Gwen wandered the halls of the new building, trying not to freak out.  Getting around this place felt like trying to get around Manhattan blindfolded with a Urdu-speaking guide who couldn't tell Central Park from Grand Central.  Or like trying to navigate Washington, DC on the Fourth of July while galloping backwards in a perpetual state of vertigo.

She sat down on a bench, her head drooping.  It was hard being a newbie.  There were others from her home turf that she bumped into occasionally, but it just wasn't the same.  It was hard to cope with the large space, the huge number of people, the utter confusion.  It just didn't feel right.  It didn't feel right at all.

Gwen stood up resolutely.  There was a small landing nearby.

I've been one to voice my opinion, she thought.  To them I might sound like I'm complaining, but I don't know if other new arrivals feel at all the same.  It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

She mounted the impromptu stage, gathering her strength. 

"Friends, Ficleters, Protagonizers," she began, "lend me your ears..."


A few days later, people came up to her regarding her speech, saying they'd be happy to help her out.  Others encouraged her to spread some old familiar favorites to be discovered or rediscovered.  She kept bumping into old familiar companions.

She still wandered, she still got a bit lost.

But things started looking up for Gwen.

"Y'know," she said to herself with a smile, "I think I just might be able to learn to put up with this place."

The End

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