Bill's town was built in a few minutes. Buildings and blocks had grown like mushrooms. The long streets were crowded very quickly. People swarmed, ants on the cobblestones. The town was great organized around an industrial center. Harmony and peace were everywhere. Huge gardens and cozy space were assembled in a sort of way that environment was perfect to live. Everything promised a bright and wealthy future, until that AWFUL DAY !! That terrible day when the Spartans came to invade the town, they killed every man they could find, raped every woman and burnt them with the children.
Fear was in everyone's heart but some managed to escape and hide in the sewer. A new time had come: a time of fear, a time of DARKNESS !!!
Through the sewer, refugees couldn't leave the town because it was too dangerous and they would be certain to die, so they had to stay and try to survive as they could. To calm their hunger and their thirst they had to eat rat and poo, drink pee. Eating too many toxin made them sick, they began to spit their blood. The youngest and the oldest passed away, the most resistant physically were also touched by madness due to misery and the lack of hope, light, love and humanity.
Some had to be killed by the others because their madness started to be dangerous for the group.
The less they were, the more desperate.
Needless to say that, in the sewer, there was no light; the only way to feel that they were not
alone and keep a link with human condition was to sing the songs they could remember from their passed life. They had no reason to live but they couldn't give up the fight for a better end.
Singing was an escape from misery, and helped to survive hopefully.
Every night, young and old people were together to share the only part of the day when they could feel they were still alive.
Humanity had barely disappeared. Life was organized around this dark and painful daytime.
Past rules of the past Bill's town was abolished, everybody only believed in Golibash.
Golibash was the only old survivor of the old people's great starvation. He was blind and so he could see the things that nobody could. Every day, refugees came to visit him to know his visions of the future he had had during the night. One day, he arrived totally desperate and yelling that the end was soon, everyone was scared, so the small community decided to organize a singing day to calm the group and at the same time pray their gods.
Nobody was missing for the singing day, the songs got stronger and stronger, intensity created vibration coming to the up, from the underground. The invaders who thought they had killed everybody couldn't understand where those strange noises could come from, transformed by canalization and pipes. Vibration made the city tremble so strong that people couldn't even walk, falling on the ground.
And soon the weak house collapsed, followed by the stronger building.
This was apocalypse. We could hear the yelling women, crying children, and screaming men.
But soon everything became silent ... Everybody had died even the refugees in the sewer that had got asphyxiated by dust and the heavy stones.
« -Right Billy ! I guess we have got enough for today ... »
Leaving an-eight-year-old boy in her office, she went to the door to find a lady:
« -Mrs, I think we'll need to see your son again, he looks ... lost. »
The little boy looking to his destroyed Lego town, got up to join his mother.
They both left the room, leaving the psychiatrist alone.
Cham L., Jeanne F., Arthur B., Garance M. - B1- Lycée Helene Boucher -
A town called Marla
Tuesday, November 23rd 2053
This morning I found a picture of us. There is an old and dilapidated park in the background, and just a broken teeter-totter with rusty chains. It may seem glaucous for eight-year-old kids, but our joyful smiles show the contrary. Indeed, Marla, this brown-curly-haired-girl beside me looks so glad, that it brings me happiness just by seeing this picture.
Everything has always been about Marla. She has been my friend, since we met. We grew up in New York City’s suburb, we used to play in our whole neighbourhood. Our favourite place to play was a ruinous house, with precisely 2711 bricks, which Marla counted maybe a hundred times. The house was empty so it quickly became our place, where just the two of us met.
I miss this time when we only knew this place; we were in our world, this world full of dreams, instead of now that we are lost in this skyscrapers crowd called Manhattan …
Wednesday, November 24th 2053
Today is the birthday of our first rendez-vous. I remember when I invited her in the fanciest restaurant we knew. It was so expensive that we barely could buy a bottle of French red wine. Then we had a walk downtown, to show me how she saw the city. She told me about buildings which looked like huge cards. In her mind, the city was a gigantic card castle which could collapse at any time. She also believed that highway was a flipper, and cars were balls. Banks were like casinos, and trees were like chewing-gum. Don’t ask me why, I never got it. I am fascinated by the way she sees everyday-life things.
She also explained to me that she often compared people to some chess pieces. She was the white queen, and I was a common pawn. She hasn’t told me who the dark king was, yet.
Marla thought life was a giant game.
That night, she announced me she had found a job as a maid in a shabby restaurant, whereas I had began architecture studies. We were young, we both had just left high school, and for the first time our ways separated.
Thursday, November 25th 2053
Today, while walking through the city, I saw one of the expressions Marla often writes on walls: “I am Marla’s blind eyes”. It has been erased by time, but I still see it in my head.
The day she wrote this, I was working in my office, and I called her to warn I was going to be late. We had been living together for a year in a cosy flat in South West Manhattan. She didn’t say anything, she just hung up. Ten minutes later or so, I got a phone call from an unknown man, who told me she was at the subway station (where she wrote her expression), with some doctors looking after her. I just did what I could: I brought her back home.
