Not Fitting In

231.03.19 | 11:38 a.m.

Nick had indeed spared her the Slicer's job. But apart from that Kat had to work herself through all kinds of jobs. And right the first one was that of a Builder. It became clear within the first half hour that while she was quick on the uptake and quite capable with her hands, there could be no greater discord than between her and the Keeper of the Builders, Gally. Both of them were hot-headed and short-tempered; and as soon as they had even a minor difference about how to do something (or about anything at all, as soon would be revealed), they virtually went to war.

As when one of the Runners returned back to the Maze out of schedule and collapsed as soon as he had set foot in the Glade, panting and sweating. It took nearly fifteen minutes until he was able to speak again, telling that he just had escaped a Griever, and not even far from the Glade.

But since no Griever showed up and there was no more show to be expected, the Keepers finally shooed the Gladers back to their work.

So did Gally. “Everybody just keep calm! Keep the order, do your jobs, and everything will be fine.”

“No, it will not, obviously.” Of course Kat had to contradict him.

“Course it will. The Grievers never come inside the Glade. So we are safe.”

“Yeah, inside the Glade. But in here we are prisoners.”

“Listen, Greenie, this is all the home we have. And I know it could be worse. A lot worse. The creators send us everything we need; and if the Runners wouldn't get us all into trouble, we'd be nice and safe.”

“Are you stupid? Is this something religious?”

Gally's face turned red. “Careful, Greenie.”

She turned around, her outstretched arm indicating all of the Glade. “Look at this! A Glade like a base camp, the Walls to make a clear frontier, and a huge Maze with some really dangerous creatures inside. Someone has built it, all of it, and put us here with our memories wiped out. Sounds like a bloody experiment to me. And we are the rats. How do you feel, being nothing more than a lab rat? And what do you think you are supposed to do? Do you think they want to watch us build ourselves a sort of home and finally die of old age?”

Gally was really angry now. “Think you are smart, are ya, Greenie? Been around for no more than two days and teachin' us?”

“If you are not able to see the obvious – yes.” Kat hissed. She would not back away now. Through squinted eyes she stared Gally straight in the face.

“If you were not a girl, you'd learn the hard way now.” Without really noticing it he had taken on to a ready to fight stance. Now he deliberately clenched his fists and slowly let go again.

“Are you shy about fighting a girl? Maybe if someone hits your head it might finally trigger your brain start thinking!”

Gally grabbed her shoulders as if to shake her, but Kat broke free and slapped him in the face with the back of her hand, shouting: Ey! Keep your fingers to yourself!”

Keep your mouth shut, and we can work along nice and calm”, he retorted, touching the red mark her hand had left on his cheek.

And when you run out of words you get all touchy?”

“Hey, guys, what's this about?” Like out of nowhere Nick appeared behind Kat.

“Greenie here is disrupting the peace of the Glade”, Gally accused her. “Talking back and not fitting in.”

“Fitting in is sometimes hard for a Greenbean. And I know you are not the most patient one when it comes to dealing with shanks.” Now Nick turned to Kat. “But you have to accept the rules. Never hurt another Glader. We have to trust each other. Best you learn our ways from the start.”

“You tell him!”, she spat.

“I? What did I do?” Gally seemed sincerely taken aback.

“Shut your holes, both of you!” Nick thundered and whistled through his fingers. “Gally, you better keep it nice and slim, you hear me?” Then with his head he gestured toward the girl, and two sturdy boys took her by her arms and led her away. “Slammer for her. I don't like it, but we need some order around this place.”

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