Rock.
    Old Dee approached me and looked into my eyes through his bifocal glasses. They were slightly cracked on the left lens. I remember thinking that he must have found them somewhere. He had a lost look in his eye; like even though he had reached his destination, he hadn’t yet realized where he was, or why.
    “What you need?” I asked in a fast tone, I didn’t want to waste time.
    “Five,” he responded. The words sent a sinking feeling through my body. I wanted to scream at him five! I ain’t got no five you ****in broke ass crack head! But I didn’t. I just felt sorry for him, he ventured out in below freezing weather on his bad leg just for a two hour fix. He had a look in his eye like he would cry if he didn’t get it. I broke a crumb off a bigger piece, and made a point to tell him to bring more money next time. He said ok as he handed me a wad of sweaty, crinkled dollars, but I doubted he would remember. He was one of my most loyal customers, so I felt like I was taking care of him. I watched Old Dee struggle back toward his home and wondered how many others would demand a share of the small amount of narcotic. I decided to be glad at least it wasn’t me and head home. The block was dead.
    I didn’t feel much better inside the house. It was warmer, but I had a sinking feeling in my gut. Ray Mitchell, aka Big Mizzel wanted his money today and I didn’t have it. I was ashamed to admit how the ****ty weather got in the way of making money, but it was the truth. The day before it was nice, but I had to hang out with this girl Asia, maybe my only chance to get a piece of her stuck up ass. How was I supposed to know there was a storm coming? I’m not a newsman. Anyway, that was all that had been on my mind for the last two days, I did not want to be in debt to Ray Mitchell. I came inside the house and felt the warm air comfort my skin on contact. Then I slammed the door in frustration, and Shareese came out of our bedroom to greet me.
    “Hey baby, I got thirty dollars from my mom today, all we need is the other eighty and…”
    That frustrated me. She was trying so hard to help me. To help us, but it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. Why did she stay with me?
    I stood there looking at the money in her hand. Two damn bills. Images flashed in my head of giant stacks of cash I had seen people holding, like my uncle when I was a kid, like the videos I watched all the time. I wondered what I was doing so wrong, when would I pull out a wad of money, crisp new money? I was tired of sweaty bills I could count from across the room. I was tired of Shareese handing me small amounts she just got from her mom, telling her she would leave me just to get it…
    “Thirty damn dollars ain’t gonna do **** for us! Ray is coming today, he’s gonna kill me if I don’t give him the money!” I didn’t mean to yell at her, but I couldn’t control it anymore, I couldn’t keep being nice to her when she made me feel so useless. I felt like my brain couldn’t hold anymore until I got something out.
    She moved in to hug me but I wasn’t having it. I slapped her, hard.
    The next thing I saw was her lying on the ground, looking up at me with those brown eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen when we first met, but now they were just mocking me, they told too many stories I didn’t want to listen to. “Get up!” I said. I hated to see her so weak, she needed to learn that this was real, she needed to stop believing things would be all peachy, and that I was going to save us. We had to help each other; she needed to stop being dead weight on my back.
    “Baby I’m sorry,” Is all she said weakly as she went back into the room. Our daughter was crying.
    This **** was catching up to me, I had too many responsibilities and a guy that called himself Mizzel was my employer. I remembered thinking that would be way better than working for Bob at Walmart. Back when I was smoking weed with my friends on the corner, the corner that was supposed to make us rich, it seemed like cash would flow out of the malt liquor bottles and we’d surf the wave in premium American cars. Shareese was so sexy then, her body was tighter, and I wasn’t scared of anything. \
    I sat down on my leather couch and lit the half of a blunt that was waiting in the ashtray. That was my problem, always smoking that ****. I hesitated before lighting it, the perfectly rolled leaf seemed to wind the memories of my life downward to a tip I would ignite, and slowly burn away. I lit it while I tried to take my mind to a better place. I turned on my 32” flat screen TV and it was on BET as usual. I watched the video show until I was high and fell asleep.
    My phone woke me up. Ray was calling. I didn’t answer, but he called right back, so I picked it up as I swallowed my heart.
    “You got my money cuz?” Is what I was greeted with.
    “Mizzel I just need one more day…”
    “Naw nigga, I’ll be there tonight, and if you don’t got my money, I’mma put my dick in fine ass Shareese’s booty, understand?” He hung up, the fat bastard.
    The doorbell rang just as I put down the phone and my prayers were answered. It was my cousin Jerry, and he needed some weed.
    “How much you need man?” I asked.
    “****, a ounce.” He said.
    He had at least fifty bucks. I invited him in and stuck him in the back of the head as soon as he came in the door. Oh well. I took his money , seventy dollars, stripped him and dragged him outside while he was still sleep. Hope he had a good dream! When Mizzel showed up he let me slide on that ten dollars after talking a gang of ****, but he left me alive after smoking my weed. I’mma get his bitch ass one of these days. Then I made up with Shareese and ****ed her. Now I hope I can convince Jerry he got attacked before, or after he saw me, but he won’t do **** anyway if he knows what’s best, but at least I’m alive for another day.
  6. Deme

