American Ozymandias

Below is an account of the author's personal experience and discovery.  

I was on my way back from a road trip to an abandoned Tuberculosis ward in North Dakota when I saw something even more interesting: a pyramid.

It stood in the middle of a field, surrounded by thousands of miles of corn and soybeans. Golden discs the size of helicopter landing pads protruded from each of the four sides like massive eyes staring up at God. The sky seemed to darken at the peak of the pyramid like Mount Doom, and it seemed to murmur in a deep, ancient tongue. Blood started creeping up from the horizon as the sun dissolved.

The second thing I noticed were the towers clustered like onlookers in the shadow of the  monstrosity. They were shorter, and seemed to be whispering in hushed undertones. 

All in all, it was a sculpture of colossal proportions. But what was it?

I reached for my phone, but was met with a black screen displaying a rectangle filled with a sliver of blood.

There was a town nearby. The green reflective sign on the side of the highway told me it was called Nekoma, but it looked more like a parking lot and a pole shed claiming to be a bar.

Having nothing better to do, I pulled in. The bar was called The Pain Reliever, but from the outside, it promised to do the exact opposite. 

It smelled like cat piss and nicotine. One man was passed out at the bar, his alcohol addled brain submerged deep in reveries that only God will ever understand. A jukebox in the corner blared Johnny Cash as another man was trying to impress a woman with his knowledge of beer. Judging by the look on her face, he was coming off more like a kindergartner trying to explain the finer points of his grape juice to a wine connoisseur. 

I sat down at the bar. The harried looking bartender smiled at me, and I amended that, of the four other people in the room, she was my best bet at finding out about the pyramid. I was right.

The pyramid had been built during the cold war as part of a massive operation to construct an anti-ICBM facility. An entire city; houses, churches, schools and stores, had been constructed to house employees at the facility. Six billion dollars later, it was finished. A gleaming savior of the American people deep in the heart of the continent.

It was operational for three days.

Then, it was shut down. All of the equipment was torn down, and the facility was flooded. The city was torn down. Houses were dismantled and shipped away. One building stayed and became The Pain Reliever. That was all that remained of the city of Nekoma.

Tommy, the bartender explained, jerking a thumb to the comatose shell of a man at the bar, had helped build the pyramid. 

As I drove on, I caught a glimpse of the moonlight glinting off of the golden discs on the side of the pyramid. It’s language was no longer strange to me, I could understand what it was saying.

It said “I am Ozymandias.”