Brick High-Rise Chapter Four

Previous chapter: Chapter Three

 Page 42

Page 42
Wilder had been away on location for three days, shooting scenes for a new documentary on prison unrest. A strike by the inmates at a large provincial prison, widely covered by the newspapers and television, had given him a chance to inject some directly topical footage into the documentary.

 Page 43

Brick High-Rise Page 43
In the main entrance Wilder found that two of the elevators were out of order. The lobby was deserted and silent, as if the entire high-rise had been abandoned. The manager’s office was closed, and unsorted mail lay on the tiled floor by the glass doors.

 Page 44

Brick High-Rise Page 44
Wilder waited impatiently by the elevators, his temper mounting. Irritably he punched the call buttons, but none of the cars showed any inclination to respond to him. All of them were permanently suspended between the 20th and 30th floors, between which they made short journeys.

 Page 45

Brick High-Rise Page 45
She pointed to the cine- camera on the floor between Wilder’s feet. “What’s that for?”
“I may shoot some footage — for the high-rise project.”
“Another prison documentary.” Helen smiled at Wilder without any show of humour.

 Page 46

Brick High-Rise Page 46
“What are they investigating?”
“The death, of course. Of our high-diving jeweller.”
Picking up the cine-camera, Wilder took off the lens shroud.
“Have you spoken to the police?”

 Page 47

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As his sons wandered sleepily into the room Helen remarked, “Perhaps we could move to a higher floor.”

 Page 48

Brick High-Rise Page 48
At night, as he lay beside his sleeping wife, he would often wake from an uneasy dream into the suffocating bedroom, conscious of each of the 999 other apartments pressing on him through the walls and ceiling, forcing the air from his chest.

 Page 49

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Thinking of those distant heights, Wilder took his shower, turning the cold tap on full and letting the icy jet roar across his chest and loins. Where Helen had begun to falter, he felt more determined, like a climber who has at long last reached the foot of the mountain he has prepared all his life to scale.

Next Post: Chapter Five

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