The Wall stood before him, thick and dark and heavy. Bricks of monotonous charcoal stone rolled up into the sky as far as he could see. It tumbled to the right – whichever direction that was; north? south? – and fled to the left.
He spent days trekking in both directions, his footsteps carving deep welts in the sand and then filling in again within a matter of hours. It looked as if it had been constructed by human hands, but who know on this godforsaken planet. The wall was always already there. Waiting. Blocking the way.
He thought about digging under it, into the sand, but he had nothing to dig with.
Above, the darkness of space hovered behind him. He could see a few, faint stars glinting down at him, but they were the same ones he always saw. He still had his laser rifle, which he‘d already fired off a dozen times at the wall to no visible effect.
He contemplated going back the way he had come – sand, sand and more sand – but the thought of it churned his insides. Besides, he had come this far, hadn’t he?
He had heard about The Wall before, of course. There was no way under it, over it or around it. It ran forever. It reached the stars. It went to the core and beyond.
Still, the Grey Man wasn’t far behind. Which was his only motivation. He had to get over (or under or around) this wretched thing. Before the Grey Man caught up with him and devoured his soul or whatever these ridiculous creatures did here. There had to be an illusion in the wall, some breakthrough point where it simply gave way. A window, a door, anything.
The wind picked up around him, flapping his pants against his legs. Day was breaking. The stars were disappearing once again. The orbit here was dizzying, a few hours of day or night at a time.
There was somebody coming now. A figure on the horizon. He looked for somewhere to hide, but of course there was nowhere. Just the Wall.
He lifted the archaic, clanking rifle and aimed it at the approaching figure. His forefinger twitched. All this time he’d had the thing, and he still hadn’t killed a man.
The Prompt: Write a 500-word fiction piece based on a mundane, inanimate object. The truth? There are no mundane objects in fiction. This prompt is part of the series: The Inanimate Object Chronicles.
(Image courtesy of criminalatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)