Horizontal Babel

Posted: April 5, 2017 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

kid

The Wall was raised over months of work, cement and barbed wire dividing one tongue from another, one people from another. Soldiers walked from one end to the other, their rifles clicked like beetle’s pincers as the desert sand lapped at their boots. They didn’t hesitate to fire. Their eyes were hidden behind black sunglasses: the windows to their souls had been nailed shut.

The Soldiers understood what the Wall was, what it had to be. It could not be cement. It could not be brick. It could not be steel.

It had to be the wail of mothers and the dreams of children. It had to be drunken slurs hurled like arrows. It had to be the shriek of rifle fire and the stillness that followed. It had to be ghosts and heroes.

The Wall had to be sorrow and despair. It had to cut not through the land, but through the soul: Us and Them, People and Unpeople. It had to cut deep enough to bleed, to make one thing into two.

Earthly walls can be crossed. They can be climbed, tunneled under, slipped around.

But walls within the mind can never be breached.


Word Count: 196

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Thanks to rogershipp for running the challenge!

Advertisements
Comments
  1. luckyjc007 says:

    Excellent! The misery, and hopelessness rings out loud and clear in your story. You covered it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. athling2001 says:

    Beautifully done! There are so many lines that struck my heart. ‘The windows to their souls had been nailed shut’ “The wail of mothers and the dreams of children.’ ‘It had to be ghosts and heroes.’ Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rogershipp says:

    “their rifles clicked like beetle’s pincers as the desert sand lapped at their boots” What grand imagery! Thanks for participating this week.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s