Jackanda Am Byth

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In the fading light of a long hot summer night, a man appeared as if from nowhere.  He floated above the ground and held his arms out like he was welcoming the world. His clothes were like none seen before in Swansea.  As he approached people attempting to find their way through the Kingsway roadworks he seemed to beckon.  They looked up and followed him for they had been within the roadworks three long hours and were truly without hope. The man took them to a coffee shop that looked like the inside of a shipping container and sold flapjacks made out of Chia seeds and Agave Nectar.  They tasted like pure filth.  There he sat them down and began his tale.

Long ago, a meteorite struck the sleepy hamlet of Swansea. The town was devastated at first but slowly the people began to use the valuable minerals inside the heaven-sent rock.  They mined it for its wealth but soon discovered it contained much more.  A substance found nowhere else on Earth, Jackandium, was the source of great power.  Using its seemingly endless energy supply the people of Swansea grew strong and made great technological advances.  Aware that the rest of the world would covet their great natural advantages they hid themselves behind an increasingly elaborate set of roadworks.

For centuries this protected them from the world. Not one living person knew why the roadworks had been summoned or when they would be completed.  Their size and shape was a mystery to even the most advanced cartographers.  If they were completed in one area they were just beginning in another.  Wave after wave of roadworks turned Swansea into a confusing netherworld of eternally moving cones, railings and bollards.  Temporary barriers became permanent before becoming temporary again.

Mysterious paths would appear to channel pedestrians into the heart of darkness.  Random lane changes and road layouts would keep drivers in a constant state of confusion, never knowing where to turn or how to reach home.  All this deception and obfuscation served one purpose.  To hide the location of ancient Swansea, which by now had become ‘Jackanda, City of Tomorrow’.  The citizens of Jackanda feared that, if their location were revealed they would be destroyed by the jealousy of the wretched without but enough was enough.  The devastation they had wrought on outer Swansea became a bone of contention within the Jackandian High Council.

A system of gates was developed allowing the people of Jackanda to pass into outer Swansea to extend help and sustenance to those weary of roadworks and despairing of ever seeing their families again. The gates were to be cleverly hidden behind the comedy ‘Businesses Open As Usual’ signs.  The gates would not only allow Jackandians to pass into outer Swansea but would also enable the people of Swansea to find their way out of the roadworks and reach their loved ones.

A new age of freedom had begun. The roadworks would stay but if the people of Swansea knew where to look and held hope in their hearts they could find a way out, a way to dream and a way to avoid overpriced flapjacks made out of stuff that was good for you.

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