    Deme New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The Wall I Am

    The Wall I Am
    Words - {1085}

    I am a wall, a cruel, hateful, good-for-nothing wall. There is blood running down me, but how would I know, i'm only a wall. I can only assume from the screams of pain that reflects off of me. There's a motor running that's making a constant buzzing noise, the motor finally stopped. I think there's a girl, she's trying to say something, but it seems she keeps choking on her own blood. If only I could say it brings a chill down my spine, if only.
    "W..Wh..Why m.. Mee?". Why you? Why me is the question as I can only endure the sounds of your pain helplessly as I stay in this solid state of eternity. I try shouting at her and telling her to run, run as far as you can. I try telling her to do something, anything, but i'm only a wall. If only I wasn't so useless, if only. The screaming subsided but was then followed up by crying, and not that 5 year old I-just-scraped-my-knee cry, it was just a helpless, sort of quiet cry.
    "Pl..Please just let me g-", I started to hear footsteps and the roar of the motor coming on again, this was never good, "No, no, NOOO! AHH, MY, my AHH!". Something had fallen to the ground, and it was not that of a solid. If only I could cry for her, if only I could take the pain away from her, if only I could. She's quiet now and so is the motor, the footsteps were retreating and finally diminished, a door shut. She was completely silent, no breathing, no talking, and no moving. She wasn't dead, that much I do know, it wasn't her time to go yet, this I also knew. I guess you can say i'm not your average you-know-what. It angers me to call myself just a wall, when I know i'm much more than that, I know alot more about this situation then what meets the eye. I guess you can say i'm just playing you through it, and the truth is i'm not afraid of what has happened, i've been through this a trillion times or more, and not to sound sarcastic, but, that's no figure of speech. The thing about life, is you never know what awaits you after you take that last breath, you have no sense of an afterlife, and only go by faith, it's like a WALL blocking life and death. Near death experiences and growing old over time can turn a non-believer into a strong believer.

    Her name is Kayla and she's 24 years of age, life for her, is taken for granted. She has a nice husband, 2 kids. She loves her job, a dentist at a family clinic. She has never attended Church once in her life, never picked up a bible, and never prayed to the dear lord, God has a funny way of getting back at people I suppose. She finally regained consciousness, and it took her a minute or so to fully comprehend what had happened and where she was. There wasn't much to see, only a room and a door. She would try the door out, if it wasn't for the fact of loosing an arm and a leg. All around the room, spurts of blood were everywhere, with one big puddle right under her, she had lost alot of blood. She was surprised to see herself bandaged up and everything, the pain was returning to her, more intense than ever. It hurt like hell, she screeched in agony as she gave it everything she had to try and crawl to the door, but she couldn't do it, the pain was too much for her to handle. This guy wasn't done with her, that's why she was bandaged up. What fun would it be for her to just bleed to death, no, to him, that wouldn't be much fun. She thought she might take a minute - as it might be her last - to ask God, why me? What had I done that had got me into this position? Can you get me out God? No answer, that's the way it always is. You would like to think you were actually being heard and something is actually being done. The door opened, the fact that it could possibly be someone coming to rescue her gave her a chill and stopped the pain briefly. It's the cops, yes! It's the cops she thought. It must've been the longest second in her life just to turn her head towards the door, and she wasn't pleased by the results, her crying was starting up again. The man walked in through the doorway, in his left hand there was a screwdriver, in his right, a handsaw. Her insanity kicked in as she thought maybe he was gonna build something. Or maybe he's gonna screw my eyeballs out with the screwdriver, and cut my remaining arm and leg off with the handsaw and render me completely useless as a human being. He walked slowly towards her until he was standing right beside her, he drops the screwdriver, kneels down. It has got to be pretty tough trying to fight back with only a arm and a leg, especially under ALOT of pain, and that's an under statement. She couldn't fight back, she could only lay there helplessly as he was now on top of her. He took her other arm and lifted it up, with the other, he brought the handsaw closer until it met contact with the arm, he then began to saw it off. A gut wrenching hollar like the one she made could've scared away an bird within a mile radius. He finally got through the skin, and blood started to pour out, and in some instances, sprayed out. He finally sawed the rest of the way through, and threw it across the room. He had to hurry if he wanted to get those eyeballs out with the screwdriver, she was losing ALOT of blood.

