The Stranger Swings.

rating: +20+x

The Xanthous Quay.

i spend hours a day cultivating only the best cringe, its like a fine wine.

he once beat me to death with a chair. respect.

Felicitations on your long and perilous trek. You dug from central Northern Territory to the border to avoid falling into the exosphere, you trudged through the looping dunes of the Innamincka, and endured the unspoken horrors of the Eastern Suburbs. Now, you stand in defiance. You care not for the glass and sandstone of the Quay that looms over you in judgement, nor the bottomless waters carving through them.

Some years ago, this place was called Circular Quay. Buskers poured their souls into this sandstone. Interlopers would gaze with awe at the steel and glass erected so high at the hands of man. Now, those who remain are abhorrent at the twisted autonomy the Quay has developed. Buildings shuffle erratically to drive its inhabitants mad. Water will occasionally rise from the wharf and flood the streets. The Victoria Building feeds endlessly into itself, starving off any unfortunate enough to enter.

At the end of a disconcertingly quiet street, you recognise a relic of your atlas: The Allen C Lewis Fountain. Contrasted with the touristy photos you're used to, the fountain is in disarray, with trash and paraphernalia in its waters. You pull out your crowbar and pry off a panel. You leverage off the pipe underneath, and it begins spraying water violently. You fill your canteen, and turn your sights leftwards. A behemoth of white-tiled sails relentlessly folding over itself in a fractal-like madness. A council sign stands before it, beckoning you towards the Sydney Opera House.

After walking up the rigid steps for what felt like - and very possibly was - a day, you find yourself before the convulsing mass. A tiled sail envelops you, disappears, and another quickly follows suit. The door you were informed of has since been subsumed by the tiling. You call upon the mass.


The looping stops, leaving the mass in a form similar to the photos in your atlas. The main difference being the base of the structure has been assimilated into tiling. The tiled wall in front of you fold in on itself, forming an archway. You walk through, finding yourself in a tiled hallway that stretches further than the exterior allows.

At the end of the hall, my piano jazz graces your ears. The spacious room stretches far and wide to house what looks to be a theatre. Well-dressed audience members fill the seats, all captivated by the stage. The stage stands without mise-en-scène, actors, nor action of any kind. Despite this, the audience members will laugh uproariously at an imperceptible cue. Upon further inspection, you realise that the carpeted floor has spread up their legs, pinning them in place.

I tell you to leave them alone. They paid to be here, after all.

You turn to face me, as I swing side-to-side to match the music. I smile in a way I've been told is welcoming. You walk up to me, bewildered. Didn't your mother teach you not to stare? Thank you. Would you like to watch the show? I thought not. You do not appear to be the opera type.

You know, you are not the first visitor to come here. I've come across quite a few characters with stories to tell.

wtf is wrong with australia???

My entry to the 2022 INT Contest. A horror-comedy about man-eating hounds, the horrors of war, and the French.


The French contain the Foundation Fonduetion. Sequel to 1969-J.

I've been known to meander around the Wanderer's Library. Have a go on that swing if you're interested.

You know, despite the unfathomable apocalypse outside, my Optus plan still hasn't been cancelled. Did you know the Foundationers have a publicly available Discord? Someone really ought to tell them. Before they find out, my username on there is StrangerSwing#87411.

Well, you seem eager to go. Once again, you're welcome to the show. But if you must leave, it would mean much to me if you paid heed to my collection.

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