It’s always sunny above the clouds
It was a sunny day. It is always sunny above the clouds, as they say in Cake Town, and this day was no different. But something was different today. Something was up.
Opia Laputa (that was her name - you could call yourself anything you wanted in Cake Town) just knew something was up as soon as she woke from rem-sleep-vibe-time. I say ‘she’ but gender didn’t apply in Cake Town. So we could say ‘as soon as he woke up’ or ‘as soon as zhe woke up’ or ‘as soon as x woke up’ etc. But I’m gonna say ‘she’ because normally Opia’s body took the form of the female human. Because you could take any form you liked as long as it was roughly human shape and most people changed it up a lot. But then again…
Actually, forget all the details. It’s getting too confusing already! Just remember people in Cake Town can change shape. Most folk walked about in the shapes of famous people from the past - Cleopatra, Jackie Chan, Ghandi, Leonardo di Caprio, John the Baptist, Steve Irwin etc. That’s all you need to know.
So Opia had her own shape - like a super sexy female. So just imagine that.
Anyway. She woke up and went outside. Her house was exactly the same as a famous house in old Barcelona designed by the old times architect Gaudi. It was a house with no right angles. Sometimes she changed it into another house designed by the old times architect Rennie Mackintosh in which it was a house with ONLY right angles - but that is another story.
Anyway. Sorry about this. I never thought about how hard it would be to describe all the weird things about Cake Town to someone who didn’t know about all the basics of life here.
Just remember it’s a super futuristic town.
It’s sort of built on stilts.
The stilts are made of adamantine. They are really thick and strong.
The town sits on a huge disc on top of the stilts.
The disc is even higher up than the highest clouds, so that is why they always say their motto: it is always sunny above the clouds.
It towers above the old times city of Glasgow and it was built after the Big Blow Out.
Trust the city of Adam Smith and eternal winter to come up with an idea like Cake Town. Glasgow rarely had a cloud-free day before the Big Blow Out, but after the Big Blow Out it was cloudy literally every day. No sun, ever. So the rich folks built a new town on stilts above the clouds so they could enjoy a better climate. Originally they called it The High End, but when they moved there permanently after they lost hope for the rest of the sunken world, they changed the name to Cake Town.
Cake Town is a walled town. It is walled by giant curved mirrors. The mirrors are used to reflect sunlight in order to heat things up a bit several miles above the Earth’s surface. And they are also used to concentrate sunlight onto the solar panels which power the town.
There are little holes around the town in which people can poo and pee. These holes are called the long drops. Down the long drops you can see the dark clouds below. The poo and pee eventually lands on old Glasgow at very high velocity. Some old losers still live in old Glasgow. Their ramshackle houses cling to the stilts of Cake Town to get out of the flooded swamp which engulfs the carcass of the old industrial city. They hate getting shat on by the so-called “Highhead Yins" of Cake Town, but there is literally nothing they can do about it. They are called “the underclass”.
The underclass dive into the swamp in search for old screens from the old times. Sometimes the Highhead Yins descend to the underclass swamps in their helicopters in order to trade fancy stuff for old screens. They use the old screens to build their solar panels. They use the solar panels to power their 3D printers, nanochips, and VR projectors which they use to recreate everything they need.
I know what you’re thinking. The underclass are going to have an uprising. Well, that already happened. And it didn’t work. I’ll tell it here quickly:
Basically one of the residents of Cake Town had a baby, which was illegal in Cake Town. So she dropped the baby down one of the long drops before anyone could find it. The baby landed with a splash in the swamp below and thanks to the thick atmosphere the fall was softened so the baby didn’t die. Also, new-born babies can swim (you might know that), and so the baby swam to shore and was adopted by an underclass underling old Glasgow guy. This guy brought up the baby in Marxist revolutionary thought and eventually the baby grew up to be a leader of the revolution against the overlords in Cake Town. All the losers in the underclass strapped bombs onto the adamantine stilts of Cake Town. They sung songs of freedom as they set off the explosions. Unfortunately, adamantine reabsorbs any energy applied to it. So the bombs actually made the pillars stronger. The next plan was to climb up the stilts themselves and invade Cake Town via the long drop holes. Unfortunately again, the uprising was on the same day of a massive Chilli Fest up in Cake Down and everyone in Cake Town had the shits that evening. You can imagine what the slippery shit did the lubrication of the pillars. It became impossible to get a grip. All the revolutionaries slipped and fell to their deaths. The uprising failed. It was so depressing that no one bothered to try again and the Marxist ‘skybaby' killed herself.
Anyway, so much for that sorry tale. I thought we had better get it out of the way, so as to not lead you barking up the wrong adamantine pillar, so to speak.
The Highhead Yins forgave the downtrodden for their impudence. They sent down some propaganda to say that they were currently working on ‘cloudbusting technology’ to help the underclass out of their gloomy overcast misery. They also promised that one lucky winner would be allowed to come and visit Cake Town one day if they were good. This was believed by some. Of course, the Highhead Yins of Cake Town could have decided just to drop ‘The Big One’ (a sort of faeces nuke) on old Glasgow and just be done with them, but they didn’t. They needed them to dive for screens. And besides, one of the chief forms of entertainment in Cake Town was following the lives of the underclass on social media (they hacked into their phones and read with delight about every petty scandal that was going down, down in the underworld).
So. Anyway. I think that’s you got the gist about Cake Town. Oh! One last thing. You need to know that everyone in Cake Town (a few hundred elites) has everything they ever needed and wanted. This is because of genetic nanotechnology, 3D printing and VR (as I briefly mentioned earlier). There is no pain, disease, death, old age, anxiety, bills, depression, adverts, grief, long list of bad things, etc. Just a constant warm bath of pleasure bubbles. But not just pleasure. Infinite variety. You could shapeshift and have sex with everything you could imagine and you could go on long adventures through the Himalayas and go back in time and fight on the Western front and all sorts of crap. You can just imagine the crazy hijinks they must have got up to. (What a great word: ‘hijinks’.)
They truly were gods. Gods in Olympus. And if you know anything about the gods in Olympus, you’ll know they got up to mad hijinks (Zeus and Aphrodite and Apollo and Hera and that). Sleeping with each other. Trapping each other in webs of magic metal. Fucking about with the mortals who lived in the world beneath. Endless fun.
But… and there’s always a but with a capital B… that’s right… you guessed it…
It got boring.
Eventually everything does. Even endless fun gets boring eventually.
So they replaced pleasure seeking for pain seeking. As this added some spice to life. Some piquancy, if you will. And I’ll come back to this in a bit.
So. Anyway. That really is the gist. Back to Opia Laputa and that sunny morning where something was up.
Opia Laputa woke up from the vibe dreams and put on her suncream lotion and sunglasses. (You had to wear lots of suncream lotion and big sunglasses in Cake Town because the radiation that high up above the clouds was killer.) So she went out and immediately she knew something was up.
Normally, upon leaving your front door in Cake Town, you would see stuff like Julius Caesar doing Jujitsu with Conor McGregor in the nude, Princess Diana downing shots of bleach while being egged on by a gang of evil toddlers, The Beatles whaling for Yangtze river dolphins, people getting tortured in mad and various ways like having their nipples removed by duck tape or having box jellyfish poured up their nostrils (remember pain was the game in those days; suffering was de rigueur).
But not today.
Hardly anyone was about. Opia Laputa didn’t like meeting people anyway. One of the problems with eternal youth, beauty, and health was that eventually you had shagged everyone you knew and the emotional scars went deep. Love was therefore impossible due to jealousy and fear. Plus you never knew who it was you were dealing with as everyone shape-shifted all the time. And everyone lied. Even though you could read their minds! It was possible, and downright easy, to lie in thought as well as speech. So relationships were basically pointless. You wouldn’t want to love anyone anyway without the promise of ‘death doing you part’. Only the liberty of certain oblivion made such contracts worthwhile in the long ago.
So Opia Laputa never saw any of the usual debauchery and felt that something was up. She looked up at the blue firmament. The sun shone off the mirrorwalls that surrounded the town and burned her face crispy, but the suncream lotion and intro-arterial genetic nanotechnology immediately healed her unblemished face and kept her stunning supermodel-in-a-bikini beauty intact.
She looked around at all the houses. Everyone’s house was a famous building from the old times. And the houses were always changing so it was easy to get lost. At the moment she could see St Paul’s Cathedral, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, Hitler’s bunker, Lionel Messi’s football-shaped house, and an old ship called the Cutty Sark. But nobody there.
She went for a walk. Normally she snowboarded everywhere when she was in a bad mood or was dragged on the ground behind a horse when she was in a good mood. But today she would walk. She thought-rang a few doorways but there was no reply. She grew bored so she decided to summon a dwarf to bash her kneecaps in. This done, she healed herself up and continued on her walk. She soon realised what was up. She saw it on top of a big pillar in the centre of town…
Now in the centre of town there was a house on top of a big pillar. It kind of mirrored Cake Town on its stilts above old Glasgow, but like a mini version. The house was an exact replica of the Washington Monument and it was made out of aluminium (a very precious metal of the time). The Grand High Highhead Yin lived there. His name was Hoopoe Trustyfriend. He usually took the shape of a big bird. A hoopoe, to be precise (look it up). He was the smartest one of them all (although they all had an IQ of at least 283 thanks to gene therapy). The others usually listened to him. It looked like he had decided to gather everyone in Cake Town to do a big plan. Opia got in a helicopter and went over to see what it was.
She landed the chopper on the little platform outside Hoopoe’s house. Everyone was gathered in a big circle, holding hands, all ringed around the giant obelisk that was Hoopoe’s house. They all faced in towards the erection, bent over with their bare bums in the air behind them, pointing up at the sky.
