I stood at a dead end, a dead end that was also my destination. Ten feet forward, a crumbling wall stood across the path. The height of it extended out of sight, the length of it curved out of sight.

“Hell fire burns within these walls,” a voice hissed from behind me.

“Excuse me?” I spoke, unable to peel my eyes away from the barrier.

“Hell fire burns within these walls,” the voice repeated. “Even from here I can feel its heat.” I turned in time to see the elderly man shudder. He was stooped over and dressed in white with golden tassels. He looked at me and his face changed allowing his wrinkles to droop as he became more serious. “Are you certain you want to pull it down?”

I didn’t know how to answer. And when I didn’t answer the man slid closer to me leaning forward with one ear searching for my response. I looked at the wall again, streams of sand were pouring down its surface.

“If I do not tear it down,” I finally said, “it will do nothing but crumble on its own.”

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