Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to Shukuzu-ku

Welcome to Shukuzu-ku, a seemingly idyllic little ward with a population of about 8 people, all of whom seem to be clustered around the local rail station at the moment as if they sense the impending doom of their little pink paradise and are attempting to flee the city. Of course, they won't be getting far as the rail line runs for less than a scale mile before looping back around on to itself to drop them off right back where they started. It's also questionable if any of them have noticed that the entire municipal rail system seems to be powered by garishly painted steam locomotives with vacant doll faces on the front of their boilers.

Downtown Shukuzu sits eerily silent and empty. The erratic traffic lanes that were the genesis of many angry letters of protest to the city council are free of traffic, businesses sit completely vacant with the buildings stripped so bare that entire floors are missing, leaving just hollow shells to allude to the city's former prosperity.

What cars are still on the streets sit driver-less but perfectly poised as if they might scuttle a few feet further down the street if you turn your head for a moment.

Even the Old Iron Bridge, a favorite of local rail fans for it's prominent placement directly adjacent to downtown and near enough to the lone rail station to provide exciting views, no longer seems as sturdy as it once did.

The end is coming.