The Setting

Today’s setting as opposed to the previous was to be better than before. Rodney didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. He didn’t before and that theme of blissful ignorance just kept on keeping on. Rodney wasn’t even aware who kept settings him these tasks, these changes of behaviour, these milestones, these alterations, either dramatic or minor. He just didn’t know. The Oldman did.

The front door was sealed shut but he’d managed to crack open a crack of squeezes space at the back of the odd box he lived in. This wasn’t surprising as it had been set to occur. 

The settings were set by The Oldman

This Oldman, wise one, elder and senior was old. He was so old that the beginning of the Universe was said to have been set by him, if there had been others there to witness it. Some later years and with keen eyes, it was revealed that his grubby interference was evident in a number of the planet’s major events. Mother nature was in fact said to be The Oldman.

The issue with Rodney was one of testing, an upright bipedal lab rat designed to measure the options humans may take or which decisions they’d take given a range of options to consider. The rat in a maze was most apt. Rodney wasn’t aware of this situation of course, he just reacted teach day when he woke. The first morning breath often only lasted a minute or two. Other days he had days. Days to figure out what he should do, nothing, something or a mixture of both. Interestingly, but not for Rodney as he had no idea, he woke with new conditions and paths to follow. 

The Oldman had perfected the clean slate and Rodney’s life (if it could be described as such) to such an extent that the maze had been going for 600 years. Years of blissful ignorance, pain, death, torture, with others but mostly without. The others had been used up in a sacrificial way to test the limits of Rodney’s acceptance or denial. It was interrupted for one day only on February 29 / 536 (AD). Said to be the worst year to have been alive ever. The Oldman had set off a volcano without thinking about the impact on the planet. 

He’d miscalculated the charge

He had popped the volcano’s vent and created the subsequent crater. The explosion covered the planet with clouds of materials, essentially blocking the Sun. It caused a massive drop in temperatures and killed crops causing a worldwide famine. So many died. Rodney survived of course he was well cushioned, protected from external harm in his maze. 

The squeezing Rodney endured broke a few bones but he popped out into a larger room that had lots of light and warmth. The box he’d come from was dark, cold, wet and if he’d ever smelt such a thing, the inside of a sewer in major city. Clogged with fat-bergs, paper of all sorts smeared with human waste. If there was a good side to this horror he’d been enduing this day it was that he thought he was alone.

As his eyes reacted and settled on the new room he had clambered into, he then saw it. The teeth on this thing seemed to be larger than he was. Rodney looked for safety and found it underneath a ledge that had suddenly sprung out from the wall. He leapt in there as the owner of the teeth snapped and growled while attempting to eat him. Rodney waited until the teeth thing sat back and just sat starring at him. As they watched each the shelf started to retract. Teeth stood up and lunged, Rodney ran but his ultimate consumption was the end of that day. 

The Oldman was less than satisfied

He was not happy with the outcome of this scenario. He’d been off colour himself and after so many days, nearly 22,000 of them, he was tired. He was looking for a solution to this endless trap he had set for himself. It seemed to be a point with no return. He had wondered many years ago if in fact it was Rodney who was setting the days maze and studying The Oldman. A very clever human on Earth had offered this very clever notion in a series of books. The idea was that mice in laboratories on Earth were testing and studying the scientists who thought they were studying the mice.  

Rodney woke up and looked around the room. It was huge, lot’s of light, a lovely soft smell and dominated by the very soft structure on which he sat.  He wasn’t alone. The other occupant of the room looked like him, with a number of subtle differences, bumps and smooth flesh in places and view that Rodney didn’t. This other occupant was a woman, a female, a girl seemingly at the same level of maturity as Rodney. She looked frightened and even though Rodney has no recollection, she starred at him like the owner of the teeth. 

As per the maze conditions, neither had any idea of a yesterday or tomorrow but they did feel a need to get closer. They both realised at the same time that they could communicate, talk and touch in such ways that seemed natural. Rodney told this occupant of his name and it replied with my name is Harriette. They wandered about the large room and fell on one fo the large structures, they had one of their own. The sharing of one, the cuddling, kissing and sex pleased both. So much so that they kept doing so for hours. 

The same old same old

He watched the run through and shook his head. Same old same old. They just want to runt without seeing the exit in the far corner. The Oldman had placed a sign saying the end to it all is this way, but they’d not bothered to look further once they’d tasted joys of the flesh.

That was it thought the Oldman, he waved his stubby fingers and the the maze disappeared. 

The room – gone, Rodney and Harriette – gone. The exit – gone. 

The Oldman decided that he too should be – gone. He’d done enough, not really learnt that much, at all, his interference had triggered chaos, murder, corruption. Enough was enough. He looked over at his partner and she agreed.  She waved her hand and suddenly the world was a better place. 

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