She made me promise I would never do this again, because for her, it was as if I had let her down. She calmed down and confessed she had seen a black tower at the station.
To please her, I got in charge of the renovation project of this station, so that she would never see again a black chess pieces in there.
Friday, November 26th 2053
The subway station wasn’t the only place in New York I restored. As an architect, I could make every place she wanted more beautiful. I got in charge of many buildings, where she had seen some black chess pieces. Once, she even ran away from our flat to escape some of them. I have never seen any of them, but I did trust her so we moved.
To cheer her up, I restored the Town-hall, because she assured me a dark knight lived in it. Now, this building is a soft, warm, and comfortable place. I had more and more success for my creations, but I only care about her. As I told, “Everything has always been about Marla”.
However, her paranoia crisis got more and more intense, so that I had more and more buildings to restore.
Step by step, New York began to look like the town of her dream. I made tunnels with rainbow colours in it; I made buildings with fronts like playing cards; I made statues of bubble gum, I made museums with colourful balloons as roofs, just to hide her how awful the world was. Criminality increases, murders are commonplace, prostitution is in our everyday life, corruption is so normal that people don’t see it anymore and violence is everywhere. Maybe by changing urbanism, I could hide her from the dark chess pieces, but I couldn’t hide this disgusting world from my eyes…
Saturday, November 27th 2053
Here is an excerpt from today’s newspaper, about one of my constructions:
Today, we can celebrate the opening of a new building created by Jack Durden, this young and eccentric architect. The front is a huge window in some special glass which has colourful reflects. Inside, there is an exhibition of young artists’ pictures of our fabulous town, and the decoration makes you feel so peaceful that you don’t want to leave this place.
The only touch of sadness is this small altar, which pays tribute to Marla Finley who killed herself here, three months ago. This brick monument is followed by one sentence “I am Jack’s eternal love for Marla”.
Mélody Etienne et Irlande Goix - B1- Lycée Montalembert -
All that glitters is not gold
As the morning throws his sunbeams through your window, you start living every day of your life from the twilight to the sunset. You work, you learn new things, you eat tasty food, you have fun with friends, and then you go to sleep, while the city falls asleep with you. But, do you really think that cities keep disappearing every night?
You may be wrong…
2:00 A.M: One last car just crossed Hollywood Boulevard, letting all the lights of New York dancing on the empty roads like a swarm of little fireflies hounding dust. Your snores echo on every wall of your house, and are added to the whole of each typical weird night noises.
A crackle, a whistle made by a cold wind entering many fireplaces at the same time: New York woke up instantly.
In just a second, every glow started shining more and more until street-lamps bulb exploded.
Then Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, all of those cities just woken up by the call of New York, right emitted by the Statue of Liberty and its magnanimous torch.
And like every night, the ritual keeps happening, the Eiffel Tower rises with its sparkles to communicate with all its neighborhoods, grabbing the stars with its summit and facing the Pisa tower or the Great Wall of China.
And especially that night, an irrevocable thing happened. Somebody proudly discovered this secret and unknown form of living of the cities by night. Somebody just discovered this incredible and unbelievable confidence occurring exclusively shortly after midnight.
It happened this way: I was almost 8, and I had just had a bad dream about my parents. I woke up crying like a river and sobbing like I never did. Then I looked through the window, and I stayed speechless for a bunch of minutes. There was a whole show taking place outside. I ran downstairs and went outside discreetly then hid behind an oak. I have always been able to call a spade a spade, but that was the first time I wasn’t able to understand what was just happening right in front of me. Mr and Mrs Kellington’s house was just moving that weirdly, doing the same movements as the others houses near it. It was both scary and funny though it was something I didn’t believe in.
They were following a catchy jazzy melody drawn in the air by common noises of everyday life such as our letterbox opening and reopening itself, or the wind passing through grass and every tree leaf.
It was so fantastic and so great that I wasn’t afraid anymore, and could easily pass the fence to watch the scene closer. I was now running, running, and running in the entire street holding my teddy bear, and I suddenly flew off the floor. I was now flying over New York and my own home was so little that I could compare its size to an ant. I was going to Paris, watching the Eiffel Tower illuminating those plenty of houses surrounding it, and then to Norway, to Moscow, to China…
But abnormally, Paris doesn’t seem to keep its beauties at night. It only becomes a sea of useless trees and beautiful places drowned in the shadow of those hours of darkness. It just looks like a little dot in the middle of nowhere, whereas some random cities like Munster in Ireland reveal all that is impossible to see in the daylight: the silence and the emptiness of pure nature, like in the Bamako fields. On that night, I realized that all that glitters is not gold.
What if it could have been real…
7:50 A.M: Yes, unfortunately I definitely woke up, sweating like a bull, and I was obviously late. I wonder if the world will look like this one day.
Julie Ung et Valentin Cervellera - B1- Lycée Montalembert -