I'm writing a book called "The Maze of Doom." It was partly inspired by The Hunger Games and partly inspired by a dream I had while I was at the beach. It's a post-apocalyptic book about a country that discriminates against women. The leader is evil and every year he randomly selects ten girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen to be put into the Maze of Doom wielding only one weapon and gifts given to them by the weight, agility, climbing, and weapon trainers. Girls are allowed to make temporary alliances, and killing is not against the rules. The girl who reaches the middle of the Maze is granted one wish. But no one has survived yet.
Here is the first chapter. I'll take any feedback. Thanks! :D
I live in a sexist country.
It is a place where girls do all the working, men do whatever they please, and girls get sent to jail for the rest of their life for the tiniest thing.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Each year, President Hunter has a competition called The Maze of Doom. It’s been going on for twenty years. Let me tell you about it.
The Maze of Doom is a huge maze filled with dangers. Ten different girls ranging from the age of twelve to eighteen race to the end of the maze. Their prize is a single wish. But no girl has survived yet. Girls are allowed one weapon each, provided by President Hunter. Girls can make temporary alliances, but they can also kill each other. It’s a gruesome maze.
Some, if they are in the maze, plan to wish for riches or fame. Others plan to wish for their sisters to get out of jail for not polishing their boss’s shoes exactly right.
I have a different wish.
I have been randomly chosen by the country’s leader to be entered in The Maze of Doom.
Our country’s leader is revolting. He made The Maze of Doom for entertainment. He likes the idea of girls killing each other. For him, it’s just one less worker to pay.
But I have to survive the maze to make my wish. As I said, no girl has survived yet. I plan to change that, too.
Today is the day I say goodbye to my family and leave for “Maze Training”. Really, it’s to see how good each girl is so the country can place their bets to see who will survive the longest.
My mom starts to cry as I pull on my boots. My dad puts his arm around her. He tries to comfort her, but the tears keep on coming.
“Don’t cry, Mom,” I say. “I’ll be fine.” But even I can’t promise that.
My mom hugs me and bawls. Dots appear on my shirt’s sleeve.
“Carrie, she’ll be fine,” My dad straightens his glasses and tries to hide his watering eyes. “You know our Clelia. She’s one tough cookie.”
My mom attempts to talk as my dad hugs her again.
“My daughter!” she cries. “My only daughter! In The Maze! She’s only fourteen.”
“I know,” He says. “I know.”
I hug each of them again.
“I love you guys,” I say in a faltering voice. “But when I come back, everything will be better.”
I hear a knock on the door. My dad goes to answer it.
“Hello,” I hear him say. “Won’t you come in?”
“Actually, I’m here for Clelia,” A female voice answers. No surprise there. All of President Hunter’s employees are female.
I hug my mom one last time and walk into the kitchen. It only took a few steps to get from the living room to the kitchen.
“Ah,” The young woman standing in the doorway gestures for me to come outside with her. “There she is. Come.”
I hug my dad, look around our single floor house (or hut, as I like to call it) one last time, and walk outside. My mom won’t stop crying.
“Mom,” I say. “Please don’t worry about me. Besides, you won’t have to keep wondering what’s going on. You can read the whole thing in The Mazeazines.”
The Mazeazines are magazines all about The Maze. Once The Maze of Doom starts, the entire thing will be watched and typed for the whole country to read. They don’t help much though, since the reporters make everything more dramatic. Even though we can never see what’s going on, I can tell that that’s not what’s actually happening.
“Clelia!” The woman stands by her car, tapping her foot impatiently.
“I love you,” I say before walking to the menacing, black, car.
The woman opens the car door. I get inside and wave at my parents until they disappear from view completely.
I remain silent the entire trip to President Hunter’s main building.
An hour later, the black car pulls up to a towering skyscraper.
“Here we are,” The woman says in a bored voice. “Follow me.”
The tone of her voice makes it obvious that she has done this same routine for quite some time.
I followed her down the hall and into the elevator. I gasped. There were 70 different buttons. The woman had to go onto her toes to reach the 30 button.
The elevator went up and made a ding noise.
The woman entered the big, circular, room. I followed her and saw five different people. I recognized four of them from previous Mazes. They were the trainers. The strength, agility, climbing, and weaponry trainers. The other I knew just from living in this country. President Hunter. The evil leader that started this maze.
“Good,” He said. “You finally arrived. As you know, the contestants aren’t allowed to see each other until the maze begins, so you will be privately trained in this room. The reporter should be here any second now.”
As if on cue, the elevator dinged again, and two women appeared. One carried a camera to take pictures, the other, a notebook and pen.
“If everyone is ready, the training shall begin!” President Hunter stepped back. The camerawoman started snapping pictures and the reporter started scribbling furiously.
