Joseph Trance

Block Top City

      And it came to pass, there came a time when there was a law passed that all toys in Toyland could live wherever they wanted.  There were so many different kinds of toys; dolls, trains, puzzles, and all kinds of electronic ones as well.   They lived in separated communities; dolls with dolls, playhouses with playhouses, puzzles with puzzles, and on and on it went.
When the New Law, “Live Wherever You Want,” started, it came directly from Toy Central and from
 the TOYMAKER  himself,   and was declared throughout the Cities of TOY.  At first no toy wanted to leave its community and all Toys stayed just where they had been made. 
       In the Land of Blocks, there were blocks of all kinds; plastic, wooden and even Styrofoam.  There were blocks of all shapes and colors too including red and yellow and even blue.  But no matter how different they were from one another, they stayed in place and built, built, and built.  They built structures that were low and structures that were high…they built structures that covered ground for miles around, and ones that reached the sky.   They were a perfect city of builders.  They had a reputation in all the other Toyland cities of being stable, strong and true to what they could do.  But there were Blocks who wanted something…more.  They were tired of being just…STABLE.   They were tired of longer and higher buildings that just…sat.  And there was a feeling of unrest in the world of Block City.
       Then it came to pass, one day into this City, came a Spinning top named Tommy.  Tommy wasn’t a block.   Tommy was a Top.  And as a TOP, he spun and spun and spun.   But there wasn’t a city of Tops nearby when Tommy’s parents had to move because the economy of Top City had wobbled and fallen down due to movement without stability.   So Tommy’s parents Tina and Troy looked for a place to spin down and they ended up in Block City.
      But Tommy didn’t fit there.  He would wobble and spin out of control and knock down the structures that the Blockheads had built.  He tried to stay in one place but couldn’t.   He tried not to spin but couldn’t.  He would come from home all wound up,  then in order for him to get on the bus, Tina, his mom, would pull his string so he could move.  He would spin up the stairs of the bus and then spin in his seat and finally spin out of the seat, and spin up and down in the aisles of the bus.
    The Heads of Block City didn’t know what to do.  They thought and thought, but they never had to deal with any movement before, so they just couldn’t figure it out.    Finally the heads of Block City reached out for a consultant.  His name was Timothy. He had the reputation of working with Wobbly Tops and he was very good at his job.  So much so he earned the name:  Timothy the Tops’ Top Guy.
Timothy observed Tommy in the Land of the Blocks.   He watched him and made notes.   He watched as Tommy would try and try to be part of the Block Society but would fail every time.   He watched him spin, watched him whirr and watched him fall.  He watched him knock down structures and fall and roll on the floor and finally come to a halt.   The Blocks would connect together and pick him up.  At those times Tommy was very tired and needed a rest.  So the blocks set up a wall that Tommy could sleep behind and not bother anyone.
Finally Timothy said that he would meet with the Block Head Administration and decide what to do.
So they met and all the Blocks waited to hear what Timothy would say.
Timothy started off.   “He doesn’t fit here,” he said.
“So now what?” asked the Chief Blockhead.
“Well, you could try to find another place for him, but Top Cities are hard to come by in this economic climate.”
“Then that won’t work,” all the Blockheads agreed.
“Accommodate him,” Timothy said.
“How?”  Asked Blockhead Two, Chief Blockhead’s assistant.
“I can observe some more and then make recommendations,” Timothy said.

“Do it,” they said.
So Timothy looked at all of Tommy’s data; he looked at the times he spun, where he spun and how long he did it.  He looked at and wrote down how long it would take before Tommy wobbled and fell.   He measured the area that Tommy spun around and the directions that Tommy went.  He took pictures and set timers and calculated how fast the spins were.  Finally Timothy was ready to meet with the Head Blockheads.  He had a plan.
They met in a conference room.
“I can help,” Timothy said.  “We can integrate Tommy, but it will mean some changes.”
“What kind of changes?” asked the Head Blockhead.
“Well…,” said Timothy said, “You will have to change yourselves.”
Timothy opened his bag and pulled out a drill.  He pressed on the trigger and all the blockheads watched in silence as the drill bit went round and round and made a loud “whirr ring”  noise.
“This may hurt,” Timothy said.
“What are you going to do with…th...that?”  asked Chief Blockhead’s assistant?”
“If you drill a hole in all the blocks that Tommy comes in contact with, Tommy can rest himself inside their spaces, and he won’t have to spin and wobble and knock down stuff.”
Tim uploaded a visual onto a screen that had been set up. The blockheads watched as a simulation of one of their own being drilled came onto the screen.  At first the Blocked observers were horrified.  It looked like it hurt, but as the simulation played, it was apparent that the Block being drilled wasn’t in any pain so it wasn’t an issue.  What really bothered the spectators was they didn’t like the Block being changed.  They watched as a spinning top spun towards the hole and rested inside of it.  The top spun but didn’t go anywhere…it was settled in the space inside the block and the block didn’t mind, in fact he kind of liked it.  He seemed at peace when the hole inside him was  filled.
The simulation faded and Tim spoke; “If you are going to integrate Tommy and other spinning tops, it’s going to mean letting go of pieces of yourselves to make room for them.   Spinning tops have long been the generators of energy.  When they work together, movement happens.  Put a strap between them and they become the force behind moving conveyors; they light up cities, turn water wheels, transport materials: they make things move.  If they could stabilize themselves inside of your Block people they could make your city move without destroying anything.
Now…wouldn’t be wonderful if this City could move….think about the possibilities…”
So the Blockheads put their heads together and discussed it.  They decided they would Test-trail it and see how it worked out.  It was hard a first, giving up space to the Tops’ population,  and it was especially hard to give up space inside themselves to make the necessary room, but when they saw the benefits and how things began to move they were very..very happy, and Block City MOVED.  And the Top Blockheads decided to change the City’s name and all was right within the “Block-Top City.”

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