Invisible Cities – Cities and Motion 1

Cities & Motion


As the traveler approaches Camerone, he sees on the landscape the city twist upon itself. Much as his water boiled as he broke camp, Camerone bursts forth in heaves: rolling over and swaying the very hills that support it; grass sparkles as the sun hits its seething mounds. Drawing closer, he sees children tossed in the air as the grounds lurch, buildings bend and scrape the stones, horses lose their step, apples spill from a market stall. To enter the city is to risk life as men fall from the gate.

But it happens that when the traveler passes through into the city, he sees that all is still. All is the same here as in his home city: a school, a squeaking bar sign, children throwing rocks, alleys not quite safe at night, a carved stone fountain. He sets his mug upon the ground and when none spills on the dirt, he smiles and finds an inn. In the street the owl hoots and the beggar shifts in the dirt; the city sleeps.

The next day the city gathers to watch him go, a circle around the gate. They cannot understand why these travelers leave, why anyone would want to abandon the safety of the city for the heaving, chaotic, spinning world outside.


A short story in the style of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Full series here.

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