A man was sitting in his garden against an old brick wall. Thinking aloud, he said, “This wall has been here for so long. If this wall could talk, I wonder what it would say. I wish I could hear its stories.
“I can talk,” came an unfamiliar voice behind him. The man jumped up, startled.
“I will tell you my stories,” the wall said. The man looked around and, seeing that no one else was there, decided to reply to the wall.
“Yes,” he said, “I would very much like to hear them.”
The wall told him it would tell as many stories as the man would like to hear. “But you must grant me a wish as well,” the wall added. The man readily agreed.
The wall told him many stories of life and heartbreak, of physical pain he had witnessed, of secret conversations and even admissions of crimes that people confessed when they thought no one was around to hear them. It told of beautiful songs from people and birds. The man listened all through the night until the dawn of the next day. The man was about to fall asleep and told the wall that he could listen no more.
“Very well,” the wall said. “Now will you grant me my wish?”
The man nodded and said, “Yes, of course.”
“Take me on a ride,” the wall said. “I have been standing here for many many years, have heard and seen a great many things, but I would like to experience other places.”
The only transportation the man had was his bicycle, so the man carried the wall, brick by brick, and placed it upon his bicycle. He rode the wall around the town showing it the various shops and people, houses and other walls it never would have seen otherwise. After a very long and arduous day, the wall said, “Thank you, I have seen enough.” So the man took the wall back home and put it together in his garden again.
The man went into his garden every day after that and talked to the wall, but never again did he hear the wall speak. He wondered if his stories would be told to someone else someday long after he was gone.
The moral of the story: Be careful what you say when you think no one is around. There may be a wall very close by, to hear and tell your story one day.
Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich
This story was written in response to a writing prompt at Stine Writing.