by Natalia Theodoridou
read by Thomas Busby
First published in Neon #42, February 2016
Mateus can no longer see the ground from the top of his tower. He calls it a tower somewhat pompously, as in reality it is but a crooked structure made of scavenged materials stacked higher and higher towards the sky. But what is he supposed to call it? A stack? Tower is good. It conveys its importance. Mateus balances on the platform of the latest level he has added and begins his descent to collect the materials he needs for the next. The brown cloud swirls around him and a sudden gust of wind blows dust into his face. Bits of sand make tiny scrapes on his goggles. He’ll soon need to find a new pair. He puts one hand on his bandana and holds it tightly over his mouth. In the little while it takes for the wind to die down, the sound almost drowns out the whisper in his ears: Higher. Go higher.
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Natalia Theodoridou is a media & cultural studies scholar currently based in Exeter, UK. She is also the dramaturge of Adrift Performance Makers (@AdriftPM). Her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Apex, and elsewhere. Her story “Every Black Tree” is forthcoming in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Thomas Busby is an up and coming Actor from South Wales, United Kingdom. He’s just starting his acting career and hopes to do voice work as well. You’ll find him on The Larp Book Podcast where he and three friends discuss LARPing and generally just have a good time.