September 2018

Back to Issue 4


By Ashley Kalagian Blunt

When Flynn and Parker met, they started building a tower. Each had their own building style, but they were accommodating. They used whatever building materials they came by. Hard-packed balls of aluminum foil. A bicycle tire. Books they intended to read but knew they never actually would. A rusted washing machine. Firewood. Used Band-Aids, rolled up and shoved into gaps. Structural issues were inevitable. 

            Around them towers rose, trembled and collapsed. Some, top-heavy loads dumped on pinhead foundations, were clearly doomed. Others appeared sound, but rot ate away and they crumbled inwards, dust clouds rising. But there were towers that endured, that had been standing since before Flynn and Parker were born. Some had proper bricks, mortar even. Those ones could be left, and the builders would return years later and continue working on them. But you could never really tell. They’d seen the sturdiest towers come down.  

            The first few years, Flynn and Parker worked steadily on their tower. As they got older, busier, they had less time. They kept an eye on their tower, racing back when it started to lean, smearing shoe glue into cracks. Flynn had no idea about the TNT until the whole thing blew skyward.

              Flaming shards fell from above, inflicting first-degree burns on her. Still, she watched Parker, back turned, hands in pockets, strolling away.