“Day 26. No Goblin King yet.” -- Modern Wizard in the Labyrinth
My current temp assignment places me in the state’s largest
office complex, as measured by square footage. Like the hospital where I once
worked, the complex started as separate buildings, together forming an
integrated plant for the manufacture of computer chips. Over the course of
expansion, separate pieces of architecture merged into one convoluted maze. The
company that originally filled these buildings now retains only a ghost of a
presence; current primary tenants are another chip manufacturer that bought out
the local division of the first and a division of the state’s Health Access
Department, where I work.
I’m ostensibly here to do UAT testing, which in itself is
its own recursion of absurdity, but, after several weeks, I’m now 86.2% certain
that I’m in the Labyrinth. Here’s the evidence:
Everything looks the same. The sadistic genius who
constructed this place started off with that thoroughly dank industrial style
common to so many 1960s and 1970s office buildings: unadorned square forms the
color of wet mud, cement walls, long rectangular windows impossible to open, raw
metal pillars, endless corridors – all topped off with liberal use of jaundiced
fluorescent lighting. After duplicating this style in several cubes, they then linked
the cubes together with identical glass catwalks. I have walked around for
fifteen minutes, expecting myself to be in one building, only to realize I’ve
gone through three replications instead.
The landmarks aren’t landmarks. When I discovered that one
of the glass catwalks had bird decals along its sides, I rejoiced, thinking I
had found a way to differentiate it from all the other catwalks. But no. All
the other catwalks have the exact same decals, in the exact same pattern, at
the exact same positions. It’s like the place is working against me.
The arrows point the wrong way. There are signs pointing to
two key locations, the cafeteria and the state offices. 95% of them actually
show you which way to go, but 5% of them point you in precisely the opposite
direction, just for shits and giggles. Of course I followed the 5%.
The maps show you where you aren’t. I came across a route
for indoor walking that described a loop through several buildings. It showed a
location where the route started, but there was no indication of where I was in
relation to that starting point. What is the point of a map if there’s no basis
The denizens have a sarcastic and scatological sense of
humor. I saw a sign on a door that said, “We provide fast service…no matter how
long it takes!” Also someone scribbled out the first word on the “Records
Retention Room” label and wrote “Poop” instead.
Time runs differently here. You may have no idea where you
are around here, but you’ll always know what time it is. Well, scratch that.
You’ll always see a clock, as they hang throughout the halls at junctions both
major and minor. You’ll probably never know what time it is, as each clock
seems to preside over its own local time zone that varies from all contiguous
ones anywhere between zero and ten minutes.
There are dangers untold and hardships unnumbered. To get to
my office, for example, I must traverse the Fiery Corridor of Death, a catwalk
in which the overcranked HVAC combines with exposure to natural sunlight to yield
about 50 feet of heady, smothering heat. Then, of course, there are the Exits
of Mockery, which means that the door most convenient to my car would sound a
fire alarm if I opened it, so I have to circumvent it with a 10-minute walk in
the opposite direction. And then there’s a Failure Analysis Lab, where, I
assume, you are taunted with explicit details of all your past mistakes until
you cry. Chilling.
I suppose that, if I solve the maze, I will escape and win a
permanent job with decent pay and benefits. But what constitutes a solution?
Should I be heading for the center? As far as I can tell, this place has no
center. Should I be heading for an exit?
And who’s in charge of this thing? The Goblin King appears
to be conspicuously absent, which I suppose is good because he’s an immature,
petulant little shit. So should I be looking for Daedalus or perhaps Ariadne?
Should I be on my guard for a Minotaur? Now that I think about it, I do hear a
dull roar, but that could just be the air conditioning….
