• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

Walled In

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You’ve been finishing a brick wall for a room in your friend’s basement for a couple of hours. When you step back, you realize that you and your friend forgot to put in a door. He tells you not to worry about it, he planned it that way. How do you react?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

You might also like:

  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

136 Responses to Walled In

  1. Anonymous says:

    I finally place the last brick in the wall, when I notice something strange: “There’s no door in this wall,” I say. From behind me my “friends” voice replies, saying
    “I know. That’s the way I designed it.”
    Feeling a growing sense of curiosity, but oddly remaining calm and unafraid, I ask what the purpose of the wall is if you can’t get through it. My “friend” replies by saying,
    “Why, who said you can’t get past it?”
    I’m confused by this response, as there aren’t any gaps in the wall, though I still feel calm. I decide to ask my “friend” how to go about getting past the wall. He tells me,
    “It is simple, just step over it.”
    After puzzling over this revelation for a while, I decide to give it a try. I walk straight into the wall, bruising my knee as well as my ego.
    “Keep trying,” says my “friend.”
    I try several more times before finally snapping that it’s not possible, that I’m just wasting my time. My friend says to me, “It IS possible, if you accept that that it is.”
    Armed with this knowledge, as well as a stubborn streak once described as being “the size of Nebraska, and about as useful,” I close my eyes and step over the wall. When I open my eyes, there’s only a rolling green field in front of me, as far as the eye can see. Finally turning around for the first time during my ordeal, I ask my “friend” if the field was here the whole time, and why the wall that formerly seemed an infinitely expansive block now only appears to be a few inches off the ground.
    “Because,” I say, “Problems are never as insurmountable as they appear before they’re passed.”
    Now I have a choice to make. I can either stay where I am, by no means a bad place, like most people do. Or I can take a risk: wake-up from the dream, and keep facing the problems I can already see cropping up as I think about them in the future, until I’m content, dead, or both. The irony of course, is that I won’t remember any of this regardless of which “reality” I choose to wake into. What’s wrong with being content you ask? Well first off, being content is NOT the same as being satisfied. When one is satisfied, they’ve accomplished everything they can. When one is content, they still have things they could accomplish, but they’ve settled for leaving some of their potential unrealized. Being satisfied isn’t an inherently bad or good thing, but being content is, in my opinion. So I guess now the only questions I have left to answer are, am I content and/or dead yet? Or am I still alive?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I finally place the last brick in the wall, when I notice something strange: “There’s no door in this wall,” I say. From behind my “friends” voice replies, saying “I know. That’s the way I designed it.”
    Feeling a growing sense of curiosity, but oddly remaining calm and unafraid, I ask what the purpose of the wall is if you can’t get through it. My “friend” replies by saying,
    “Why, who said you can’t get past it?”
    I’m confused by this response, as there aren’t any gaps in the wall, though I still feel calm. I decide to ask my “friend” how to go about getting past the wall. He tells me
    “It is simple, just step over it.”
    After puzzling over this revelation for a while, I decide to give it a try. I walk straight into the wall, bruising my knee as well as my ego.
    “Keep trying,” says my “friend.”
    I try several more times before finally snapping that it’s not possible, that I’m just wasting my time. My friend says to me,
    “It IS possible, if you accept that that it is.”
    Armed with this knowledge, as well as a stubborn streak once described as being “the size of Nebraska, and about as useful,” I close my eyes and step over the wall. When I open my eyes, there’s only a rolling green field in front of me. Finally turning around for the first time, I ask my “friend” if the field was here the whole time, and why the wall that formerly seemed an infinitely expansive block now only appears to be a few inches off the ground.
    “Because,” I reply, “Problems are never as insurmountable as they appear before they’re passed.”
    Now I have a choice to make. I can either stay where I am, by no means a bad place, like most people do. Or I can take a risk: wake-up from the dream, and keep facing the problems I can already see cropping up as I think about them in the future, until I’m satisfied, dead, or both. The irony of course, is that I won’t remember any of this regardless of which “reality” I choose to wake into. So I guess the only question I have left is, am I satisfied yet?

  3. reba_O says:

    Just started doing these writing prompts so a little behind the game, but wanted the practice!

    Trapped

    A bead of sweat drips from the tip of my nose. I watch, trapped in an exhausted daze, as it hits the floor with a silent plop. Regretfully, I push myself back from the brick wall where I had been leaning, both hands pressed against the rough squares, head down, and body weight relying on the strength of a crudely built structure.

    “Don’t give up just yet,” Cy commands from his seated position on the floor. He coats another brick with mortar, and like a dutiful bondservant, I grab the brick from him, and lay it in its final resting place.

    “I’m not.” I respond mechanically but without conviction, hand outstretched for the next seal-of-death. Though exhausted, I was not unfamiliar with the drudging tasks Cy always requested of me. For him, the favors were always expected, but never returned.

    “Last One.” Cy says with a hint of triumph in his voice, “Stand back. I’ll do it.” I relent to his assertiveness. As he reaches to insert the last brick into the top right corner, a hand reaches out, but I barely flinch, accustomed to the work. With a forceful shove, the brick goes into place and the hand disappears.

    We stand back to survey the job. That’s when I realize that this favor was different from the rest. I glance around the room to be sure, but my instincts are dead on. The other five brick walls have doors; this one does not. A feeling of panic clutches my gut and bile rises to the back of my throat. This favor, I am not familiar with.

    Cy gives me a devilish smile, taunting me to ask. I give in, knowing that if I didn’t he would pout and I would be in for another one of his favors, “This wall doesn’t have a door, Cy. Should we start over?” I inquire; attempting to feign innocence in the hopes he would get bored and change his mind.

    “It’s exactly how I want it. It’s getting a little dull around here and I’m running out of space. Trying to spice things up a bit. Do you not like it, Paige?” Cy says matter-of-factly, as if it was happiness and not death that was lurking behind the walls.

    I mask the terror on my face. Terror is what he wants from me, but terror is what gets me another round of his favors, “I think it’s a great idea. It is getting crowded around here.” I respond shakily.

    Cy pats my shoulder, pleased, brushes the dirt off his pants and walks up the basement stairs locking the deadbolt behind him. I let out a sigh, free of his favors for now.

    I face the wall. The gate to Hades I unknowingly helped to create. I press my face and hands against it, allowing tears to run like I wish my body could do. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry”, I whisper.

    Slowly, I walk towards my own brick prison and pull the door open. Faces stare up at me in silence, not questioning that anything has changed. I won’t tell them though, they will find out soon enough.

  4. writinglife says:

    A warm feeling of relief spreads over me as I watch the last two bricks slide into place. Finally Tom’s new basement wall was finished. Now I can escape to the fishing trip I had planned for today.

    Ever since Jodie, Tom’s wife, and I started our affair a few months back I’ve done my best to be too busy to spend time with Tom. I never intended for it to happen. I guess everyone says that. Tom was out of town when Jodie asked me to come over and unclog the kitchen sink. My best friend Tom always called me for any plumbing issues. Jodie asked if she could help unclog the sink and things sort of went from there.

    Now whenever Tom is out of town, which seems to be more often than before we started our affair, Jodie finds something around the house requiring a man’s touch. The one day it was nothing more than changing a light bulb in the chandelier in the dining room. I wish I could stop but the excitement keeps pulling me back. I’m sure Tom would kill me if he ever found out.

    “That should do it.” Tom says taking a few steps back admiring the work.

    It is a nice looking wall but I’m more interested in getting up the stairs to the kitchen and out the backdoor. A chill sweeps over me when I realize we didn’t put a door in the wall. The stairs to the kitchen are on the other side of the wall.

    “There’s no door.” I croak as a cold sweat trickles down my spine. I spin around searching the other three walls hoping to see a door.

    “No, I designed it that way.” Tome says looking pleased.

    “Georgie, I didn’t know you were claustrophobic old man.” Tom says as he walks to his right and disappears behind a wall. From where I’m standing the wall blends in with the outside wall making it invisible. Tom always did enjoy optical illusions. I follow Tom and find the stairs leading to the backyard. “I’m turning this into a root cellar to store the vegetables I’m going to grow in the garden I’ll be planting this year.”

    Tom slaps me on the back. “By the way Georgie, I need to thank you for all your help in getting Jodie pregnant. We went to doctor after doctor but we finally accepted that it was something I wouldn’t be able to accomplish. Sorry about not asking first but Jodie sort of started without telling me her plan. I was furious when she told me but then I figured if some other man had to provide the genetics for Jodie to have the child she wants so badly well, why not you. Now let’s drink a couple of beers and enjoy the rest of the evening like we used to.”

  5. bilbobaggins321 says:

    There had always been something strange about Roger in the night.

    So maybe it was a good thing that I almost never saw him after I went to work the night shift at my job, never really stuck around all too often on certain days of the calendar. Actually, it definitely was a good thing.

    I received the call at around 9:30 at night, which, almost too coincidentally, happened to be the exact moment that I took my shoes off, sat down on my couch, and probed underneath the cushions for that all-elusive remote. I shook myself off from my day-off man cave retreat into inactivity and replayed the message as forebodingly as possible.
    “Hey Mark, this is just Roger with a quick call- would you mind to come over and help me with my basement? You know this is one of those hard projects that need two people, and, well, who else better to call than you? So, come on right over- the room is already good to go. Bye.”
    My emotions fell rapidly into that all-too-well-known crevice of suddenly hating your best friends, but I quickly clambered out. Hadn’t he helped me with my deck for, what, four hours? I can at least help with half of it until he has it going. Besides, ESPN is on the recording list.

    Without bothering to call him back, I slipped on shoes and a jacket that barely fit me and walked over across the street that I lived and grew up on to his house. For a guy of 36, Roger seemed a bit too focused on his masonry projects, even though a previous basement wall had fallen down about a month ago. Before I was even halfway across the street, I saw a solitary wave from the creaky porch that he always monitored at this hour.

    “Hi, Mark! Glad to see you!” He happily strode down his porch steps to clutch me in one of his killer handshakes.
    “Happy to see you too,” I said, all too ready to complete the task at hand. “Where’s this wall that needs done?” Shifting to an almost uncomfortable conversational position, upset that I didn’t want to unnecessarily nonchalantly chat for an hour, he led me down to his basement, where a pile of old, used bricks had been piled next to new mortar.

    “Well, here it is,” he announced unceremoniously. “I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to rebuild this wall after since it fell down.” He drew into silence, suddenly realizing himself that 9:30 PM wasn’t exactly the best opportunity.
    “Let’s get to work,” I replied, quite eager to begin. And so we did.

    The time seemed to fly by, especially with easy-going talk the whole time. Before I knew it, the wall was halfway done, and then almost done. When we finally took a water break around 11:30, I actually had to stand back and realize at how much we had done. Only about 15 bricks were left, and the wall looked absolutely splendid.

    I was sitting on his couch, and he was looking at his watch, when I suddenly apparently began to retrieve bits of my common sense. It hit me like a cold wave down my spine, mellowing down into my nerves. The door.

    “Um, Roger?” I confronted him uneasily, but needing to get the truth out. “We, uh, forgot a space for the door.”
    He looked up from his watch as if it was nothing at all unusual.
    “Well?”
    “Well, now we’ll have to knock down a part and put a door in.” Duh.
    He replied, “Oh, don’t worry. That was all part of the plan.”
    There was that cold wave again, with much more ferocity. I slid down into the comfy couch a bit more.
    “What exactly do you mean, a plan?”
    Suddenly I heard a snapping sound that startled me out of my chair.
    “Roger, was that you?”
    He remained silent. Another sound just like the previous one.
    “Mark, there are certain sacrifices every human has to make.”
    Was it just me, or did my stomach feel like it was being tossed around like pizza dough?
    “Excuse me?”
    “It’s midnight, Mark. Time well enough.”
    “Whatever joke this is, you’ve got me good. Now, can we just–”
    “It’s not a joke.” Was it just me, or did Roger have a beard?
    “I have been smart enough to provide myself with limitations-for the good of humanity.”
    The little room seemed to shrink, or was Roger getting bigger?
    “Whatever sick jig this is, I want out!”
    I stood up out of my chair, only to be forced back down into my seat.
    “Mark, stay here. Don’t tell anyone. And, especially, don’t try to escape.”
    Suddenly it all clicked. I oh-so wished that it hadn’t. The transformation had began.

    _____________________________

    The police officer arrived at 2 in the morning, overdosed on doughnuts and tired. This was, fortunately his last checkup until he could hang his hat, but he didn’t anticipate an easy sleep after his “discovery”.

    After calling in backup, all was revealed- a medium-height 36-year old man identified as Roger Simms was dead, crushed by bricks from a wall that apparently was smashed in on him. How this managed to happen due to the thickness of the mortar is of yet unknown. Another body was found- one of Mark Neilson, a neighbor, found with what appeared to be two animal bites in the neck.

    The only other artifacts found of note in the vicinity were a wristwatch stopped at midnight, an outfit of ripped clothing with hairs on it, and, interestingly enough, a half-smile of relief on Roger’s face.

