The Brick Wall
The closer to you get to the brick wall, the colder it seems to feel, and you shove your hands deep into your pockets, shrugging your shoulders up closer to your ears as if that will ward off the pervasive chill. The wall seems to go on forever, as far as your eyes can see in both directions, and extends upward so high that it disappears into the low clouds lying overhead.
The geometric shapes on the wall, upon closer examination, are fragmented and choppy – as if the artist ran out of paint before completing each line, or made it a game to be sure that no shape had fully-intact lines. Gaps and blotches dot the pattern, which from a distance looked so inviting but now feels oddly disjointed. Geometric shapes add dark patches of purple, gray, and burnt orange, each one having a sentence carved into the center of the shape.
“All of life is suffering.” “You are alone alone alone alone alone.”
“You will never make it.” “That can’t happen for you.” “Your life has no value.”
“You are unworthy.” “This is your lot in life.” “This is as good as it gets.”
“No hope” “It’s too big, too much to ask, too impossible.” “Give it up.”
“Expect the worst.” “Why bother?”
“Do. Not. Question. The. Wall.”
You begin to walk along the wall, curious about this construction of gloom. “How far does this go?” you wonder out loud.
A sharp bang rings through your ears as the wall zaps you with a jolt of electricity.
“DO. NOT. QUESTION. THE. WALL.” A voice from somewhere inside the wall booms as you rub your arm where the sparks hit you.
Wrinkling your nose, you glare at the wall with annoyance. “No need to tell me twice, I’m outta here,” you mutter, spinning on your heels and turning back toward the circus tent. “WTF is this thing, anyway?”
You find yourself warming up as you leave the vicinity of the icy wall, and notice the sun peeking through the clouds above. The warm light illuminates a large wooden swing hanging from a branch of a majestic tree nearby, while another towering tree has a ladder leaning against its trunk.