The suburbs where Oriana and her friends lived were a relatively new addition to the city. Twenty years ago a change in the tax rate of the neighbouring state created an opportunity for energetic companies to uproot themselves and move across state lines. The city’s population swelled from 50,000 to 100,000 in just five years before the government of this state decided to raise their taxes too and stifle the economic boom taking place.
As a consequence the city has divided into two distinct architectural zones: that of the factories and sprawling suburbs that housed their workers, and those surrounding the hospital and the old city centre. The latter were old high density town houses that while small were aesthetically more pleasing to the discerning eye. The limited size of these residences did not limit the prestige and cost of living in them. It was a status symbol to live in the old suburbs and Syndi, who considered herself an artist, would never allow herself the disgrace of living in a cheaper roomier suburban house.
Syndi was poor, however, and the seemingly perpetual stipend of student allowance she received for never succeeding to complete a degree was insufficient to pay her rent. She had however two additional streams of income, neither of which included selling any of her ‘artworks’. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 33”