There were four sections of the room I could go to. Each section had its own equipment. I decided to start with the worst and work my way up. I’m terrible at physical activities, like climbing, and lifting weights, but I’m good at running and using small weapons like daggers for hunting or building things.
I started at the strength training.
“Hi,” The female strength trainer said. “My name’s Candace. Nice to meet you.” Her leg and arm muscles were very visible. You could tell she stayed in shape. And besides looking strong, she seemed like she could be decently nice, even friendly, unlike most workers here. I don’t blame most of them for being un-friendly, the way they get paid.
I took her hand and shook it.
“So,” Candace said. “Would you like to start with the weights, the sit-ups and push-ups, or bag carrying?”
I selected the bag carrying.
“Come on, Clelia!” Candace encouraged me. “You can do it!”
I had carried six bags of bricks across the room on my shoulders already. Four more to go.
“Almost done,” Candace kept yelling. “Two more! Just two more!”
It was nice that Candace was helping me, but it was a little annoying.
“That’s it! One last one! And, you’re done!”
I wiped the sweat off my forehead and walked back over to Candace.
“That was really good,” She said handing me a towel for my sweat. “Do you need some water?”
I nodded my head gratefully, still gasping for breath. I took the bottled water from Candace and gulped down almost half.
“Let’s move on to the weights.”
Candace handed me two weights. They must’ve both weighed at least twenty pounds.
“I want you to lift one at a time. So raise the right one first with your arm locked, then do the same thing with your left arm. Then lift them both at the same time. Got that?”
I nodded my head again. I’m a girl of many words.
I continued with my strength training. I thanked Candace and moved on to climbing. The trainer wasn’t nearly as nice as Candace was. But it didn’t matter since all she had me do was climb a rock wall about fifty times over. I did horribly. I kept slipping on rocks and I took forever to get up once. Strength and climbing? Not very good at all.
I moved on to agility. I ran a treadmill for ten minutes at a good, steady pace, and then jumped rope for a while. All in all, not bad.
It was time for weaponry.
I had to use each weapon they had and try them out. At the end of the training, I would get to select a weapon for the maze. I had to choose carefully, because once I chose, I couldn’t change my mind.
“Welcome to weaponry,” The female trainer said in a bored voice. “I’m Teresa and I’ll be you’re trainer. Remember never to use your weapon for anything except what you’re told to do, blah, blah, blah. Let’s get started. Choose your weapon.”
There were many different choices; A bow and arrow, a sword, a spear, a mace, a whip, and a dagger.
I chose the bow and arrow.
“Do you know how to use a bow and arrow?” Teresa asked. I nodded. I had used one before, but I was rusty.
“Then try to shoot this target.” Teresa walked over to the wall and pointed at the target. I pulled back the arrow and shot, but I shot way off course. Teresa had to duck her head to avoid getting hit. It struck the wall and stuck there.
“Guess you’re not going to be using that in the maze,” She said. “Try something else.”
I took the spear. Again, she had me throw it at the target. I threw, but not hard enough. I tried again and again, but it would drop on the ground three feet away from me. Again, I am not very strong at all.
I tried the sword, the mace, and the whip, but every single one was a failure.
I took the last weapon. A dagger complete with a small sheath.
“Ah ha ha!” Teresa started laughing. “That is the wimpiest weapon I have ever-!”
I threw the dagger hard at the target. It flew and hit the bull’s eye.
Teresa’s mouth hung open.
“W-would you like to choose the dagger f-for your w-weapon?” She stuttered.
I turned away from Teresa and walked to the target. I pulled my dagger out, and sheathed it around my pants.
I knew everyone was going to hear about my “rage and fury at the weapon trainer”. I knew they would read about me throwing the dagger. But they wouldn’t know anything. They wouldn’t know that I imagined President Hunter’s face on that bull’s eye as I threw the dagger.
I'm not finished with the story yet (I've written nine and a half chapters so far), but if you would like an e-mailed copy when I'm done, let me know in a comment. :D
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Maze of Doom (Chapter 1)
I am a 17-year-old homeschooler, author, daydreamer, voracious reader, introvert, feminist, klutz, fangirl, and overuser of tape. I love the impossible (which might explain my obsessions with fantasy novels and Harry Potter) but I dip into the real world . . . occasionally. I tend to get overly emotional over my OTPs and eat sushi or listen to Taylor Swift to soothe the pain. If all else fails, reruns of “Doctor Who” or “Supernatural” is sure to help. I’m a big fan of mismatched socks, Cheez-Its, and bittersweet endings. I believe anything Rainbow Rowell, Felicia Day, or Lin-Manuel Miranda touches turns to gold. If you want to win the way to my heart, help me adopt a baby elephant. Or a llama. Or both. I write to survive and will often yell at my characters if they aren’t behaving, which is always. It doesn’t usually help. I am a contributor to the "Fauxpocalypse" anthology. You can follow me on Twitter at @Magic_Violinist.