The City beneath the Ice by Stella Pierides

Once upon a time, deep beneath Siberian ice, there existed a
glass-domed city. Its tall cathedrals, minarets, and temples looked as
if aiming for the sky. As the city had been specifically constructed
to engineer the best society possible, this, symbolically at least,
was true. Privileged children from around the world were immediately
given up to this city below the ice – which was actually very warm
indeed – where it was said they would be brought up to live socially
productive and utterly fulfilling lives.

Provided with the most comfortable and sensual environment there
existed, they were schooled in the art of negotiation and rhetoric,
profitable and healthy living and hygiene in all its forms.

One day, someone entered the city by deception. Touring the city
undercover, he filmed the unsuspecting inhabitants going about their
daily lives. When he later showed the film to the outside world, there
was great fascination, awe, and outcry.

Examined in the light of the day, the city-beneath-the-ice-dwellers
were shown to be no different from the other humans. The only
difference being the outside world’s view of them, as if they were
designated containers for humanity’s need for ideals.

The resulting furor caused them to be brought cruelly over ground, and
the city –demoted to “no better than a cave” – was abandoned to the
elements. It is said, that it suffered the most unlikely outcome
possible: the city spontaneously combusted and the dome, giving way to
the ice above, caved-in.

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11 Comments

Filed under Stella Pierides

11 responses to “The City beneath the Ice by Stella Pierides

  1. Seems a terrible demise for a promising ideal!

  2. Again, great imaginative stuff.

  3. Len

    quite a little fable.

  4. I love the way a few words here and there hint at things we can’t see: that the environment was the most *sensual*, for instance.

  5. The grass always greener, it seems. The misconceptions of others green as well. Nicely done.

  6. Love the fabulistic feel of this. Conjures up one of the worlds in Asimov’s foundation trilogy. Peace…

  7. Kim Hutchinson

    Very nice take on the theme. I liked it a lot.

  8. Thank you all for reading and commenting! The inspiration came from a piece of news: that a glass-domed city would be built inside a diamond underground mine, in Siberia!
    The link is here: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/architecture/a-warren-of-streets-ecocity-2020-2149826.html
    It was fun to write!

  9. grey johnson

    I enjoyed finding out the inspiration for this fascinating tale.

  10. Al McDermid

    Fantastic tale , worthy of Huxley or Zamyatin. If we ever discovered an ideal city, we probably want to destroy it. Really, Bravo!

  11. Pingback: Week #33 – Spontaneous combustion | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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