Personally, I had the most fun with this assignment out of everything we’ve thus far. Initially I had to find a map, of anything, and destroy it in any way possible. I burned parts of mine, and then washed it heavily with soap and water. By the end the map practically fell apart in my hands. For the second segment of the project, I had to consider whatever state the map was in, and form something else from it. As a writer I decided to work with fiction. Below is a picture of what my map ended up looking like, followed by the story I wrote concerning it. Some criticism I received involved how unclear the story seemed overall, as if it were a part of a larger piece; and how there was a rather limited reference to the map.
He’s unsure of how to properly react to the calamity progressing before him. His nose crinkles at the scent. It’s uncomfortable. This isn’t the sort of event that anyone he regards with respect could explain an adequate convention for. Conventions are important. Leitalis always says to never try and explain such things to others. As if it were the kind of thing the commons took for granted and never cognitively recognized. They could never understand the concept, at least not in a logical sense. That’s what makes them barbaric, this lack of thought for their own actions.
Shit. He steps back, forced by the encroaching wave of destruction. He pats his face lightly, checking for burns. There are none, considering his distance from the flaming debris however, as he is surprised to find, his fingers smear vaguely matted tears across his cheeks. Perhaps this is customary for the convention involved. A sharp crack alerts him to the explosive nature of his father’s car and his vision shifts. Suddenly he’s looking at a distraught Mrs. Digm, a common neighbor.
“Oh gods!” she exclaims, “What’s happened child!” He flinches when her hands reach to warm him, feeling some disappointment from the involuntary action at the sight of her crumbling features. A sliver of fear crosses his mind, that couldn’t have been the conventional response; commons always smile when given their silly little conventions. Damn.
The fear escalates and he trembles slightly as she releases a whooping sob.
“Don’t be afraid Cedar.’ She whispers, pushing into his space for a crushing embrace. “You’re safe now and don’t you forget it.”
Idiot! Is she blind or merely senile? Of course I’m safe! I’m right beside her. At his incredulous expression, she shifts his position and pats his shoulder.
“Come inside dearie, we’ll call someone to take care of you.”
“Call Leitalis.” He says. She seems startled at the request; likely due to this being the first time he’s ever spoken directly to her.
“Honey, we need to find your parents and explain what’s happened.”
He frowns before turning to point at the ashes surrounding the wreckage of his family’s once majestic home.
“My parents are there, sleeping, as are Anya and Reggie. Call Leitalis to deal with any legalities and go home.”
A few moments pass in silence before the aged woman collapses in shock. He finds himself tempted to spit on her form. Instead, he rifles through her pockets until his hand finds a phone. He quickly dials the only number he’s ever bothered to memorize. He waits for two rings before there is an answer.
“Yeah?” He smiles at the aggravated voice.
“Leitalis. It’s Cedar.”
“Something rather odd has happened.”
“Christ Cedar,” Leitalis snarles, “It’s four in the god for fucking morning.”
“My family is dead.”
“My family,” he repeats, “Has quite literally just died in a horrendous fire.”
“So? What do you want me to do about it?”
“I assumed you could deal with the legalities involved.”
“There are no ‘legalities’ kiddo, without your parents around, you’re broke as shit – ergo, I have no reason to be around you.”
His eyes widen, “Excuse me?”
“It was nice knowing ya Cedar, but I’ve got a life to take care of that doesn’t involve you.”
Upon hearing the dial tone, he flings the device across the street, finding no solace in watching it shatter.
As weeks pass, he takes to hiding in the smaller crevices behind the streets. Not quite the alleys as he knows one of his birth level should maintain some dignity, but still enough out of sight to keep him away from danger. He came to realize, rather quickly, that his family’s wealth was really the only thing connecting him to the commons. Such that without said wealth, there was nothing he could (or more accurately, would) do to regain their favor. He discovers how important the favor of the idiot commons is after the first few times they refuse to feed him, and he finds himself more and more confused with each passing day.
Now, sitting behind a local bread shop he stares at his latest meal in disgust. He pokes at the molding bread crusts and soaked pieces of menu paper. It’s a combination he’s almost grown used to, yet he wonders which of the two has been causing his stomach pains. As he picks up a piece of the menu, half of it falls to the ground. The partially bleeding paper illustrating a map to the restaurant in question, his former home a waste of property value and construction across the street.