26 Bricks

There’s a hole in the wall in the basement, an unfinished hole, beckoning black and empty where the brickwork isn’t complete.

Sometimes I have people over for tea and if they come down there for whatever reason – for me to show them the wine cellar, my collection of pickles, or how my microbrew is doing – they’ll ask about the hole in the wall. Ah, that hole’s stiil there, eh, Marv? When are you going to fill that thing in already? Seems like it’s been years.

It has been years. Years the bricks have sat next to that hole in the wall, sometimes in a red pile all alone, sometimes with a trowel and leftover bucket of mortar keeping them company.

No one ever seems to notice, but I am filling it in, brick by brick. Because they say if you commit a crime, after 25 years you’ve gotten away with it. And the funny thing is no one ever seems to ask why the hole is in the wall in the first place.

One brick per year. One brick for every finger on her hands, one brick for every toe on her feet, one for each eye and ear and her nose and mouth.

Three more years to go. I think I’ll save her mouth for last.

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