Every week the tower grows taller. A new story is added, a new set of girders reclaims the emptiness. Or expands it. Because that is all the tower is: a framework, an outline - no floors, no walls, no roof - just a skeleton of steel and concrete with a staircase worming its way through, climbing forever upward.
This isn't how he'd planned it. When work on the tower first began, he'd meant it to have just eight stories. That had seemed reasonable. He hadn't know yet what companies would be leasing out the place, but given the location he didn't think selling eight floors of office space would be too much of a problem.
Then, when they'd finished working on the scaffolding for the eighth floor, he'd thought, why not just add one more? Maybe they could put in a rooftop restaurant. Or lease out the ground floor for shops and shift the offices one floor up. So a ninth floor had been added, then a tenth, then an eleventh.
By now he had lost count of just how many stories the tower had. Every week he would visit the construction site and the foreman would tell him that they were done with the structure and were ready to start putting in the floor and walls, and every week he would decide to hold off on that and go one story higher instead.
The foreman had started looking at him as though he were mad.
Maybe he was. It was a little crazy to go on building this way. By now they were well past the point when he could even pretend that the upper floors would ever be used. In fact, they were unlikely to even be built, because money was fast running out. The first time they'd gone over budget he'd gone back to his loan company and managed to talk them into increasing their funding, but he didn't think they'd fall for that again.
He really should stop. It wasn't just the money. The workmen were beginning to complain about the height, and who knew if so tall a building was even safe? And yet every time he stood in front of the tower, staring up at it, he was overcome by its sheer potential, by the incredible possibility of taking it a little further, a little higher.
Who cared if the floors and walls ever got built? If anyone ever lived or worked here? Who cared if he ran out of money, had to abandon the whole project, spent the rest of his life in debt? At least it would always be here, this monument to his appetite, this glorious reminder of how high he'd wanted to go, how close to the sky he'd managed to reach.