  6. Talitha5 says:

    I set the last brick on top of the mortar, feeling a welling sense of satisfaction at a job well-done. The wall was straight, solid and sturdy, built to last for many generations. I stepped back, my eyes still roving over the thick brick wall, the product of several hours of hard labor in my friend’s musty basement. I allowed myself a brief smile of self-pride. The room was complete, the last wall finished…
    Suddenly it all fell away like a tidal wave crashing down on my shoulders. There was no door. A rush of absolute terror jolted through me, along with an attack of extreme claustrophobia.
    I rushed at the wall, pounding on it hysterically with my fists. “Phil!”
    I heard his voice coming from the other side, strangely calm and nonchalant. “Yeah?”
    I looked wildly around the little room, seeing nothing but walls and bricks, closing around me, squeezing the air, blocking out all life and light….my voice spiked in pitch as I hollered back, “I’m trapped, GET ME OUT!!!!”
    “Trapped?”
    I flung myself against the wall, vainly trying to peer through a non-existent crack in the bricks to see my friend’s face. “There’s no door! We forgot a door!”
    A small muffled noise preceded Phil’s next statement, like he was stifling a chuckle. “I know. I planned it that way.”
    “You…whaaa?” My words were no more than slurred gasps, and my knees were knocking uncontrollably. I thought I was going to pitch over right there and collapse in a faint. The air seemed thick…my head swam with shock and fright.
    “Are you okay?” Phil sounded concerned.
    I didn’t answer, slumping against the wall I had just built—a trap built with my own hands. I had walled myself in to my doom…by a pre-designed plan. What was going on? My chest rose and fell furiously. I fancied I had a splitting headache from lack of oxygen.
    “Jim!” Phil was yelling now, and I heard the dull thuds of his fists pounding on the other side of the wall, much as I had done. “Jim, can you hear me?” He groaned and I heard his footsteps as he backed away.
    I closed my eyes. I was alone. It would end here, I knew it. Sweat dampened my palms and I tried to steady my shaking limbs, but to no avail. The bricks walls were silent and relentless, grim-faced prison guards holding me in.
    Then I heard the footsteps again, and almost instantly a scuffling sound at the other side of the brick room. A section of bricks was pushed aside—a little sliding door in the wall—and Phil’s head poked through. “Jim, are you okay? It was just a joke, I didn’t mean—”
    I didn’t even hear his words. With a shriek of joy I plunged through the hole in the wall, out of the brick wall trap and into freedom once more. And nothing ever persuaded me to go down into Phil’s basement again.

  7. smallPencil says:

    You can’t just use cement, in a basement. You become the cement. It’s in the air all around you and on your skin and in your lungs. So I slathered some of my new self onto a brick and pressed it into place. I turned to Nick. Nick was not his real name. It was “Bob”. Not even “Robert”, just “Bob”. Nobody wants to be called “Bob” unless they’re a 40 year-old with a beer-gut and a wife-beater(just one, for everyday wear). Or a used-car salesman. So we called him Nick because he always seemed to show up at the exact point when you needed him most. For this reason he had been there to help me out of more than one sticky situation. To help all of us. Everyone owed Nick at least one favor. But he was Nick, so he almost never called on them. So when he asked me to help build this wall, I dove into the job, ear-to-ear grin first. But now, now I hesitated. “Nick, you never said nothing about a door…”

    “No worries. I planned it that way.”

    “You… planned it that way. Nick, what the hell is going on?”

    “I’m putting the door in the North wall. That one is next.”

  8. jen says:

    ‘Sorry?’ I said, I couldn’t have heard Danny right.
    ‘There’s no door Becky’, he sounded tired. His voice muffled by the wall between us.
    I tried to loosen the bricks I’d just put into place.
    ‘It’s quick drying, it won’t work. You’ll want to save your strength’. Danny said. He sounded very calm now, very in control.
    I looked up and saw light spilling over the high wall; Danny had been busy. As I moved toward Danny’s voice I stumbled over a packed sleeping bag on the floor.
    ‘Danny. . .Danny . . . what’s happening? Please?’ I cried. I needed to work out a new strategy, how do I walk away from this one?
    ‘Becky’ his voice sounded clear and as I turned round I saw a small letterbox gap in the wall.
    His hand appeared and he passed through a bottle of water; it echoed around the cell as it hit the ground. This was followed by a banana, toilet roll, flashlight and a book.
    ‘My friends will come looking for me Danny’, I yelled. I tried to press my face into the gap so he could see me; the brick edges scratched my forehead and left cheek.
    ‘I don’t think so,’ he said, ‘a man who called himself your friend came round yesterday. He told me about the money. I’ve paid him what you owe Becky, he won’t be coming back’.
    I stopped a moment, Jamie had tracked me down. How much had Danny had to pay him to compensate him for the loss of her income?
    Danny’s voice came back through the gap, composed and untroubled.
    ‘He thought he might see you again when you needed your next fix. I told him he wouldn’t, that that life was behind you. I told your friend that you’d come to me to be saved. Remember, that’s what you told me on the first night you arrived.’
    ‘Yes’ I said quick to make myself pleasing to him. ‘I do want to be saved’
    I could hear Danny moving on the other side of the wall.
    ‘No’ he whispered to the gap in the wall, ‘you don’t want to be saved, but you do need to be. May be you meant it the first night you were here, but we both know you were just lying low figuring out how to score your next fix. I know you better than you know; I’ve walked your path’
    I slumped onto the rolled up sleeping bag. My shaking hands moved to my face, and my shoulders shuddered.
    ‘Read your bible’ he said and I heard his footsteps leave the room.

  9. loadsafreckles says:

    “What do you mean that was the plan?” I screamed.
    Gerry looked at the frenzied woman in front of him.
    “Hey, relax”.
    “Relax ? Relax?”….my voice was getting louder.
    “This isn’t Harry, flippin, Potter where we just tap on the bricks and the wall magically opens”.
    “We could give it a try”, he winked at me.
    It was hard to stay mad at this guy.
    I laughed. He pushed me on the shoulder affectionately.
    “So. What is this magic plan of yours?”
    Gerry nodded to a large item in the corner.
    “A sledgehammer?” I signed. “Great!”
    “Well that’s only the latter part of the plan”.
    “Oh really?”. I had my hands on my hips. “Enlighten me”.
    Gerry pulled out a blanket from his old rucksack and threw it on the floor, nodding for me to sit down. He then pulled out a bottle of coke and handed it to me. I put the bottle to my lips and gulped, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
    “Classy” Gerry mocked.
    He took the bottle and gulped.
    The fizz made his eyes water and he burped loudly. Silence filled the room before we both burst out laughing like kids. Leaning back against our new wall I put my head on his shoulder.
    “I’ve missed you”. My tone was sincere.
    “No you haven’t”.
    “Yeah you’re right. Why would I miss a pain in the ass like you”?
    We rolled around laughing once again. Gerry put his arm around me and hugged me hard.
    “It’s not fair” I said with sadness in my voice.
    “Nobody ever said life was fair honey”.
    He looked straight into my eyes. His smile told me that everything was going to be ok. I sighed.
    “Feel better?”
    And I did. I smiled and nodded yes.
    “So how about we take our frustrations out on that wall?”
    I jumped up and grabbed hold of the sledgehammer.
    “Me first!”
    “Always the bossy woman”, he laughed.
    The hammer crashed against the wall. I jumped back. I gave it all of my strength and swung a second time. This time the adrenalin was pumping all around my body. I let out a load roar as I hit the wall. This time I couldn’t let go of the hammer. Tears rolled down my face as I swung again, screaming. My breath was panting and the anger seeped out of every pore on my body. I needed to hit that wall hard, over and over again.
    Eventually I dropped the hammer and fell to the floor, exhausted and drained. Hunched down on all fours I coughed the dirt out of my mouth. The hole I had made in the wall became visible through the cloud of dust. The room was quiet, too quiet.
    It was time to go. Looking back I felt relieved and sad at the same time.
    “I will miss you and love you forever” I whispered to nobody.

  10. Leon DAvantage says:

    I laugh, after trying so hard to contain it Al hears it only barely.

    “What? Why are you laughing!” He screeched the question loudly and harshly as an order, but that only makes me laugh more.

    “Laugh. Laugh all you want, it will only use the oxygen faster.”

    I gather myself with a few wheezes and small abdominal convulsions like sticky pad brakes.

    “Al, where do you keep your Trilafon? I’ll run up and grab you a couple.”

    A small scoff, “And how might you be planning to do this?”

    “Buddy, look around you.”

    All I hear is a string of angry vulgarities punctuated with the sound of spit flying and the smell of blood fresh on split knuckles.

    “Here, two of ‘em and a glass of water to wash it down. You’re not getting out until you do. Now where do you keep all your books.”

    “I would rather die. The same as anyone, bookshelf. Why?”

    “Oh you’ll take them eventually or I will call your sister.” The creak of the first stair floated through the room randomly bouncing from wall to wall.

    “Where are you going?” imploringly whimpered through the small hole remaining.

    “I am removing every Edgar Allen Poe story from your library word by word, page by page burning every one, so not a single word of his remains in your possession,” I say through a toothy grin that spoke only innocence.

  11. BEfree21 says:

    “Only a few more feet.” I kept telling myself. I paused at my work and stepped back to examine the wall. The painters were to come in the morning; I must finish my job. I sighed and began again at the slow process. Only two rows left. One row. Ten bricks. Five. Three. One… A deep sigh escaped me. As I completed the final examination of the tedious brick wall, the owner of the house appeared. He was a quiet man, a man of few words. This was his basement and his wall. The purpose of this wall was not known to all. Even I, the builder of it, had only been told to build it. But behind the man’s silence, I knew the reason. “Gut, gut.” The man said emphatically as he himself inspected the labor of the completed wall and compared it to the picture that had been my guide to building the it. I was curious as to why he was satisfied with this creation. Hesitantly I put forth the question that had bothered me: “Herr von Bulow, I wonder, where is the opening?” Herr von Bulow smiled. “Herr Hirsch, it needs no opening of bricks.” Mystified by this response, I gathered my remaining articles and departed.
    Nine o’ clock. I sprinted for my house door, knowing that the Gestapo would stop at no brutality to enforce the curfew for my race. As I approached the alley, a rising ruckus alerted me to caution. Mutely I slid into the shadows and slithered to the back door of my dwelling. Holding my breath, I peeped over the window and then ducked down. I did not need to fear the Gestapo on the streets tonight; they were inside my house. In that one glimpse I saw a sight that I would not forget in all my life. There on the other side of the window I saw my son Benjamin. The Gestapo were beating him. But the thing that tore at me was that Benjamin saw me and he motioned me away with a shake of his head. With tears gathering in my eyes, I turned away and began a treacherous, life threatening walk.
    Soon I arrived at the place where I could find help. Herr von Bulow opened the door to my timid knock. Seeing me, he thrust open the door, dragged me in, and shoved the door shut behind us. I gasped for air. “Gestapo. Took son Benjamin.” Herr von Bulow nodded. “Come.” I followed him to the basement and then gasped in surprise at the wall before me. It was an old wall. The mortar was cracking and peeling. Certainly it couldn’t be the same wall… I watched as Herr von Bulow pushed a series of bricks. Then slowly, noiselessly, a section of the wall slid. I peered up at Herr von Bulow in mute astonishment. His was a look of benevolent pity. “You see Herr Hirsch, the wall needs no opening of bricks.”

  12. malfoymayhem says:

    “What do you mean you planned it that way?” My tone sounded rushed and panicked as I looked at my friend Merna with disbelief. A wicked cackle escaped her lips as she crossed her arms across her chest and started pacing over to the right. Unable to move I stood there just watching her, my eyes never ceasing to watch her facial expressions.

    “You really don’t get it do you?” She said looking at me as a sly smirk played across her lips. Sighing, she let one arm come up to toss her hand nonchalantly to the side. “I told you once that I couldn’t live without you did I not? Like many things I say, you simply ignored it.” Stopping in mid pace she faced me and leaned her back up against the wall with heavy eye lids.

    “Ya I remember. What’s that got to do with having no fuckin door.” Cursing wasn’t something I normally partook in but the panic was rising up from the pit of my stomach to my throat quickly and I was likely to react in ways that were unlike myself.

    Chuckling again she shook her head and looked at me with a smile that made my insides turn. “Do you not see that this is a way to make sure I never loose you to someone else. Temptation is everywhere Nate and I’m not going to allow some little skank to take you away from me.” A small sound escaped from my throat and I didn’t know what to do other than just stare. The signs that could have led up to this in the past few weeks were racing through my head so quickly I almost didn’t hear her continue. “We were meant to be together, don’t you see. I’m going to make sure of that. You’ll see I’m the one for you. A few days of us alone, in this room you built for the two of us, will make you realize you need me as much as I need you.” As she said this she stepped closer and closer, and I backed up against the wall instinctively. I was trapped in hell with no way out.

  13. Mickirose72 says:

    “You’re joking, right?” Landon chuckled uneasily, growing more anxious as his friend seemed ever so relaxed.
    “Why would I joke? I’ve never understood humans such simple way of entertainment. What is the purpose of a joke when my humor is so much more sick and twisted than yours?”
    Then Damien paused. Landon could see that his friend, rather captor now, was mulling over an idea in his head. By the malicious smile spreading across his dark face, Damien rather liked his silent idea. Instinct told Landon this probably wasn’t a good indicator for his humanity.
    “Ha. In that sense, I suppose it is a joke,” said Damien stifling a chuckle.
    A single naked bulb hanging from a loose chain dimly lit the room. It didn’t take much light to tell Damien looked like a madman. Landon shifted to the left trying to subtly grab a shovel that had been lying on the concrete floor. “People will come find me,” informed Landon, fingers straining to grasp the handle of the shovel.
    Damien pretended not to notice, “Of course they will, but by then I’ll be long gone, and you, well I’m sure grubs will have fine dining during your decomposition.”
    Simultaneously, Landon gripped the shovel, and Damien lunged for the teenage boys neck. Landon cracked Damien in the leg; looking up to see the most grotesque thing he had ever saw. In front of him he not long saw the huge Right Tackle he once played football with. Damien was now a 6’ 10” cockroach. Everything you ever dreamed of, right? Landon shielded himself as Damien chased him around the cluttered basement, spewing acid at Landon.
    “It’s no use boy; you think I am the only one of my kind? There could be hundreds of me here by tomorrow. Give in. I promise not kill you in the most despicable way,” Damien laughed. Damien staggered towards Landon, every feeler and antenna wildly active, looking for a nice piece of Landon’s flesh to feast on. Immobilized by horrifying scene taking place in front of him, Landon pressed himself against the cold brick wall.
    Landon yelled, “I will never give into any ugly beast like you!” As he catapulted himself forward, stabbing Damien in the stomach with the tip of the shovel. Damien arched back and roared, pulling the shovel from his stomach which was dripping thick, black acid to the floor. Seeing his chance, Landon grabbed several cinderblocks and began hurling them at the massive cockroach. One knocked Damien to the ground, splattering more of his stomachs fluids. “Who should give in now? Coach always said you had a weak constitution, Bug boy.”
    With renewed energy Damien got up, grabbing and firing cinderblocks back at Landon easily, as if they were dodge balls. Hurriedly Landon dodged them, until the final soaring block hit Landon in the chest, hurling him to the far wall. Damien picked Landon up, smacked him against the wall, and held him there. “Give up, human?”
    “Never.”
    -Invasion

  14. jeblin33 says:

    Jim Mortar and I stood there proudly looking over our work. The job we did putting a new brick wall in his basement would bring even the greatest of masons to their knees. “Jim, we’re pretty awesome, aren’t we?” He chuckles. “Yeah, we are.”

