A Heavy Load To Bear
Walls have ears. (Flash fiction – 400 words)
I was clearing a room that was wall-to-wall full of junk and, lamenting the fact that the Muse seemed to have deserted me, I said aloud: “If walls could talk, they could tell me a lot of stories.”
“What do you mean?”, I heard, “I am a wall and can be just as vocal as you.”
“Well, I knew that walls have ears but it’s news to me that they have tongues too”, I responded.
Then I challenged him to reveal some of the juicy bits that het had accumulated over the years but I was met by a wall of silence.
“Why are you stonewalling?” I asked.
“Because we are discreet.”
“You are driving me up the wall with your reluctance.”
“Sorry, but we have our backs against the wall when asked to betray confidences
“I wish I was a fly on the wall”, I remarked facetiously.
“There are no flies on me!”, the smart arse retorted.
“Haven’t you ever dropped a brick and let something slip?”
“Only on occasions, when I was plastered”, he said ruefully.
I realised that there were cracks in his apparent solid structure even though attempts had been made to paper over them.
Although his determination seemed set in concrete, I sensed that this wall wasn’t as upright as it was cracked up to be and I might be able to exploit the chinks in its structure.
It became evident that his resistance was about to crumble when he started to blubber:
“You don’t understand how heavy is the load I have to bear.”
his was followed by an emotional outburst as he described all that was wrong in his life: that he had cavities; that he had been injected with some unknown substance that made him fear he may become addicted to; that he had no ties
to strengthen his resolve and felt utterly miserable.
I felt sorry for this disintegrating stonework and thought that, with some consideration, a rapport might ensue and eventually a friendship could be cemented.
I keep chiselling at the masonry trying to force this stubborn monolith to expose the dirty secrets of the many occupants of this room.
If and when I gain enough material to write about them, I’ll thank this friendly wall and say:
“You are a brick, pal.”
© Luigi Pagano 2021
© ionicus 2022