PART III Continued from MAZE ENIGMA
Unlike the paths she has traveled, the widening one before her becomes smooth beneath her feet. The ivy thins, choked by an invisible entity that exposes the stone walls. While she remains cautious, her pace quickens. Her leg continues to ache as she picks up speed. The sound of her breathing swells nearly drowning the footfalls on the dirt beneath her feet.
She hears a humming. Glancing back over her left shoulder a drone approaches, a glowing red display shows a countdown. A robotic voice echoes, sound bouncing off the uneven face of the rocky walls: “Three minutes until detonation.”
A whirring and a breeze overtake her and the drone like a flash of lighting against a dark sky disappears as a blinding sun obscures her forward view. Brighter and brighter into the light she runs, agonizing over each step but terrified to stop.
Without warning, the ground beneath her vaporizes. She hears a disembodied, deafening scream and realizes it is her own. But like a voice encapsulated inside a steel vault, no audible noise emits into the atmosphere.
She falls, appendages flailing at first until she resigns herself to imminent death, and surrenders to the air that forces bits of hair away from her face. She stretches out her arms, abandoning any attempt to stop the inevitable until, unexpectedly, she slows. Time seems to stop.
In slow-motion she passes into an unfamiliar gelatinous realm, neither air nor water. She can barely breathe, the cold blueness in her lungs.
TO BE CONTINUED…