    “…..Huh?” Suddenly I realize that there’s something wrong with this room. Like maybe we might have forgot to put something in. Something kind of important. “Hey, Jim…where’s the door?” The big man turns to me and tilts his head curiously, as if I had said something strange. “Door? What door?” “You know, the one we use to get out of here?” He gives me a slightly concerned look. “Chuck, there isn’t supposed to be a door.”

    “Uhh…what?” I ask him to repeat that, in more detail. “There isn’t supposed to be a door. I thought you would have realized when we covered the old one with bricks…..” I did think it was a little weird at the time. “But how are we gonna get out?” Jim rolled his eyes at me and reached inside his pocket, He produced a set of car keys with a garage door opener.

    He pressed a button and I could hear his garage door closing in the garage above us. Nothing else happened. “Jim. Don’t you dare tell me you’re lying. Every second we spend messing around the concrete is hardening the bricks in place.” He just shakes his head. “Man, calm down. Have a little patience.”

    A few moments later I heard a clattering across the room, There was a gearbox that Jim had attached to the wall on that side and I didn’t realize it. Suddenly, the ceiling opened up and the entire inside of Jim’s garage slowly descended from a large lift. “Yeah, I had the garage turned into a giant elevator the other day. Didn’t I mention it?” No he hadn’t mentioned it.

    The garage/elevator reached our level and stopped. “Jim, I have another question-” He seemed to guess what I was about to ask and cut me off, “It’s because of money, Chuck.” I had no further questions. I just silently followed Jim to his car, got in the passenger seat, and rode the garage back-up with him to the surface while thinking of a thousand better ways for Jim to spend his money.

  15. AnandG says:

    VERSION 2:

    This is a version 2 of my story written earlier, but this is mostly done in a non-dialogue form.

    WHODUNIT

    Mike, Leoni, Max, Tori, Lex, Chang, and Carla were buddies from a college. Mike and Leoni were the most talked about among the group. Though she never expressed her love for Mike, every one in the group is aware that Leoni had special feelings for him. The care and chemistry that Leoni had towards Mike clearly revealed that she had a special interest for him. But the same was unclear about Mike.

    All the friends were hanging out at Mike’s place as it was a weekend.

    Bored by their day, they planned for some adventure. Kayaking was what Max had proposed, along with a camping for a day, and everyone was excited and ready for it, except for Mike. Mike said that he had some important work at home and so Leoni too opted out of the plan. Everyone felt that they might be seeking some time in solitude and left for camping.

    Mike and Leoni were now all alone. Leoni’s heart was thumping hard. It was a private moment for which she was waiting for.

    “Kiss me Mikey and clasp me in your warm hug and do not leave me”, Leoni was talking in her mind, but her eyes were revealing all that she was thinking. Her face was blushing pink with the mushy feelings that were running in her mind.

    “Leoni, I want to build a small room in my basement. Would you help me?” Mike broke Leoni’s thoughts by asking.

    Leoni responded positively and they went to the basement. There were bricks and mortar and they started building walls. Ignorant of the reason, Leoni asked Mike, the reason to build the walls in. He responded laconically without a clear answer. Since Leoni loved and deeply and trusted Mike, she did not expect a clarification too, when the answer from Mike was unclear.

    Brick on brick they started building the wall. Mike was having glimpses of Leoni’s beautiful legs right below her tight denim shorts. It seemed to Leoni that the chemistry was beginning. Her heart was pulsating fast for him. But then, she realized that they did not put the door. When asked Mike said that it was as planned and there was no need to worry about it. Leoni was puzzled. She had no clue of what was going on there. It seemed to her like solving a tough jigsaw puzzle; but the trust she has in Mike was what kept her moving on, where any other person would have doubted Mike and the situation.

    Mike held Leoni off her waist and lifted her up the roof. Molecules of love in Leoni’s body moved in an ever-swift manner. She was going topsy-turvy in her mind.

    They were out of the room and were on the sofa, watching TV. Leoni, occasionally looked at Mike and he seemed lost. Worried a bit, she tried to engage him, but there was neither a response, nor a movement of him: like a dead man, or a lifeless statue. She uttered hard again and Mike responded startled as if he has come back from a fantasy land to the real world due to some odd calling.

    Mike walked into the kitchen to make a drink for them both. Leoni, a little worried, followed him. Mike made a cola drink and was crushing ice to chill it. Leoni was looking at Mike and her eyes were in a romantic mood. All she wanted was a touch of Mike’s hand and those cliché but ever-beautiful words called ‘I love you’. But Mike did not seem to in a mood for a romance, but something darkish that Leoni couldn’t even have a nightmare of such kind about him. When she saw him with the ice crusher, he seemed to her quite differently. It was Mike for sure, but expressions of something dark, something sinister; an evil play in the mind of his.

    Leoni’s little worry grew big when Mike came close to her; so close that he was just an inch distant from her, and targeted the ice crusher pointing her eye and speaking like a psycho stranger. Initially, Leoni thought it as a prank and smiled, but so pointed was the ice crusher and so close to her eye, that she had a fear somewhere at the bottom of her heart. Leoni shouted loudly calling out Mike’s name and Mike apparently was out in the real world again. He laughed and repeatedly told Leoni that it was a prank, but it was hard for her to come out of that horrific situation. She left the place with mixed emotions of anger and fear; anger, for it was a ‘so-called’ prank and fear for the dark experience she never thought of. Little did she know what was ahead.

    ***TWO WEEKS LATER***

    A couple was found killed in the basement of Mike’s, on a weekend’s late night and the worst was that it were Tori and Max. The bodies were found in the room that Mike and Leoni have built. Mike’s parents who were busy businessmen arrived home worried from France.

    Mike was found near the basement in a just-out-of-fainted state. All the friends would be interrogated by the police, but because of the crime scene and the body of evidence, Mike would be of stressing importance to them.

    Leoni was all but normal. She was berserk in her mind, though she looked balanced from outside. She still remembered how Mike was lost into his own and how he aimed the ice crusher close to her eye, apparently involved in a completely different character. She never knew why he wanted the room to be built in the basement and that too without a door. All her doubts were pulling her to the image of Mike as a killer psycho, but her heart was not ready to believe the thoughts in her mind. She was a girl cut into two: between her heart and mind.

    Investigations were on. Everybody’s life has changed. No more hangouts and adventure rides. Everybody doubted each other like a whodunit story. But it was Leoni who suffered the most of it. Her dreams shattered, her feelings about Mike still the same in her heart, yet her mind wasn’t willing to accept him due to its doubtful thoughts about him. All she was left with were the memories of the time that she spent with Mike in building the room and how he touched her waist and a happy story was about to begin, but horror followed immediately and she broke into tears. This was how her days begin and end, to see another day; and in between was a hope, that Mike has no involvement in the murders and they would be together again.

    • don potter says:

      I actually found the first version more interesting. My comment about clunky dialogue came from the style rather than content. Ask yourself, do people talk this way? Read the conversations out loud and decide for yourself. The first version slowed down when I got to the TWO WEEKS LATER part of the story. Losing the dialogue up front slows the story down from the get-go. This is my opinion. I am not a teacher, but I have written four novels and lots of other stuff. Take away whatever works, and good luck with your writing. And never stop!

      • AnandG says:

        Thank you Don.
        I am very much a beginner and trying to learn and improve. These prompts are helping me a lot.
        Guidance from people like you would help me get into a proper direction.
        Thanks a lot!!

  16. sydneybear says:

    A New Home

    We put the last brick in place and stand back to admire our work. I look around and realize that we did not leave a door. We are trapped.

    “Ike, the joke is up. You can open the trap door or however you planned on getting out. It is not very funny.”

    “I do not have a trap door. I planned it that way. Don’t worry; we won’t be here too long. I have brought previsions.” Ike said very calmly. He starting opening his bag and unpack.

    “Why are you so calm? I want to you quite playing around and get me out of here this instant.” I’m starting too really panic. I have never liked small spaces.

    As I am trying to gather my wits, I start to hear load noises outside the wall. What is going on!!

    “What are those noises? It sounds like an earthquake. Do you know what is going on?”

    “Yes, but there is no need to panic. You are safe here. Come join me. I have food and beverages.” Ike points to the blanket on the ground and the bag of food.

    “Tell me right now what is going on.”

    “Come join me and I will tell you everything.”

    I walk over to the blanket slowly and sit as far away from Ike as I can.

    “Don’t be afraid Clare. I’m not going to hurt you. I saved you as I have become very fond of you.”

    “You stay away from me.” I warn him and back up until my back bumps the wall.

    “The noises that you are hearing are my people vaporizing the earth so that we can have a home. Our planet was destroyed centuries ago. We have been looking for a planet that was close to our old one was. Earth met our needs.”

    This is not real. It can’t be. I start to hyperventilate. Ike walks over to me. I motion for him to stay away. He stopped.

    “I’m sorry if I am frightening you. Let me show you my real self. Now don’t be scared.”

    He crouches over and then stands and extends his arms up. He is so bright I have to look away. As my eyes adjust, I look back. There he is standing there all white and luminous. Behind him there are wings that show different colors and they move. He is beautiful. He stretches out his hand for me to take. A feel of peace comes over me. I step toward him slowly and then take his hand. His touch is gentle and safe.

    Just then there is a loud bang outside the wall. I jump. Ike pulls me close and wraps his wings around me to shield me from the bricks falling.

    When the banging stops, Ike opens his wings from around me. I look up and see an opening. I walk over to it and look back to Ike. He motions for me to go through. What I see is horrifying, yet amazing. I can see for miles. Everything that was there is now gone, completely flat. Then the realization hits be like a freight train. I’m the only human left. I’m all alone. Then the world goes black as I fall to the ground.

    I wake to an annoying buzzing sound. It is my alarm. It was all a dream!!!

  17. Kailandra says:

    “What do you mean, you ‘planned it that way?’” I demanded, turning to search the other walls for a way out. None existed.

    Seth blinked innocently, unaware of the panic creeping into my voice and features. “If there’s a door, things can come in.”

    “Okay.” I struggled for calm, steadying myself with deep breaths. “That’s true, Seth.” My voice took on the tone generally reserved for my preschool students, and in another situation I would have been annoyed at myself for using it on an adult. “But if there isn’t a door, how are we going to get out?”

    He cocked his head and considered me, puzzled. Then he shrugged. “I don’t know, Angie. You were always the smart one.”

    I tried to wrap my mind around the absurdity of the situation. Seth had never been this … distached from reality. He had been intelligent, witty–the man that stood before me shared no characteristics with Seth besides appearance. He looked unconcerned, watching me with a child’s eyes that conveyed his absolute trust that I would fix the situation.

    I took another fortifying breath and exhaled slowly. “Seth. What happened?”

    Those simple words flipped a switch in his mind. His eyes widened until the whites showed and he laughed hysterically. “Angie. Angie–Angela. Where were you?”

    He looked crazed, his teeth showing as he waited for my answer. I racked my brain, trying to find the information he was referring to and afraid that asking would push him over the edge.

    “Last week.” Realization dawned: the phone call asking to meet Seth at the diner at night. I had intended to go, but I had forgotten when Seraphine showed up from out of town so abruptly. “Seth… what happeneed at the diner?”

    “Diner,” he repeated, staring at me with an intensity I’d never seen on another human’s face. “What happened at the diner?” He shook his head and I could almost see the thoughts shift inside. “There was a man with a gun. He came in the door.” Seth gestured to the doorless wall. “Bad things come in doors.”

    I suppressed a shiver as I watched Seth consider the wall with fascination. “What did he do?”

    Seth shrugged: a twitch of one shoulder. “He had that black stuff. You know. The cops are always trying to find it.”

    The mind eater. My skin crawled. A new drug, it… ate… at the connections in the brain, reverting users to animals, unable to reason or think the same. I was trapped in a brick room with someone who had been converted into something with just slightly more reasoning power than the average dog.

    “Angie.” Seth smiled, his face gruesome. “I’m hungry.”

    My hand scraped the bricks behind me as I recognized the intensity of the look on his face. I’d seen it before — on the face of a predator about to overcome its prey.

    ——–

    Took some editing to get it under 500 words!

  18. don potter says:

    You scared me.

