Brutalist Stories #35

The Future is 100 feet thick.

Oosterscheldekering Storm Barrier Netherlands

“Impenetrable?” He asks for the thousandth time, same as he always does, running his hand across the concrete, looking up at the gigantic structure.

“Yes, sir. Impenetrable, the design is flawless.” I say, looking over his odd movements, his twitches and minute spasms, whilst he inspects what I’ve built, this flawless masterpiece. I should know, I designed it myself, but he still fails to believe me. I’m sure when you’ve been alive as long as he has, you come to question everything, nothing is a sure bet. Well this is. This tomb I’ve designed for him.

“I’m sure you believe it is, but after all this time, I’ve come to understand that there’s no such thing as flawless.” He turns and nods to me. “I’ve seen thousands of designers and engineers across thousands of worlds and galaxies throughout time say the same thing. None have ever stood the test when it came, so I have always had to continue my path. What do you think makes your structure any different?”

A vein in his forehead throbs, there’s this old smell about him but I wouldn’t care to guess just how old he really is, as old as he says? Older? All I know is that he pays well, and he gave me the chance of a lifetime. Create this tomb for him. Build an immense sarcophagus that’ll house him away for the rest of time. Protect him for as long as possible. This thing will protect him from anything other than the complete destruction of the planet. Though, part of me thinks that is exactly what he wants.

“Time is this peculiar wave for me,” he starts again, I’ve heard it described to me over and over. “The peculiarity is that, on this world, in this place, I’ve been described as many things, immortal is probably the closest you’ve come, but my consciousness has been alive, searching, roaming through the universe for much longer than your species has been sentient. It will go on for much longer as well.”

“Yes, sir.” I nod and smile.

“Young girl, there’s even the very strong chance that I will come back around again. What do you think to that?”

I don’t think anything really, just that as long as his payment clears. I’m good to go.

“You experience time as a flat disc, your consciousness is all or nothing. You are being, this instant you are a being that is conscious and awake, but it might as well not matter, because when you are not being, all time will exist simultaneously and not at all. You’re a flicker. You are so limited, and at this moment, in this vessel so am I.”

There’s a certain eccentricity to what he says, to the way he talks that I enjoy. Is he for real? I wouldn’t care to guess; I don’t care to know. He pays well, and whatever is going to happen or not, I’ll be able to live off this gig for the rest of my life. Whatever that means.

“I’m beyond you, what you experience, your version of reality. For me, time is thicker, the future is thicker, because ultimately, it goes around and around, infinitely. Quite a bit thicker, than these simple walls.”

I nod and smile again, just as thick as the walls on this thing, I guess.

Building inspiration: 

  • Oosterscheldekering Storm Barrier Netherlands  

Musical inspiration: Loscil – Straw Dogs

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Brutalist Stories #35