From the moment the sky scraper was built, it was jealous. The small church paled in comparison to its size and newness, but somehow the recently built monstrosity knew it had none of the character and charm that this relic had.
A myriad number of people came and went each day through its newly built foyer and, although the monolith felt important, the new tower knew it could not compare to the importance of the little church that it shadowed.
Each day, the looming fortress would watch people enter and leave the hallowed sanctuary. Their emotions were strong and were easily expressed. Family and friends held hands, locked arms, shared their joy or comforted each other as they entered and left the century-old building, tears staining their cheeks after a funeral or smiles etched into their faces following a wedding or christening. The more the new fortress watched the feelings and sentiment shared by the patrons of the old building, the more its resentment grew.
“St. Paul’s Chapel, NYC” by Amy Light
The tower watched the expressionless faces of the people entering through its revolving door. Most had digital devices in their hands and not one person acknowledged any of the other people in the building, lost in their sad world of technology. The building paid attention to the people in each of its offices, noting their lack of enthusiasm and utter disdain for their existence.
The cafeteria was the same. The only noise that was heard within the four walls of the dining hall were the sounds of the cash register and the din from the kitchen as the cooks continued to prepare the lunch items for the day. Nobody smiled. Nobody had even the smallest conversation. Ear plugs were attached to mobile devices so each person could tune out the world around them.
The fire started in the furnace room long after everyone had left for the day. The fortress could feel the heat from the fire and was satisfied that the slow burn would not be detected. It had systematically dismantled all of its alarms and fire suppression systems so the alarm company and the fire department would not be alerted until it was too late.
The flames turned into an inferno and windows began to break as the heat became unbearable. Smoke billowed through the shattered glass and the building breathed a sigh of relief knowing that it would no longer have to bear witness to the emotion the church was blessed to experience.
The final explosion was small in comparison to the fire. Chunks of concrete were launched in all directions and a few small pieces came to rest at the back of the church. The remainder of the structure fell to the ground leaving behind the metal carcass.
In the weeks that followed, those few small pieces watched as the clean up began. The debris was taken away and the skeleton of the building was broken down and removed. From their vantage point, the concrete remnants breathed a sigh of relief as they were left untouched to enjoy the rest of their existence as part of the church that they had admired for so many years.
Written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Writing Challenge
Oooh! I like this a lot. Nicely done!
Thank you very much!
This is such an incredible piece, Susan! The way you describe the modern structures jealousy and then destruction is romantic! One thing I didn’t mention in the challenge this week, and I don’t know if you know this or not, is that St. Paul’s Chapel (according to the photographer) stands right next to Ground Zero (i.e. the 9/11 attacks) and the only thing that happened to it then was a little roof damage. The imagery you have here was so perfect, in my opinion, when I considered this information. Spot on!
Thanks so much, Tony! I really appreciate that and I had no idea the church is at Ground Zero. That just gave me goosebumps!