PAIGE 110 - GOING UP

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Level one: parking and reception, level two: haberdashery and knitware, level three: plush toys and electronics, level four through six: furniture, kitchenware, outdoors, level seven through eight: groceries and miscellaneous goods, level nine: CERTAIN DOOM!

At least that's how I imagined it when I pressed the elevator button. I pressed it, and it went up. There was a nice invisible lady that said "going up," and I thanked her for the information, since we were on level one and there was no below ground parking. When we reached the top, she said "level three" and I thanked her for passing me through the first two levels without any cheat codes or anything, but then I had the sudden thought that that probably I meant I was in for a boss.

And I was. As I met the boss, my hands started shaking a little, but then I told myself, now pull yourself together Livi, or actually I need a good gaming name, like Helga. Is Helga a good gaming name? I don't game. At least it's Viking. So I clenched my fists to stop them shaking, and it worked a treat. Butterscotch candy, actually. But then the boss said you dropped your envelope. Ouch. My health bar had taken a hit. So I unclenched one fist and grabbed the envelope with it. I stood up and said, "pleased to meet you. Thank you for making time to see me." Crack! Wham! Bam! Pow! One point to Helga. Then he stretched out his hand to meet mine, and I also stretched mine out. Then he froze for a minute and I also froze, not sure of why he was freezing. Then I realized. We were playing jan ken pon and I was still in the rock position. Helga loses round. Then I changed to paper, and we shook hands. It was deuce.

You wanted to see me? he said. Yes, I did. Although I have 20/20 vision according to my opthalmologist, so even at fifty metres I had seen him. Helga scores point. No hiding now, boss. I said, "yes, I am experienced in stocks, and have come to offer my services." His brows knit, and he said, "this is a department store, miss. We don't trade stocks, I'm afraid. But thanks anyway." Ouch! Helga loses a life. But behold as she makes a swift return: "oh sorry, I mean as in department stocks. Stock stocks. Stocking stockings and socks. Stocks." "Oh, you have experience?" Point goes to Helga. Viking crowd roars as battle intensifies. "Yes, I worked at the local convenience store up north run by Des." "Oh, Des? Well, I'll definitely keep you in mind. Thanks." Boss turns away, Helga has not yet delivered scroll of enchantment! Helga does double backflip over inflatable flamingoes, says "please, take my resume." Gameplay is resumed. Boss says "thank you, unfortunately we have no positions available at the time. However, I can hold onto it if you'd like."

Game. Set. Match. Bishop to King R-19. Stalemate ensues. Has Helga won? Crowd goes mild.

- Livi.