Short Stories


“The Climb”

Five:Two:One, Issue 12

A former couple is determined to win a reality show contest that challenges  them to break into a mysterious, otherworldly Tower.



There had to be a way in.

The tower rose into the sky, disappearing into the clouds, the top invisible. She studied the monolith. Its huge obsidian surface was so dark it shone, reflecting back the moonlight. She had thought that its featurelessness was a trick of the light, or an indication of the dusty miles they had to cover to reach it.

Now that they were here, she realized she had been wrong. The surface was like the calmed ocean, no dents to indicate doors or windows, nothing marring the façade.

Nonetheless, there had to be a way in.

Keely watched as Drew heaved his equipment off his shoulder and onto the ground. Eddies of sand rippled out from the tangle of pitons and straps. His head craned as he studied the structure and then he looked at Keely.

“That’s a wicked long way up,” he said.

Thank you, Captain Obvious, she thought, but kept her face neutral.

She cast a glance down to where the building met the ground. Its base telescoped, fading toward the horizon, its bulk stretching out, long and high.

The tower had appeared out of nowhere. One day there was nothing but sand and a few hardy desert shrubs in the landlocked African country of Niger and the next there was a giant structure dominating the desert. Keely thought it must have been like that 60’s movie, the one that the fancy ass director did…the name escaped her, but the dun dun dun DUNDUN of the music pounded through her head. Find some old bones to throw and they’d be in business.