Wa'ae: City of Open Doors

This dream of Ca'eam is called Wa'ae, a city in which every door is open. Whether that door leads to a public structure, a home, or a room— it is open. Doors are still found within each doorway, but they simply do not close. Rather, they are ornamental— canvases upon which their owners express their good wishes to all those who pass through their open doorways.  

An Open Heart

Residents of Wa'ae see doorways not merely as entrances to their various buildings and rooms within, but as entrances into someone's very soul. To enter a doorway is to enter into the heart of whoever inhabits the space beyond it, to see the world as they see it— to feel, hear, taste, and smell as they do. As such, great care is put into designing the interior of any space— with every color, decoration, texture, and utility made to evoke the very soul of the space's inhabitant. For spaces inhabited by more than one person, its interior will reflect the soul of the cumulative relationships between them, occasionally broken up by strong traits of individual inhabitants.  

An Entrance

Doors are the first thing people see when entering a space, and as such, they act as one's first impression— what do they wish for those entering their space to feel? With this in mind, a door's color, texture, shape, and ornaments are chosen. Then, in a fitting color, well wishes are written across its surface— these may be general wishes, or those that accentuate the space's inhabitant(s).  
May your day be bright, may your night be warm, may your hands be strong, and may your life be long.  
— Wishes found on a home's entry
  While every door is open, it is not always appropriate for one to go through each one they see. There's an unwritten etiquette for entering doors— as doing so is a somewhat intimate action. One should hesitate before entering the door of a stranger's home. Certain colors inform others of an entrance's openness, warm colors imply that others are free to walk through— while cool colors imply that a space's inhabitants wish to retain some privacy. Overall, most denizens of Wa'ae respect this entrance etiquette, and those that do not are cast out from the city.  

An Exit

When someone dies within Wa'ae, their body is taken to the towering skyscraper at the center of the city, known as the Exit. Here, each room is dedicated to someone who has passed. There are no labels, no headstones, just a room designed after their heart. As more people die, more floors are added to the top of the structure, which grows alongside Wa'ae's population.


Author's Notes

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23 Jun, 2022 17:34

I love the burial practice! For the room designed after their heart, is it similar to how their houses and doors are decorated?

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Garrett Grace Lewis
23 Jun, 2022 18:31

Thank you! Yes, the Exit rooms would be decorated much like their own spaces while they were alive!

23 Jun, 2022 18:57

A very interesting idea! Open for alot of expansion on the themes and ideas expressed. Although it was alluded to in terms of privacy, I am curious. What about people who are depressed or suicidal? Are there particular colors or societal impacts addressing this? Are the rooms of those die of suicide added to the Exit in a particular place or way? Cordoned/ sectioned off or like pock-marks on the body or holes in the heart?   Additionally, is there some kind of magic holding the Exit rooms in stasis? Are there people of the city who maintain the good order of the rooms who came before? Do they become overgrown with dust and cobwebs, lost in part to time?

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
23 Jun, 2022 20:25

Thank you! I plan to revisit this dream with other articles in the future. There are likely colors and designs that denote those struggling, yes. These same design features may show up in the Exit rooms of those people— but they are not cordoned off.   I'd like to think that, perhaps, the souls of the departed maintain their rooms. It's not unreasonable for there to be maintenance folk, either, though. Either way I'd rather them be in stasis than fade away— this particular dream is a very light one, I almost wrote some darker elements in this article but they just didn't fit the vibe.

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