I rest for a while. Now is time to get up and try once again to find an exit. Walking and looking for markings on the walls, a stain, a scratch, a spider web I haven’t seen yet. Nothing. Perfect walls, untouched. I examine one of them looking for imperfections. Nothing. The maze looks like a work from Nature itself, a little trap created by the forces that rule the universe so they can have fun watching vermin like me struggling for a little bit of sunlight.
I walk ten more steps ahead. Crossroads. Left. Twenty steps. Fork. Right. One hundred steps. Two hundred. Five hundred. I can’t count it anymore. Crossroads again. Or is it the same from before?
I need to mark the walls, but I have no tools… only my own hands. I take a deep breath and begin to scratch the wall. Nothing. One of my fingernails breaks in the half. It hurts. It really hurts. I look up to the wall. I can’t give up. I punch the wall with all my strength. I hear the noise of something breaking. Pain shows me it’s only one of my fingers. I sit down on the floor, my back against the opposite wall. I watch while my blood on the wall slowly fades, first into a light pink color, then into complete unexistence.
I close my eyes for a few seconds. Silence. I can only hear my own breath.
Suddenly I hear something else. It starts weak like a heartbeat and little by little it grows louder. They sound like footsteps. Salvation? A spark of hope is lit. I get up and walk carefully towards the sound. My heart beats stronger on each step while the sound gets louder.
And then my joy slowly turns into fear. Yes, they’re footsteps. I’m sure they are. But they are not footsteps of a human being. The sound doesn’t seem to follow any kind of rhytm or pattern. The silence between the steps is uneasing, and it seem like that thing doesn’t belong to my world, as much as this labyrinth. I stop for a few seconds to catch my breath and then I start running on the opposite direction as fast as I can.
Crossroads. Ahead. Twenty steps. Crossroads. Left. Fifty steps. Fork. Left. Thirty steps. Crossroads. Right. I can’t count anymore. Dead end. A huge wall appears in front of me and there’s nowhere to go. I hear the damned footsteps behind me now, coming closer and closer.
I sit with my back against that wall. I’m tired, very tired. I don’t care anymore. The thing can come and destroy me at once. I don’t have any hopes of getting out of here alive. I close my eyes. I hear the footsteps approaching and keep my eyes closed, waiting for the end.
Then it stops. The thing is right in front of me. I can hear its heavy breathing. For many seconds I can only hear that breathing in front of me. I open my eyes.
What I see is something that I just can’t describe. It looks awful, the shape doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m paralyzed, staring at a single eye in the creature’s head. Then it sighs. A strange sigh of disappointment. Turns it’s back on me and walk away towards the dark hallways of the maze.
I sit there for a while. I can’t tell how long. Time just doesn’t make any sense anymore. I need to rest. I sleep.
When I wake up. I’m a little less tired. I Get up and walk, looking for the exit once again. The possibility of seeing that creature in one of the crossroads of this place makes my heart beat faster and faster. Now that I think about that eye, I thing I understand what makes me so scared about it.
It looks a lot like my own eyes, but a bit more tired. A few centuries more tired, I guess.
Original Author: mattumpierre