Author : Morrow Brady
Wilma’s Pass, a single stitch in the gaping wound that was the M1 Motorway, was popular with dairy farmers because of its cow content.
Conceived on environmental guilt and funded by the local council’s surplus budget, it was a bridge designed to be organic in shape and bejewelled with rich landscapes. The idea being that the peaceful gardens above would greatly contrast the frenetic arterial route below with its speeding commuters and smoky emissions.
Construction work on the bridge commenced after the winning contractor’s matchbox flyer sprinkled a pinch of tiny founder robots. Overnight, the founders made kennel sized botforges erupt from the dirt like steampunk mushrooms. By morning tea, the botforges were creating and releasing clouds of nanoscopic robots called scavs.
Scavs were so named because of the way they were coded to scavenge detritus found within the vicinity of the construction site and convert them into construction materials at a nano-scale. Scavs had proven themselves to be a trustworthy tool and were the modern contractor’s preferred method of construction. They worked 24 hours a day, they were quiet, they never took any sick days and most importantly built something from nothing.
Intelligently, the scavs onsite progressed the construction by spreading outward from the motorway to seek old leaves and twigs, buried toxic waste, rubbish, smog and even cow dung from the adjacent fields. The local council was encouraged by the contractor to dump community waste nearby so that it too could be converted.
Things progressed well, meeting the short programme timeline without any hitches. As the bridge progressed, the scav’s search radius slowly increased, cleaning up the surrounding countryside as they ventured further and further afield in search of humanity’s waste. They soon reached the property of dairy farmer Joseph Hays.
As the scav’s spread out, scouring Farmer Hays’ lower field clean, they were in the process of cleaning muck from the hooves of Wilma, Joseph’s prized milking cow, when she became startled and bolted. Crossing a swarm of airborne scavs, Wilma temporarily lost her sight, ran through an old boundary fence and fell fatally into a concrete drainage culvert. Her carcass instantly became a viable source for the scavs and over 4 hours, she was steadily devoured until nothing remained.
Work proceeded onsite, as did an investigation into the whereabouts of Wilma the cow.
Eight weeks passed and local drone feeds revealed an elegantly styled bridge with flowing muscular-like supports that merged naturally into the flowing topography. Undulating grassed banks enriched with perfectly balanced topsoil revealed seductive landscaped gardens, arbored picnic areas and timber gazebos – ornate with beautiful fenestration.
Data recovered from the scav recorders revealed the demise of Wilma, triggering Joseph to take the local council to court. The data also revealed the location of Wilma’s mortal remains. She was everywhere throughout the bridge. Converted into the sinewy carbocrete matrix, entrapped within the steelhex reinforcement and entwined into the fibretites of the faux-timber ornamentation. The scavs had successfully turned a cow into a bridge.
Judge Sale McKintyre ruled in favour of Joseph’s prosecution team, in that as Wilma was equally anywhere within the bridge at any time, there was no way of distinguishing Wilma from the bridge. Wilma by definition was also the bridge. And as Wilma was owned by Joseph, so too was the bridge.
As new owner, Joseph saw no way of unmaking Wilma from the bridge, so after a dedication ceremony, he named the bridge Wilma’s Pass and allowed its ground to be of use to all dairy farmers across the land.