The Tower by SeanMartin ()
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We started this building five years ago. I think. Maybe it was six. It all runs together after a while.
I got hired on first as day labour -- you know, the guys who stand on a certain sidewalk waiting for someone to come along and hire them for the day to do some menial job or the other. Guy with a truck shows up, asks if any of us have our own tools, picks four or five of us, and brings us down here. Back then, it was just a pit: they were still digging the foundation, so we were helping the earth movers. Then they started putting up scaffolding, and the boss takes us all into his office one at a time, asks a few questions, then assigns us to either the pit or the scaffold. I got the scaffold.
Within the first year, we'd gone twenty stories up. That probably seems slow to some guys, but this job was so complicated that you weren't so much pushing iron into place as coddling it. You'd have to trim off a bit here or force it in there, and it seemed like an eternity to see any real progress. But the first year became the second, and then the third, and before long, we were getting ourselves an honest to Jesus skyscraper.
And every now and then I'd look down and see them still digging away at the Pit. I dont know how they got the earthmovers down that deep or even how deep it was really gonna go, but it seemed like the higher we went, the deeper they went. And it started getting a little scary: I mean, we were sorta like this I-beam house of toothpicks, sitting on an excavation that looked to be a quarter mile deep. Not real comforting, let me tell you.
Sometime after the third year, they told us we had to speed up the work, so they were gonna set up living quarters for us on site. And like the next day, they had a whole dorm in place for us, with a meal room and a bar. Then they told us they were locking the gates for security purposes. We could leave anytime we wanted, that wasn't the issue -- they just preferred we didnt, because things were so far behind schedule. They promised us this insane overtime pay, and I dont think anyone turned it down.
I dont even know how high this thing is anymore. I dont go to the upper stories, because it's just too damn scary. The wind comes along and whips your hammer outa your hand, and who knows where it winds up when it hits. And when you look down, into the Pit, it's like you can just see this red glow. All the machinery, I guess. Least, I hope so.
I'm leaving tomorrow. One of the guards told me to be careful when I go: he recommended I use this break in the fence instead of the main gate. Seems the gate... well, there's some problem with it, I guess.
I just hope he knows what he's talking about.