    I can finally see her, she's half way through the wall, she's very peaceful, content, and happy. I won't be seeing her for much longer, I have performed my duties and must move onto the next person soon enough. As she passes through, she catches a glimpse of me, she asks in the most relaxful voice, "Who are you, and where am I?".
    I smile at her, and reply, "I am Death, and your passing through the wall of life and death.".
  7. Irish87

    Irish87 New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Title: Please, worry about the Floors
    Words: 666 (I swear it was not intentional)

    The first one I did not notice. You see, when it happens you don't quite expect it. You hear the thud and you wake immediately. You can feel your chest contorting and tightening. At times you begin to have strange spasms and your lower body twinges. And then another one falls and you hear the thud. It's a damned bullet being shot, but to those around you it's just a thud. They had heard a thousand thuds, but I was use to only two of them. Soon, however, it became three and four and eight and twelve and twenty-four, and then, before I could hope to keep myself up, the only thing left was a few dozen at best.

    So dearly do I wish I could tell you the lives I've seen come and pass. That is the old saying, the whole fly on the wall expression? Yes, well imagine the wall. Think of all the lives I've lived. Each brick holds a different thought and yet they all join up to make one singular voice. And when we begin to fall, we all hear those voices ended in a sudden, all encompassing thud. A crack, maybe, or even a pop. It doesn't quite matter, though.

    What am I to talk about while I wait for the other bricks to fall? I suppose maybe I could tell you about the boy who left to fight in some other country or the mother who got into about a dozen accidents around the house. The father never did much, but he was always there. And that's it. What did I do all this time? Well, I suppose I just sat around and waited.

    And now you, dear reader, want so dearly to know about me and my life. Why? I'm just a wall. The idea that I hold some genius in-between the layers is no different than expecting a floor to understand the feeling of being beaten with a shoe. I could go and say I was the very best wall ever built, but the truth was I was just a wall. There are a million of us out there and when we fall nobody really cares. Sure, every now and then an important wall will take a tumble. You care about them, but you don't really have much concern about the rest of us, do you?

    It's normal for this type of behavior, I know that to be damned true. You think of some figures to be more important than others, as though if one of the walls in the White House were to fall your life would suddenly end. The truth is we're all relatively important, you just don't care all that much. I guess that is the best way to live. You can't stop us from falling, so why bother trying?

    I'm sure you find all of this horribly philosophical, but I don't mean it that way. I am speaking in plain terms, a language even a child could understand. It is depressing and sad to know, but not all walls are important in the long run. Maybe it's best this way. If we were all to care about each and every wall in this world, we would never stop crying.

    So please stop. I don't want to hear your whimpers and your tears about all the walls you've lost in your life, whomever you may be. Yes, we're important to those who live in-between us, but we're now figments of the past. When you dell on our existence we become little more than clichéd examples of your pseudo existentialism. Instead, try your hardest to keep the walls around you standing up right and should one fall, let it.

    And then I heard it. No, not a thud, but rather a clomp of sorts. I looked back and saw him meandering up. With a gentle shove I joined myself laying there on the floor. Perhaps now you should ask the floor how he is feeling.
  8. Obezyanka

    Obezyanka New Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Title: Memories, Words: 821

    Words (821)

    I recall the day your mother and father stood in the room. Your mother stood in the doorway, her back arched exposing her protruding navel. Your father stood back staring and admiring the hard work he put in. “This pastel yellow is perfect.”
    In a few days you arrived, your face was so tiny and wrinkly.
    “Emma, welcome to your room. Daddy made this room for you.” Cooed your mother as she placed you in the crib.

    From then on Emma I watched you. I was staying silent but watched and listened. Many happy memories fill me as I think of you. When you were a toddler you walked to your chest of drawers and pulled out all the diapers and sprayed talcum powder on the floor and on me.

    In your seventh year you asked if your room could be pink. I saw it transform into a little girls room complete with the ballerina pictures and in the corner of the room was your prized doll’s house. Watching your mother brush and braid your long brown hair, I could see the tears well in your eyes as she tugged on the loose strands. “Ouch, that hurts mummy.” You complained. After she was done she gave you a hug and said it was time for school.

