Mar 16, 2013

The Search

By Fatema Shabbir

“The place is a maze,” James huffed, “we’ll never find the key. And even if we do how will we get back to the gate?”

It was one hour and ten minutes to midnight. James and Cora were trapped in a maze rigged to blow up at midnight and if they didn’t escape by then they would be part of the fireworks.

“This is a sick game,” Cora cried out disgusted.

When they woke up and recovered from the effects of the drug Cora found the note pinned to the grey iron gate.

Find the key before midnight and get out or be roasted, it read.

They got up from the pile of broken bones and rotting flesh that line that floors of the maze and resisted the urge to vomit.

The place had no lights. In the distance an owl hooted. The moon had hidden behind grey and heavy clouds that threatened to rain down, denying them any ease in their task.

Suddenly they heart leaves rustling and twigs cracking. They jumped and turned to face the noise. Nothing. There was nothing there.

At forty minutes to midnight they saw something silver glistening in the distance. Despite their condition they broke into a smile. They ran for the key. When they reached the bush, they looked around and to their horror the entire row of bushed was lined with glistening silver keys; some broken, some rusted, some small, some big. They stood there for a moment dumbstruck.

“Which one?” James asked.

Silence engulfed them as precious seconds trickled by.

“418! 418!” Cora exclaimed “That was the number on the door!”

They nodded and split up. If the key was there they had to find it soon; they only had thirty minutes to go. They had covered nearly half the path when a shrill voice from behind laughed. Instinctively they ran to each other.

“I don’t think it’s here.”

“Me neither,” James sighed.

They left the path and moved to the next one, then the next one. They were running out of time. Just when they were about to give in they reached the heart of the maze. There lay a pristine white almost glowing slab of marble, on it was the key.

“It’s too easy,” James whispered but Cora had already made a run for it.

She almost tripped on a skull with its mouth hanging open. She hesitated as she heard feet shuffling nearby, when she stopped to look there was nothing.

She felt the key calling out to her, mesmerized she ran to it again. When she reached it she picked it up without hesitating.

From about her she heard a faint crackle. That was the last thing she heard. The chopping block came fast and there was no time to react. Her blood sprayed onto the horrified James as her head rolled over to the other rotting remains on the pathway. The key fell from her hand and slinked again the white marble.

“59… 58… 57,” a robotic voice from the distant speaker began the countdown.

James grabbed the key and dashed for the gate. Fear for his life has helped him remember the exact way. He wasted no time.

When he reached the door and turned the key it got stuck. Jammed, the door only creaked. James shook it with everything in him, but to no avail.

“3… 2… 1,” the voice dies out as James pushed harder and harder.

A loud band, that was the last thing he heard as a cloud of fire erupted from the heart of the maze, quickly making its way to all corners.

James closed his eyes ready for the blow.


Post a Comment