Request: Hi! Can I request a newt AU imagine where y/n(can her name be Selena) wasn’t really famous with her bff(Teresa and Brenda)in her school like her twin brother(Thomas)she was into books, drawings and music. She liked sport(she was GREAT at it and Thomas was telling her that a lot cause they two were always practicing together at basketball[Thomas was in their school basketball team] at their garden at their free time) and one day their teacher told Selena that if she want to torture Newt at some lessons if he wanted to pass this semester and she said that it was fine with her but Newt was a little “bad boy"and he never showed up at their “lessons date"and one day at basketball practice she showed up and told him that if he doesnt show up at their next lesson date she is gona make sure that he isnt gona play at the next game. And at the afternoon she played basketball with Newt Thomas and Teresa and the girls won and the boys were like we let you win and really fluff?💟 ~ Anonymous
thank you so much for your request ^^ i hope this is what you wanted :)
A/N: I know it’s a day late, but to my defense: i was in school until 4 pm yesterday and then i had to eat and do my homework and at 6 pm i visited to play of our’s schools drama group because some of my friends were in it,so i had like no time :/
“Is this really necessary?”, whined Thomas, my twin brother, and trotted grumpily after me through the hallway, pulling a face as if the world was about to end. “Yes. And by the way, this was your idea.” I stopped at my locker, pulled out a few books and waited for Thomas to take them. Ignoring his scowl, i made my way over to my best friends Teresa and Brenda, hugged them and placed myself next to Brenda on the bench, waiting for Thomas to hand my books and my bag over. He let it fall into my lap, before he left in the direction of his friends, or in other words, the basketball team of our high school and the most popular boys here. Don’t ask me why.
Teresa chuckled lightly as she watched Thomas walking away, now way more enthusiastic than before. “Let me take a guess: he lost again?” “He lost? More like i destroyed him”, i smirked and searched in my bag for my homework for the first class, “sometimes i wonder why this kid is even in the basketball team. But yes, he lost again, and now he has to carry my things the whole day, whereever i want it.” “ You should really consider joining the basketball team, Selena”, Brenda called in, “i mean,we all know Thomas is good, maybe even the best, otherwise he wouldn’t be the team captain. And if you’re better than him…” I shrugged. “Maybe, but i don’t want to. I lobe basketball, but being in the team, especially as the only girl, would draw way more attention on myself than i prefer. I like it how it is, only we three alone, and me occasionally playing basketball with Thomas. Anyway, i have to go to class now. See you later.”
They waved at me and then i strolled over to my lovely brother, who seemed to be rather annoyed by my appearance. “Hey brother, i need someone to carry my bag to the next class”, i said sweetly, while handing him my bag. “Seriously? Your next class is literally just 20 metres away?!” “Not my problem. You should just have played better yesterday, now come on, i don’t want to be late”, i provoced him and he snatched my bag from my hand, muttering something like “I hate you” under his breath and practically ran over to my classroom, where he dropped my bag in front of the door. I followed him slowlier and picked up my bag before walking to my seat in the middle of the room. After i put my things on the table, i sat down and pulled out my mobile to brigde the time until the teacher arrived.
During the lesson i watched my classmates, because i didn’t really needed to pay attention, this subject was pretty easy for me. I could answer every question the teacher had, unlike most of the students, who were just staring out of the window or sleeping on their tables. I scribbled little doodles in the corner of my worksheet, when the teacher suddenly raised his voice. “Mister Newton, i would be delighted if you could at least pretend to pay attention to my lesson, instead of sleeping on your table. And it would also be of advantage if you would take some notes. Otherwise you may have to repeat this class,and i’m sure you don’t want that.” I turned my head to the back of the class, where Isaac Newton or Newt, how everybody called him, sat, looking rather dazed, as if he had just woke up. He rolled his eyes and answered boredly: “Yes, sir.”, before he yawned and closed his eyes again. I couldn’t understand how someone could care so less about their grades, especially because i knew Newt was pretty passionate about basketball and if he had to repeat the class, he would lost his place in the team.
After class, the teacher stopped my before i could get out of the room and when Newt wanted to scuff past me to leave the teacher stopped him too. “Miss Y/L/N, i know your pretty good in this subject and if Mister Newton doesn’t want to repeat this class, he’ll need some tutoring. It would be nice if you could help him a little bit.” I looked over to Newt, who seemed bored by the whole conversation. I had met him briefly a few times when he was playing basketball with Thomas at our place, since they were pretty much best friends and he seemed nice, but i didn’t really knew him well. “If he’s ok with it?” The teacher looked at Newt who shrugged. “Why not?” “Great. There’s a big test in four weeks and i hope to see good results. You’re excused.” We left the room together and i asked: “We could meet in the library after school today. Is that ok for you?” He shrugged again. “To be honest, i don’t really care about this subject. And i have basket ball practice after school.” I raised my eyebrows and smiled. “But this is more important, when you want to keep your place in the team. And i know that you have practice not until 4 pm. Don’t forget, my brother is in the team too. See you later in the library!”
