The Wall – A short story



Unaware of the crowd that was growing around her.  She stood with her hand stretched out, palm flat as though it was against something.  No one could see the wall.  She stood tall; eyes closed; breathing slowly in and out loudly.  No one could reach her.  She could not see them or hear them.  She had blocked everything out and everyone.  She was not going to listen to anyone until this wall was addressed.


Her hand glowed brighter and brighter.  The roughness had melted into the empty air but the wall ever present. With an inhale, she slid her hand down the wall and over to the left.  There was a door knob there if only she could reach it.


Her husband had seen this before.  He knew it meant she was going to do something great but if he did not set something in front of her before she started painting, then there would be no record of her idea.  He ran into the garage and cleared a wall for her.  He went outside walked her inside the garage.  “What do you see?” He asked.


His voice penetrated her mind.  “A large gray wall,” she whispers.


“Can you paint it?”


“Yes.” With that, she bent over and picked up her paints and brushes.  She slapped gray all over the garage wall.  It was middle gray as a base.  She then saw the tones of gray that gentle walked over the wall.  Soft gray and charcoal shown through.  Depth and tone danced over the canvas.  No one understood but her husband heard the whisper.  The colors of gray were coming alive.  Tone against tone. Depth and distance played their routine.


As the paint dried, she clutched a pencil in her hand and drew part of an arch.  The arch was tall.  She ran outside and picked up the ladder.  She set the ladder up and stepping on the rungs and hanging with one hand, she completed the arch. The arch was tall but it was detailed.  Flowers, flora, vines swirled around the pillars that twinned on each side holding the arch and its crown high into the air.  The pillars had strong boxes at the bottom of each imprinted with a crest within the box.

photo by Lee Denning
Instagram: followtheleed

Hours and hours went by.  People came and went.  They wanted to see what she had inside her thoughts.  The crowds of friends, family, and strangers continued to gain a presence inside and outside of the garage.

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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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