  19. don potter says:

    “I hate to tell you this, but we are walled in,” Tim announced.
    “Can’t be. All we have to do is knock out the last few lines of bricks and we’re out of here,” Bob said, displaying his confidence.
    “Not with that super-quick dry mortar I bought. The guy at the hardware store said it cures in minutes. Go ahead try moving the last row of bricks we laid.”
    Bob tried but had no luck and said, “They won’t budge. How could you do this to us?”
    “Guess I wasn’t thinking.”
    “Nobody even knows we met at your summer place to brick up the basement walls. They won’t know where to look for us. How could you forget to put a door in the plans?”
    “Once I started laying bricks the task took over. All I could think of was putting them down as fast as I could. Sorry.”
    “Sorry, is that all you can say?”
    “Neither of us noticed the problem until it was too late.”
    “Don’t try to blame this on me. I’m just the helper. What are we going to do? We have no food and are about out of water. How much air do we have before we die?
    “Easy on the drama, Bob, you might work yourself into a heart attack. Take this pill.”
    “Why?”
    “It’ll calm you down.”
    “I don’t need it”
    “Yes you do. It’ll make things easier.”
    Bob swallowed the pill with the last of the water in his bottle and asked, “What would you do if I had put you in this predicament?”
    “I’d ask if there was another way out of this place.”
    “If there is, tell me now.”
    “Not to worry.” Tim went to the other side of the room and opened a trap door.
    “Some friend you are. Scared me half to death. And you knew about the escape route all the time,” Bob said and followed the other man down the narrow stairway and to the tunnel beyond. “Where does this go?” he asked.
    “Away from where we were,” Tim replied with a sly smile.
    “Not funny.”
    “Oh come on. Lighten up,” Tim said as they came to a door, which opened to another room.
    When both men were inside, Bob noticed the surroundings looked like a kitchen in a high-end restaurant. There was a steel preparation table. The knives and other tools on it sparkled in the brilliant overhead light. A large stove on the one wall was flanked by a commercial refrigerator. The shelves were filled with spices and other cooking ingredients.
    “What going on? Why am I getting woozy? Is it the pill? Get me out of here,” Bob said as he collapsed in a heap next to the door.
    Tim picked up his unconscious friend and laid him on the table. Before making the first cut Tim said, “I told you the pill would make it easier. It’s time to prepare dinner, and you’re the main course.”

  20. dford says:

    Captive

    I know this dream, it’s kin to the pursuit dream. You chase me, I run. There are no locks strong enough. No safe place to hide. Once again, I’m face to face with my enemy. Your sinister laugh sends chills down my spine as evil replaces good.

    Don’t flatter yourself, I’ve faced death a time or two before. In fact, perhaps you should be the one who worries. After all, I’m the one with the shovel!

  21. vmoulton says:

    You’ve been finishing a brick wall for a room in your friend’s basement for a couple of hours. When you step back, you realize that you and your friend forgot to put in a door. He tells you not to worry about it, he planned it that way. How do you react?
    The brick grout has dries slowly on my pants. Beads of sweat flow down my forehead creating little rivers in the dust that has accumulated. I pick up my bottle of water, open the top with my teeth and sip in lukewarm water. The temperature of it makes me cringe. Not really fond of water in the first place. Too much like swamp water this tap crap. Footsteps swiftly stomp above my head. Joe must be back. Got to show him my masterpiece. The door to the basement clicks shut, Joe’s on his way down. Bet he’s grinning from ear to ear. His wife’s in labor right now, been making him smile all day.
    “Hey Reed, looking good so far bud.” Joe slowly speaks. “You know there’s only one thing missing.”
    “No way. What did I forget?” Reed inquired.
    “The god damn door Reed! How we supposed to use that dang room now?” Shouted Joe.
    “What! You can’t see it?” Man you blinded by baby love?” Reed sarcastically questioned.
    It came to me in a dream. Wait. Bullshit. I had done about three quarters of the brick wall and realized I need to leave room for a door. Well then a sneaky idea came to me. How about I cover the door with brick too, make it a secret. Blow Joe’s mind. Score.
    “Aw Joe, you sure are easy to tease. I done covered that door in brick too! Made it a secret room for you and your big family. You’ll kiss me someday when those dang zombies come at your house.” Reed proudly proclaims.
    At first I thought divorce court fried Reed’s brain. Scrambled those eggs nice and good. His ex wife took all he had and then some. Damn boy been drinking every night at the Green Square Pub. This time I think he has outdone himself. He’s a genius.
    “You ain’t got anything to worry about bud. I got your ass.” Reed puffs.
    “I never doubted your talent for deception friend.” Joe stings back. “Let’s grab a beer.”
    “Damn straight.” Reed hollers.
    I told myself I wasn’t going to drink on the job but that bitch’s face is nearly etched into my brain. Every time I’m sober I find myself daydreaming about her face. The way her freckles made a constellation of beauty tracing her porcelain face still makes my stomach turn into a butterfly cage. The contours of her naked body haunt my daytime dreams. But most of all, her soul. Well it lives in mine. She has forever captured me in her trance. I should have grouted myself in that brick room for soon I might need a place to slowly wither away.

    • swatchcat says:

      The vines of this story are good but this needs work (or at least appears to)if you did this on purpose then good job. You definitely have the slang speak down bro’ ie. “I’za be go’n ta da stow mang. We’z, me, and I done dat” or you need to write better then you speaked. Your tenses are swinging wide. Got lost on the wife in labor all day and suddenly he’s divorces and having problems. Quandary, what clan of the Moulton’s are you from or did you just randomly choose vmoulton?

  22. Kerry Charlton says:

    [New posting, new ending. Last post, split story into two parts]

    THE BLACK WIDOW

    “You’ll have to fly to Miami, Brian,” Jim said. “Mary Margaret’s coming to our 25th high school reunion.”

    “She wouldn’t give me the time of day,” I said.

    “Well she called me about it and wants to see you. She knows you’re single now.”

    “I’ve heard rumors about her, Jim. How many husbands has she planted?”

    “Just three in the last twenty years. Are you afraid of her?”

    “Up yours Jim. I’ll be there.”

    Southwest Airlines taxied to a stop at Miami International and Jim and Carole Ann greeted me at the gate.

    “You look great, Brian,” Carole Ann said. “Been playing a lot of tennis?”

    “There’s not much else to do in San Antonio. My daughters are at UT and I’m living in a condo downtown, overlooking the river.”

    “Tough man, tough,” Jim said. You’re staying with us. We’re living in the grove now.”

    “You must have hit a gold vein, Jim. Coconut Grove is million plus property.”

    “KFC franchises and a little luck,” he said.

    Gables High Reunion Dance rocked Dinner Key Auditorium as we arrived. I saw Mary Margaret across the dance floor doing a slow tango with Joe Chatfield, the captain of our football team. Always a statuette redhead, she looked stunning in an emerald green, off the shoulder dress and stiletto heels. Still those haunting green eyes reflecting pools of passion, her high cheek bones and a devilish look about her. Her freckles had dissolved into a timeless and flawless complexion.

    Music stopped and Mary Margaret swung her hips toward me, sauntering across the dance floor as if she were stalking prey.

    “I love your body and mind Brian. I always have.”

    Carole Ann and Jim had dissolved into the crowd and helplessly, I placed my arms around her and fell into her parting lips. At midnight, we stood on her second story balcony overlooking Biscayne Bay. City lights of Miami shimmered across soft waves, measmerizing us.

    “I want you to see my wine cellar,” she said, leading me down two flights of stairs to a steel door. The door started closing behind me. I released the locking button and let it close like a vault. Inside the wine cellar, three walls lined themselves with racks holding several thousand bottles. Granite blocks and masonary mortar stacked along the fourth wall.

    Mary Margaret clung to me and started to cry.

    “I’m no good Brian,” she said.

    “Why do you say that? You’re not that way at all.”

    “I’ll continue to kill unless you help me.”

    “Is that what happened to your husbands?”

    “Yes, I did it for the money. I never loved any of them; only you.”

    “What is it you want me to do?” We had made love on her balcony for two hours while the waves lapped her sea wall. I realized I had always loved her.

    “I want you to wall the doorway up,” Mary Margaret said. “Make love to me again and die with me.”

    I did as she asked and gathered her into my arms, walking into her tasting room, lowering her gently to a sofa. I lost all reality of life as I entered her warm body. But somehow, I couldn’t end it here. The mortar hadn’t set and I had a few minutes to give both of us a second chance and a lifetime of hope and promise to offer her.

  23. A LOVE, DARKLY
    ==============

    Alice gave me a furtive glance as she handed me a glass of lemonade. She was nervous. I could sense a slight tremble in her voice as she offered a drink to Darcy. He was oblivious as usual.

    “A drink, honey? How’s the wall coming along?” she asked.

    My best friend took the sweet glass and downed it in one shot. It was indeed hot work. He wiped the sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his shirt then answered our favourite redhead. “We’re almost done. Just a few more bricks to lay.”

    Darcy took pride in his projects. Whether at work or at home, he threw himself in. Nothing was left to chance. Every detail accounted. The basement renovation was no exception. The dry storage partition was the last to complete. He was particular about his choice of cinder-block.

    “Just one more bucket of mortar to mix. Bobby, I’ll do that while you sweep out the room one last time. Alice, sweetheart, can you give him a hand? Thanks.”

    We’d been friends since we were in junior high. We rode bikes together. We played hockey together. The one thing we never did was compete for girls. It was never really a problem anyway. I was the outgoing one of the pair. I always had luck. I just could never keep a relationship for very long. Darcy was a strikeout king. That made him the perfect wingman. After college, we all grew up. I married and divorced while Darcy struggled. Part of me always thought he was jealous of me. If he only knew.

    I held out my hand to help Alice over the bottom blocks into the small space. Her touch was electric. It was all I could do to not kiss her and hold her close. To hell with the consequences. She held the flash-light while I swept the room. We worked in tense silence as we waited for Darcy to return, each alone with our thoughts.

    I was genuinely happy when he found Alice. She was beautiful and smart. My friend could finally be happy. But, nothing lasts forever though. Darcy worked too hard. Alice was left alone too much. It was too easy to love her. Two years of forbidden passion. It’s crazy, but with her, I’ve found my own peace.

    Neither of us expected to be faced with the barrel of a shotgun.

    Darcy didn’t mince words. “You’re supposed to be my friend, Bobby. Alice is supposed to be my girl.”

    I was at a loss of what to say. I was ashamed for all three of us. My stomach sank and my head swam.

    “Darcy, please. Don’t do this”, said Alice with tears streaking her dusty cheeks.

    “I love you.” That was all he said to her. I don’t think he had words for anything else. He spoke directly to me next. His voice was level and monotone, a forced steely detachment. “You win. You always do. She’s yours now. Forever. Fill it in, Bobby.”

    I stared at the end of the double barrels for a brief moment and then met Darcy’s gaze. All I saw was doom. I felt Alice’s presence at my side. “No, Darcy. No.” She pleaded to deaf ears.

    Quick-drying cement has a unique odour. Time raced faster than I could fathom as I set the blocks in the mortar. It wasn’t long before the only sound that could be heard was our own panicked breathing. The job was finished. Alice and I held hands as the batteries of her flash-light winked out. The darkness swallowed us.

  24. peetaweet says:

    “She’s a brick…..haaaawse! She’s mighty mighty…”

    “Jared, for the love of God. Please stop.”

    For two days I had listened to Jared sing, tell high school jokes, and in short annoy me to no end. At times I had to remind myself that he was a successful marketing manager, in other words he could act normal. The beer helped, as we relived our glory days, finishing off the case of Miller lite in his dusty fridge.

    “Hey, do you remember when we hitchhiked to Roanoke to see Becky and Bailey?”

    “Yep. What were we thinking?”

    “They were twins, that’s what we were what we were thinking!”

    “Yeah, until their dad came home nearly shot you.”

    The stories came and went as we worked on the “bricktition”, as Jared called it, for the workshop in the basement of his townhome. The weekend project became one of survival and endurance, but it got my mind off of things back home.

    We were on our last layer (and beer) on Sunday evening when I looked around, noticing how impractical the wall placement had been, sealing the room from the rest of the house, including the stairs. At least we had the door side.

    “Jared.”

    He was on the ladder doing much of nothing.

    “Jared there’s no door.”

    He jumped down and stood next to me, trough in hand.

    “Huh? You’re right.”

    “I’m right? We’ve been working on this thing since Friday evening and neither of us knew there was no door.”

    “I did. Honestly it’s about time you noticed.”

    He wore that broad smile from childhood, the one that kept him out of trouble and in the good graces of cheerleaders. I wanted to punch him.

    “So you’ve just sealed off a room in your basement like some sort of dungeon?”

    He laughed, sweeping the trough towards the wall as though it were a powerpoint. “No, it’s a brick wall. Like the one you’ve hit, figuratively speaking.”

    “Oh my God. You’ve been in one too many meetings.”

    “When I call you and ask if you’re okay, you say you’re fine. You shrug off any attempts by me or anyone else to help. But if I needed help, well, now here you are.”

    “So I drove four hours down to waste a weekend putting up a figurative wall? Lame.”

    “It got you out of that crappy apartment didn’t it? Besides, it’s been fun. Do you know what it took for Jackie to agree to this?”

    Shaking my head, I stared at the wall. “She even got the damned dog, Jared.”

    “I know, and it sucks.” He picked up the sledge hammer, grabbing it by the base and thrusting the shaft in my direction.

    “Here, have at it. Blow off some steam.”

    My first swing tore through the wall, sending my figurative bricks falling to the floor as my own stress crumbled. Maybe he did know what he was doing. I swung again, crashing into my clay counselor, filling the air with dust and mortar. Sometimes it’s good to have crazy friends.

  25. livvykitty says:

    “Sabrina,” She bit her lip as she looked uncertainly at the black painted brick wall in front of them, “Why did you forget the door?” Sabrina looked back at her, green eyes glinting in the darkness of the self-made cell. It certainly wasn’t helping Amy’s claustrophobia that the wall seemed to be made of the ominous black marble bricks from back at the old castle. The old castle that doesn’t exist, Amy reminded herself. Like the doctors said, this isn’t real.

    Sabrina approached her, keeping her back to the solid brick wall. She put a casual hand on her shoulder, a touch that sent electricity crawling through Amy’s spine. “How many times do I have to say this, Amy? This is real. You just can’t seem to accept it…”

    “Of course it isn’t,” Amy insisted, trying not to focus on how the wall of black seemed to reach for her with long, shadowy claws, “This is only a dream world I made to escape from my depression, like the doctors said.” The ground seemed unsteady under her feet as Sabrina glared at her.