    Came the teenage years the doll’s house was gone and the ballerina pictures were replaced with posters of celebrities. On your dressing table were now makeup and perfume. Sometimes you sat in your room music up loud. In my years the music was getting terrible with each decade. Yet here you were lying on your bed reading teen magazines. A look of confusion as you read out loud “Ten ways to kiss the boy of your dreams.” You walked up to the poster of a pretty boy with large blue eyes. “Oh Tom, I am so glad to meet you. Do you mind if I kissed you?” You asked shyly. I wanted to giggle as you close your eyes and puckered up to the unemotional poster.

    A few years later when you were sixteen, you come back here in a flood of tears. The boy James dumped you. If only I could hug and comforted you. Instead I stood in silence as you undid your long hair from it’s plait. Grabbing your school scissors you started to cut chunks of your beautiful locks. In a rage you stormed out of your room and return with your father’s electric shaver. Standing in front of your dressing table mirror, you plugged the shaver into a socket turned it on and started shaving off the rest of the hair. In all my years, I have never witnessed such a thing. Your mother walked in and almost screamed at the sight of her bold daughter. “What did you do that for?”
    “Mum, he said he didn’t like that I was old fashioned and that girls with shorter hair were way hotter.” You sobbed.

    The time had now come you were leaving me to go to college. Days were now quiet and you were now not here to entertain me. Then holidays came you came back with a man, this man made you happy. Your womanly giggles caught me off guard.

    “I feel so weird and naughty Andrew, I never ever done it in my room before.” You whispered.

    A grin spread across his face. “Never mind, Emma, let’s christen the room shall we?” He replied.

    Again you went away for many months only returning for Christmas. Finally you came back, this time you were getting changed in a white dress, you look immaculate as a friend help put on your veil. A perfect bride stood here looking nervous. “I should text him to tell him that we are nearly ready.” You started to bite your lip.

    “Emma, now your going have to reapply your lipstick,” Scolded your mother.

    “Emma the car is here, ready to go.” Calls out a friend.

    You eyes look around the room, taking a deep breath you exit as you are finally a woman. I watched you transform from a newborn to a woman. I was there for you, listening to you as you described your woes and happiness about life and now I know you will do that somewhere else.

    A few months later, your parents came back to the room, they removed all the furniture and started to paint pastel green on me. They are looking older now, but they are full of excitement. “I wonder what Emma and Michael have? Would you a girl or a boy?” Asks your mother as she is painting me a nice shade of green. I know soon that a new baby will be arriving I will not be able to see this little one grow as I saw you grow up Emma. After all I am just a wall who no-one notices.
  9. shiri73

    shiri73 New Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Indian Earrings

    The leaves fall around me, scatter in clumps. I am standing in the middle of the forest, under a canopy of pine needles, bit by the cold air. My ears are red, my checks are flushed, and I’m breathing frost crystals. The metal on my ring turned cold and it stings my fingers.

    I feel it. Rising in my chest, pushing through my lungs, heaving and about to collapse, coursing through my system: an agitation. My eyes are dizzy, my vision is blurred, and I feel it throbbing from my temples into my leaky valves: a sharp pain that cold air can only begin to numb.

    I don’t know if my legs are steady anymore. Everything’s quivering around me and I can’t tell if the world’s moving or if its just me.

    There is a rock I sit on every time my sky falls down, low to the ground so I can hear the wind whisper its melodies, low enough to see the world from upside-down if I flatten myself against it. There is a song I hear in my head every time I come here to escape, to bury something.

    I hear it now.

    The wind shakes the trees, rattles their branches, and the leaves are thrown in the air. My Indian earrings chime and for as long as I’ve tried to stay still and silent, this time I can’t fight it. This time I shiver so hard that I feel it in my whole body, even in my purple hands, clenched and fighting, and my teeth chatter. I have broken my own solemn silence and now it’s easy for me to fall apart. The first tear falls off my cheek, swept by the howling wind, swallowed immediately by the ground.

    He was the only one who understood, he was the only one who knew this forest as well as I did. When he was here, we would walk together, me without a jacket because he kept me warm, him with too many swirling dreams to feel the cold, straight to the heart of the forest. We would lie on our rock, flat and gray, and look at the sky. When he was here, I never heard that song I hear now because his voice, strong and clear, was the only thing that echoed in my head. And now that he is gone, I am left tracing his footsteps and that song is stuck in my head- I can’t get it out.

