Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FERHOODLE (confuse or mix-up) (03/03/16)
TITLE: The Maze
By Sara Harricharan
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I find her, bedraggled, at the end of the concrete garden walkway. Dropping to my knees, I reach for her, recoiling at her gored stomach. So much blood. So much wrongness.
Her face twists in pain and relief.
She didn’t want to die alone, I think.
In one hand, a glowing crystal, beckons. Shaped like a sea urchin, spiky and unusual.
She smiles at me.
Now I’m holding the crystal. I stare at her, confused.
Her hand goes limp.
I feel for a pulse, a heartbeat—anything but emptiness, but it isn’t there. I back away from her torn figure. The bloodstained white nightgown and bare feet are the mirror image of me.
She is not the first one I’ve encountered in The Maze.
Clattering hooves sound nearby.
The crystal cuts into my hand. I stop long enough to wipe my bloody hands on the edge of my nightgown. It looks black, even though I knew it to be red.
Tearing another strip from the ragged hem, I wrap the spiky crystal in it. The light continues to glow.
It will find me, if I can’t hide this.
This Maze is a garden of horrors sporting thick, thorny hedges with grotesque surprises and accents. A carnivorous plant defends the only water fountain I’d discovered. Snakes twine around the pillars of fruit—now rotted—with flies buzzing about.
Things I didn’t want to think about. Things I want to forget. Like how I haven’t always been here and what I did to make them bring me here.
It must’ve been awful.
I wish I could remember what.
My feet ache. I should rest and save my energy. It’s only safe to walk at night.
Snorting and blowing sounds echo eerily down the walkway.
I shiver. Forget resting.
This light must be calling it.
I’ve never seen such a pretty thing. It feels like hope. I don’t want to leave it behind.
For the first time in days, I feel as if I could find a way out.
Heavy footsteps approach.
I stuff the cloth-wrapped crystal in my mouth.
It tastes awful.
Both hands come up to cover my face, hoping to hide any residual light.
I can still smell blood on them.
The head appears first. Great and horned. A fat gold ring hanging from a fat nose. A broad face and gleaming teeth.
A Minotaur isn’t supposed to have sharp teeth.
Madness shines from red eyes. It prowls past my still form.
It only chases things that move.
I stand, frozen.
Waiting. Watching. Trying not to breathe.
The Minotaur strolls by—the massive battle-axe, shouldered. The blade is bloody—and so are the horns.
It’s hooves sound gaily on the walkway as it trots off, tail twitching.
I am grateful it can’t see over the walls.
Eventually, I no longer hear it.
My hands drop from my face. I spit out the nasty mouthful.
The taste lingers.
I spit twice—but on my feet. I don’t want to leave any traces on the walkway. My feet grow colder, but my mind, sharper.
The North Wind, blows like this.
My mother once told me that all hope rises in the East, for that is where the Sun deigns to appear every morning.
I walk in the direction that seems to be East.
When I find the exit, I swear I am dreaming.
But it is there. A wide field of bobbing silver grass and a massive stone building far off in the distance—with people.
Crouched at tables, hunched over in front of glowing blue screens, in fancy suits and ties.
A man with shades grabs my arm and pulls back one torn sleeve, to read the tattoo. “District 13 is cleared,” he shouts. “Release them from the siege.”
I’m shoved into a pair of waiting arms and wrapped in a scratchy blanket. Someone tries to take my temperature and someone else tries to take my crystal.
I fight them.
They stop when the crystal lies glowing on the grass.
“She’s found the light!” A cry rises up.
The crystal flies to my hand, avoiding everyone else.
The rough hands trying to help me, gentle now. They ask questions as they herd me towards the building.
I wish this were just another nightmare.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.