This story is pure futurist fiction for the Scorum Writer's Contest «Sports and Gambling»

This story is not to be considered an official entry, it is simply for fun and to provide an example of the possibilities. It is my hope that all of our new members and those who are still trying to build an account that will provide them a way to earn valuable cryptos in the days ahead if the world’s financial system were to continue to crumble. Good luck to all of the contestants!

The Rose Maze (Part One)

Tickets to enter the Rose Maze cost one Scorum coin ($126) each along with a Ten Scorum coin (SCR) bond that every participant is required to deposit in an escrow account after signing a none disclosure statement that is good for one month. At the end of the month, unless evidence exists that you have divulged information about the current maze, the ten SCR is returned to your Scorum wallet. Prizes consisting of 75% of the proceeds from the maze entries and many gifts from the Scorum Maze sponsors are shared between each person who satisfactorily completes the maze and is not caught divulging any maze secrets during the specified dates of the contest. After each month the maze is relocated to a different city and reconfigured with new solutions and puzzles to solve.

It has been over a month since I entered the maze so now I can share my experiences with you, but just realize that by now the maze and all of the puzzles have changed, so please do not try to use this information to solve the next maze, I'm told that if you do it will make it much harder for you to solve the next puzzle because the puzzle makers take these things into consideration.

I have no photos or diagrams to show you about the maze so what follows is a theory about how it all works, but keep in mind that this is just my theory and the actual mechanism may be far different. After purchasing my ticket online I was given a date, time, and place for me to begin my journey. I was told to arrive thirty minutes early to attend a briefing and to get prepared for my adventure. This adventure was a gamble and I would very likely lose my SCR entry fee, but on average, the Scorum Maze contest was receiving over five thousand entrants so when I heard that they were coming to my city the temptation of possibly winning more than 5000 SCR ($630,000) was just too much for me to pass up.

The location that I was given was in a large open field on city property which is the venue generally utilized by the State Fair, Fourth of July celebrations, and other large outdoor events. I was told that I could bring a friend or relative if it would make me feel more comfortable but that they would be required to wait in a guest area until I had completed my adventure, Which could take up to 90 minutes. I decided that I didn’t really have any family or friends that would be happy about giving up their time just to sit and wait an hour and a half for me to gamble away my hard-earned cryptocurrency, so I came alone.

It was a very hot day and I was already sweating by the time I parked and made my way across the gravel parking lot. I was greeted by members of the Scorum Maze staff and taken to a waiting area inside a twenty-foot, four-room trailer and was asked to wait and watch the looped videos of past winners being awarded their prizes on a monitor attached to the far wall. The room was adorned with comfortable leather furniture and it adjoined a kitchenette area to my right where I was told there were snacks and refreshments available. To my left was a narrow hallway, the first door on the right was the women’s restroom and the next door on the right was the men’s restroom. I saw that on the left there was a closet and the next larger room was unlabeled but I could hear muffled voices inside and assumed it to be some type of orientation in progress.

The waiting room where I now sat was only about nine feet by ten feet but the central air conditioning unit was working great and sitting there gave me a moment to relax, cool off, and mentally prepare myself for the obstacles that lay before me. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I knew from past reports that it was going to be a mind-bending adventure to be sure. After a few minutes, the door at the end of the hall where I had heard voices opened and the contestant ahead of me, a short chubby guy with thick glasses and a serious look of intense concentration came through the room followed by a staff member without even looking my way, he was then promptly handed off to another member of the staff waiting outside to lead him into the maze.

After being led into the conference room I listened to a short lecture on safety precautions which mainly consisted of understanding that emergency exit doors opened every two minutes and remained open for ten seconds. A nice young man with a classic computer geek look about him explained to me that any time I wanted to end the adventure, or if I experienced an emergency, that I should make my way to the exit sign and wait there until the doorway opened. I was also told that I would be monitored the entire time by hidden camera and if I ever appeared to be in physical distress then an EMT was available on site to assist me. Then they gave me some papers to sign acknowledging that I had been informed of what to do in an emergency and that I knew I was entering the maze at my own risk and that I understood that the maze required both physical and mental prowess to safely complete and that I understood the risks involved. By signing the forms I was agreeing that Scorum Maze was not responsible for accident or injury due to my own error in judgment or misuse of tools and equipment.

After signing the papers I also watched a video that explained that the maze I was entering would be both a mental and a physical challenge to complete and that there would be many different types of puzzles to solve before I could advance to the next room in the maze. It was made clear that if I were caught trying to cheat the maze or take any photographs or otherwise record my adventure I would be immediately escorted from the premises without a refund.

As I left the orientation room I saw two women sitting in the waiting room, one several years older than the other but not so much of a difference in age to be mother and daughter, more likely they were siblings awaiting their turn in the maze. As I passed them, the older of the two looked up at me and I saw her lips form a sort of half-smile that seemed more of an apprehensive gesture of inquisitiveness than actual interest in me as a person.

