The City Walks Through Me

At the corner of The Causeway and Little Collins Street, she bent down and picked up a piece of broken heart that had fallen out of my pocket. The night breeze fluttered its frayed edges, the fragment trapped between her slender fingers—a lost butterfly. Her long hair left unwisely loose, chestnut strands billowed around her body, a soft veil threatening to tangle, never succeeding.

As an amateur street photographer, I've been a longtime practitioner of the dérive, cultivating a habit of taking long, unplanned walks in whichever city I'm fortunate enough to find myself in. So when the invitation came from Todd Sanders of Air and Nothingness Press to write a short story on the theme, I simply couldn't say no! 

Like many of my Solarpunk stories, I want readers to be able to walk in a real city, follow the characters’ paths and imagine it as a different place. In the end, I settled on Melbourne, Australia, a very walkable city where I'd spent many, many hours wandering—just me, my camera and a battered notebook.

The Dérive was edited by Todd Sanders and appears in a beautifully designed volume— complete with maps. Authors: Lyndsey Croal, Marie Croke, Cameron E Quinn, Ana Sun.

"The Dérive" book cover by Todd Sanders

This story has been set on a location on the lands of the Wurundjeri people, and we wish to acknowledge them as Traditional Owners and custodians. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

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