Day 5: Build

Art by Rhett Backstrom | Twitter | Instagram

The group looks ill-prepared for their surroundings: clean clothes that aren’t meant for work, a lack of supplies, a general look of cluelessness, and word has it that they’re from the big city. They’ve been out in the middle of nature for a few days and nothing much seems to have changed. They go into caves and badly made makeshift shelters at night to avoid the monsters then come out early in the morning to discuss something only they can seem to understand. People native to the area observe in passing, but don’t say much else to them other than a simple nod or a ‘hello’.

One morning, there’s something different about the group when they come out of their shelters for the day. Their energy seems to be focused on something particular and a look of determination is felt just by looking at them.

And that’s when it starts. The building. It takes days leading to weeks that lead to months. It’s a monstrosity of a watchtower. There’s not a lot to look at where they’ve built it other than small trees, faint evidence of mountains in the distance, and a stream nearby. It seems random and like a waste of money, but they built it themselves and you can’t fault them for it.

After it’s built, there isn’t any activity around it for a week. The band of people have seemingly vanished back to wherever they came from.

At the end of that silent week, that’s when she came. This frail little girl pulled behind the band of people (though, there’s less people than last time). A man who seemingly led the first band of people stays close to the vehicle she’s in. Locals wonder what business she could possible have until she disappears into the watchtower and never goes back outside.

Word trickles out again when the leader of that band of people heads to a local market with a few assistants in tow. He is the father of that frail girl. A rich stereotype from the city. However, his reason for being there comes as a surprise. His little girl is on the brink of death and all she’s ever seen is a concrete jungle and he wants her to learn about what the world really is like.

After that word got out, if you looked up at the watchtower, every so often you would see the pale, little girl looking down at the plains below, emotionless, unattainable, untouchable.

Not even a year goes by before the activity at the watchtower suddenly stops again. It’s assumed that the girl has passed away.

A few years go by and there’s still nothing.

I grew up at the base of that watchtower. I watched it get built and now I see it every morning and I have for seventeen years.

I gathered a group of people to break in and see what kind of lavish life was led in that watchtower.

Unfortunately, when me and my group go inside, I get to the top of the stairs in the main part of the watchtower and I see her face. Pale. Unattainable. Untouchable. Except this time, she shows great emotion. She’s sad. She tells us she’s lonely and I scream “get out!” before we sprint back down the stairs.

That’s the last time I will go into that building.

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