Welcome to Bonesville! A colorful, magical city we created this week using I’m Sorry, Did You Say Street Magic by Caro Asercion, a city where the dead mingle with the living in a colorful, Burton-esque world. Let me introduce you to its neighborhoods, landmarks, and residents.
Derelict ships and ruins litter Shipwreck Beach and the neighborhood that surrounds it is populated by many ghosts who never knew the city while alive. You can almost hear the hushed conversations behind hastily drawn curtains as you walk down its streets toward the Blue Whale Bar, populated with locals in the day but big crowds from all over at night, or toward the Shipwreck Troll, more affectionately known as Barnabas, a statue guarding the entrance to the neighborhood. One day a group of school children encounter Lady Martin living across from Barnabas, and are surprised by the kindness behind her sad tale of being marooned here after attempting to escape the city. A campaign to clean up the beaches leads to a great deal of controversy as some locals are happy with the improvements while many object to the destruction of their past.
The city’s founders set up their mansions in what is now called Old Town, but those mansions have mostly been divided up into multi-family units and filled with creative types looking to cheaper accommodations and inspiration. These artists have festooned the neighborhood with colorful streamers, artworks, and carved hedges. One mansion, though, remains unoccupied, having become the keeper of the city’s history and annual Founder’s Day Festival. The Founder’s Day Mansion and the Old Town Library are often visited by the ghost of famed writer Edith Stenlake, who overseas the annual library book sale that benefits local children. Another landmark is La Belles, a store on a narrow, cobblestone street that specializes in window displays of Edwardian clothing in dramatic lighting. The proprietress, Athena, can be found there, perhaps in an argument with her sister, a refugee witch of the Argent Coven.
At the center of town are The Warrens, a large hedge maze that is the seat of city government. As you pass the Entry Arbor, you’re warned against entering unless you know where you’re going, but you can’t walk away without feeling like the bush is judging you. Deep within the maze is the Lost Fountain, surrounded by stone benches of cold marble but no longer filled with water. You can feel the ghosts rustling the hedges before you even sit down. Here you’ll find Antonello de la Torre, a ghost who’s been Bonesville’s mayor for decades and is particularly adept at keeping everyone happily distracted.
Out beyond the beaches are the swamps of Bogburg, a rough neighborhood with a big heart, where many of the living reside in big apartment buildings. Johnny Johnson, one resident of these block houses, is obsessed with hunting the green-eyed mega-fish known as the Jade Leviathan and, with the help of a ghost buddy and folks from the Bonesville Alchemical Institute, known for their explosive results, manages to catch the giant fish. The ghosts of Bogburg attend services at Our Lady of the Soggy Heart, a sunken cathedral with bioluminescent stained-glass windows. When the window’s glow is replaced with alchemical concoctions, most everyone asks themselves “But why?”
When you visit Bonesville, you want to be sure to see the Night Market, an open-air marketplace known for warm spices and glimpses of magic. You can always orient yourself by looking for the colored plume coming from the cauldron at The Witch’s Brew, and pick up a few magical trinkets while you’re there. If you’re of age and looking for more adult entertainment, visit the Garden of Unspeakable Delights by looking for the hedges shaped like mythical creatures. Another major attraction is the newest neighborhood: Shrubbery Town is full of the most wonderful houses grown entirely from shrubs, including the Brick Bush Mansion, which while entirely vegetal appears to be made of strong bricks that would deter any huffing and puffing wolf. Be sure to say hello to Agatha, the town’s horticultural master, if you run into her as she’s always happy to see new people. Another wonder is the Shrubco Factory building in which plants have grown into machines that produce goods for sale at the Night Market. “How?” you ask. Nobody seems to know.
Thank you for visiting Bonesville. Come again!