    Me and him, we had our places, our words, our love. These are just things and things don’t last forever. I know that, I get it, I accept it. But what hurts me is that sometimes, things outlast people. So he is gone and I’m left with only the Indian earrings he gave me, chiming in my ears whenever the wind strikes, the last reminder. He is gone and I am left bitter and scarred, too unsettled to stay in confined places.

    I am rigid now, stiff and rigid and unwilling to move, a wall. I have fortified myself, I am impenetrable. I can no longer unravel.

    I take off my jacket. It is winter but I will become a summer day, hot and sticky, expelling every memory through the humidity, through the sweat. I will get it all out my system, I will do whatever it takes. But it’s not easy. I’m still fighting.
  10. Jobeykobra

    Jobeykobra New Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Lake Zurich, IL.
    They Call it The Windy City [538]

    This is it, I think to myself. There is no more direction; no choice for me. I'm done with trying and I'm through with the pain and the anguish I've so subtly felt these days.

    I've been a stone for quite a while now. My emotions no longer run deep and I am no longer able to pretend I have them. The inability to connect with the people I see in this room consumes me. They talk amongst themselves and I wonder what they have so much to discuss.

    The desires I had, of love and friendship, have wained entirely and apathy is the only thing I feel. My test sits in front of me face down and I stare at the blank back of it. The white mirror looks up at me and tells me that there is nothing left. I'm trapped in this emotional equilibrium and there's no way to change it.

    A girl across the room I had wanted to talk with earlier in the year no longer catches my eye. I realize that there is no more I can do; I don't know how. She whispers to who I assume is her boyfriend sitting next to her and I wish I had had that feeling of human comfort.

    Instead, the featureless back of this test seems to resemble me most and it tempts me to become it. My eyes move to the people in the room taking their test and though I may look like them and may look like I have some sort of motivation at first glance, there isn't anything in common. I don't even know what these people talk about anymore and the paper on my desk knows this more than anyone here.

    Unable to change and unable to see a reason for moving on, I sit and stare at this paper and don't move. I am a wall, I conclude. I am a wall just waiting to be knocked down and forgotten. In a sense, I think I'm begging to be destroyed. If I have no more feeling then life itself has no meaning for me.

    No tears run down my face like they used to and any discomfort I had is no more. I don't care what happens to anyone, especially myself. Indifference is my only friend now and I am stuck in this loop of ineptness in every social aspect. This is my wake-up call. The loop stops here and goes into nothingness and I don't care anymore.

    Chicago is a jungle. I think about this city and what it's done for me. The people I knew in it are unknown to me now. The last connections between us severed. Of all the people I could have come across, these druggies were the only ones that wanted to have anything to do with me. Many of them didn't even like me, and I did not like them because of their carelessness, in fact I hated them in a way, but now I find myself exactly where they are. There is no future and there is only the past that brushes my mind occasionally.

    And I think to myself, They call it the windy city, but nothing ever moves.
  11. Indigestion

    Indigestion New Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I am a wall.

    [Title: Am I a wall?]
    [Word count: 358]

    Am I a wall?

    I think I am... but I'm so wholly covered in graffitis that I can no longer distinguish myself from other walls, and so I don't know if I am one of them... Recently, I was going out with the wall in front of me, around 5am in the morning, and after leaving in precarious equilibrium my house, when I found Big Joe... You know, the supermarket's wall. Well... he told me that how the hell could I be going out with such a beauty, being so covered in **** and paint?

    "It's the inside of us that matters" I told Joe.
    "Yeah? What are you made of then? Papier-mâché? I'm pure cement, man!"
    "I mean... Personality and such... don't you know about that?"
    "Personality? We're hard-headed business walls! At least I am..."

    I grabbed Sheila - the wall with whom I was going out - from a loose brick, and we tried to flee, before Joe could attack us more. However, we were too slow, for Joe managed to grab her from the other brick, and he pulled. He was much stronger than me, but desesperation gives strength.

    "Let go!" - I said - "She's just been painted!"
    "Hahaha! It's going to be really funny how she's going to look after then!"
    "Aaaah! I've not been painted, I've been put new cement in! I don't feel my bricks!" - Sheila beginning to be terrorized - "I'm feeling loose! Help!"
    "C'mon, Joe! Let go, or we'll quarter her!" I yelled at Joe. He just wouldn't release.
    "Aah... You guys don't feel the fun in quartering other walls... Then they are just rebuilt, even better! Why do you think I'm so tough?" - Joe was now winding us up - "I've been quartered lots of times throughout my life!"

