ripples

Friday January 18th, 2013

Ripples

I’m trying my hand at a little fiction here…a society ranked by its classes’ mobility and a symbiotic living city system that flows over and with it. This is a brief introductory description of how the city and society functions.

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The city grew as a stone dropped in the water. Its concentric circles flowed from a center seed planted old, and rippled outward, ring after ring rising, living, and falling. The rings rolled as waves only as the wind may move over the grass; it was not the parts composing the rings that themselves moved, but rather that their green grew, lived and died in rhythm; thralls to the center’s beat.

Green was the city, was its shelter, the nourishment of its people. The people’s being, their living doing and dying, were, in turn, the green’s food.

As the next ring rolled over the remains of the last, the last’s crumbled as the stalks of the dead grass in the spring wind. And the green growing building began. Walls and arched streets grew and the arborists made the rooms of the first story. Up grew the green story by story until the wave reached its crest. Then down from the top as the green died story by story down to the brittle remains to be swallowed by the next wave.

The plain people lived their entire life within one or two rings, living their cycle with them, sometimes in tune with one ring’s in-place growth and decline, sometimes in reverse; the first part of their life in that ring’s decay and the last in the growth of the next ring. This life in cycle divided the plain people into two psychologies: growth and death, death and growth .

The plain people did not move; the city flowed over them, generation after generation, ring after ring.

Every wave beat a mutation, a circle different from the last. This was the fashion of that ring. The privileged occupied the newest, most vital rings, and rode them outward until the next unique rose. In contrast to the plain people, the privileged moved with the city.

As the rings became very large; as they had spent generations traveling from the center, their vitality declined; and when they intersected the rings of another city they were broken, fragmented, as ripples from multiple stones in the same pool. The harmonics of these places were confusing, disjointed, destructive. Here the lost people lived, wandering the wreckage of impact.

The seed of each city was not forever, it had a spendable vitality like any of its rings, and like any sun that nourished its planets. No one knew how long a seed may live; ten generations, a thousand. Every time the people found a new seed growing, its small fertile first rings became the dwellings of the most privileged people; the most mobile. The health of any city’s seed was read in the strength and mutation of the new rings it generated. As a seed aged and its fertility stuttered in lesser and broken rings, its privileged left the city’s remains for the next. In the span of a generation the seed’s death swept through its outer rings and left crumbling brown ruins. The plain people and those lost in the harmonics were left to fend in the places between, lost without their relationship to the green. A wasteland until the planters imagined a new seed, and a people slowly dying with their place.

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