St Ignatius High School
Instructor: Kimberly Gross
Beyond the Wall
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Beyond the Wall
"Do not go beyond the wall.."
My parents continually discipline me for breaking all kinds of rules. However, they warn me that something even worse would happen if I got over that wall. According to my grandpa, the wall was built 75 years ago and has encircled our entire town ever since. My grandparents would tell stories about the wonders, as well as the struggles of the world beyond. They mention the loneliness, starvation, hate, greed, and corruption, amongst other horrible struggles that occurred before the wall was constructed. After a while, those stories have become quite repetitive. If only I could get past the wall for myself…
As I walked through the town, I began to wonder how I could surpass the barrier. If only I could distract the military guarding the walls. Our city's military, the Protection Corp, have been stationed inside and outside the wall ever since it was built. My history teacher has not explained to our class, or any class, what happened prior to the construction of the wall. She also did not explain why the military protected the wall. She only says that "The Event" caused our estrangement from the rest of the world and brought about the need for an army. My grandparents told me that "The Event" had to do with a mistake that America made on the world political stage. I passed by the city candy store and spotted a flyer on the bulletin board inside the store. The flyer described the activities and events that would occur one week from today on Protection Day. Protection Day was a celebration of the wall's erection, safeguarding us from the unknown. The flyer noted the time of the parade to be at noon and it also noted that attendance would be taken. A punishment would be given to those not in attendance. Then I realized my opportunity… I could go beyond the wall.
I began my preparations by heading to the hardware store and buying a large quantity of rope and a helmet. Luckily next door was the fishing store, in which I could get a few large hooks. The cashier in both stores gave me questioning glares for my purchases. However, neither of the cashiers made remarks about these purchases. My final stop was to the hunting store to see if I could buy a harness. At first they refused. I showed a picture of the climbing wall in my backyard which convinced them to let me purchase it. As I made my way home, I worked out the plan in my head. I assessed that after I made sure my attendance was accounted for at the parade, I could make my way to the wall, climb it, and get back before the festivities of the day had ended. I slept fantastically that night knowing my plan would work.
The week flew by, with school, chores and homework keeping me consistently busy. I made minor preparations on school nights, including preparing my harness to climb the wall, attaching the rope, hook and harness, and writing down the plan on paper. Members of the Protection Corp. visited my house one day after a tip from someone at the fishing store. I showed them the climbing wall in the back, avoiding any further conflict. My parents questioned me about why I bought those items, so I lied once again telling them that it was for the climbing wall in the back. Hopefully those lies aren't in vain.
The day had finally arrived. I woke up with a large grin on my face, while getting dressed and putting the harness in my bag. I had some breakfast and then made my way to the parade with my bike. After parking my bike, I walked to the side of the parade route and waited to have my attendance taken. A Protection Corp. member walked by, took my attendance, and gave me a sticker confirming my appearance at the parade. As the crowd largened, I snuck my way out through the hordes of people and began making my way to the wall. After a few minutes I reached the wall, but not before someone noticed me. A guard caught me sneaking up towards it and started running after me. Scared, I ran from him, not thinking about the consequences of running from law enforcement. Although he was a member of the guard, he wasn't very quick so I was able to evade him. I then put on the harness and began making my way up the wall. The hooks caught onto the holes perfectly, proving my plan could work. After getting a quarter of the way up, more guards made their way below me. They were most likely backup called by the guard I ran from before. I launched into a faster climb, quickly hooking myself from hole to hole. I wasn't sure if I could make it to the top from where I was. Then I felt one of the hooks drop…
The hook fell, still clipping to my harness. The Protection Corp. members ascended faster and faster as I hung there stuck with no safe way up. I reached for the rope connected to the hook, grabbed it, and continued climbing. As I made my way up, I spotted a helicopter broadcasting my clamber. People in their homes watching the broadcast walked outside and watched from below. More guards joined the chase, getting a hold of the wall and scaling their way upward. Finally about halfway to the top, I got a break in a large indent stretching across the barrier. I grabbed pebbles I put in my bag and threw them at the guards below. A few got thrown off their balance and fell, pulling out their parachutes for safety. I subsequently pursued my journey, ascending higher and higher. Some guards gained on me, but couldn't get close enough to catch me. About three quarters of the way to the top, more helicopters joined the chase and started shooting with unknown projectiles. I prayed they weren't bullets that could get me seriously injured. As I got closer to the top, it felt like the entire military was after me with the whole town watching. After multiple hours of ascending the wall and avoiding the Protection Corp, I had reached the top of the wall. Looking back down at the hoard of people, I realized how large of an accomplishment I had made and how much trouble I would be in after this concluded. I walked slowly to the edge of the barrier, which was much longer than expected between the town and the beyond. I took one last breath and finished my walk. I closed my eyes to make seeing the unknown a surprise. I opened my eyes and looked into the beyond…