    "He's crazy..." - I whispered to Sheila, who was holding her bricks with anxiety. She looked about to fragment herself up - "Are you OK?"
    "No, I'm not OK! I've about to be quartered! How would you feel?!"

    Rapidly we fled the place and left Joe histerically laughing. After a few seconds, he left, for the supermarket was about to open.
  12. Unit7

    Unit7 Contributor Contributor

    Jun 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I Became The Wall. [961]

    I stood outside the corner street gas station. The cold winter air biting at my fingers. I cupped my stiff fingers, and I blew warm air into them. Anything to stay warm. I pressed my arms tightly against my body as shivers wracked my body. I did not understand why I was standing there. I just had this feeling that this is where I should be. My doctors said I suffered from some mental disease. I forget the name, but all it mattered was they thought I was crazy. I heard voices when I was little, they told me to do things. I was hesitant at first, but when I listened, things turned out great. During the long winter nights spent in a cardboard box in an old alley, I would wonder if the voices belonged to god. It didn't matter of course, not really. I knew that following their orders would do good in this world.

    I had lived in this neighborhood for some time now. I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. Unlike most homeless people I was not something people stayed away from. They would stop, and have a conversation with me. Sometimes, if I was lucky, they would invite me over for a meal. I like to think this wasn't out of pity, but rather they wanted me as a guest.

    “What I wouldn't do for a hot sandwich,” I said out loud, my breath freezing in the night air. I began to blow hot hair into my cupped hands again.
    “It will happen soon,” the voice said casually. I hated this voice, always have always will. His tasks always led to something dangerous. Who was I to complain though? I knew things would end up alright. I shivered and looked around, hoping whatever my task was it would be over soon. The street was empty, and the corner street gas station was suffering from a slow night. Couldn't do anything about that.
    “Look to your left,” The voice said, sounding bored. I turned my head, and three men were walking towards the gas station. I studied them for a moment, unsure what to make of it. I knew each one of them. They would sometimes spend time in my alley and they would treat me just like if we were in some fancy house. I thought about waving, but that feeling I get stopped me. I blew into my hands again, wishing I had a better pair of gloves.

    I turned my head towards the ground, nothing to see. I stared intently at the snow that had gathered around my feet. Why hadn't I noticed it was snowing? I turned my head away from the ground and stared up at the dark sky. Snow fell gently, to gently for something so cold. Thats when I heard it, the sound of gunshots. Memories of the war came back to me. That night so many years ago always haunted my dreams. I had been a part of an execution squad. You won't find many records on them, as they were not on the books as they say. We lined up the prisoners we captured up against a wall. With our commanding officers say, we shout blindly at them. War does that to a man, it turns off their sense of humanity. It also sharpens ones sense reactions. I turned around and ran for the gas station.

    I could see the three teenagers hiding in the rows. The clerk stood behind the counter, pointing pistol into the aisles. He was cursing, crying, and shaking violently. I ran in front of the counter and threw my hands up as if I were a wall. I knew my task, and it was to prevent a massacre. But as I stood there, something dawned on me. The man looked familiar, too familiar.
    “Gerald?” I said quietly.
    “Frank?” The clerk said, his normally steady hand shaking.
    “What are you doing?” I said.
    “I-I d-don't know!” He stammered. “I was sitting here resting my eyes, and I heard something. I grabbed my gun and-” He began to sob loudly. I yanked the gun from his hands, and the familiarity of it scared me. I recognized, it was the standard handgun issued during the Vietnam War. I disassembled it and tossed the parts away. I had hoped I would never hold such a weapon again.
    “Good job,” The voice said, still sounding bored.
    “Shut up!” I shouted out loud. Gerald paused for a moment, then fell to the floor. Behind him I saw the calendar. December 22, 1984 was circled, and then scribbled out with red pen. Ten years ago.

    That night I had a nightmare. It was December 22, 1968. This date was the day we killed an entire village. Women, children, the elderly. It did not matter. We killed them all. This dream was different from the rest. I had always seen that night from my perspective. In this nightmare, I was the wall. I could see the backs of innocent villagers. I could hear them crying and sobbing. I had never heard that before. I looked beyond the people who would soon fall to their deaths and I could see myself and Gerald standing next to each other. I could see the rest of our company. I saw the my Commanding Officer give the order, and I could see the bullets go through the people being executed. I felt the sting of the bullet as they buried themselves deep into me.

    I woke up, surrounded by my meager belongings. I was crying. I had never been the Wall before. Never do I want to be the Wall again.

    THE END.

