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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)

TITLE: The Monstrosity
By Jack Taylor
~9th Place


The Monstrosity

Everyone from the brothel madams to the hired assassins to the figurine floggers had seen enough. Some rule or by-law had to be invoked to force the builders to cease and desist.

They had to be violating height restrictions or size of structural footprint or something for this community. Every protestor had different rhetoric to rile up the neighbours. Just one family stood in the way.

If the politicians weren’t raking in extra cash from the newcomers who ventured into town at the word of other witnesses they too would have called a halt to the project.

Committees were formed to examine the potential violations. The conflicting emotions that arose in those forums turned ugly and violence became personal as it flowed out into the other community functions.

Deforestation might have been a possibility to consider since huge swaths of cypress groves had been leveled over numerous decades. Every single day the tree cutting continued.

The weapons center president protested at the noise of the trees being levelled year after year near his distribution shelter. “One family shouldn’t have unhindered access to the creative energy in all that timber.”

He was ignored. The reality was that every other group was mowing down the forest for its own worship centers, homes and business ventures. Everyone was benefiting from the rape of this creation. One influential entrepreneur enriched off the influx of tourists declared that “just because this sky blocking colossus ruins the view and shades the former favourite picnic grounds of generation after generation of children doesn’t seem a reasonable foundation to halt the whole effort.”

The family at the center of the controversy had twisted roots into the genealogies of almost every other home in town. This didn’t make dinner conversations easier as in-laws met to deliberate their role in bringing resolution to a community threatening to be flooded in endless controversy.

Protests arose against the steady cart loads of tar being hauled into the community to coat the monstrosity. The quality of air and the distinct odor created a sense of nausea for expectant mothers and was an open invitation to youngsters to become covered in the black goo. Childcare providers called for tougher measures against projects which put children at risk.

A woman’s group leader called for a barrier to be built around the project. A physician insisted that the place should be quarantined.

One of the main meat suppliers for the community protested that this family had collected rare and valuable species of animal life and were refusing right of access to his employees who wanted the quick harvest to feed the community. The grain providers refused to allow any action since they were reaping rich profits from the purchases being made to feed the menagerie of wildstock. The conflict between those two groups became epic and the totals for loss of life began to compete with the totals for fallen trees.

Hundreds of robed figures milled around at the base of the project on a regular basis covering their ears and yelling insults at the foreman. The foreman would prop himself up like a preacher and rail away at the crowd before returning back to fix another piece of lumber onto the towering frame.

The bearded carpenter raised his voice and arms in frustration. “The Creator of heaven and earth is going to destroy this place. He’s going to send waters from the skies and waters from the ground to destroy you. Come and live. Soon the door will shut and you will be left.”

The cry echoed off the sides of the enormous wall anchored on the field. The significant hole in the middle of the cypress forest provided the illusion of protective arms around the massive wooden tub.

When the roof of the structure was completed and the vast array of food stocks secured the fever pitch of the townsfolk reached a zenith. The leaders talked about burning down the structure until they were sidetracked by having to perform funeral rites for the oldest living man and his son within days of each other.

The project manager beckoned to his three sons and their wives. “Come.” No one else responded to his final invitation. The gap in the side of the project closed with a resounding finality.

The leading citizen carrying the torch was the first to stop. “What was that?”

Others stopped their frenzy and stretched out their arms. A boy smiled with joy. “It feels like a drip of water.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 05/03/13
You built this brilliantly. I'm glad for us both that it didn't take you 100 years - though I don't wish to 'ark' back to the original. Very well-concealed clues as you traced the story. I kept wondering where you were taking me, but you kept me hooked. Great work.
Claudia Thomason05/03/13
I enjoyed this piece and didn't know the subject right away, which made me enjoy it all the more.
Grace Merkey05/04/13
This is well done. You did a great job painting a picture with words.
Linda Goergen05/05/13
Clever and unique! This different perspective on an old story was wonderfully presented with its intriguingly paced and slowly unfolded vision and understanding! And that last line…that one drip carrying so much meaning and message, was an ingenious ending! Terrific job!
Tracy Nunes 05/06/13
The way you purposely made me envision today's headlines and challenges and then led me into the Bibical story was masterful. This was wonderful!
Christina Banks 05/09/13
I loved the way that you brought this familiar story to life. It took me a while to figure out what was happening, but once I did I realized the brilliance of your piece. Congratulations on your EC!
Cheryl Harrison05/10/13
Noah's Ark... so much fodder for the writer. I enjoyed your perspective of the story. Congrats on your HC and EC. Great job!
Leola Ogle 05/10/13
Congratulations Jack on your excellent entry. God bless!
Bea Edwards 05/11/13
This was a masterpiece of suspense. I didn't catch on until almost the end and the second read through made it all the more enchanting!