Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Re-imagining the Spivey: sci-fi prompt

This semester, a hundred or so us have been trying to creatively re-imagine the Spivey -- a condemned building in East St. Louis. We've been writing a shared sci-fi narrative about the building. What got us started was the following prompt by fiction writer and creative writing professor Geoff Schmidt.   

Jetpacks and the Spivey 

Only the brave-crazy young would jetpack over the river at night, lit up only by the sleek glowpaint of their packs and the blue tails of flame that plumed out behind them. AfterU was young and crazy-brave and had a good helmet and plenty of blue. AfterU would skim along the surface of the Mississippi, under the Stan and over the MLK and under the Pop and up into the night sky. The Spivey thrumming glorious, still and always the tallest building in Southern Illinois. The Spivey said yesyoucan, the Spivey said hereIam. AfterU had heard once that the Spivey had almost been torn down but that was before the Change and hard to imagine. Every floor of the Spivey now was lit and pulsing always, good work and good escapes on every other floor. Every night it seemed a dozen and then two dozen and then a hundred jetpack kids drifted through the night and landed on the roof like fireflies. AfterU hit the Spivey every night and took the ele-tube down to Floor Organize or Floor Movement until the night AfterU punched a new button, 13, and thereafter was no longer seen. Not for a very long time.

• Jetpacks & the Spivey (annotated version)
• An East St. Louis Sketchbook

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