2nd Place



The Thinker

It sat there, like an ancient monolith, daring him to touch it. Its world-ending stare, coupled with a weight beyond measure. How it wound-up in the yard, he could only imagine; a vestige from a by-gone era, a dynasty long forgotten, save for a tomb and a door? Whatever it was, it was imposing. No, more than that, it was scary. It was heavy and bronzed, like a Titan of old, a remnant, lingering; a twenty foot giant looming large.

No handle. No lock.

Carl stood and stared. Minutes, hours, what did it matter? His gaze never faltered. His lids never blinked. Transfixed he followed the figures crawling across the door’s bodice, inviting him in, luring, and leering. The naked forms writhed. His teenage mind played. All the while the Thinker sat above and watched.

He no longer felt the breeze from the trees. He no longer saw the light from the sky.

Men and woman crawled and silently screamed for him; for his help, for his love? Then he crawled. His skin, his very soul undulated, rippled, ripped. Their fingers broke through his chest, tore through his skin and pulled at his mind. His mouth opened and his eyes screamed. They pled for salvation. All the while the Thinker watched.

He fell forward, he flew forth. His feet scraped the granite floor, leaving trainered skid marks behind. The structure ached and groaned, weighted by generations of loss. His face slapped then slid inside. Their arms opened wide, grabbed and held fast and welcomed him in. The metallic embrace tasted in his mouth and shortly after in his bones.

The sea waved around him as he fought to the surface. Gasping for breath that would never come, gasping for light that would only tease, he floundered. His finger tips pushed against the molten world, a dull spoon cutting.

Never free, never more. Never rescued, never saw.

He clung, he watched, he waited and he bore.


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