The Fringes | USC Student Week

12 min 18 sec | 2018


Lily Darragh Harty


In a corporate world void of human interaction, Ennis has lost her ability to relate to others. When her company fires her and forces her into a crowded tenement building, Ennis must overcome her fear of human connection to begin again.

In the near future, a company called Allocorp is responsible for telling citizens of Los Angeles where they are allowed to live based on their income level. Ennis Lineau works in the customer service division, where she spends her days being screamed at by dissatisfied customers forced to live in terrible housing. Ennis lives a solitary existence at work and at home in her employee housing, until Allocorp dissolves its entire customer service division in favor of automation. Ennis is forced to move out of her apartment and into one of Allocorp’s worst tenements. She fears she’ll be submitted to the horrors she hears about at work, but finds herself living with two caring roommates: post-doc botany researcher Leda, and mechanic-turned-construction worker Al.

Ennis continues to serve out her last week of work while bonding with Leda and Al. Leda invites Ennis to her research lab, where Ennis rediscovers her love of plants: practically nonexistent in this desolate future. Soon, however, Leda finds out that Ennis works at Allocorp and is disgusted that Ennis could work there, a place which has ruined both her livelihood and Al’s, and neglect to admit it. On her last day, Ennis shows up at work only to find that the company is kicking her out before even letting her go upstairs. She calls Customer Service to find that a recording of her voice is now being used on the other end. Finally, a lifetime of repressed emotions crescendos and Ennis breaks down in her car. She arrives home to find Al and Leda gardening on the roof, a haven of nature in the cold city. She apologizes for the error of her ways, and Leda forgives her by giving her a seed to plant in the garden.



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