Tower 58

Life at the bottom of the tower is hard — especially when you used to be on top

John Bullock
The Lark Publication

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Picture: Pixabay

Mary woke suddenly, grasping for an alarm clock that wasn’t there. The noise that had woken her was something like a thud but with a distinct metal edge. There was a brief moment of confusion which, Mary later thought, was probably a kind of mental self-defense; a few blissful seconds of buffer between oblivion and whatever reality had in store for her.

She opened her eyes at the sound of the second thud, and reality rushed in like a gaggle of unwanted party guests.

Mary half-rolled, half-fell out of bed and stumbled over to the window. The harsh artificial light of the Lower’s day filtered in through the grimy glass. Mary craned to see upwards, but there was only darkness.

There was a saying on the lower floors, “Don’t look up”. Its meaning had been interpreted every which way over the last hundred years or so, but some remember its original meaning, which was rather more literal than common knowledge would have you believe. It came from the days before the Segregation when every floor of Tower 58 centered on balustrades, and a person on the top floor could see all the way to ground level.

Don’t look up, was the advice. Don’t look up, because you don’t want to know what’s coming the other way

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John Bullock
The Lark Publication

Freelance content writer with an eclectic employment history and an interest in game development. Find links to things at https://linktr.ee/johnbullock