Before I landed inside, I had a brief glimpse of a maze extending as far as the eye could see in all directions. I nearly landed on a rat, and rat and I became fast friends.
Months passed in that maze, exploring the area near the niche we called home, getting to know some of the other monsters, and meeting the occasional victim attempting to solve the maze. The weather was always pleasant, but some days we had loud background music. The worst of it was that it felt like living in a birdcage, on display.
Days passed. Days became weeks. Weeks became months. I don’t know how long I spent in that place, or how long I was really there. Because one day, the whole place shook and we heard the explosion. For the first time, we all realized that there might still be somewhere outside the maze. That we might have had some sort of lives before the maze.
And that we might be able to return to some semblance of normalcy. I found myself in a tide of creatures heading towards the sound of the explosion. Suddenly there were no corridor walls or floor. We had ran right off the edge into the crater, and were falling.
I don’t know if this will ever end. But I’ve been falling ever since, and it seems like I’ve been falling as long as I spent running the maze.
The room had a hard durable floor, but even so the feet of many people had etched clear pathways across it. The walls and ceilings were painted some neutral inoffensive color that was almost offensive in effect, a typical public space institutional color. THere must have been lights, but without power, they were not obvious.
The room was divided by a row of doorways standing independently across the center. At one time, people would line up to take turns to use the doorway. Which was a bit odd, considering that there were no doors.
Each doorway had a light on top, and a niche that seemed like a good place to stand alongside and watch. Also near each doorway was a huge piece of machinery with conveyor belts running in and out. Aside from those obvious features, there was little to hint at what used to flow on those belts.
Advice is everywhere you look. But even the Wise Old Owl may be mistaken, so don’t follow it blindly.
Your phone was dying.
But without it, you would be at the mercy of boredom, or conversation, or person to person interaction.
Advice was available. The simplest being to just plug in the phone and let it charge. But that was too obvious, too slow, and somehow not clever enough. So your search went on, from sensible ideas to the crazy.
Somewhere along the way, magical thinking set in.
Then the smoke clears and you can see the burning carcass of your phone inside the ruined microwave…