Once outside I was escorted to the front of the main structure, which seemed to be some sort of large assembly of prefabricated buildings nested atop a raised platform, but temporary blinds and privacy fences had been installed to obscure my view of the entire facility. Over the entrance, there was a beautiful hand-painted sign that simply said “Welcome to the Rose Maze!” Inside I was given a white jumpsuit to change into and the key to a locker to put all of my personal possessions into including my cell phone and any jewelry that I was wearing. The jumpsuit was white with orange reflective strips for each limb and on both the front and back, what was I getting myself into I wondered? I changed clothes in the room designated as the men’s locker room and when ready I was guided to a bench in front of a doorway. Above the doorway was a small light bulb and it was explained to me that when the light came on I would have fifteen seconds to enter the passageway in front of me and follow the hall to the right all the way to the end and wait for the door to the maze to open, I then would have ten seconds to enter the maze. I was also told that the doorway would then become the exit from the maze for that room and that it would open every two minutes for ten seconds. I was told never to go through any door marked exit unless I needed to leave the maze and end my adventure. I was also warned that if I failed to enter the door into the maze when it was open then I would have to wait an additional two minutes to enter the maze and that time would be deducted from the total time of sixty-six minutes that I had to complete the course and be eligible for the prizes.

As I sat on the bench looking around but being careful to not take my attention too far from the light, I noticed that the walls were painted a light pastel green color. The front wall which was now at my back was mostly made up of large windows, the wall to my left had another small bench in front of it and there was a very large ornate bronze clock hanging above the bench perfectly centered on the wall. To my right sat one of the staff members at a very modern if not futuristic style desk, she had a computer screen in front of her and she occasionally answered phone calls and made entries into the computer system using a semi-circular style keyboard as I had never seen before. On the wall beyond the desk were six doorways each with a different colored entryway. The first was white, then yellow, green, red, blue and the last was black.

A few minutes later the light above the doorway turned green and I was on my way through the doorway and turned right down the hall as instructed, which had previously seemed darkened but now it was brightly lit, yet I could see no light source, no light fixtures of any kind and the farther I walked the brighter things got. In fact, everything was white from floor to ceiling and now the hallway was starting to curve to the left.

When the hallway straightened out I glanced behind me and saw only endless white. But now several feet in front of me in bright red lettering hovered a sign in mid-air! It was written in a calligraphic font that read “Rose Maze.” When I reached the sign I was at the end of the hall and had it not been for the sign which had apparently been artfully scripted with reflective paint, I would certainly have ran into the door which simply blended in with the rest of the white around it. Now that I was close to the maze entrance I could see a very subtle change in the white hue where the doorway undoubtedly slid inside of a wall pocket like an elevator door only opening one way.

The door slid open from right to left with a sound that reminded me of the Star Trek television series only much quieter, more like a faint whisper. I entered into an almost completely bright white room and after about three steps I looked back and could no longer see the doorway, everything was just white except for a red exit sign that appeared to levitate a few feet above where the door should have been. Even as I was looking at the oddity of the sign that seemed to be levitating I heard the whisper of the door apparently closing but I could not actually see anything move. Perhaps had I stayed right beside the door I might have been able to see a change but from only a few feet away I could see nothing at all, there was only that slight whisper sound. Within seconds I felt a sudden jerk and sensed motion that stopped abruptly after only a couple of seconds. After that, there was a whirring sound and again I felt motion but it was slow and barely perceptible. Once the motion and the whirring sound had stopped I looked around me at what seemed as if I was in an infinite space, all that I could see was white except for the single exit sign that seemed to levitate above and now behind me a few feet away, and a single red rose that was floating in midair a few feet in front of me.

The white background made the red of the flower and the green of the stem almost overpoweringly beautiful and it seemed to be shimmering. I could feel the floor beneath my feet but I could see nothing but white as if I were standing inside of a seamless and endless white cloud, only I doubt that there has ever been a cloud so blindingly white. I walked toward the rose with my hands out in front of me expecting to eventually come to a wall or something solid, but I simply passed right through the flower as if it were not there at all. Turning around I realized that the rose was actually a hologram image and looking down I could see a small glass eye inset into the floor, glancing up above the rose I could see a similar inset in what looked like about a ten-foot ceiling.

I stood there and passed my hand through the rose several times amazed by how real it looked and astonished by its beauty against a background of pure white. I suddenly remembered why I was here and that I needed to continue my quest, there was not really enough time for casual sightseeing and marveling at modern technology. So leaving the rose behind I continued to walk arms out and after a few steps, I once again heard the Whirring sound and sensed motion under my feet. In a moment the whirring stopped and almost immediately there was a jerking motion for just a moment then I faintly heard the whispering sound of a door opening, or was it two doors? It could have been an echo, but it could also have been another door closer to me than the exit door. I continued as best I could in the same direction that I had started but having stopped to listen and look at the sound I had become a little disoriented. Realizing that this was going to become a problem I looked for the Exit sign and lined it up as best I could with the rose. Assuming that the rose was in the center of the room then if I kept the rose and the sign at my back I should end up on the exact opposite side of the room.

