He was light on his feet yet all he could hear was the pounding of his shoes on the ground and the panicked gasps that his breathing was coming in.
Don’t fall, don’t fall.
Luckily, he didn’t. He turned a corner and kept sprinting. The stone walls and tangled ivy all seemed to blur as he raced past, though he could barely manage to notice that.
His feet slipped on some loose pebbles and he scrabbled and clawed desperately at the wall beside him to regain his balance, tearing at thick ropes of ivy as his fingers scraped the stone walls, smearing streaks of his crimson blood in frantic, jagged lines. The pain didn’t even register in his brain. He simply clung to the ivy for a few moments, his legs trembling violently.
Then came the noise.
Click, click, click. Whirrr.
A freezing cold rush of panic crashed over him like a violent ocean wave. He jerked upright, stumbling a bit before he took off running as fast as he could. The loud clicking, whirring, and snarling seemed to be getting closer and closer, causing him to push himself to run even faster.
He suddenly had a thought that nearly caused him to topple over right then and there.
What if he didn’t survive? What if, even though he had done this before, he failed?
The thought rattled him, but he needed to focus, so he pushed it to the back of his mind and kept running.
The snarling, clicking, and whirring of the creature seemed to fade as he got further away, but he kept running, though he slowed down his pace. He cautiously came to a stop and looked around. Nothing more than the ivy-covered stone walls, the sky above him, and the ground. It felt rather lonely.
He walked to the wall and cautiously began climbing the strong ivy, something he had also done before. He knew there was no escape from the maze he was in by climbing up, he was simply trying to hide. All was going well when he heard the noises of the creature again coming closer.
Click. Click. Click. Whirrrrr.
He nudged some of the ivy aside and hid in it, still clinging to a rope of it. Panic was threatening to set it again. He stayed perfectly still, hearing the clicks of the creature. For a moment, it seemed as if the sounds turned into words. His name.
Thomas. Thomas. Thomassssss.
Thomas nearly plummeted to the ground. He gripped the ivy tightly, knowing the creature couldn’t have possibly said his name. It sounded horrifyingly like it did, however. He felt the ice cold of horror rush over him and stay there, leaving him cold and noticeable pale, judging by his now ghostly forearms.
The clicks and whirs started to fade as the creature passed. Thomas let out a quiet breath he didn’t know he was holding. He stayed in the ivy, not moving yet. That was a lucky move.
Suddenly, the loud slams of the sharp metal legs of the creature climbing onto the wall pierced the momentarily quiet air. Thomas had to bite his lip harshly to keep from yelping. A coppery taste invaded his mouth, and he knew that he was bleeding. That was the least of his worries right now.