Stoic Bricks and Muddled Time

Author’s Description: Just a story I’m hoping to enter into “Time to Write”. I knocked it out in one go, so grammatical errors are probably going to be prevalent, but please disregard the tense changes. They’re part of the story! 🙂

Amid the hushed suburbs of some amorphous old town in England, a stoic brick was pondering the precisely regular noises coming from the room it composed. The brick, which was about to set a cognitive personal and world record, was hearing a peculiar grunting-snoring mix, that almost sounded as if its producer’s throat had a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel, lodged in it.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel existed entirely, of course, in the brick’s cognitive realm. Yet, the brick’s ponderings weren’t completely wrong; in fact, there was someone with a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in their throat. Yet, this man (or woman, the brick didn’t know), was as far from the perceptual field of the brick, as was the validity of the idea, in most people’s minds, that bricks could think at all.

Yet, it was nonetheless true.

The brick sat, stoically thinking about what exactly it was hearing. But bricks don’t often achieve a pensive state for more than a few minutes, and much like its compatriots, the brick’s mind dissolved, back into its bricky trance, from which it was to rise again only 23 and ¼ years later, when the building was being demolished. The last emotion the brick would feel, would be an unshakeable stoic outrage, before it was pummeled into the ground by a large sledgehammer.

And as the brick fell stoically back asleep, a black-lightning haired man, with set of eyebrows thick and long as the Thames (thick and long enough, some thought, that birds nested there on occasion), collapsed upon the street; he twitched uncontrollably, as though his lightning hair had electrified his nervous system. He clutched his throat with the grip of a homeless man holding a five pound note donated from an exceptionally rich passerby.

And people strolled past, without the faintest perception.

Todd Terrance, the man whose snoring had awoken the brick, awoke himself. A dull, prickly haze covered his chin and jaw. An inky aura diffused across Todd’s room, which perpetually smelled like old socks. In a sluggish stupor, and slumbering pace, Todd threw himself reluctantly from bed.

I don’t like Mondays, thought Todd. Yet, it was true to suppose also, that he didn’t like any day. But then, there would never be any reason to hate that day if he hated every day. So Todd supposed to himself that today was special. Today was worth hating more.

Because today, wasn’t like any other day.

The lightning haired man’s body relaxed. And people kept walking by. Occasionally, someone would step through him.

A lead sledgehammer slammed into the bricks, a fierce sonic boom-like sound erupting from the impact. And with that, all the bricks in the wall awoke. A wave of stoic surprise flowed through the bricks, one by one, as each impact followed every other. And the bricks began to wake, and shout.

Todd hobbled about, slowly picking up the tumult of his possessions. A vast, messy being was being assembled within the suitcase. Socks, shirts, pants and underwear all mixed, and in a furious mish-mash, which would have threatened to explode with utter disdain – if it had been alive, that is. But thankfully, the clothes had no consciousness, and so, relaxed, stupidly collapsed in a heap, in Todd’s case.

Blow by blow the brick’s friends shatter, into a constellation of pieces. The surprise matures to outrage, despair, and a sad resignation, which then evolves back into shock, when the brick habitually falls back asleep and wakes up again as the hammer slams against the wall. And the last thought of the stoic brick’s intangible mind happens. A dull, stoic outrage floods through its length.

Todd steps out of the house, walking to a restless taxi parked at the curb of the road. The barge of suitcases following him behind stare sadly ahead, and Todd strains to push each on into the thimble-sized trunk of the taxi driver’s taxi. Yet, after all the hustle and bustle, the suitcases rest safely, if a little stuck.

And the taxi drives away, past the footpath where the lightning haired man is collapsed.

And several hours later, a large truck arrives, to demolish the houses along the forlorn street.

The brick thinks about the grunting-snoring mix, and the semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in the throat of its creator, whilst, 23 and a ¼ years later, the brick’s entire psyche erupts simultaneously in a torrent of stoic outrage. The hammer falls upon the wall, just as the brick’s ponderings cease, and it falls back into its bricky slumber for 23 and ¼ years. And as it shatters, and sleeps at the same time, a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel flies through the air.

A protester screams “Save the Houses!” from the street as the heavy hammer slams into the wall, as the bricks subsequently erupt into a wave of stoic surprise.

And the projectile flies through the air.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodges, two inches down the black-lightning haired man’s throat, as he collapses, clutching his throat, and twitching uncontrollably, just as Todd wakes up, a sluggish hate emanating from his very being.

And as the man collapses upon the pavement, as the passersby walk, unnoticing.

Time.

Shourye Dwivedi

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