A Boy On The Wall
Young Artemis played and danced across the crumbling wall. His mother would always tell him to stay clear of this place, saying it was too high for him. But the city was a full adventure, and Artemis could never resist the smooth white stone that towered high above the marketplace. It was so freeing to see the people mingling far below on cobblestone streets. He would sit with his smiling chubby face in his hands, wide eyes gazing at the excitement of the city below.
He remembered being six and falling at this very spot. Laughing to himself he knew that would never happen again. That was a long time ago; the crowds had long since moved on, and the buildings fallen into ruin. But in all that time he’d gotten so much better at balancing. That was a long time ago…how long had he been six, exactly? He wasn’t sure, but he knew it was a long time.
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Mickey spat on the yard in front of him; coming here might have been a mistake, but he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t follow through. The smell of dry grass in the nearby field mixed with the mold of abandoned houses surrounding him. The memories of this village sent shudders through his soul.
Pulling the lighter out of his pocket, he walked confidently over to the collapsing frame of the nearest home. His childhood screamed from the inside of that place, as he saw images of all that had happened to him. Spending his years taking his rage out on others had led him to great success in the business world, but following through here…that would lead to everyone knowing, and his reputation destroyed. He shrugged and grunted, “Ah well,” as he flicked the lighter open. Expecting to see bright flame, he saw nothing. The damn thing chose at this moment to be out of fluid.
It had to be the old-fashioned way then. Fine. Mickey grabbed a handful of straw and some dry wood, then set to making a fire against the wall of the old house. It caught quickly and, to his great satisfaction, immediately spread to the surrounding area. Mickey walked away to watch from a nearby hill as the entire village lit up. He smiled as the fire trucks came too late, and happily let the police attach the cuffs. He was free. He didn’t have to be that person any more.
Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash