Lapahele: The Edible City Tradition / Ritual in The Many Dreams of Ca'eam | World Anvil

Lapahele: The Edible City

In this dream, Ca'eam is called Lapahele— an edible city that one finds themselves in just before a major turning point in their life. Whatever this change may be, be it good or bad, one will always wander into the limits of Lapahele shortly before the change occurs— and cannot leave until they accept that change is nigh, and partake of the edible city.  

The Taste of a City

To find oneself in Lapahele is to know that one's life is about to change forever. Once in the city, one cannot leave until they partake of its edible edifices, streets, and sidewalks. If one were to avoid this, they could feasibly live the rest of their days in Lapahele— as one cannot die from starvation within the city's limits.   Lapahele's structures look, for the most part, identical to those one may find in real life cities— though its walls, streets, and lights are more soft and colorful in appearance. Many surfaces in Lapahele appear to be brushed on, as if they were coated in some sort of edible pigment or exterior.   If one were to grab a piece of the city, they would find it easy to break off or break into— revealing that everything has a hard shell hiding a soft, yellow-white filling that sparkles faintly in the light. Despite this, the city is no less structurally sound than any other— and it repairs any damage to itself by the time the next visitor walks by.   The taste of the city will prepare those who consume it for whatever changes are about to occur in their lives, whatever that change may be. Before long, these visitors will find themselves once again among the wider world.  


Knowing that one's life is about to change forever, but not how, can be terrifying. The change could be for the better, a grand improvement that leads to the best days of one's life— but it could also be something terrible, leading to the worst days of one's life. For some, the chance of a ruined life are not worth it— and they refuse to partake of Lapahele, making new lives for themselves within its walls.   Ironically, this choice of stasis— to avoid the incoming change— is in and of itself a change in their lives. Choosing to remain in the edible city is not something one could do without great adjustment, after all. Some will spend the rest of their days within Lapahele, while others, eventually, will partake and return to the wider world— for better or for worse.

The Inconstant

A worldwide subculture has formed around Lapahele, known as the Inconstant. The Inconstant dedicate their lives and communities to change, instigating constant shifts in their lives— sometimes with the aid of one another— so that they may once again return to Lapahele. Whenever they find themselves within Lapahele, they seek out those in stasis and attempt to convince them to consume the city— and move on with their lives.   The Inconstant believe these people are trapped, and need help to resume what they see as their true lives. To them, stasis is akin to a sickness— something that is unhealthy and damaging to those afflicted. Something that they see as morally just to cure. Whether or not those they save live happy, or long, lives in the wider world afterwards is of little concern— because to them, it is the only way to live.


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Jul 14, 2022 10:32 by Arianrhod SilverWheel

What an amazing idea!

Jul 14, 2022 18:52 by Grace Gittel Lewis
Aug 5, 2022 14:42 by Kaleidechse

This is a unique and fascinating way to approach this prompt! And heh, I just came back from a LARP where I play a follower of Eternal Change - so the idea of the Inconstant really speaks to me! ^^

Creator of the Kaleidoscope System and the planet Miragia.
Aug 5, 2022 18:03 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thank you, and I'm glad the timing was fitting!

Aug 27, 2022 06:16 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

This is such an interesting article and intriguing world! The dream setting and how relatable it is to real-life change is striking. I applaud the depiction. God bless and I appreciate you sharing this wondrous article.

Aug 28, 2022 17:27 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thank you! I'm glad it hits for you! I'm quite happy with how Ca'eam has turned out thus far, here's hoping it'll continue to be enjoyable!

Aug 30, 2022 14:39 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)
Aug 31, 2022 07:48 by Grace Gittel Lewis
Jan 26, 2023 03:00

I loved this little but intriguing, kind of scary concept. The inescapability of the change makes it truly dramatic. I loved the inclusion of The Inconstant, which also solves my question on whether the city has an instance per person or whether you will indeed find the other people in transit. What an intense way to live one's life!
Only typo I could find was "identitcal" in the Taste of a City section :)   I decided to feature Lapahele in my Reading Challenge this year as well, if you want to give it a read!

Apr 1, 2023 09:45 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thank you for catching that typo, it's now been zapped!

Feb 24, 2023 02:41 by jyliet of the house

The idea that making no choice is still a choice itself is one of my favorite themes. I love the people who refuse to accept that their existing life needs changing so much that they'll adopt a life of living in an inedible city. I wonder how many people are in the city at any given moment? And how many of those people live there?

Apr 1, 2023 09:46 by Grace Gittel Lewis

That number for either could be hundreds or millions, it's hard to tell without a census.

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