Out of the Maze

Prompt#2: You wake up one morning and find that you aren’t in your bed; you aren’t even in your room. You are in the middle of a giant maze. A sign is hanging from the ivy: “You have one hour. Don’t touch the walls.” What’s next?

To her left, a high stone wall draped in morning glories burst open announcing a new day, and a root-covered pathway suggests decades passed since another traversed here.

Stick Chick contemplates her immediate surroundings. Scrabbling to her feet, she wipes the sleep from her eyes. She reads the sign again. One hour.


For the moment she envisions a pursuer. Wishing to avoid confrontation, she scurries to her right about 30 feet where the path abruptly turns right. Ahead, perhaps 100 yards, a courtyard beckons.

Wasting no time, Stick Chick moves forward until a gnarled root bends her ankle, sending her a touch off balance. Domino-like and only one footfall away from entering the courtyard, her left shoulder ever-so-slightly brushes the wall, causing a deafening, screeching bellow akin to an animal yet somehow alien. Startled, and with a final step, she reaches its center.

Like spokes of a wheel, eight arches extend outward from the courtyard. Another bellow leaves her no time to choose a direction. With no idea which will lead her out of the maze, a new question forms. “Where will I end up?”

The sun glints laser-sharp above the walls over her right shoulder. Without hesitation of conscious choice, Stick Chick embarks on the pathway leading southwestward. As she steps through the portico, a winnowy shadow passes in her periphery. Sensing a watchful voyeur, she bolts. Behind her the remaining archways into the courtyard collapse obscuring all paths not chosen.