    “Those doctors don’t know anything,” Sabrina growled, fiery red hair pooling into the right side of her face and covering her scar from view, “They try to present ‘plausible’ explanations for events that they can’t wrap their minds around. And, of course, you all listen to them only because of their fancy degrees and theories.”

    Now Amy was sure that the walls were closing in around her, threatening to seal off her air. Why had she come here? It wasn’t real, it was a fake world. So then shouldn’t she be able to control what was happening? Why couldn’t she make the room stop spinning? She tried to take a deep breath and focus on the sounds of the outside, even though they seemed to keep eluding her. She couldn’t seem to wake up. This is what scared her, even more so than facing these Nightmare Warriors and trying to save a so called ‘Mage’ of Hope.

    From the black, Amy could see glowing eyes, like thousands of dying embers. There was a blood curdling scream and Sabrina was being pulled in. Jaws lined with sharp, gleaming white teeth snapped at the girl as long tendrils of darkness wrapped around her arms. Sabrina sobbed, “Please, Amy! You have to help me! Please! You have to believe!”

    Amy pressed herself against the wall, frozen with horror. She wanted to scream, she wanted to cry out. She wanted someone to help her friend. She wanted to yell, ‘I can’t do this, and I’m not the Savior!’ Her voice seemed lost as she watched her friend disappear into the wall.

    Sabrina choked, sobbing out, “Pl… ea…” Amy saw the fear inside her eyes. This couldn’t have been just a dream. If it was, how could the emotion inside Sabrina’s eyes be so genuine, so real? She glared at the blackness and pulled her friend’s outstretched arm. Sabrina sputtered, coughing as the dark gripped desperately to her. What happened next was something beyond Amy’s understanding.

    Suddenly, the long snouts began to recede into the wall. The black seemed to disappear completely, leaving only normal red brick. Sabrina was pulled away from the wall and to safety. In front of them, a door painted with countless stars and constellations appeared. The two were frozen for a moment before Sabrina whispered in awe, “It’s the Gateway of Universe… It only appears to…”

    Amy swallowed. She wanted to break down then, throw a tantrum and scream and cry. But she couldn’t, could she? The prophecy had said it was her. She was the Savior. Why did this have to happen to her, of all people? Why couldn’t she just accept her destiny?

    But… Amy couldn’t accept it. She wasn’t a hero.
    (Feedback would be much appreciated!)

    • DMelde says:

      I like your story. I think a chosen one, especially one that rejects being chosen, is a great story line to develop. Your story is a pleasant read and I’d like to read a more expanded version.
      I usually don’t give feedback except to say “well done” but since you requested some, my main advice would be to tighten the story. Some examples, –Sabrina’s scar and when Sabrina said that they all listen to the doctors– are elements that were introduced without being revisited later in the story. What is the significance of the scar? Who are the all that listen to the doctors? You could tighten the story by deleting these elements. These are just some things that I would do. As always, a writer should write what they want to write, so feel free to disregard everything I’ve said.
      I guess another way to say “tighten the story” is to make every word count. Happy writing!

    • This is a great read. Nice plot for this prompt.

  26. swatchcat says:

    She stood in the shower, steam all around and the water pelting her hair. She just stood there leaning face first into the wall feeling every ounce of hot water flow down and over the dimples by her bottom. As she opened her eyes, the droplets on the wall inches from her came into focus.

    She spoke aloud, “You lied to me.”

    She listened and through the water the voice spoke. “I didn’t. I knew you and I needed it this way.”

    “But, I will never speak with you again. How will I survive?” The tears mixed with the water as she turned toward the showerhead. A waterfall of hot water warmed her breast and she swished her hand along the wall. “I need you,” she yelled!

    “You built the wall, not I. When you started I just helped it along. There can be no door. I knew you needed to stop this. You are going mad.” The man’s voice lectured in her mind.

    Her hands squeaked as she slide down the wall and lay in the fetal position on the floor of the shower stall. They had been friends for a lifetime. She would speak to him and he would answer. One day they both were in a dark place. They called it the basement of their minds. When he got worse so did she, they ended up in his mind, a parallel of the two and she would be lost for days.

    “Don’t worry about it. I have you handled,” and he faded away forever.

    She laid in the shower until the water turned ice cold crying her eyes out, shivering. She mourned her minds lose, her souls lost identity. At that moment the metal rings holding the curtain rattled and her husband scooped her out of the water and into his loving arms.

    “It’s not over yet. I love you damnit! I’m alive, you’re alive. Let him go.” He wrapped his arms around her wetness.

    She whispered into his ear, “He’s gone.”

  27. calicocat88 says:

    “They’re coming for you,” Michael said. “I’m not going to be around to save you when they do.”

    Christian brushed the bits of sheetrock from his khakis and hair. They had torn down most of the old wall and mortar and rocks were grinding on the cement floor underneath his shoes. He looked up as Michael balanced a hand on his shoulder. “You can’t be serious?” Christian said, and gestured to the door-less brick walls surrounding them. “Is that what all of this was about?”

    “Monroe has first-hand information on the operation,” Michael was expressionless in his white shirt and tie with his hands stuffed in his suit pockets. “They’re impatient and getting suspicious. The wall’s a pathetic attempt at protection, but one nonetheless.”

    “Okay,” Christian smiled and leaned against the newly structured brick. It felt strong and supportive against his back. “What did Monroe say? That we know too much and now they have to kill us?”

    “This isn’t a game,” he said. “The corporation has me in shackles. They know you have information.”

    “You knew that when your people invested in our company,” Christian said. “A couple of programs and satellites and I would be done.”

    Michael stared coldly over Christian’s shoulder. “They want me to bring you to them. I’ve should have known they’d be watching. Our every move is being calculated. They suspect I leaked the information to you.”

    “How—“ Christian started and then suddenly a cold feeling began to creep up his back into his shoulders. The basement was completely silent except for the low humming of the air conditioner unit. “Have they been watching all of us?”

    Michael nodded understandingly. “Either we’ve been careless or one of our own has betrayed us. Once they take you they’ll be after anyone who may have had connections to you, who you may have used to confide information. You’re friends, wife, your children…” he licked his lips. “I’m already a target for questioning. I’m waiting to be ambushed any day now. I have the files with me.”

    Christian felt his eyes go wide, “Cyclops.”

    Michael shook his light hair from his eyes and reached down to pull out a small folder from the pockets of his suit jacket. “I’ve sent Anna and Benjamin to the island estate. Jackson is with his mother in Dublin.” He handed Christian the folder. “I’d ask you to send yours but…well, then we’d both be killed.”

    “Nothing like saving your own ass,” Christian said, and opened the contents of the folder. He fanned through the thick pages and felt bile rise in his throat. “It’s all here. Names, figures… I still can’t believe this is real. I didn’t realize it was going to happen so soon.”

    “I’m leaving for Columbia tonight,” Michael said. “They want me to meet some higher ups and convince them to switch over to our side. Maybe after this deal wins over I can get the eyes off my back.”

    “And I’m supposed to stay here and what, wait?” Christian said. “I know just as much as you do. And not just me—Dorian, Nunez—we’re all involved. We’ve become a rebel group by accident. No one is going to get out of this. Not even you.”

    “Monroe said they are going to bring you in for questioning,” Michael said. “Only a few people are supposed to know what we know. And I can assure you they will not be kept around long enough for the workings to spill out into society.”

    “My family will be hunted down,” Christian grimaced and shoved the file at Michael’s chest. “We may be friends, but don’t ever ask me to do something like this again.” He sighed when he didn’t take the folder and slid down the brick wall to his knees, the papers fanning out and glaring at him, “Why me? Over everyone else, why me?”

    “You have the brains,” he said. “What you can offer them–they want you alive for a little while. Use you.”

    “They plan on eliminating the elderly, the sick,” Christian wiped a hand over his dripping forehead, “Anyone who taints the population. Then repopulate. Terrorist attack, they’ll call it. I’d put my life on it.” A lump formed in his throat when he realized that he already had. “How do they plan on repopulation?”

    “Facilities,” Christian said. “They’ve hand-picked the children they’ll use for the mating program already. Between the ages of seventeen and thirty—all selected because of the genetic ability to produce more desirable offspring. They’ll wait until they’re of age and when the false attack has begun they’ll take the selected humans, throw them off as missing persons. Your daughter’s name is on the list along with my son’s. Give it about ten years.”

    An invisible hand seemed to grip Christian’s heart and jerk. “Heather? She’s five years old!”

    “They pick them early, Chris,” he said. “You think I have any more of a choice than you do? Benjamin has been bred only to be a breeding machine himself. But you can still hide your daughter. She’s a no body. My son is everywhere. His name is everywhere in the corporation already. You look at your daughter every night and lie to her face when she asks if daddy will keep her safe, because I can’t even look at my son let alone acknowledge his existence for what I’ve brought him into.”

    Christian didn’t move for what felt like hours. When he finally did, he stood up with the folder in his hand. “We’re all screwed. Why are you giving me these to hide and not Dorian?”

    “Dorian has his instructions. I want you to hide the key,” he said, and pressed along the older bricking left over on the wall, muttering something until one of them slightly jiggled. He slid out the brick and inside was a space just big enough for the folder to fit. “When you come back with the key, put the folder in. I’ll add the top to the walls then. Outside in the room the brick wall won’t look like anything other than that.”

    “There’s no—“ Christian began, and Michael shoved a piece of paper into his hand. His gray eyes spoke a deep warning.

    “Everything is there,” he said. “Plant it where you wish. But make sure it can never be found.” He nodded to the wall. “I’ll give you a lift.”

    Christian shoved the paper into his pocket and with a jolt from Michael was able to topple back over the wall into the original basement space.

    “You got any ideas?” Michael’s voice was hollow and muffled on the other side. “Make it good. Remember, yours isn’t the only life you’re saving.”

    Absently, Christian pulled out the paper and looked down. The words were written out like a scrawled child’s hand writing. It said: vocal identification.

    “Don’t you find it incredibly difficult to imitate someone’s singing voice?” Michael said conversationally as if neither of them had been discussing impending national doom. “Benjamin cannot sing a single tune and Jackson is tone deaf like his mother. Very rare to find a child with a singing talent that doesn’t sound like a pathetic school musical, know what I mean?”

    Christian smirked. Suddenly, his daughter’s face materialized in his mind—her tiny frame bouncing through the house singing words and patterns she had made up throughout the day. He crumpled the paper back inside his pocket and heading towards the stairs said over his shoulder, “I think I know exactly what you mean.”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      A very gripping narrative. It reads so real you feel like you’re standing there with the two friends. It wouldn’t be the first time in history, repopulation for a super race has been tried. Still, I wonder if Christian would put his daughter at risk. I would think he would assemble an execution team and take the biggies out. Better to die with your boots on and take as many of the SOB’s as you can. He apparantly has a mind of brilliance and he might pull it off.

      It would make a great conclusion to your story and your readers would be with them all the way. Good guys win and bad guys die!

    • You got carried away with this one! Ha! It’s a great story. I hope you continue this one.

    • don potter says:

      George Orwell and beyond. Your story made my skin crawl. Good job.

    • DMelde says:

      Great theme for a longer story. I too hope you continue it. I loved the name Cyclops.

  28. isitrice says:

    Rachel dropped her dripping trowel onto the dirt floor and sat down on the cheap wooden steps leading up to the kitchen. The cool damp air filled her lungs as she surveyed their work, a solid gray brick wall spanning the length of the basement, cutting it in half.

    “uhm, I think we forgot to put in a door.” Rachel sighed wearily, vainly trying to wipe her mortar encrusted hands on the pair of baggy sweats she borrowed from David that morning.

    David plopped down next to her and slid his arm around her waist her pulling her close.

    “Don’t worry, I planned it that way” he said with a grin, pulling her in for a long kiss.

    “Ouch” Rachel pulled away, rubbing her chin. She looked up at David and smiled, reaching over to peel a large glob of dried mortar off his chin. “I need a shower, maybe someone will join me?” she said, nervously attempting a seductive grin.

    Rachel furiously scrubbed at the mortar covering her hands, David hadn’t followed her to the bathroom. David and her had been best friends for longer than her memory spanned, but this new thing between them, David confessing his love one moment and then acting like it never happened the next, was driving her nuts.

    Rachel heard the bathroom door open, he came after all.

  29. Barouches says:

    When Artie opened the door to his rowhome, the first thing I recognized was the absence of his menacing Miniature Pinscher. That little demon took a whack at my ankles every time I crossed the threshold.

    “Where’s ‘Jaws’?” I asked looking around, anticipating a sneak attack.

    “He’s not with us anymore.”

    “Awe, jeez Artie, I’m sorry.” I said; but secretly, not really sorry at all.

    “No worries; let’s get this thing done.”

    Artie had asked for a little help with a home project building a mason wall in the basement, and had promised beer and pizza in return. Not that I wouldn’t have helped Artie otherwise, I liked his company; but he hadn’t been himself for a while, and today he seemed on edge. He didn’t offer any explanation about the dog he’d had for seven years, and I didn’t push the issue.

    “Hey, why isn’t your roommate helpin’ you with this thing?” I asked as we crossed the room.

    “He’s no longer with us either.” He said, wiping his brow as we headed down the basement steps.

    “Wow Art, maybe it’s your personality, you’re losing companions in droves. You gotta get a handle on that.” I chuckled.

    “Tryin’ to.” He said descending the stairs, but there was no humor in his voice.

    Upon arriving at his work site I could see he had already gotten started. Bright work lights were trained on the wall he had started.

    “Wow. You’re not messin’ around are ya?” I marveled, shielding my eyes from the halogens.

    “I just need to get this done.”

    We dove into the business of wall building, spending the majority of the time working with scarcely a word between us, and with only the scraping of mortar upon brick to break the silence. It wasn’t until we had laid the final brick that we stood back to admire our work.

    “Hey, Artie.”

    “Yeah.”

    “Where’s the door?”

    “There isn’t one” He said, checking his watch for the umpteenth time that day.

