Switchville Worldbuilding, Part 2 (Eccletic Boogaloo)

August 14, 2009

Oh, hey, we’re probably hitting 2,000 hits over the weekend! Maybe I’ll get some time this weekend to do that website reformat to celebrate and be a little epic. For now, a little bit more about Switchville. (I’m beginning to wonder how crazy I sound.) [Which, granted, is a ponderous moment that usually doesn’t last very long.]

The “art” here probably bears worth mentioning. There’s a fair amount of it spread throughout the city–half-torn-down murals on sides of empty apartment buildings, strange and seemingly pointless statues and sculptures and models made from bits of scrap metal, telephone poles and broken off screens of televisions. No one really ever stops to look and think about them–well, really, no one really thinks that there’s any sort of point. They merely exist in the most literal sense of “merely,” just as this entire world merely exists. People usually just wander by, hardly noticing any of it unless its in their way, a means of shelter, or is made from salvageable parts, in which case it’s dismantled completely, its original artistic state soon forgotten completely. There could be a reason to these objects and paintings, or some meaning to derive from them or their creator(s?), but for now, and considering the scope of Switchville itself and how many of these odd spots of semibeauty there are, no one has bothered to wonder to this extent. There is a steel buzzard perched on the third story of a tall skyscraper, its claws grasping the bent fire escape railing that is ready to crash into the opposite wall any second now. You swear you can hear the bird screaming, as if in warning to the occasional passerby below.

On the note of height, rooftops are incredibly well sought after. They are rare, considering that at least half of the buildings in Switchville are demolished, collapsed on their sides, or burnt down. And they even give a faint semblance of temporary safety, as one can see incoming dangers below and act accordingly, either by blocking off the rooftop’s doorway or by quickly bounding to a nearby roof in the midst of a night. If you can get up on top of a half-destroyed building, though, and find some nook covered by a rusted, heeled-over steel girder that has escaped the building’s original framework, then you can be even safer: Something disorganized and chaotic like that is antithesis to a Switchville sort of person–they would rather go somewhere simple and organized, as if symmetry and order created some sort of magic barrier around them, away from the horrors of mere living on the streets.

There are wet, dusty sewers in Switchville. They run incredibly haphazardly, to the point that one is forced to wonder who the hell could have possibly designed them. Then again, maybe they came into existence later than the rest of the city, or maybe they were transformed in some way. No one yet has figured that out, as per usual, although they have figured that the sewers is often the quickest way to get around, and surprisingly not dangerous. In our own world, there would be some sort of cliche fear of monsters or the like, but not in these sewers. They’re about as safe as anywhere else, if perhaps a bit darker and dirtier, and thus they get used fairly often by travelers. Isn’t it funny how much the Switchville denizen will go to such lengths and know so many ways around the city, just for fear of seeing other people? One wonders how right in the head they are, at least by our standards.

One Response to “Switchville Worldbuilding, Part 2 (Eccletic Boogaloo)”

  1. Ellen said

    This is a really cool idea! It kind of reminds me of City of Ember – I think there’s a movie of it now, but it’s this book about a cut-off city that’s just starting to fall apart. It’s a children’s book, but definitely an interesting read for this exercise.

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