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The Economist

Editor’s note: read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, Part 6 here, and Part 7 here.


The door opened with a whoosh. It did not make a “plop” sound as Laurel had thought it would. It also closed with a whoosh.

“We call this place the Reading Room,” said the officer. “It’s an ideal place for one to spend some quiet time apart from everything, reading. Many people become very intelligent while they’re here. We have an excellent selection of books and magazines, even daily newspapers for your perusal.

“There’s just one rule you need to know: never tell anybody—or the illusion will be broken. And you’ll forget everything. Remember that.”

“Where am I?” said Laurel.

He tied a blindfold around her face. She twitched a bit and moved her neck around as if expecting to see something.

“Sit,” said the officer she was with. “Now.”

A sense of danger overwhelmed her, as if a crisis was brewing only she didn’t know what it was. She didn’t know anything anymore. There were only details that didn’t make much sense.

Nobody said a word. The room was small, smaller than the other room she’d been in so far. She knew the grey steel had eyes.

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Dylan Matthias
Dylan Matthias
Dylan served as Editor-in-chief of the Gazette for Volume 144. He was the Sports Editor for Volume 143.

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