    I think I got off topic a bit to much. I wanted to try and be creative with the theme. But I may have ended up going to far, or I spent to much time on background information.
  13. BabelFish42

    BabelFish42 New Member

    Mar 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    United States
    Boy Meets Wall [1,911 words]

    That stubborn little child was back again this morning, with a rusty old shovel in his hand and a look of fierce determination on his face.

    “You again,” I grumbled. “Haven’t you given up yet?”


    If I had a head, I would have shaken it. “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. It can’t be done! I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too wide to go around, and you won’t find any doors. So beat it, kid. You’re wasting your time.”

    “No. I’m not going anywhere, except to the other side of you,” the obstinate little brat replied.

    With that, he hopped down in to his hole, which was right at the base of me and so deep now that his head was at ground level. He started shoveling, just like he’d done yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that, and so on.
    He wasn’t the first to try to get past me. Every generation, there was a handful of frustrated dreamers like this one, most of them young idealists, so convinced that the world was not as it should be. Time and time again they approached me, carrying everything from shovels to dynamite to climbing gear. But sooner or later, they all gave up – grew up – and went back home to live the lives they were born into. I wondered how much longer this scrawny little boy would keep up his pointless efforts.

    The first couple hours of digging passed in tedious monotony. I yawned. I was getting bored watching him sweat and strain to deepen his hole.

    “Have you ever considered channeling all this productive energy of yours into something a bit more productive? You know, something you might actually be able to do?”

    “I am going to get to the other side. Just watch me.”

    He lifted his shovel and plunged it into the earth with all the strength his half-grown arms could muster. The shovel blade burrowed maybe half an inch into the dirt, then stopped.

    “Okay,” I drawled. “I’m watching.”

    His brow furrowed in confusion. He frantically scraped at the surface of the dirt again and again, until a layer of hard, unyielding bedrock became visible.

    “Oh dear,” I taunted. “Looks like you’ve hit rock bottom!”

    “Ha ha ha,” the boy fake-laughed. “You’re hilarious.”

    I chuckled. “Yeah, I think so too. So what now, pipsqueak?”

    For a moment, he said nothing, just stared at the rock floor of his pit. Then he climbed out slowly, wincing at his sore muscles, and pulling his shovel along with him.

    “I’ll just come back tomorrow and try something else.”

    “Like what? Nothing will work! I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too wide to go around, and you won’t find any doors.”

    He ignored me, walking slowly in the direction of his village, until all I could see was the sunlight glinting off the spade of his shovel. Then even that disappeared.

    Sure enough, the next day he was back, this time with a small burlap knapsack slung across his shoulder. When he reached the pit from the day before, he veered to the left and kept walking. I followed him with my mouth and eyes.

    “So what’s your brilliant plan for today, kid?”

    “You can’t go on forever. It isn’t possible. So I’m just going to keep walking until I reach the end of you.”

    “You have a very poor grasp on what’s possible and what’s not,” I commented dryly. “You think you can get past me just by travelling somewhere far away? Think again. Like I told you, I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too-”

    “Too wide to go around, yeah I know!” he exclaimed. “You don’t have to tell me. You don’t have to keep following me either.”

    “But you’re entertaining,” I grinned. “And you’re the one who can’t go on forever, not me. I have a bet with myself on how far you’ll make it before you turn around. I want to see how accurate my guess was.”

    He stopped talking to me after that.

    I had to hand it to him; the boy was determined. He walked from sunrise to sundown, through forest and prairieland, with only two short breaks, when he would pull a tiny loaf of bread and a hunk of cheese from his knapsack. He had a flask of water too, which he refilled at a stream that ran through the forest. When darkness fell, he laid down on the prairie grass, using the knapsack for a pillow.

    “I hope the coyotes aren’t hungry,” I whispered.

    “Shut up. I’m trying to sleep.” His voice was steady and unafraid, but later I saw his body stiffen when a spine-tingling howl echoed across the moonlit prairie. I think it took him a long time to fall asleep that night.

    I expected him to go home the next morning, but he didn’t. He travelled for another day. And another day. And another day…

    “That bread looks kind of stale,” I observed.

    “Gee, thanks,” he replied, biting forcefully into his crunchy breakfast. “I hadn’t noticed.”

    “And is that mold on the cheese?”

    “I’m going back today, all right? Happy now? You win this round.”

    “Well, I won’t say I told you so. Even though I did. Now do you believe that I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too wide to go around, and that you won’t find any doors?”

    “No. I’m going back because I’m almost out of food. But I’m not giving up.”

    “You’re an idiot.”