    “Well without the door, I don’t think you’re goin’ wherever you need to be; we can’t get back to the stairs! This is serious man, where’s the freakin’ door?!” Artie grabbed the lighting fixture and swung it around to the wall behind us. There was a strong solid wood door on enormous hinges.

    “Leads to the underground alley between the houses; turn right, go up the steps and you’re on the street. Let’s get topside.”

    “Sure I’m just gonna grab the tools….hey Artie?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Someone welded your sewer clean-out cap shut.” I said seeing it for the first time with the light illuminating that corner.

    “Yeah, I did. Didn’t work though; the welds broke.”

    “What did ya go and weld the….”

    “Listen, unless you wanna find out what happened to the dog and my roommate, I suggest we get topside now!”

    I had been vaguely aware of a hollow scraping noise. We both stopped talking and turned to see the clean-out cap beginning to twist itself open.

    “Time to go!” Said Art heading out the door.

    “But…” I said motioning to the tools.

    “We’re outta time! NOW!”

  30. AnandG says:

    This has gone too long, but I could not escape from it. Here is whodunit, of course with many grammatical mistakes.

    WHODUNIT

    Mike, Leoni, Max, Tori, Lex, Chang, and Carla were buddies from a college. Mike and Leoni were the most talked about among the group. Though she never expressed her love for Mike, every one in the group is aware that Leoni had special feelings for him. The care and chemistry that Leoni had towards Mike clearly revealed that she had a special interest for him. But the same was unclear about Mike.

    All the friends were hanging out at Mike’s place as it was a weekend.

    “Back to college again on Monday. It’s so boring to listen to Mr. Down’s classes. I wish I could bunk the college and go on an adventure ride”, Chang said.

    “Permission granted”, Lex said laughing

    “Shut up Lex. I would have, if I my attendance was not below the cutoff point”

    “Guys, why waste time here. Let’s go somewhere before Monday comes. Let’s have fun and make the most of the weekend”, Tori said.

    “Let’s go for kayaking. We will rent the kayaks at Mayton’s store. We can make a camp tonight and can return by tomorrow evening”, Max proposed the plan.

    “Yes, we can do fishing and a lot more things”, Tori said.

    Everybody was in agreement.

    “What about you Mike?”, Lex asked.

    “Ah! Sorry guys, I have some work to do at home, something very important”, Mike said.

    “Lo! We will miss two of our folks now: Mike and Leoni”, Lex said,

    “All the very best to you both. We are on the move now. Let’s go gang”, Carla said.

    *******

    Mike and Leoni were now all alone. Leoni’s heart was thumping hard. It was a private moment for which she was waiting for.

    “Kiss me Mikey and clasp me in your warm hug and do not leave me”, Leoni was talking in her mind. Her eyes were revealing all that she was thinking. Her face was blushing pink with the mushy feelings that were running in her mind.

    “Leoni, I want to build a small room in my basement. Would you help me?” Mike broke her thoughts by asking.

    “Ah! …. Of course, Mikey”, Leoni said in a very soft tone.

    They went to the basement. There were bricks and mortar and they started building walls.

    “The room would be of about 5 feet in height, so don’t go above the mark on the wall”, Mike said.

    “What would do with a 5 feet room Mikey?”, Leoni had a doubt.

    “Many things”, Mike said laconically.

    Brick on brick they started building the wall. Mike was having glimpses of Leoni’s beautiful legs right below her tight denim shorts. It seemed to Leoni that the chemistry was beginning. Her heart was pulsating fast for him. But then, she realized.

    “Oh Mikey! We forgot to put the door”

    “Relax Leoni, it is as planned. There would not be any door”

    “What?”

    “Yeah! You heard it right. Let’s climb off the roof”

    Mike held Leoni off her waist and lifted her up the roof. Leoni’s molecules of love moved in an ever swift manner in her body. She was going topsy-turvy in her mind.

    They were out of the room and were on the sofa, watching TV. Leoni, occasionally looked at Mike and he seemed lost to her. No movements of him; like a dead man, or a statue.

    “Mikey” she said softly. There was no response.

    “Mikey”, she uttered hard again.

    “Aha..!!” Mike responded in a startled way.

    “Are you alright?”

    “Yes of course. I will get some drink”, Mike said and went into the kitchen.

    Leoni, a little worried, followed him.

    Mike made a cola drink and was crushing ice to chill it.

    “Mikey, why you wanted to build the room, and why you wanted only me to help you among all of us?” Leoni asked Mike in a mushy tone, expecting an answer that she and all the friends in the group knew about.

    “Do you know what this can do to you?” Mike said in a serious tone and turned towards Leoni. She sensed something different in him. He held the ice crusher in his hand in a manner of a killer with a knife.

    “Mikey, stop”, Leoni thought it as a prank that Mike is playing on her.

    Mike stepped close to Leoni, so close that she was only an inch distant from him and he had the ice crusher pointing in her eye.

    Leoni had jitters, though she had a hesitating smile on her face. It was out of her understanding about what Mike wanted.

    “Mikey!” Leoni shouted.

    Mike laughed so hard.

    “You silly, I was pranking. God, what a face! Should’ve taken a picture of it. Looked like a girl victim from a horror movie who is going to be a victim of the killer”

    “Ok, bugger off”.

    “I am sorry”

    Leoni left to her home in anger. Little did she know what was ahead.

    ***TWO WEEKS LATER***

    A couple was found killed in the basement of Mike’s, on a weekend’s late night and the worst was that it were Tori and Max. The bodies were found in the room that Mike and Leoni have built. Mike’s parents who were busy businessmen arrived home worried from France.

    “Your boy was found fainted near this small room, ma’am”, the Police said, “We are sorry to say, but on the prima facie basis, he would become our suspect and would be interrogated, along with his other friends, but since the bodies were found in his place, he would be of a stressing importance to us.”

    Leoni was all but normal. She was berserk in her mind, though she looked balanced from outside. She still remembered how Mike was lost sometimes and how he put the ice crusher close to her eye, like involved in a completely different character. She never knew why he wanted the room to be built in the basement and that too without a door. All her doubts were pulling her to the image of Mike as a killer psycho, but her heart was not ready to believe the thoughts in her mind. She was a girl cut into two: between her heart and mind.

    Investigations were on. Everybody’s life has changed. No more hangouts and adventure rides. Everybody doubted each other like a whodunit story. But it was Leoni who suffered the most of it. Her dreams shattered, her feelings about Mike still the same in her heart, yet her mind wasn’t willing to accept him due to its doubtful thoughts about him. All she was left with were the memories of the time that she spent with Mike in building the room and how he touched her waist and a happy story was about to begin, but horror followed immediately and she broke into tears. This was how her days begin and end, to see another day; and in between was a hope, that Mike has no involvement in the murders and they would be together again.

  31. jcktxt says:

    Glen stood staring at me, slowly breathing out of his mouth.

    “What do you mean you planned it that way?” I said, putting the rest of my tools away.

    Glen, by far the strangest of my friends, rubbed his neck and stretched out his arms, seeming to gather his strength for some kind of speech.

    “I’ve thought long and hard, Alex. About what’s next, I mean. The world out there is sick and wrong and you’re the only one who I think understands me. We need to stay down here while the world devours itself with its wars and its religions and its hate. We need to be together. We need to stay down here and heal. We need to come up with a way to change- um, what- what are you doing Alex?” he asked in confusion as I turned and pushed my way through the wall.

    “This mortar is only about an hour old or less in some places. It’s not even close to dry. I can push through it easily,” I explained, pushing the bricks easily and letting the wall fall apart.

    “I’m going to get some lunch. I don’t think we should be friends anymore Glen,” I said patting him on the shoulder and keeping an eye on him as I left.

    “But the world-” Glen started, his face a mask of cognitive dissonance.

    “I know man, it’s rough out there. But I’m not staying in a bricked up basement with you for eternity. I wouldn’t even stay in a car with you for an hour long ride,” I explained.

    “But-” he clawed for a word that might make me stay, but I was already on my way out.

    I never saw Glen again.

  32. dlyle04 says:

    “What do you mean you planned it that way?”
    A thousand thoughts ran through my mind as I gazed up at my longtime friend, Larry. He was standing over me, firmly gripping the handle of his trial as mortar slowly dripped onto the floor just inches from where I kneeled. My knees immediately began to throb on the concrete floor. All I had was a brick in my hand so I wondered how could I defend myself in this odd position.
    “Like I said,” he replied with gritted teeth.
    He had called me earlier that day to help him brick a wall since he knew my dad and I had worked as a brick masons for thirty years. We bought bricks, mortar mix, jugs of water, shovel, trials, rule and level. He even picked at me for going on and on about laying bricks. Throughout the entire morning, he barely lifted a finger.
    When we made it to his house, I struggled to get the wheel barrow through his basement door and down his steps.
    “We coulda just brought in the mortar tables instead,” he mumbled and laughed to himself.
    Now, I’m left wondering what were his true intentions. I inched back with a brick firmly in my hand
    and slowly eased up to my feet. “Larry, what’s going on?”
    “I’m just so sick of you.”
    “What?”
    “Mr. Know-it-all. You’re always right and always try “to make me look bad especially in front of my wife.”
    “Your wife?”
    “Yeah, Sheila. You’ve been sleeping with her.”
    I couldn’t believe what he was saying. “No, I’ve never touched her Larry. I wouldn’t do you that way and you know it!”
    “I’m tired of listening to you, and today that ends.”
    Without thinking, I hit him as hard as I could with the brick. He looked up in shock, staggered and fell to the ground.
    Larry managed to say, “You can talk your way out of anything, but not anymore, Harley. You’re stuck with me.”

  33. DMelde says:

    Carol shined her moiter pen on the CarbonLite brick and waited for the pen to seal the brick into the new basement wall. The brick had SmartePainte, so when it sealed it turned amber gray, the same color as the other walls. Satisfied with the results, she grabbed another brick and repeated the process. An hour later she stepped back to admire her handiwork, and then she thought of something that hadn’t occurred to her before.
    “Hey Lori, there’s no door.”
    “We’re hiding something illegal Carol, so why would we want a door?” Lori responded.
    “I know, but Lori, that’s a class 3 QPS.”
    “Nothing can go wrong. Trust me.”
    “Lori, that’s a time jump with a class 3 power source. I know you don’t want your parents finding out about this, but if the sync fails and the quantum loop arcs, we’ve got to be able to access the machine. Maybe we could camouflage a door or something.”
    “Relax Carol. We’ll have time to cut the wall if need be. Now, let’s go back in time and punk someone. Who’s it going to be?”
    “How about the Buddha man, we could rub his belly?”
    “Get serious, that period is swarming with time cops. We’d get caught, and it’s only our first jump. How about something safer? I was thinking we could scare some kids on Halloween, maybe in the Midwest during the 1950’s. We’ll rattle some chains, scare them senseless, and then jump back before anybody knows it.”
    “Lame, Lori. I wish I had a better idea but I don’t. Okay, let’s print up some chains, and maybe a pizza. I can’t scare anybody on an empty stomach.”
    The girls went to the garage, to the PrintzAll, and keyed it for chains. While the chains were printing they went to the kitchen and keyed the Brevile XL9000 to print a pepperoni pizza, with extra cheese. Then, while they ate, they scanned for police activity, but it was a quiet day.
    Lori and Carol were good girls. They loved their families and they did well in school, but they were bored, and they wanted to do something exciting, like illegal time jumping.
    Carol was giddy when she said, “October 31, 1959 was on a Saturday, so there will be more kids out to scare. Hicksville, Ohio, here we come!”
    They made the jump without incident, landing in Hicksville at 4:30pm on Main Street, near the fire station where the firemen were holding their annual Halloween Carnival. Carol and Lori walked through the carnival, over to the haunted house, dragging their chains behind them.
    “This is so cool.”Lori said. “Look at how happy they are, even without all of our modern stuff. Did you ever think we’d come so far in only 200 years?”
    “Nah. I find it hard to believe that some of these kids are still alive 200 years from now.” Carol answered.
    “So what are we waiting for? Let’s go scare the bejeesus out of them!”

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      A fun romp through time, DMelde. Pop Corn Balls, Taffy Apples, Salt Water Candy, Home made cookies. fudge, chocolate cake and punch. No razer blades, no locked doors, no locked cars out front. The girls may want to stay awhile. Lunch was 85 cents. Steaks were $3.00. Poodle skirts amd penny loafers for the girls, gaberdine slacks, narrow ties and white buch shoes for the guys.

    • Nice time-capsule twist, DMelde. I liked this approach. Well-written as usual.

  34. james.ticknor says:

    As I put in the last brick, I realized we had forgotten the door.

    “So…how could we miss not putting in a door?” I asked.
    “Because I planned it that way.” replied my friend.

    With that, he took his umbrella and tapped the center in a pattern.

    The brick wall opened up to Diagon Alley. “Ta-da,” said Hagrid.

    THE END

  35. kemuri07 says:

    “And we’re done,” Jeff declared, stepping away from the giant brick wall that we had amassed in his basement; though I was distracted by the large splotch of cement that had made its way onto his jeans. It had a curious shape and I imagined I could have lost myself for hours just staring at this strange pattern. Of course, I didn’t fare any better and felt just as dirty, so I chose to keep my mouth shut. But then an odd and terrible thought emerged, crept through my mind and made its way into every orifice of my being.

    “Where’s the door?” I shouted; a violent wave rippled through me as I began to perceive this disturbing scenario. Jeff merely chuckled, shook his head and said:

    “That is the point isn’t it?” The question should be—do we even need a door?”

    I didn’t understand, and I told him so.

    Jeff clucked his tongue as if he were talking to a mentally-deficient child. “Do you have any idea what we accomplished today? What this all means in the grand scheme of life and the universe?

    “We made a wall, man,” I said, trying to reason with him. “In fact, I’m not even sure why we made this thing anyways!!!”

    But Jeff’s smile continued to stretch across his face; For a moment I toyed with clawing my eyes out in response, but thought it really wouldn’t have done anyone any good.

