Pine Treetops

The wall was built higher than the tallest trees in the valley. From the lookout point at the top, the people could touch the tops of the trees. The river ran quickly and beat against the rocks on the edges of the shore just outside. The wildlife ran around on its own, untethered from everything and everyone with no restrictions.

Inside the wall, the people lived frugally and rarely left. (The only occasion in which anyone left was if a curious onlooker decided to peer over a little too far. Many called it Mother Nature’s cruelty. Others called it human’s stupidity.) They tried rope to pick the fallen back up, but the height of the wall and the state of the injury after the fall made sure it never worked.

They tried to beat their way through but the man who designed the wall designed it for peace and not war, meaning the only instruments they had were made of wood, at best cobblestone, and the wall was made from something much more substantial. They often cursed him, although no one knew his name. They only used “Ga-h,” for the noise seemed appropriate. They often talked to themselves about why they were there within the walls, and often disagreed. Some of the people felt cursed to be there and others felt blessed. They lived in a safe society, after all. The others opposed this as every day more people died due to lack of medicine, as the entire place was, well, secluded. They fought against each other but the end was always the same. They ended up screaming at the walls of their own houses, furious.

Luckily, the elders, those who had lived inside the walls since its beginning, talked others down by showing the scars on their own bodies from when they had fought over the exact same thing. It got them nowhere and it got them nothing. Now they were trapped within walls with each other, some missing fingers and some missing arms, still with people dying every day.

Outside, weeds grew up against the wall. The wildlife roared and flourished and often roared loudly, so loudly in fact, that the people inside the walls could hear and when the noises came they felt nothing but sheer terror not knowing what the sounds were.