PART II CONTINUED FROM Out of the Maze
Each uneven step causes a painful hobble, her ankle swollen. Unlike the beginning of this maze with its dead ends and sharp angled turns, after the first 50 yards, it curves to the right so abruptly that Stick Chick cannot see more than 10 feet ahead.
The walls twist and turn in spirals and arcs making it difficult even with the sun now higher in the sky to gauge her direction. She cannot afford to look upward and continue moving at the same time. Being careful, she avoids touching the walls.
“What was that awful alien sound I heard before?,” she wonders.
Mid-curve a fork appears. She chooses the left path and disappears from sight around an arc.
She thinks about the sign again. One hour. Ignoring the stinging feeling that moves upward to her calf, Stick Chick runs fast passing small outcroppings and moving through portals that lead her onward. Tenor grumbling sounds and odd twitters frighten her. Jittery, she is almost breathless when she stops cold, shocked to find a dead-end.
Frustrated, she tries to guess how much time has passed and what will happen when time runs out. The passage of time feels warped. Has it been one minute? Five? Fifty? Why does her brain feel muddled? Her legs feel rubbery and heavy.
Anxious, Stick Chick turns heading back the way she came, but realizes immediately that the path looks nothing like the one she just ran through. It is long and straight. Is it the same one? How could it not be?
Ahead, a crumbling wall covered in green ivy beckons. Perhaps an escape lies just beyond.