    “We did not just make a….wall, Jeff began, his voice rising in excitement. We have created the answer to our reality!! What is real? What isn’t? Don’t you see that we now hold in our hands the power to completely change the scope of what is or isn’t possible?

    I couldn’t, and I told him so.

    Jeff shook his head so hard that I was afraid that it might come out, spewing his vicious blood everywhere; I didn’t need an excuse to wash my clothes again. After ten minutes of this, he responded with a laugh and said:

    “Oh you poor fool. You poor, naive bastard. I understand that you are a cynic, a lackey of the government that feeds you lies and complacency in order to keep you fat and stupid. I understand.” He lowered his eyes towards me, and for the first time I saw complete and total love in an otherwise hateful human-being—it scared me.

    “But I need for you to trust me. Can you be my friend and trust me?”
    I thought about it. A vicious voice in my head screamed for me to run and steal all of Jeff’s kitchenware.
    You know, I don’t think this is a—

    “Good!” Jeff interrupted. He grabbed my shirt and whipped me across the room. “Oh! Be sure you have your mind blank when you make the pass—it’s just like being a Jedi!!”
    I ran across the room at break-neck speed, and for a second I think that maybe this will work, and maybe Jeff is on to something. I close my eyes and empty my mind.

    I slammed into the wall: my nose splits, a couple of teeth explode out of my mouth, and I fall to the floor covered in my own blood. Jeff runs overs , looks me in the eyes and says:

    “Ha!” Got ya, you little shit. That’s what you get for stealing my plates!!”

  36. Cin5456 says:

    “Oh my God. Jerrel, we bricked ourselves in!”

    “Hmm, yeah, it looks that way, doesn’t it?”

    “Aren’t you upset? We’re going to have to break down the wall to get out!”

    My friend put his trowel and cement pan on the floor. He shook his long grey hair out of his face while inspecting the wall. “I don’t see how we would break it down. I don’t have a sledge hammer down here.” Jerrel shrugged. He moved an oil can off the chair to sit.

    “Well, what are we supposed to do now?”

    “I’m thinking on it.” He rubbed his bearded chin with one hand, elbow propped by the other. The paunch of his beer gut supported the pose. His indifference made me angry.

    “You lazy SOB! Why didn’t you draw up a plan or something? Now we’re stuck down. Why did you want the cellar bricked up in the first place? I thought you were going to sell this place as soon as your father died.

    “I just wanted to finish a project Dad started years ago,” he said.

    “What do you mean started? I don’t see any other brick walls down here.”

    “He bricked up a corner of the floor over there.” He pointed at the darkest corner of the basement.

    I walked over to see what he meant. About a foot out from the exterior wall a large square section was loosely bricked over. It looked like his father was a flake, just like Jimmy. I kicked at the section and a couple of bricks rocked.

    “Your Dad didn’t do a very good job. These are loose.” I toed the center bricks and each one rocked a bit.

    I heard Jimmy mumble, “Mm-hmm. I know.”

    “If you knew he didn’t do a good job, why do the whole basement?”

    “’Cause of what’s under them.”

    My spine tingled a bit. “Under them?” I reached down and pulled out the four center bricks. It was pretty dark in that corner, but it looked like there were more bricks beneath. I reached down to brush a bit of dust away to see if those would move too. Instead, the bricks glinted. Goosebumps ran up my arms. With so little light, it was hard to tell, but I brushed at them again.

    “Jerrel,” I whispered. “What are these?”

    “Gold”

    “How many?” I could hardly breathe, much less come up with coherent questions.

    “About sixty or so. Goes down quite a ways.” He paused. “Dad used to tell me stories about his grandfather and how he was an escort for confederate bullion. I figure that’s where they came from.”

    “But Jerrel, we’re bricked up in here! What good are they if we’re trapped?”

    “Turn around. See that coal chute behind the old furnace? I reckon we can fit through there.”
    I went around monstrosity and found a black metal door high on the wall. The hinges looked rusty.

    “How will you get the gold out?”

    “One $500,000 brick at a time.”

  37. LWilson95 says:

    This is my first time posting here – for some reason it looks like it didn’t work the first time, so I apologize if my story shows up twice!!!

    I wiped the sweat off my face with the back of my hand and stepped back to survey our finished handiwork.
    “It looks good!” I exclaimed to Ben, impressed at how seamlessly the new brick wall fit in with the rest of the basement.
    “It does,” he said, barely looking up as he started to put away his tools.
    “And the room is still a good size!” I commented, turning around and observing the rest of the room. The couches and coffee table were lined up against the furthest wall; waiting patiently to be put back into place and the precious flat screen T.V. was covered carefully with a sheet to protect it from any stray cement.
    “Hmm mm.” Ben grunted and I wondered if he was even listening.
    “And now you have all that extra storage. You could even..” The words froze in my mouth as I realized something horribly wrong with the wall: there was no door.
    “Hold on a second…” My satisfaction had turned to despair and the change in my tone finally caught Ben’s attention.
    “What’s wrong?” He stood up and took a step towards me.
    “We forgot to leave a space for the door! We’re going to have to knock part of the wall down.” My dreams of a cold drink after hours of hot labour faded and I mentally prepared myself for at least another hour of work.
    “Don’t worry about it.” Ben seemed unconcerned, he took another step closer and I could feel the heat from his body.
    Relief flooded through my tired muscles and I felt myself relax again. “Okay, I’m glad we don’t have to do it today. You want me to come back tomorrow and help?”
    “No, I mean don’t worry about it ever. I don’t want it to have a door.” He was looking at me strangely, as if he was sizing me up and I took a step back, uncomfortable with his closeness.
    “But you said you wanted to build a storage space. How will you store anything if you can’t get in there?”
    Ben paused before answering, with a look on his face that I couldn’t quite figure out.
    “Don’t worry,” he repeated. “Everything that needs to be stored is already in there.”
    “But how are you going to get it out?” I felt my brow crease in confusion.
    “Do you think I’m a good person?”
    Thrown off by the question, I stepped back again, putting more distance between us.
    “Yes.” I answered truthfully, having been good friends with him for several years.
    “Do you trust me?” He took a step forward, once again closing the gap between us.
    “What’s going on Ben?” I tried to take another step, but my back hit the newly built wall.
    “Do you trust me?” He asked again.
    I nodded.
    “Good.” His eyes were cold and hard. “Then you will never mention the space behind this wall again. To me or to anyone. Do you understand?” His eyes seemed to see right through to the very depths of my being and I shivered, despite the earlier heat.
    I nodded again, and this time he smiled and clapped me on the shoulder.
    “Thanks for all the help, buddy. Let’s go grab a beer!”

  38. Kerry Charlton says:

    THE BLACK WIDOW

    “You’ll have to fly to Miami, Brian,” Jim said. “Mary Margaret’s coming to our 25th high school reunion.”

    “She wouldn’t give me the time of day in high school,” I said.

    “Well she called me about it and wants to see you. She knows you’re single now.”

    “I’ve heard rumors about her, Jim. How many husbands has she buried?”

    “Just three in the last twenty years. Are you afraid of her?”

    “Up yours, Jim. I’ll be there.”

    Southwest Airlines taxied to a stop at Miami International and Jim and his wife Carole Ann greeted me at the gate.

    “You’re looking great, Brian,” Carole Ann said. “Been playing a lot of Tennis?”

    “There’s not much else to do in San Antonio. My daughters are at UT and I’m living in a condo downtown, overlooking the river.”

    “Tough man, tough,” Jim said. “You’re staying with us. We’re living in theGrove now.”

    “You must have hit a gold vein, Jim. Coconut Grove is million plus property.”

    “KFC franchises and a little luck,” he said.

    Gables High Reunion Dance rocked Dinner Key Auditorium as we arrived. And then I saw her across the dance floor, doing a slow tango with Joe Chatfield, our captain of the football team. Always a statuette redhead, she looked stunning in an emerald green, off the shoulder dress and stiletto heels. Still those haunting green eyes reflecting pools of passion, her high cheek bones and a devilish look about her. Her freckles had dissolved into a timeless and flawless complexion.

    Music stopped, Mary Margaret swung her hips toward me and sauntered across the dance floor, as if she were stalking her prey.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      “I love your body and mind Brian. I always have.”

      Carole Ann and Jim had dissolved into the crowd and helplessly, I placed my arms around her and fell into her parting lips. At midnight, we stood on her second story balcony overlooking Biscayne Bay. City lights of Miami shimmered across soft waves, mesmerizing us.

      “I want you to see my wine cellar,” she said, leading me down two flights of stairs to a steel door. The door started closing behind me and I released the locking button and let it close like a vault door. The inside of the wine cellar, lined itself on three walls with racks of several thousand bottles while the fourth wall filled itself with granite blocks and mortar.

      Mary Margaret clung to me and started to cry.

      “I’m no good Brian,” she said.

      “Why do you say that? You’re not that way at all.”

      “I’ll continue to kill unless you help me,” she said.

      “Is that what happened to your husbands?”

      “Yes, I did it for the money. I never loved any of them; only you.”

      “What is it you want me to do?”

      We had made love for two hours on her balcony and I realized I had always loved her.

      “I want you to wall the doorway up with the granite and mortar, make love to me again and die with me.”

      I did as she asked me and took her in my arms to the tasting room, laid her gently on a sofa and made love to her again. I figured I had at least an hour or so before the mortar set.

  39. Schrodingers cat says:

    Robert and I worked for a few hours putting the finishing touch on a brick wall. “So, how much more are you planning on doing to this place? We’ve already poured a concrete floor, but why we only did part of the basement has me stumped. Not only that, why are you filming all of this.”

    “I’m gonna be rich. Do you want to join me in the venture?”

    “What; What venture?” I asked.

    “Well, fixing up places like this, you know, there’s some good money to be made.”

    “Maybe there is.” I say while looking again at our workmanship,”but no one is going to hire a couple of workmen that can’t even remember to put a door in a wall!”

    He glances over toward the wall, “I got it covered” he said “it’s all part of my master plan.”

    I start laughing “Master plan; O K, I tell you what, if you get rich from this, I’ll work for you free for one year.” holding out my hand to shake on the deal “BUT, if you don’t….Well for one year your my private butler, slash handyman, slash gopher.”

    Robert looks me up and down and smiles, “ok, 10 years from now we will just see who was right.” Walks over to the movie camera, he claims came from MGM, “Well, you heard it folks, he will be working for me for a year.” and turns it off. “Now, tomorrow can you come over?”

    I shrug my shoulders, “I guess.”

    “Ok, well tomorrow we put in some concrete stairs on the other side of the house, cut a portion out of the foundation, dig to the floor we laid, and make a nice storm shelter.” He continues to lay out his house, floor, and yard plans which we complete over the course of the summer.

    Night after night, day after day the pieces begin to fall into place, Robert then examines the footage he shot, edits, and adds a few filler segments to it. It takes several more weeks for him to splice together footage to mail in to some of the major networks.

    Weeks later a letter arrives.

    Dear Mr. Villa,

    Contact us at your earliest convenience……….

    (Disclaimer This is a fictitious story, I do not know, nor have I worked for him free for a year. Any resemblance to real life is merely a play on words.)

  40. LWilson95 says:

    I wiped the sweat off my face with the back of my hand and stepped back to survey our finished handiwork.
    “It looks good!” I exclaimed to Ben, impressed at how seamlessly the new brick wall fit in with the rest of the basement.
    “It does,” he said, barely looking up as he started to put away his tools.
    “And the room is still a good size!” I commented, turning around and observing the rest of the room. The couches and coffee table were lined up against the furthest wall; waiting patiently to be put back into place and the precious flat screen T.V. was covered carefully with a sheet to protect it from any stray cement.
    “Hmm mm.” Ben grunted and I wondered if he was even listening.
    “And now you have all that extra storage. You could even..” The words froze in my mouth as I realized something horribly wrong with the wall: there was no door.
    “Hold on a second…” My satisfaction had turned to despair and the change in my tone finally caught Ben’s attention.
    “What’s wrong?” He stood up and took a step towards me.
    “We forgot to leave a space for the door! We’re going to have to knock part of the wall down.” My dreams of a cold drink after hours of hot labour faded and I mentally prepared myself for at least another hour of work.
    “Don’t worry about it.” Ben seemed unconcerned, he took another step closer and I could feel the heat from his body.
    Relief flooded through my tired muscles and I felt myself relax again. “Okay, I’m glad we don’t have to do it today. You want me to come back tomorrow and help?”
    “No, I mean don’t worry about it ever. I don’t want it to have a door.” He was looking at me strangely, as if he was sizing me up and I took a step back, uncomfortable with his closeness.
    “But you said you wanted to build a storage space. How will you store anything if you can’t get in there?”
    Ben paused before answering, with a look on his face that I couldn’t quite figure out.
    “Don’t worry,” he repeated. “Everything that needs to be stored is already in there.”
    “But how are you going to get it out?” I felt my brow crease in confusion.
    “Do you think I’m a good person?”
    Thrown off by the question, I stepped back again, putting more distance between us.
    “Yes.” I answered truthfully, having been good friends with him for several years.
    “Do you trust me?” He took a step forward, once again closing the gap between us.
    “What’s going on Ben?” I tried to take another step, but my back hit the newly built wall.
    “Do you trust me?” He asked again.
    I nodded.
    “Good.” His eyes were cold and hard. “Then you will never mention the space behind this wall again. To me or to anyone. Do you understand?” His eyes seemed to see right through to the very depths of my being and I shivered, despite the earlier heat.
    I nodded again, and this time he smiled and clapped me on the shoulder.
    “Thanks for all the help, buddy. Let’s go grab a beer!”

  41. frithar says:

    Quickly, Martin slapped his back. “Beer’s in the fridge. Come on. I’ll clean all this shit up later.”

    Within three minutes they were on the back porch, feet up and sweaty, looking over the lake while the early April sun sank. Andy said, “Your Lisa catches us muckin’ up her new furniture, she’s gonna let us have it.”

