Exurbs Fiction

Multi-Phase Master Plan.


A friend lived on the outskirts of the city. A young Canadian. His property abutted a construction site. A metropolitan development authority. The site was concealed from the public. Corrugated iron fencing set up around it, blocking the view and keeping trespassers from squatting and pilfering supplies. Every hundred meters was an architectural rendering, a ziggurat of modest housing, manufacturing, and fulsome entertainment. Close-ups were inset in each drawing, all of nuclear families, Caucasoid-featured but tinted brown and smiling, clutching shopping bags and briefcases and climbing into sleek but economical cars. The illustrations were dated, drawn in a style reminiscent of science fiction paperbacks of a certain vintage. A faint disco beat broadcast via crosshatched haircut pouf. Beneath were the emblems of a dozen international organizations. The complex was silent. The multinational master plan was abandoned before dredging could be completed. We pried at a seam in the fencing. Eventually it gave. We crawled through the gap, blinking, dazzled by the sudden exposure of the low afternoon sun. Beyond was an ochre landscape, a dried mud crust fractured by dank gullies of clay. An electrical schematic writ in mud and evaporated water. Some channels were deeper than others. We entered the network at knee-level and were soon below the surface. The deeper the channel, the denser and damper the fug hanging over it. In the deepest we found pipes. Hard white veins running through the ruddy clay. We thought we found liquid glinting within, but it was hard and white and tufted, like asbestos, but closer inspection revealed the brittle white clumps were actually fiber optics. The cable was dark. I grabbed a tuft and angled it toward the drying sun and light seeped through the labyrinth.

By Jamie

For the time being this site is an attempt to collate my clippings and an attempt to describe some of the scenes I might be using in a forthcoming novel.