    “You’re just a talking wall.”

    “A very big talking wall. One that’s too high to climb over, too deep to tunnel under, too hard-“

    “I KNOW!”

    After two days, the boy ran out of food. After four days, he made it back to his village. And after five days, he showed up again carrying a pickax. He still looked a little underfed, but there was a furious glint in his eyes today.

    “That’s right, take all your anger out on me, a poor defenseless wall. Go on, let me have it. But I’m telling you, it won’t do you an ounce of good. I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too wide to go around, and you won’t find any doors.”

    For once, the boy didn’t tell me to shut up. Instead, he swung the pickax at me with all his might. It bounced off my surface with a resounding clang. I think it might have left a tiny scratch.

    “Hey,” I mocked, “that actually felt kind of good. I’ve had an itch there all morning, but I can’t exactly scratch it myself. Could you do that again? Maybe a little higher this time?”

    The boy struck me again in the same spot. He kept at it all morning, until I had the tiniest of dents on my surface. Finally, the boy sat down to catch his breath, utterly exhausted and clearly disheartened.

    “Ready to give up?” I asked.

    Still panting, he glared up at me. “It isn’t fair. I know there are people on the other side. Why can’t I go over there too?”

    “You?” I laughed. “Just look at you! Look at your hair, your skin, your nose, your eyes, your clothes; listen to the way you talk. It’s all wrong! Everything thing about you is wrong, wrong, wrong. You’re nothing like the people over there. Nothing! You’re too different, too inferior. You would never make it on the other side.”

    He crossed his sweaty arms are scowled at me. “How do you know, you big stupid wall?”

    “Trust me, I know, you little stupid boy. You don’t have the intelligence, the talent, the money, the upbringing or the resources to make it over there, and you shouldn’t try. Everyone else knows you can’t do it. Your friends, your parents, your teachers, your neighbors, all of them. They know you’re nothing special. You’re the only one delusional enough to believe you can do the impossible. But it’s high time you to grow up and face the facts. You were born here, and you’ll die here.”

    Tears glistened in the corners of his eyes. Great. I really hated it when they cried.

    “Why are you here?” he shouted at me, his voice cracking at the end. “Why won’t you just disappear?”

    “Child, I’m here to protect you,” I crooned. “Not to imprison you. I’m here for your own good. It’s my job to make sure you don’t get hurt by trying to be more than you are.”

    “Why don’t you let me decide what’s for my own good?”

    “Because you have very poor judgment. Now, you can waste more time and effort with me, or you can go home where you belong.”

    Silence. He sat staring at his empty, calloused hands. Finally, he stood up, retrieved the pickax, and, for what I was sure would be the last time, walked slowly home. One more child awakened to harsh reality. I silently congratulated myself on a job well done.

    Needless to say, I was unpleasantly surprised to see him return the next morning.

    “I thought you gave up!”

    He shook his head. “I decided what I need is a door.”

    I rolled my eyes. “Haven’t you been listening? You won’t find any doors! I’m too high to climb, too deep to tunnel under, too hard to chisel through, too wide to go around, and you won’t find any doors.”

    “I’m not looking for a door.”

    I raised an eyebrow.

    “I’m going to make one myself,” he explained. “Since there’s no way for me to get through you, I’m going to make a way.”

    “The pickax didn’t work, remember? You can’t force your way through with violence.”

    “Yeah, I know. I’m not blasting a hole, I’m making a door. There’s a difference.”

    “Uh-huh… and how exactly will you make this door?”

    “With this.” He held up a piece of charcoal.

    I had to laugh. The poor kid had completely lost his mind!

    “Let me get this straight,” I snickered. “You’re going to draw a door with charcoal?

    He knelt down, pressing the charcoal against my base, and drew a steady, determined line from the ground, up as high as he could reach. He moved the charcoal a few feet left, then down to the ground again, completing the rectangular “door.”

    “You’re crazy!” I exclaimed. “How can this possibly work?”

    The boy stood up and looked me straight in the eye. When he spoke, there was no anger in his voice. He spoke with the quiet certainty of someone so deeply convicted that nothing can sway them.

    “Because I don’t believe you anymore. You said I’m not good enough. You said I can’t get through. You said I don’t belong on the other side.” Still looking up at me, he placed both palms against his door. “I say you’re wrong.”

    I opened my mouth, but before I could ridicule him, he shoved against me, against the door he had created. And I felt myself give way…


    But the boy didn’t seem to hear. He was no longer looking at me; he was looking ahead. He stepped forward and disappeared through the open door.
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