HOPE YOU ARE HAVING A STELLAR BIRTHDAY, KATE. I’ve already sent this to you but EVERYONE (who follows me) NEEDS TO KNOW YOUR BIRTHDAY.
This took forever to finally complete and was originally a belated Christmas thing, since we were too late to join the usuk secret santa event, but NOW IT’S A BIRTHDAY THING TOO. Yes.
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The sun came up on the smooth city made of plastic, concrete, and metal, the only one for miles, maybe hours upon hours, and it was bigger than a lake, bigger than the biggest crater on the moon. What it lacked in natural things it made up for in color and size. With hues of budding leaves, shades of sandy mountains, and dotted with the blues of a clear running stream, buildings were stretched out towards the sky. They were plastic on the outside, either slick or matte, though their skeletons were metal, something strong and taken from some other planet. Iron tracks wove in and around them, spiraling up sometimes, like long ago amusement parks. The sleek metal trains were not up yet, it was too early. They always waited until the sun could warm them up, to make them shine.
The streets were as smooth as the buildings, nearly seamless, and they were as empty as the tracks. The people had yet to rise and nobody had any need for cars or buses — the trains took them anywhere they could possibly need to go. The city was only so big, after all. As soon as the people woke, so would the city. Holographic advertisements would greet potential customers at street corners, engaging them in conversation, answering questions and the like.
In one particular building the color of tomato soup with milk stirred in, up several flights of different types of stairs, the sun crept in through the plastic windows. There were no curtains in the living room, so almost everything lit up at once as soon as the rays came through. Shelves built from curling bits of metal smoldered together lined the upper parts of the wall, where they hit the ceiling. They were filled with odds and ends, like porcelain cat figurines and bird feathers. Plants, though scarce in the city, were in between weathered books, leaves cascading down the windowsills, branches brushing against the blue painted walls. The sofa sagged towards the middle, a crocheted blanket thrown across the back. Movie posters were tacked every which way to the walls alongside paintings done by friends or family.
Olivia was the first to stir, green eyes opening to their darkened bedroom. Stars had been painted on the dark blue ceiling, taken from a page about astronomy from the library. Amelia was still asleep next to her, clinging to a pillow that was nearly her own size. The curtains hadn’t been closed properly, as light poked in through the bottom corner. Olivia crawled to the end of the bed and made her way down the ladder — they had a queen-sized bunk bed to save on space. Underneath was Amelia’s work desk, a large computer-screen drawing tablet plugged in and charging. One of her thin papered sketches crinkled under Olivia’s foot as soon as she made it to the floor. She huffed a bit — couldn’t Amelia clean up after herself?