The Insurmountable Wall

December 5, 2007
By Jake Vinton, Littleton, CO

He stood in a perfectly squared room, a room that was completely barren and bleak and constrictive and all that is depressing and hopeless. There were three sides to the room that adjoined the ceiling, but the fourth wall at the top was open, where stood an aperture of two or three feet.
Alone stood the man, peering at the gap of freedom from the box in which he was trapped. He was determined and excited and ready for the challenge the wall presented, and with the agility and speed of a youthful man, he lunged for the wall and began his ascent. He quickly realized that the wall was smoother than marble and his groping fingers struck nothing he could grip. Sliding back down to the floor he laughed and shook his head, puzzled yet still eager to prove to himself he could overcome the wall.
He scratched and clawed and leapt and did all that he could think to do to climb the barrier, where at the top light was dimly pouring over the top from the other side. There was no view of the sunset or sunrise and therefore no telling the time or amount spent in the darkness. The man tried to recall how he had found himself in the place could not remember.
Time passed, or so the man assumed, slowly if not surely though somewhat uncertainly. The man began to spend more time observing the blockade rather than trying to overcome it. Through grueling frustration the man would run his fingers through his once thick and flowing hair, now thin and scraggly, withered away by time. His face was covered by a long and matted beard and his once agile body was now fragile and thinned.
The marble like texture of the wall had been scratched down to a rough surface and the man’s fingers had been worn to bone. In his taunted agony, he kicked the wall and half a dozen piece of stone came crashing to the floor. The man searched the new shape that the wall had taken, filled with gaps and grooves. Gripping the bottom most one, he began his climb; his destined success that he knew had to eventually happen. With each raspy and shaky step towards the top he made, there awaited another place for his hand to grip. He began to laugh, whoop and holler. Success was inevitable. He pulled himself over the last groove and found himself standing triumphantly atop the monster.
Looking down into the other side, his eyes observed nothing but darkness. Above him was the low ceiling, and so gathering up his confidence, the man jumped into the unknown darkness. He landed on the floor with a thud and grunt and began to grope the walls, in search of a way out.
The man’s heart was in his throat and his stomach felt as if it had been stabbed by the jagged edge of a sword; there was no way out. He ran to the wall and looked up, realizing it was twice as high as the other side. He ran his hands across it and it was smooth and untouched.

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