Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What If Metropolis: Travelogue

Following a long winding road strewn through the pale green fields one will find themself reaching the edge of the land and the beginning of the ocean. Just teetering over the edge off the sea sprayed cliff lies the city of Tenger, poised upon the rocks stands the legs of the city, propping up the different levels of Tenger, allowing for it to stand tall and unmoving against the stormy winds which are swept up from the vast ocean that each citizen of Tenger wake up to and view each morning. On a sunny day the city can be viewed clearly from the boats that float delicately on the ocean’s surface, Tenger’s bright colours of reds, oranges, yellows, blues and greens all patterned in stripes and spirals along the buildings and foundations of the city. Along with these bright colours large triangular white sails can be seen decorating the city atop of large posts, reminding the fishermen out on the ocean that they alone provide for the city and all who resides in Tenger.
Each building that resides in Tenger is both basic and unnatural, while on the different levels of the city hold different varieties of houses. The closer the buildings gather towards the sea the more rounder and smaller they become, allowing the salt speckled gusts to roll over the smooth roofs and rounded walls. These semicircle homes house most of the fishermen within the city, placed in a spiralling pattern to fit as many homes as possible. From the crack of dawn until mid afternoon at the centre of this spiral is bustling with life of the city folk who swamp the fish market, buying and trading the previous night’s haul, as well as other stalls who sometimes slip in between each fish decorated booths. Behind the hustle and bustle of the fish markets stands peering over taller, more rectangular buildings, housing those who are also busy during the early mornings, but rather than buying their fish for their dinner they are buying and trading the fishermens’ catch to the rest of the world. These buildings stretch far back to the cliff face and closer to the road connecting Tenger to land.
Down below on the shore of the city resides a long wooden pier, with several stubs of wood along each side to attach each of the many boats that accompany the dock during the day. As the sun disappears and the night covers the city, each boat leaves the pier until it is finally alone, with but a few passing seagulls who rest on the wooden legs. Over the years the pier had become damaged due to strong waves and howling winds, but was frequently repaired and improved on. During one of the improvements, the idea of making the transporting the cargo of fish easier came to mind, and rather than hauling each heavy box up the tall and winding staircases, a stair lift-like contraption was installed. Now each morning several paper white seagulls transport the fishermen and the many boxes of fish up and along the wire to the city, and return back down to the dock ready for the next shipment.
Dotted around the lower level of Tenger are the four proud legs which robustly hold the city up from the rocks and waves below. These thick cylinder structures built out of broken and smashed rocks along the shoreline encase a tall winding stair case, of which now has been left derelict and unused, becoming shelter for crabs and seagulls who have been caught in a storm, due to the new method of transportation to and from the dock and city. However, the upper half of these staircases are still highly valued as it still provides a link with the lower level citizens of the city to travel up to either trade higher up or visiting the lighthouse, and also allows for many higher citizens to visit the fish market and other stalls of crafts for sale, from hand crafted jewellery made from the shells of crabs and whelks to house ornaments made from fishing nets and broken pieces of driftwood.
The crowning jewel of the Tenger lies at the topmost point of the city, emitting a familiar bright, glowing aura that brings home the fisherman, safe and sound, through the thickest of fogs and through the darkest hours of the morning. The lighthouse early in the morning is a glorious sight to behold, with the sun rise high up directly behind it. Down on the docks it appears as though the hopeful light from the lighthouse has been pluck and placed straight into the sky. Tenger experiences two sunrises each day, as when the light drowns at dusk, a new glow is born from the lighthouse, and with it the reassuring guide for the fishermen to follow to return home safely is born.

The lifeblood of the city is the ocean, as it provides the fish for the fishermen to catch and trade, and becomes the main export the city trades out to the rest of the world, however as much as it provided it easily took away. Many fishermen never returned home from a routine trip, lost out in the fog or devoured by the sea-beast that haunted the city each and every night, only it’s ghastly fin being glanced at as it slipped back into the water as soon as the sun’s lights hit the water. Thus the lighthouse was erected, to guide home the fishermen safely in the dark, although the brilliant light not only acted as a guide, but also drove away the monster that lurked around in the dark. For several years the lighthouse began to act as a small shrine for those who had been lost prior to the lighthouse’s construction, but over the years it developed into a large scale cathedral-like building, with sails decorating the building like gargoyles, while on the interior fishing nets and prized fish are mounted on the walls, along with several broken planks of wood of ships who never came back.

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