When you enter the city of Clinton, you cannot
walk on the left. This is a city of angles, which are always right angles.
The inhabitants have no left sides, but only two right sides joined at
the spine. All modes of transport have but a single wheel, slanting to
the East, because no one travels West anymore. Humans on their unicycles
claim there are still distant relatives residing in the West, but they
are mistaken. The West has been deserted for some time, since no one is
permitted to live there.
Nevertheless, far beneath the city are certain
small pockets where heretics still reside. They plot; they converse; they
trade maps. Someday, it is rumored, these pagans may rise from their confinement
and restore left angles to the city and its people, but that is only hearsay......
CITIES AND SPIES
The city of Bond is haunted by vigilant beings.
Mount Crushmore, four effigies carved in the shapes of Connery, Moore,
Dalton, and Brosnan, towers over the landscape. No one is permitted to
pass unobserved, since the eyes of these faces are always upon them.
Some people in Bond build elaborate fortifications:
massive structures of earth and stone which they vainly hope will shield
them from the terrible gaze of Crushmore. Others resort to cheaper methods:
burrowing underground, or plastering networks of twigs over the faces in
a frenzied attempt to blind them. But there is no escape.
Once, a daring traveler went as far as the
Russian border, and found a blind spot where no one could see him. But
just as he passed through the outside hedge and was breaking into a run,
he came to the statue of Pussy Galore, which turned him into stone.
CITIES AND FUNGI
When you come to the city of Toadstool you
pause and ponder, for there before you grows the towering sprout that first
brought doom to enemy tribes. Cortez once passed through this fungoid world,
only to find himself breathing strange spores, which caused his lungs to
deflate. But since that time, the Toadstool has flourished, and gasmasks
are worn by the people.
Ancient sages, who live in the uppermost hills,
claim there was a time when the Stool did not exist, but no one believes
their feeble mutterings. The people continue their homages, wearing their
gasmasks and proferring palm fronds, kneeling and praying:
"Oh, thou Great One: Vanquish thine enemies."
CITIES AND MAZES
No one who enters the city of Rat can avoid
becoming one. The traveler has no choice but to follow the twisting street
till he comes to the hub of the city. If he should falter and mistakenly
step onto the curb, or touch the sidewalk, a strong electric shock will
destroy him. Otherwise he must go on, struggling all the while with hunger
and fatigue, until at last, if he is lucky, he will come to the small morsel
of poisoned meat waiting for him. If he is strong and manages to survive,
the Master will reach down with his gigantic hand and place him back at
Then he starts again.
CITIES AND NAMES
When he enters the city of Scrabble, the traveler
is stamped with a letter and placed on a long thin rack. Other letters
willl land on either side of him, though sometimes they will already be
present, and a place will be made to accommodate him.
The name of this game is Infinity. The traveler
must wait until one of the contestants finds a place for him among the
myriad names of God. If he is the first letter, he will find himself hauled
by the shoulders and placed in the center of a monstrous board. A sonorous
voice will declaim:
"The first letter of The Name has been played."
What position the traveler occupies on the
board will depend on the language and beliefs of the contestants, which
change interminably. But once he has entered this city, there is no way
back. He is merely a letter.
CITIES AND PASTA
One who enters the city of Noodle cannot find
his bearings. All about him stretches a huge white wall that yields only
slightly with his footsteps: a gigantic ftunnel which leads him round one
corner after another. Occasionally he will come upon the backs of other
travelers, all heading in the same direction with weary steps and vacant
Sometimes, at rare intervals, a crisis will
occur. A tumult will rise, the floor of the tunnel will heave, and the
floor will split open. If he is quick, the traveler will take a leap across
the chasm to continue his dismal journey. If not, he will grope and flail
as spaghetti sauce enters his nostrils and the wails of the others reach
This, however, is rare. Most of one's days
in Noodle are days of endless whiteness.