Monoliths and The Great Wall of China by Tim Frank


Inside — black curtained night smothers the setting sun.
Laughter.
Outside — light falls on rooftops, stadiums, pylons, planes, fast cars, oceans and mountainside bridges.
Laughter.
I have to get out of this room but I’m banging into the Great Wall of China and leaning out of the first-floor window, peering at the penthouse suite above and the street below, churning like blenders.
Voices appear again but they’re softer, more insidious. I know who they are now — they are my friends but they are not my friends.
Hello? I say timidly.
There’s Robert sitting on his skateboard rolling a cigarette under a karmic cloud. There’s Adam pacing back and forth wringing his hands, yearning for flesh, and then me crying on the curb, calling out for documents, evidence and some joined-up thinking. Adam and Robert turn to me, scowling, Can’t you be quiet for one minute, you big fucking baby?
I shudder to a stop, drenched inside as a cold rain falls.
I turn on a light — everything is different, confusing, and laughter seeps in through the ceiling and the floorboards.
Look behind the black monolithic door, I tell myself — it has moods twisting through the keyhole, and a fibre brimming with code.
My friends who are not friends are not there, yet they linger in a pit hissing my name. They don’t know who I am or what I want.
I can’t face what’s behind the giant black slab, but this is my home and I feel that I have to try. So, I turn the handle and find the possibility of an island and a sea beyond; a possibility of laptops growing from trees; a possibility of an astronaut floating through paint.
And it’s all waiting for me, just as soon as I open my eyes.

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