    “Nah, Lisa’s no problem.” Martin yawned and cracked open his beer and when Andy had opened his, they raised them and drank to a good honest day’s work.

    “’S good luck, right there,” Andy pointed at a blue heron passing over the cottage, making for the water’s edge. “One year of luck when it lands right in your water like that.”

    “Yep. I’ll take that. It’s about time I get some luck.” Martin’s hand left bits of dried brick mortar in his hair as he ran his fingers through. His sweat did the work of hair product, making it stand on end at unnatural angles.

    Andy snorted at the sight.

    “You know, I didn’t want to sound like a jerk before ’cause I know you ain’t done much house work like this, but you really should have given that cemented floor some days to dry. Nobody puts up brickwork like that when the floor’s still wet. ” Andy laughed at his friend. Martin shrugged quietly and stared at his beer.

    “Ah, well. Live and learn, I guess. Live and learn. You’re young still.” He crushed his empty beer can with his left hand while grabbing a fresh one in his right. He thought better and put it down. “Nah, I better not. Late enough as it is, and you all in a hurry to get this thing done. Whew! Is Laney ever gonna cut me a new one. I didn’t even leave her a note.”

    “No?” A hint of smile from Martin.

    “Well, hell, no! You were in such a rush to get that thing built.” Andy shook his head. “Such a big damn rush you went and forgot a door.” He snickered half to himself.

    Martin stood up and stretched. “Well, lemme get you what I owe you.” He went into the house, slamming the screen door a bit too loudly, Andy thought.

    Andy looked at the mortar, dirt and cement Martin had left behind on the fancy-cushioned wicker. He called out, “Oh, look at that! Your Lisa’s gonna let you have it, too. You left a big old pile of–”

    He hadn’t heard the screen door open again. Didn’t matter. After the first flash of pain, Andy didn’t register much.

  42. LeaderAstray says:

    “How are you going to get in?” I asked, staring at the solid brick wall which conspicuously lacked any point of aperture.

    Cid laughed. “Why would you wanna go in a room without a door? You’d be trapped.”

    “But what’s the purpose?”

    “My,” said Sid, “aren’t we feeling all philosophical today. What is the purpose of a wall? Is to keep things out? Or maybe keep things in? It could be a boundary marker. Or maybe it’s just to hold up the roof.”

    “We’re in the cellar,” I said. “It’d be holding up the floor… which is the ceiling from our frame of reference.”

    “See, now you’re getting it.”

    “Seriously,” I prodded, “What’s it for? Is it just a place to hang your stuff?”

    “Hey, stuff is what the universe is made of.”

    I shook my head in amused frustration.

    “Does it matter?” he asked. “Does this wall have any impact on the course of your life? Will attaching a purpose to an inanimate object add any meaning to your existence?”

    I shrugged, and he kept on: “Really, do you need everything to have a specific purpose? What does that say about you? Why are you so needy?”

    We just stared at each other.

    Waiting.

    Holding eye contact.

    Not blinking.

    I finally relented. “Because I’m an engineer and I spell anal-retentive with a hyphen–not a dash.”

    Cid’s lips slowly curled into a smile.

    I turned around and started to walk up the cellar stairs.

    Then Cid flipped a switch and the cellar went dark. A moment later, a projector turned on and light shined against the new wall. Lights and colors swirled and eventually coalesced into a picture.

    The image quality was unreal. And by “unreal,” I mean a beautiful sci-fi landscape more realistic than any high-definition TV I’d ever seen. It looked like you could reach through the image and pick one of the strange metallic shrubs.

    I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. My gaping eyes and mouth said it all.

    “You know I wasn’t BSing you before,” said Cid. “Well, maybe a little. But watch this.”

    He picked up a leftover brick and hurled it against the wall.

    I cringed as I expected it to crash and thud against the floor, but no such thing happened. There was no sound at all. Instead, the brick flew into the film and crashed on the alien landscape, sending up a twirling spire of sparkling things.

    “Good stuff, huh?”

    The ramifications boggled my mind. I was tempted to touch the wall, to jump through. I certainly wanted to, but I didn’t dare.

    “Then tell me,” I said, “Why build a new wall just for this? Why not use the regular wall?”

    Cid pointed to the alien world. A strange,unearthly mass of tentacles that looked like a walking sea anemone moved into view, and if I didn’t know any better, stared right at us.

    “Can it see us?” I asked.

    “When you stare into the abyss,” said Cid, “the abyss stares back.”

    The land anemone lunged toward us and I reflexively dove to the floor.

    WHUMP.

    I heard something writhing and thumping on the other side of the wall.

    “See, it keeps things in, and it keeps things out. It acts as a boundary, and a convenient place to project light. And stuff.”

    He switched off the projector and the room returned to normal, except for the persistent crashing and roaring of the creature behind the wall.

  43. JRSimmang says:

    I am a chuckler. You know, one of those guys who just randomly lets out a chuckle on the bus, in the park, in bed.
    I was helping out a friend of mine (who is not a chuckler, but more of a giggler, but only when aggravated) put up a brick wall in his basement when I let out a chuckle.
    “What’s up, Mal?” The beautiful thing about Smitty (not his real name) is that he hasn’t gotten tired of asking me why I chuckle.
    I, clearing my throat, “have you ever read ‘The Cask of Amontillado?’” I layered in another brick to the top of the wall.
    “Nope.”
    “Really? Not even in high school?” I put some more mortar on the brick I just laid.
    “Nope. I didn’t go to a fancy school like you. Public education right here.”
    “Huh.” I chuckled again.
    “Why do you ask?” He was working the bottom, checking the mortar with his finger.
    “Well,” I said as I laid down the next brick. “There are these two friends in a basement. It’s Poe, so you know it has to be a dark basement. Which it is.” I scooped some more mortar onto my trowel. “No surpises there, right?”
    He grunted assention.
    “So these two friends, I don’t think they are really friends. I think one of them is wanting revenge, are chit-chatting it up, talking about a drink, or something I don’t remember, it has been since high school, and the torch starts to fizzle and spit, right? It’s running out of juice.”
    “Yawn.”
    “Yeah, yeah. All the while they’re chit-chatting, their building this wall between them. Very meta, right? It’s supposed to symbolize the death of friendship and how after years and years and years of seeing your friends at their lowest points, eventually you just shut them out.”
    “Except in this case, they actually did.”
    “Right. So, this torch fizzles and spits, and the guy who wants revenge walks the other guy into this tomb.” I laid the last brick and stood back to examine my good work. “But this other guy is like ‘nuh -uh’ and they get into a fight.”
    “Rightfully so.”
    “Yeah. So they get into this fight and the guy who wants revenge gets it. He accidentally pushes the other guy into the vault and he dies.”
    “No.”
    “Right there. I mean, he was drunk, so it couldn’t have been that hard. And the other guy’s like, ‘shit, I just killed a man. But… I’m in the catacombs. I can just mortar up my fuck-up.”
    “And he did.”
    “Yeah.” I looked down at Smitty, who looked up at me. “Where’s the door to this thing?”
    “There ain’t one.”
    “So, only one exit?”
    “Yep.” I sighed an ‘I’m done’ sigh, and smiled. “Beer?”
    “Sure.”
    I walked to the basement door and opened it. On the other side was a brick wall. “Um, Smitts?”
    “Yeah?”
    “There’s a brick wall here too.”
    “Yeah, I know.”
    I turned around. Smitty was leaning against the wall we just built. He was cleaning his nails with a rather large blade. “Smitts?”
    “Where’s your chuckle now?”

  44. MelFred7 says:

    I slapped more cement on the brick and stacked it, noticing that we were nearly finished with the wall in my friend’s basement. Why on earth he wanted a brick wall in the basement, I had no idea, and I thought it was ridiculous. I was angry, and I felt used. He had mentioned the project as we were walking home from class, and I had quickly offered to help, not because I wanted to, but I felt rude not doing it. I had enough bad luck building ginger bread houses, let alone something that actually would matter, would be seen, would be permanent.
    Ronnie was, well Ronnie. He did what he wanted, and he had always been this way, ever since preschool, and ever since preschool, since he had kissed me on the cheek and I had run crying to the teacher, no relationship or crush had ever taken away the heart flutter and comfort I felt in Ronnie’s presence. He was always there, a friend, a defender. On the playground, if another kid pulled my braid, he would run after him and all of his friends and end up missing recess the next day for his violent behavior. When I was stressed about homework and papers in middle school, he would spend hours at my house helping me, or at least eating my family’s food and checking in on me until I was done. College, we ended up in the same place again. Years I wondered and wished he would show some sort of interest in me, more than the big brother/sense of responsibility feelings he always demonstrated in the past. When I had a boyfriend, he backed off and gave me space, but when I was single, he basically followed me around the campus.
    And now here I was… I guess I owed him, for everything, for making me feel beautiful without taking my clothes off, for enjoying me without using me, and for just being there, always, and hopefully, for whatever reason, waiting. Timing, I hoped it was. He had talked about it before… everything was about timing: sports, humor, business, life decisions… Love, Ronnie? I had wanted to ask, but I never wanted to mess up his timing, if that’s what it was.
    Now for some reason, he was building a brick wall in the basement that divided the basement, and for some reason, his parents had agreed (he commuted to class). It had taken us a week, and Ronnie triumphantly held the last brick and stuck it onto the wall with a smile, “There! Finished!” We stepped back to admire the finished wall.
    “Ronnie, what on earth is this for? You can’t even get to the other side! There’s no door!”
    “That’s the point, Jessica. I’m going to tear it down now.”
    “What?!”
    “I just needed to practice so I can learn how to build things well.”
    He grabbed a chisel and began to hammer it into the dry parts.
    “I didn’t need practice,” I muttered angrily.
    “Jessica, you wanted to be with me didn’t you?”
    “Well… yes… but” my face reddened. “That’s not fair!”
    “It’s perfectly fair. Will you help me tear down the wall? I am dying for your company.”
    “For how long, Ronnie?”
    “As long as it takes.”

    • LeaderAstray says:

      This was a sweets story. I feel like you could play with the rhythm of the last few lines to give them more impact. For instance, “For how long?” could be mirrored by “For as long as it takes,” which I think flows a little nicer (and those are great closing lines, BTW). Also, Ronnie comes off as slightly creepy in a couple places, which I think is unintended. His statement that “you wanted to be with me didn’t you?” seemed a little too stalkerish, followed by the “I’m dying for your company,” which you could probably just delete. Just a few thoughts for minor tweaks. Overall, very heartwarming.

    • DMelde says:

      Nicely done. I guess we build and tear down all kinds of walls in life. Well written, sweet story.

    • Great friendship. A metaphor brought to life. Excellent!

      • swatchcat says:

        Once I widdled through the background of their relationship, I finally understood the possible reason for the wall building. I was questioning the characters but realized, odd people do odd things that may not be able to be made sense of. Nice story.

    • don potter says:

      The story had me set up for a “now we can be together forever ending,” but Ronnie — although a little on the weird side — proved to be a person who wanted to be be a “friend forever.”

  45. BingoBill says:

    There were two courses remaining to be mortared at the top and the cement was starting to get hard when I noticed the problem, “Uh, you forgot the door.”
    “No I didn’t” John said non-plussed.
    “Uh, yes you did.” I reached for a cold beer, my second of the night and twisted the top off, “you forgot to out a door in. I’m not helping tear this down.” I owed him a big favor and helping create his basement man cave would even the score, but I was not going to fix his mistakes…
    “I did not forget the door. The door is open.”
    It was a moment of déjà vue, a queer feeling that John had already said the same thing before, many times before.
    “The door is there.” John stared at me. “The door is open.”
    I looked at the wall. I looked at John.
    “The door is open,” I said.
    “The door is open, but we must seal it up.” John said.
    The bricks were getting bigger in the freshly mortared wall. A luminescence began to pulse from between them, darkly sick in shades of green and putrescent amber. The mortar began to run, to melt and bubble.
    “More bricks, MORE bricks!” John yelled. I threw masonry into the gap at the top, one after another at John slathered the mortar between them.
    The mortar was tinted red, I had not noticed before. There was blood oozing from a bandage in my arm. I faintly remembered chanting as the knife nicked the vein and watching in awe as my blood pulsed into the powdery concrete to make the mortar.
    “More bricks!” john was furiously placing the final row at the top of the wall where the low ceiling bulged downward. The ceiling was rough stone and scored with chisel marks (scratches) and stained red. I fumbled one of the bricks and noticed the inscribed symbols on its sides, ancient glyphs of power and wards against the evil that seeped from the great gulf beyond the wall. We were on the final course of bricks, our scaffolding was leaning outward as the wall bulged and heaved.
    “Throw me another! One more! One More!”
    I bent to embrace the stone in bear hug, muscles screaming from the labor, tendons tearing with exhausted strain. At the top of the megalithic wall viscous black ooze began to search from the empty gap and divided into a trio of undulating serpentine arms.
    One brushed John.
    “Ahhhhhhh…!” he screamed as his flesh began to sear and melt, then burn.
    “SHOGETH N’ryleh shogath!” I screamed from the depths of my soul. “R’yleh shoggoth!”
    From the beyond the black of night a voice could be felt as vibrations flowing through the wall and pulsing along the great black tentacles that burned in a black fire.” SHOGOTH AVUE! Azur shoggoth r’yleh!”
    My mind twisted as the incantation undid the fabric of time and the great wall of mortared megalithic blocks blazed into fiery dust. I was thrown from the great heights into the open maw of living darkness. A tentacle of the creature, thick as a skyscraper reached out to touch me…

    *pop*
    It was Friday night and John called me to help out his basement remodeling. I owed him from a similar house project of my own last year and, friends are friends. We would cut into the sub floor tonight and join the main sewage line beneath the concrete foundation. I only hoped we didn’t hit any trouble, northern Florida was crazy with sink holes this time of the year.

    (Sorry I went a little long)

Leave a Reply