The Wall – A short story


The wall began to grow. The sun hid its brilliance behind the wall.  Her shoulders slumped and she laid her head in her lap. All she wanted to do was live her life.  To write, to paint and to draw.  She wanted to show the world how she saw it.  However, she began to think of all the people that mocked her and called her crazy or worthless. She only started her journey and now she couldn’t get off the front steps or move.


She looked back. That was her past. She didn’t want to go that direction.  She looked to her left.  It was filled with the energy of life.  There were many people moving around there.  They all wanted to do that path.  Those were their paths.  She made her decision sagging she looked to her right.  People were laughing and having so much fun.  It didn’t look like her kind of fun.  She wanted to go forward down a new path.  It was a new adventure and before she could start there was this wall.


She looked at the wall and thought.  It was discouraging.  The clouds darkened.  The sky was now the same color as the wall.  Her life had turned gray.  Closing her eyes, the gray penetrated her mind.  “No. You will not invade my mind.  No more.  I made my choice.  I chose the path that I cannot see.” Light began to flicker in her mind.


Well, what are we going to do? We can’t go over or under or around.  We can’t break through.  How are we going to move?  Questions pounded her mind.  The wall shrunk and the sun pierced her soul.  Hope began to bloom. How am I going to do this? It is me and only me.  No one can break down this wall. I have to but it is too strong.  It is too tall. It is too long.  It is too dull.  That gray is drab. Let’s paint the wall.  With that idea, she stood up tall and strong, she turned around and grabbed her paints, pencils, and brushes.  She ran out the door deposited her paints, pencils, and brushes in front of the wall. Then she turned back around into the house she went grabbed pens and paper.  Back to the wall, she returned.


With a deep breath, she touched the wall and closed her eyes. In silence, she breathed.  One in and one out.  She saw a darkness.  She breathed in again and out again.  She felt the roughness of the wall. The roughness reminded her of emery boards to file her nails. Little bumps with mini spikes not sharp enough to break skin but sharp enough to feel. Smells of the bakery, pines, and cinnamon swirled around her.  She concentrated harder. The sounds around her disappeared. Focusing on the wall, its rough texture, she drew her energy and pushed it to her finger tips. The wall faded from her touch. Emptiness took its place.  In and out the breath came slowly, ever so slowly.  Darkness stood closely, trying to wrap its arms around her.  However, she stood firm in the void.  Softly her hand began to glow upon the wall in her mind. Eyes still closed.

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2 Responses to The Wall – A short story

  1. It’s an interesting analogy and I like the initial direction. However, I think you would benefit from first drawing the scene so that you are firm on the aspects of the wall itself: its shape, what does it block out, what does it allow in, can it be got around, etc. That will help you more clearly establish the rules of this wall before you begin to write about it.

    I got more than a little befuddled when instead of painting the wall, which was an idea I quite liked, your character painted the wall in the garage. By the end I felt she accomplished little to overcome The Wall, and merely got sidetracked painting a wall, thus cheating the reader of her triumph in overcoming the obstacle (and illustrating my own follies while providing no inspiration to change).

    Your imagery when talking about the painting itself is probably the most rich. It’s clear your heart is in the art (ooo look, I made a rhyme). That’s why I feel like creating this story in sketch or painting form before writing it out will help clarify your written imagery and provide you more concise direction.

    Finally, it’s always my policy to write a thing, leave it be a day or so, and then proofread aloud. That helps your brain forget what it intends the page to say, and allows you to concentrate on what you actually wrote.

    • Oh my, what a lovely response. I see your point and I will work on it again. I had several people read it and re-read it myself days apart and never saw what you discussed. I think you are right and I could improve it by using your ideas. I will get to work on that right away. I, also, have to create a better link between the garage wall and the wall at the street that she sees. They are the same wall for her. I see that it would be better that I make the wall at the street more defined for clarity purposes. I thought I did but it was probably too far down in the story. So, I will move it to the beginning to help. Your comments are so helpful. Thanks. I’ll let you know when I have rewritten it.

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