January 15th – A View of the City

Deep in Jutêgarde Parish in the east, beneath the Trioli Hill, is a block of flats named after the Escotolate philosopher, Aldixous Hiyke. It is tall, red brick construction, with a strange roof that looks like a large white conical hat, giving it the appearance of an odd, giant mushroom. The ‘brim’ reaches out well beyond the building’s foundations, and this, along with the diramenn trees that grow around it, mean that the basement rooms are always dark and damp, despite having skylights built in.

In the basement room on the north side lives a young woman, known to her neighbours as Ischi. She is thought to be young primarily because of her mannerisms and voice; the way in which she moves; yet rarely has anyone seen her face from behind the beautiful patterned scarves she wears. They don’t see much of her, as she spends most days holed-up in her rooms, but today she opens those rooms up, so that they may have a view of the City.

Whilst her closest neighbours are invited inside for tall glasses of mushroom tea and sweet dumplings, the only way for other visitors to get a glimpse of the City is for them to look through the small skylight window outside, which today will be left uncovered. What they see through that tiny window, is something quite remarkable: a perfect model of Buentoille, all exactly to scale.

Everything is there: the tall spires of Ranaclois Hill; the tangle of roofs that is the Warrens; the open parks, like bald patches on a scalp; the Rambla, the squares, the rippling roofs of Guilgamot district; the Parliament building; the strange, alien architecture of The Pohlatiné Mission; the sucking marshes on the outskirts; the dock and shimmering sea. Glorious Buentoille.

Tiny trams make their way through the winding streets, yet those hunched over the tiny window will swear on their mother’s life that they see further movement within; tiny people going about their tiny lives, unaware of these giant eyes above them. Local children say that Ischi is a witch, that she changes things in the model and the City changes in response, that if you were to trip and fall into it then earthquakes would crush whole sections of Buentoille.

In a nearby pub, the Quilted Cat, an old man called Ulfin will tell anyone who buys him a drink the story of a young boy who looked in through that basement window and saw another, smaller boy looking in through another, smaller window.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Hotel Trinim Hide and Seek Festival
  • Jilted Lover Commiseration Day