The Tuesday Map

For rix_scaedu‘s prompt

Influences included Dark City and the folding apartments for which I can’t currently find links. Also, IKEA, and my fascination with planned communities.

The city moved.

The cluck struck seven p.m., the alarm chimed, and, all over the city, people stopped what they were doing and grabbed on to their hand-holds. Smoothly, on well-oiled tracks and risers, the Bell-Apple Experimental Living Zone, the BAELZ, shifted into its Tuesday position.

Announcements sounded. The following changes to the Zone’s Tuesday arrangement have taken place. The Seventh Ave Diner is now on the corner of Sixth Avenue and J Street. The Hairtisserie is now on the north-west corner of the Zone, above the Butcherie. The City Hall has moved one block north and one block upwards.

J-alpha-7 let go of the handle and picked up her knitting, only to realize she’d run out of yarn. “Darn it,” she swore softly.

“What is it, sweetcheeks?” her partner of the year, H-beta-six, asked, not really paying attention. At least the year was nearly over.

“I need new yarn, and I’m never quite sure where they’ve put the Woolery. How do you get there from here when today is Tuesday?”

“How have you lived in BAELZ your whole life and still not developed a sense of direction?” H complained tiredly. “You can’t get there on Tuesdays, you know that. They’re cleaning First Ave, and that’s in the middle of the Zone tonight.”

She wrinkled her nose. “There’s got to be a way. They can’t just cut off half the city for one day out of ten.”

“They can. They’re the architects, the big Grahams. They can do anything they want.”

“It’s stupid.” She stood up, setting her knitting carefully where H wouldn’t go bothering it. “I’m going to go looking.”

“J, don’t be a ditz. You know you get lost when you go exploring alone.”

“Then come with me,” she challenged, knowing full well what the answer would be.

“I’ve got stuff to do. Honestly, J, you know I can’t just drop everything on your whim.”

“Fine.” She slid on her coat – the Zone’s outdoor regions were kept slightly cooler than the indoor regions, to suggest the need for a home. “Then I’ll go myself.” Thinking to herself, two more weeks until the year is over, and trying to hold the Tuesday map in her head, she left their apartment behind.

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12 thoughts on “The Tuesday Map

  1. If partners are assigned then there must be a lot of thinking “It’s only for a year.” So, are Grahams a family, a designation or something else?

  2. Partner you’re stuck with for a year = Not Okay. Gack! This one’s only oblivious, so it could be worse, but bleah. They have weeks, and Tuesdays, but half the city is cut off one day out of ten (rather than seven)?

      • It is pretty silly, but if you call the days by the same seven-day-week day names that we use, how are we supposed to figure out that there are three extras? (I think my favorite weird time unit so far has been “octaves” and “skips” for a week/weekend cycle with eight days on and three days off, though I do find that workweek a bit long. Perhaps I misread and it was eight total with three off.)

          • Yup! Well, on this one I will argue that using standard week-day names implies a standard-lenght week unless otherwise specified. Sadly, clear alternate day names usually means number names, which are about as silly as “tenday”, so I don’t have a solution I really like to offer you.

  3. Oh my. I’d go crazy. I don’t have enough of a sense of direction to manage in a place that kept changing. I’d also want yarn on random days…

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