The building looked solid and strong. On paper and now in its emerging three dimensions. Winston marveled that no one in the firm seemed concerned about that experimental foundation. When he discreetly took his worries to Ms. Guilding, the second assistant to the second architect on the project, she was the Voice of Reason. A clarion call for confidence.
“It’s designed to move like that. In case of earthquake, you see?”
Winston could read between the words and pretended to be reassured. But again he had that awful nightmare. The building is finished and draws great acclaim. Big-name clients sign big-dollar leases. And deep in the silent ground, the foundation is actually two awkwardly spaced hen’s legs. To be fair to the hen, they’re damned big legs and seem sturdy enough to hold up a chicken. Even a very large chicken. But not a multimillion-dollar corporate headquarters. In the dream, Winston is alarmed by a distant rumble and even though he can’t see them, he knows. The legs are trembling.
The inquiry is in its third year but the media tired of it two years and eight months ago. Then two years and two months ago, media’s timetable got jiggered by some “new” revelations, something about sketchy accounting and offshore accounts. That died down, too.
Winston’s childhood dream of being a star architect — a starchitect! — was a minor casualty of the collapse. The firm went under. There were some survivors. Last he heard, Ms. Guilding had become a trusted online source for clever “life hacks” although the lead architect on the project blew his head off in the vast garage of his estate in the Hamptons. Those first months were absolute hell but Winston’s life raft, Melanie and the kids, was sturdy and reliable. He showed up for his depositions, promptly vomited in the men’s room after testifying, and went home to his family.
Melanie was pregnant with the twins when the inquiry began and now Winston’s shop is finally solvent.
He still follows the Names in the trade, curious to see what — if any — lessons were learned from the catastrophe. That cutting edge experimental foundation? Winston read that some bright-eyed genius fresh out of school is tinkering with it, seeing how to shore up those hen’s legs in a way that will work. But he doesn’t dream about them and hasn’t for years.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved.
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.