October 2, 2009

A bit of story from a prompt

As you know, the Here Be Monsters stories were created in a context where we drew random prompts from a hat. The stories like "The Stone of El-Al-Fey" and the other two stories that will be published in our first issue were stories that we decided to work on further and complete. Here, on the contrary and for your amusement, is a story that was written in about fifteen minutes during one of our writing sessions, using the following prompt: write something involving walls.

Here goes.

The New Wall. By Vincent Mackay.

I woke up one morning and it was there: bricks, mortar and all. Well, mostly bricks and mortar. It completely blocked my window from which I’d had, the very night before, a sweeping view of the ocean. Now there was only the wall.
Blaming it on caffeine withdrawal, I rubbed my eyes and walked down to the kitchen to put a pot on. But out the kitchen window towered the same ugly, reddish brick wall, this time hiding my garden. I sighed and sat to wait for the coffee.
Unfortunately, drinking it did not dispel the wall, so I stepped out on the porch. The morning air smelled of dust and cement instead of the usual sea breeze, and the sound of clanking tools rose from the front lawn, where stood another wall under a low, gray sky.
Still clutching my coffee and the hope it contained, I scratched my beard and walked to the clanking. I found a man there, kneeling beside a cement mixer, wiping his dirty hands on a dirtier towel.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hello,” He said back.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Building walls,” He answered.
“On my front lawn?” I said.
“If that’s where here is,” He said.
“Why?” I asked.
“I got a contract,” He said.
“That’s very inconvenient,” I said, and drank some more coffee.
“Not my problem,” He said. “D’you have any of that coffee left, by the way? Been up since four, you know.”
“Oh, uh, yeah, sure, come on in,” I said.
I led him to the kitchen and served him coffee.

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