August 26, 2013
You’ve been finishing a brick wall for a room in your friend’s basement for a couple of hours. When you step back, you realize that you and your friend forgot to put in a door. He tells you not to worry about it, he planned it that way. How do you react?
“Hey, Shel…” Derek scowled. “There’s no door in this wall.”
Shelby took a sip of her coke. “That’s true,” she agreed.
Derek blinked, running a hand through his hair, matted to his head with sweat and gray with cement dust. “If there’s no door, then how are we going to get out?” he asked pointedly.
“I think you know the answer to that,” she replied slowly, flicking the straw around her bottle. She refused to look at him. “Now that this side is done, Kyle and Sam will be working on a second layer of bricks.” She licked her lips slowly. “Thankfully, Rose is on vacation with her father… she never would’ve approved of this.” Finally, she lifted her eyes to Derek’s, her brown iris’ bright with a predatory gleam.
“I- don’t understand,” Derek said haltingly, testing the set of the mortar with an index finger. It was already dry. “What could you possibly achieve by boxing me up in here? And by boxing yourself up with me?” He scowled, kicking the wall irritably.
“There are many things I could accomplish trapped in a room with a guy…” her mouth twitched with a hint of a smile. “But in this case…” she took another sip of her soda. “It’s a test. You know about the tests, don’t you?” She stood up easily and walked over to the cement wall parallel to the new, brick wall. Three out of the four walls that made up their space was made of this uniform cement, with no handholds or windows.
“So what you’re saying is you locked us both up in this room… for a geometry final?” Derek joked. His throat felt dry and beads of nervous sweat dripped down his forehead. “You know I’m no good at math.”
“Oh, cut the crap!” Shelby snapped. “The longer you procrastinate and deny the truth, the longer Sam and Kyle will have to make a second wall! Although I have no trouble believing you can break through one wall, I have my doubts about two! Get over yourself and just- do it!” The wall behind hissed and popped where her hands were pressed against it. The cement dripped towards the floor, pooling around her feet like water. Her shoes began to sizzle.
“Shelby, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but…” Derek shrugged apologetically, eying the cratered wall behind her back fearfully. “I can’t-”
“For god’s sake, Derek, just do it!” Shelby screamed.
Derek jerked around, slamming his fist into the wall with the speed of a cheetah. There was a deafening crash as the bricks crumbled and flew outwards and dust clouded the air. Shelby screamed and dropped to the floor, choking on the thick dust in the air as Derek strode purposefully towards her, his hands clenched in bloody fists. He knelt down calmly before her and grabbed her chin, forcing her head up. Her eyes flickered nervously to his.
“Are you happy now?” Derek snarled, and Shelby flinched. Derek left the cement basement with it’s newly acquired mulch of broken bricks and mortar for the sunshine beyond, leaving Shelby to watch and wonder, and shiver with terror at her horrible mistake.