When I was lined up I started out again and had only taken a few steps before reaching a wall. Using my fingers to feel around I found the outline of the doorway and after finding it my eyes adjusted so that I could faintly see the seems. I am right-handed so I began to follow the wall counterclockwise in the room feeling of the wall as I went. I had not gone as far as I expected before I came to another corner and wall. Looking back at the rose and the sign it became clear that the room could not be square and it obviously wasn’t round, my first thought was rectangular, so I started out against the next wall and had not gone far before I felt another doorway and a little past that I hit another corner. It was definitely not a rectangle so doing a quick calculation of the rough lengths and apparent angles I decided that it had to be a hexagram. So I was stuck inside a hexagram how did that help? Okay, at least I’m somewhat oriented but I’m certainly no closer to getting out of the room.

The brightness of the white was starting to cause a headache and soon I would not be able to think at all so I quickly moved on passing a door, a corner, another door, and one more corner before ending up back at the exit sign. Now what? I now knew the room was a hexagon with six walls and six doors. The exit door that I was standing in front of was due to open soon because I was sure that another two minutes had almost gone by. I decided to spend a few seconds just to be sure that the door opened, and right on time I felt the movement and soon heard the sound of the door opening and I was again looking down the hall where I had entered.

As soon as the door shut I headed for the rose again not waiting for the motion to stop. When I reached the rose I passed just my hand through the hologram again and for the first time noticed that the image was completely coming from the bottom, the colored light was on my palm pointed down and there was no colored light on the back of my hand. I then got down on my hands and knees to confirm what I was seeing by placing my palm over the glass dot on the floor, sure enough, the image completely vanished. So what was that on the ceiling I wondered, if it had no function in creating the hologram then it must have some other function, and besides, it was the only other potentially helpful object visible in the room. Standing back up I tried to jump up and get a better look at the small round object. Now I’m five feet eleven inches tall and I can touch the rim on a basketball goal at ten feet above the ground, just barely, but the object was just out of my reach so the ceiling had to be over ten feet high. I did get a slightly better look at it but I could not get close enough to be sure of any identification. If that was my clue, and it seemed to be the only one available, then there must be something hidden in the room that would increase my reach.

I had already been halfway around the room once but I had only actually touched a small portion of the wall. Now I had to make a time-consuming decision, should I go one more time around the room looking for a hidden object or should I just start waiting beside each door to see what happened after two minutes, which was due at any moment? I made the snap decision to rush back to the exit and then move to the first door counterclockwise from the exit and wait to see what happened. If nothing, then I could start a search from that point and keep working my way around the room. I had no sooner arrived at the door when I felt the jerk of motion begin when the whirring stopped and the door opened to my surprise I was back at the exit! The room had moved, I felt it moving, but only the bottom part moved, everything from somewhere just below the exit sign and up had remained stationary. I tried to imagine how that would work inside a hexagram? It could only work because I was in the middle of a whiteout and it was impossible for me to distinguish depth or lines of delineation. In effect, the Exit sign remained in the same position but I was rotating and every two minutes a different door opened for the exit!

There was no way then for me to determine the correct exit door, or even if there would be an exit door before I solved this room's puzzle. I could just stay at one door and try every location but there were five other locations for me to check and for each one, I would spend another two minutes and ten seconds. There was no way out of it now, I had to find something that would help me get to the ceiling and inspect the object above that rose.

So I started out again counterclockwise with my entire body pressed against the wall and my hand as high as I could reach, which by the way turned out to be well under the level of the exit sign. I had just passed the third door when I felt the jerking motion but I just kept going. I stopped at the Forth door and waited for it to open but nothing happened the door just stayed shut so I continued on, but I was pretty sure that I heard a second door or an echo.

Between the fourth and fifth door I felt something on the wall a little over a foot above my head. It felt like a round rod and it moved when I pushed against it. The rod was resting on cup hooks and all were the same bright white like everything else. I lifted it in my hands and tried to inspect it but my eyes would not really focus on it. Don’t drop it I told myself! One end came to a point so I made the assumption that it was a long pointer like a college professor might use while explaining some a large diagram full of formulas and equations on a whiteboard, but of course in its current state, the pointer would do little good for such a professor or his students.

I immediately returned to the rose and reached the pointer up for the object, I was pretty sure by now that it had to be a button. I pushed against the object and I felt it move, but at first, I thought that nothing had happened. Looking behind me I saw a small Yellow sign had popped out about the same height as the exit sign that simply read “Yellow Room.” I had finally found the way out, but even now as I stood in the middle of the room it began to move again. How many times had it moved? How long had it taken me to solve this first room? Did I have any chance at all of making it through the maze? Yes, I thought, Yes I can do this because I have already learned so much about how the maze works. Little did I realize what lay ahead of me, nothing could have prepared me for the black room!

To be Continued?


Thank you for reading my story! Some day I may finish the rest of the story and post it here, or better yet maybe we will be able to live something like this one day soon. I would love to see Scorum sponsored leagues, professional teams sponsored by Scorum or Scorum members, and all kinds of contests operated by Scorum or Scorum members all over the world!