▪ ▪ ▪
A few days later i sat in the library and when Newt didn’t appear after a couple of minutes, i was furious. This was the third time i waited for him here and he didn’t showed up,he didn’t even excused himself. He had just let me sitting here, wasting three days and i would take drastic actions now. I shoved my textbook in my bag and stomped angrily out of the library, ignoring the dirty look the librian gave me for disrupting the silence in the room. I had more important things to deal with. Checking the watch, i smiled deviously. In half an hour, the basketball practice would start and Newt would be there, so it was easy for me to catch him before and teach him in the most friendly way possible to better take me seriously next time.
I sat on a bench next to the parking lot, waiting for Thomas’ car to arrive, because i knew he picked up Newt before practice everytime and when i finally spotted his car, i got and slowy walked over. He and Newt got out of the car, chatting and laughing, and when they saw me, their happy expression turned into a confused one. “What are you doing here, Selena?”, Thomas asked while he got his and Newt’s gym bags out of the boot. “Oh, i just want to talk to Newt”,i smiled and turned to Newt a frown, “Why didn’t you show up to our study sessions? I wasted three days because of you!” He smirked at me. “Guess what? I don’t care. I don’t need any tutoring, and especially not by someone like you.” “ Excuse me!? What means ‘someone like me, am i not good enough for you? But guess what? I don’t care either. If you don’t show up tomorrow after school, i will make sure that you’ll lose your place in the team. And believe me, i’m serious.” With that, i turned around and truged away, boiling with rage. Who does he think he is? Only because he’s in the basketball team, popular and most of the girls at our school are drooling over him, doesn’t mean he has a right to say something like that.
When i got home, i texted Teresa to come over and when she arrived we sat in my room on my bed and she just listened to me becoming exasperated with Newt and his aroggant attitude towards me. “He literally said ’ I don’t need any tutoring, and especially not by someone like you’, can you believe this?! How terrible can a person be?” Teresa smiled knowingly. “Are you sure that he is really that terrible? You two would make a cute couple, don’t you think?” I choked. “What? Are you serious? He is a annyoing, arrogant prat and we certainly would not make a cute couple!” Before she could answer, someone knocked at the door, then Thomas sticked his head in the door and asked: “Selena, would you like to play a match against Newt and me? Oh, hi Teresa. Do want to play against us too? You could make a team.” I looked at Teresa and she nodded so we got up and followed Thomas down to the backyard, where Newt was already waiting.
I had to admit he looked good, still in his basketball tricot and his hair slightly tousled, but his cocky grin made me already getting angry again. I hoped Thomas didn’t ell him how good i was, sohe was now in for a surprise. Thomas got the ball and explained: “Ok, we’re playing girls against boys, and whoever scores five points first, wins.” Before we could start the game, Newt called in: “Is this even fair? I mean, we can’t expect two girls winning against us.” I scoffed and Thomas said: “You’ve never seen my sister play basketball, haven’t you? She’s even better than me, believe me it won’t be easy to win.” Newt looked at me and obviously didn’t believe Thomas, but i was determined to show him how good i was.
No one except of Newt was really surprised that we won. It had been almost too easy, because Newt had totally underestimated my basketball skills. And by the time he had actually started to play and tried to win against me i had already made four points for the girls team and the last point wasn’t really difficult to score either. He looked pretty impressed, but he said with a cheeky grin: “Of course we let you win. There’s know way you would have won if this was an actual game.” I raised both eyebrows. “Sure. Just make sure you’re not forgetting our study session tomorrow. I think you want to keep your place in the team, especially because you definitely need to practice a bit before you could play an actual game against me.” He smiled wider and layed an arm around my shoulder while we were walking towards the house, where Thomas and Teresa sat in the kitchen. “Of course i’m not forgetting this. I’m looking forward to our little study date.” I almsot choked and felt heat rising to my cheeks. “Study date? Really? A few hours ago you thought i was a nerd and not good enough for you.” He chuckled. “You are a nerd. But i cute one, and i definitely underestimated your basketball skills, so i think we’ll have a lot of fun together.”