- What’s up? asked Opia in every language simultaneously, including every extinct language, the ones with clicks and everything.
- We’re doing a protest, said Baby Elle in the form of a giant baby. Did you not get the email?
- Cool, said Opia.
So the protest was basically like this: they had all got so bored of all the endless pleasure and perfectness and, not only that, they had all got so bored of all the self-inflicted fucking pain and torture that they had decided to up the ante. Pleasure was irksome without effort. Pain was empty without fear. They were going to play Russian roulette with their whole city and existence. Hoopoe’s plan was this:
They would redirect all the sun’s light and heat using the mirrors of the city walls towards the centre of Cake Town. The solar rays would therefore be amplified to their hottest potential at the focal point of the parabola. It’s physics. You probably wouldn’t understand. Just imagine the aerial of a satellite dish - the receiver is at the ‘hot spot’ where all the rays get concentrated. Now imagine those rays are sunlight and the dish is made of mirrors a mile high. That is hot stuff baby!
So the plan was to create this focal point right at Hoopoe’s house. And they would all stand holding hands, with their bare bottoms in the air pointed at the incoming heat-ray of death. To be incinerated through the collective bumhole from a cosmic solar-blast of doom.
But, and this is key, there was a chance that it would not work. There was a chance they would survive. Herein lay the fun. The fear was required to make pain and pleasure meaningful. Real consequences. Real chance.
It all depended on whether Jim Grim of old Glasgow would like Sarah McHam’s Facebook post about her breakfast selfie. Apparently, according to latest goss, Jim Grim had fallen out with Sarah last week when Sarah had liked a selfie by Gary McGarry. Would he have forgiven her by now? Surely not!
The post was projected on a big screen in the pyramid at the top of Hoopoe’s obelisk house for all the people of Cake Town to see. Sarah had sludgepie for breakfast - a rare treat. The pie sat on the table in the background of the selfie. She looked at the camera and made a pouting face. Jim Grim was logged in, but the post hadn’t yet been seen.
Opia decided to join in.
She pulled down her pants and pointed her perfectly sculpted bottom at the mirror walls, quivering at the potential of impending anal doom. She bent over and held the hand of the two neighbours on either side of the human chain. Her partners were embodied by Kenan and Kel for some reason - perhaps it was because Kenan and Kel are black and she was white and the colour scheme around the circle of bums was whitebum-blackbum-whitebum-blackbum-whitebum-blackbum ad infinitum, and so it had a kind of poetic quality (as usual, Hoopoe had thought of everything). Opia looked into the eyes of Kenan and Kel and they made a real human connection for the first time in many decades. Their eyes were wide. Their mouths forced into awkward grins…
Their bums shone in the light.
If Jim Grim liked the post, this would trigger an electric current travelling at the speed of light that would trigger the mirrors to flip and point all the sun’s energy at the top of the obelisk, directly into their exposed colons and burn them all alive, brilliantly. It was a great idea. An epic solar enema. Hoopoe Trustyfriend had really outdone himself this time.
On the huge projected screen, the cursor of Jim Grim came online and opened up the selfie of Sarah McHam. The people of Cake Town began to sing in solidarity. They sung All the Small Things by Blink 182 (which had been voted in the Song Olympics as the greatest song of all time). They felt so alive!
Jim Grim’s cursor hovered over the button that is marked with a wee x to close the post. He was dingying her! The Highhead Yins reached the chorus of All the Small Things and they sung it with more verve and abandon than they had ever sung with before!
Then Jim’s cursor doubled back. It looped down across the screen and hovered over the like button! The Highhead Yins didn’t stop singing though, their bums all in the air in a glorious ring of nudity. Vulnerable flesh glinting in the light. If anything they sung even louder, in sheer defiance of their fate!
Like was clicked! Instantly the mirrors flipped and the concentrated sunlight was beamed directly up all their arses and they all burst into flame from the inside out. The fiery blast travelled up the obelisk and was beamed from its pyramidal top onto all the computers that made Cake Town work and the whole place blew up. The Highhead Yins all screamed in agonising ecstasy as they burned alive. Behold! Sunshine was blown up all of their arses and from their arses truly then the sun did shine! And Cake Town came tumbling down. The adamantine stilts all split at the seams and toppled out of the sky. The tower fell.
The people of old Glasgow looked up when they heard the almighty heavenly blast. They saw a ray of sunlight explode through the grey clouds which had always cradled their drowned and darkened city. They saw fire from heaven destroy the tower of their oppressors and the clouds split and they saw flames and blue sky as Cake Town flew down to Earth and crashed in an almighty eruption somewhere over the Highlands.
God had come at last!
The advanced technology was gone at last! The Highhead Yins dead at last! The high end was made low! The crooked was made straight!
Everyone rejoiced and someone wrote a book about it.