Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds (Nov. 17)

4 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

A&E Editor

October 30, 2020. Courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

This week features the conclusion to the story begun on the 27th of October. Enjoy.

I thought that it sounded unrealistic, for one thing, given the chains looked as unbreakable as ever. And I couldn’t think of any favor I would want from this man specifically. Maybe if he had lots of money. But those thoughts came later anyway and at that moment I would have done anything to distract myself for any amount of time so I said, “yes.”

“Wonderful,” he said, “anything you need I am more than happy to provide you with given it is within my ability.”

I nodded my head again and then went to get a closer look at the chains. They really were massive. I doubted that I could break one even if I had a sledgehammer. There was something, though, something from school (don’t think about Lauren) that I remembered. It was about something like this. It was an acid. A really strong acid that could destroy metals like termites and wood. They had to keep it in a special container I was pretty sure. Otherwise it would melt straight down into the floor. I said, “excuse me, if I needed something to break the chains, would you be able to get it for me, like you said?” 9.2/10.

November 1, 2020. Courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

He said, “depends on what it is.”

I tried to remember what the name of that thing was. fluoroantimonic acid. “fluoroantimonic acid,” I said.

He replied, “you mean this?” and he was holding a very strange container in his hands.

“Maybe,” I said, “if it’s fluoroantimonic acid.” I took the container and climbed up to the top of the rock, where the chains were bolted in. I held the container away from my face and opened it, and then poured a few drops onto the blistered metal. Immediately there was a high-pitched sizzling sound. Big craters began to form in the chain as the acid worked its way into the metal. Satisfied with my test, I poured half of the rest onto that chain, and half on the other, all the while being careful not to pour any on the man. In a minute, the chains had melted through completely.  8.4/10. 

November 3, 2020. Courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

(Left) “That feels about right,” said the man. He pulled his arms forward and the chains came tumbling down from the rock and gathered around his legs. Then he squeezed on each latch keeping the chains attached to himself, and each latch popped off like it was nothing more than a paper bracelet. “Much better.”

I stood there watching, not really knowing what to make of it all. I supposed I had just saved a man’s life, which was good. I felt much more, though, that I did not truly understand what was going on.

“I have to say, kid, that wasn’t so terrible,” said the man, “not so terrible at all.” He picked up the chains and slung them over his shoulder. They must have weighed over a thousand pounds. “Listen, I have to take these to a friend of mine. Come with me. You can tell me about this girl. And maybe you’ll need a favor on the way. Wouldn’t that make my life easy.” He started walking off, dragging the chains behind him, the chains trampling everything in their path and scraping over pebbles and stones. I did not stay still for very long before sprinting up to be by his side.

THE END. 8.6/10.

November 7, 2020. Courtesy of Joey Cifelli ’23.

I’d like to thank those of you that read these bits and pieces of fiction and photography, it really does mean a lot. I have a wonderful time making them, and I’m glad I’m able to share them with you. I have much left to tell, if you’ll listen. Maybe in the future we’ll take a break and look at rocks or something. That sounds nice.

It’s my understanding we’ll be away until next semester, so this is goodbye for now. I hope to see you again in the spring. And I hope for thunderstorms. Big ones. 9.8/10. 


Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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