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The city of misery
20. March 2020

“No shit, Sherlock”, mumbles a passerby as he spits on the ground before me.

I glance over him and realise that while humanoid in shape, he - or it - is far away from your average Joe. As he returns my stare with cold, piercing eyes, I quickly move on and into the suburbs of what seems to be a major city.


The broken asphalt below my feet starts to feel uncomfortable, so I summon me a nice pair of walking shoes. I apparently took the people - or rather beings around me by surprise. Some quickly turned the other way around while others scanned me with great suspicion. 


I continued walking and the burning ground turned colder and coarser. A few cubic mountains, with regular patterns of dim illumination began to surround me. A few people walked along the edges of the cubes, none noticing me. In fact, none seemed to notice anyone. Their gaze was either blank or hard as stone. Wait. Those weren't mountains, but buildings in a huge city.


"Excuse me," I asked one passing by, "Where am I?"


The woman shrugged and continued to walk, as if she was possessed by something. Well, as this was hell, that seemed more than likely.


"Do you know what this city's name is?" I asked an old, pleasant looking man.


He spat on the road and continued.


I sighed and tried to find a store in this city, but could find none. Every building was identical; One needed to have the right key to get in. And none of the buildings had a balcony. It looked as if the world itself wanted to keep everybody separated. 


This was ridiculous. I closed my eyes and imagined a door beside each window leading out to a balcony. Not enough with that. I wished for a little cozy shop to be placed in between some buildings. A place for people to buy stuff and socialise. 


As before, everything came to be as I willed it. Yet nothing really seemed to happen. The small stores laid unemployed and I got stares of judgement by anyone passing by. Maybe they didn’t like to speak to each other, face to face? Maybe they wanted community, each on their own. Wouldn’t it be better if they did at least have it a bit more fun in this miserable state of wandering with empty stares? I wished for everyone to have each their smartphone. Soon everyone walked with a screen illuminating up their face. 


Someone laughed. With glee I spun around to see this joyous sound. But what I saw disappointed me. It wasn’t a laugh out of community or joy, it was a cramping laugh, a laugh of mania. It was a laugh more of bodily function than what I intended. 


Crying, I sat down. What kind of hell was this where people just chose to be miserable? Maybe I could just wish for them to be happy? No. This was their own choice. There had to be something else I could do. But what?


I exhaled, stood up and wiped my tears away with the bottom part of my shirt. This is all too depressing, I have to get some distance to think clearly.


With that thought in my mind, I brought some distance between me and this city of misery. As soon as I had some space for myself, albeit a bit rocky and unpleasant, I focused all my energy into building myself a house. A proper brick one: With a garden, big windows, and several rooms. I didn’t want to stand out too much, so I gave it a facade in a beautiful bordeaux.


A bit shaky, I approached my new home and closed the door behind me. The next hours, I spend a good amount of love and energy into millions of details. From the living room to how the bedroom looked. A fully stocked fridge and a radio playing great music.


I throw myself on the sofa and lean back. Letting my mind wander.

edited on 20.03.2020, 17:10 by S Rasmussen
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Walked paths
Make a House a Home10. April 2020

I was disturbed in my peace when the radio started to act weird. It rustled for some seconds and then stopped playing at all. I got up to inspect it when the doorbell rang.



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