The Wall Decorator

For Mavis van Westerly, it was proving to be another ordinary day in New Melbourne. She’d spent the morning putting up several wallpapers for her clients, making the drab and boring rooms of their dirty houses just a bit more pleasant to live in. She was a freelance wallpaper installer by trade and she partnered with a designer whose designs she liked to recommend to her clients. Her services were particularly popular with new mothers, who wanted to add a bit of life to their nurseries. 

Once upon a time, she would have installed a dinosaur wall decal for the nurseries of baby boys and perhaps some unicorns for girls, but times had certainly changed. While she did get those sorts of requests from time to time, most new parents wanted flowery decals and wallpapers that reminded them of happier days, back on the surface.

Mav had been at the job for a few hours, so she figured she’d wrap this last one up and then head to the tavern to grab some lunch. Although she could have magically changed the wall, she continued applying the wallpaper the same way the ancient wall decal installers Melbourne of old had once known. Wallpaper and wall decal installation was a humble and old tradition, and she did not intend to let it fade into obscurity. Perhaps one day she’d take on an apprentice, although she admitted she was in no position to do so now.

Not enough bloody time, she mused, finishing the wallpaper.

Once the job was done, Mav headed onto the street, walking under the constant light of the blue spheres that lined the sides high above. The yellow light of the Surface’s lamp posts would have been more effective, but they’d discovered that blue lighting used less energy, and she knew that they had precious little power down in the underground.

Maybe she needed to start wearing those dark glasses or whatever it was that Dirk wore everywhere.

As the tavern approached up ahead, Mav started to let her mind wander, recharging her tired brain after a long morning of wallpaper installation.