Jan 07
fiction challenge: Labyrinth
Erich.TA's picture

The Labyrinth

I open my eyes. The dim light barely illuminates my surroundings, but I can vaguely make out the corridor I am in. I don't know how I got here, the last thing I remember was how I was on my way to deliver food to a customer. 
Mother usually the one to diver such a thing but she was sick so I had to take her place this time. It wasn't much, just some vegetables and hand-made noodles that someone from another town ordered. We usually don't accept any orders from a different town, but we made an exception because of how much the customer was willing to pay. 
Our business is small, just a local farm establishment that sells vegetables and some fruits. We also make bread and pasta with the wheat that we farm as well. I was given a location, which is odd because usually, we receive addresses to deliver to, not random locations, let alone in a park. But I reluctantly went along with it because of the high pay they were willing to give. 
I was about halfway there when it happened. I saw a figure dash along a rooftop. It was quick, so I thought it was just a cat, but I saw it again, and it was way too big to be a house pet. 
"Hello?" I said to the figure "who's there" I saw a blur fly straight towards me and that was the last thing I remembered.
I look around me again and my eyes start to adjust to the light a little better. I am in some sort of hallway, dimly lit by a torch on either end of the corridor and with turns on either end of it. The walls, floor, and ceiling are made of cold, hard stone. I can start to see the walls a little better and I stand up. 
"Hello?" I ask to the emptiness. "Is anyone there?" when no one answers, I take a closer look at the walls. There are carvings, and hieroglyphics chipped away after the rough beating they have clearly been through.
"Hello?!" I say again, this time louder. Still no answer, only the small echo of my own voice going from hallway to hallway. When I finally get up, the back of my head aches. That must of been where that figure struck me before he brought me here. It is quite humid but surprisingly warm for how cold the floor and walls are. I wonder why I was brought here, I am only a simple farmer who has not done anything to upset any man in a higher power. In fact, I have never even seen a man in a higher power than my town mayor. I start to wander down the hall. when I reach the end, it turns into a fork, with two ways to go. Am I in some kind of maze? I think to myself. I chose one of the paths and wander down it, only for it to also split into two ways. 
I reach down into my pocket. There is nothing in it, so I reach into the next. Only a small amount of bread wrapped in a cloth that I put there for my delivery. How long has it been since then? Hours? Days? I walk for hours in this maze with change, the same dead ends, and forks, the same cold, hard, walls, and hieroglyphics.  I am exhausted, tired, and hungry. Just as I am about to give up, I turn a corner and there is a door. I open it and there is a well light room with a table bearing food on it. More food than I have ever seen. There's roasted ham, Beef stew, mashed potatoes, bread loaves, and so much more. I start to back away. I heard about rich people testing rats, putting them in mazes with death traps, and food. Am I being tested? Did they get tired of watching rats, so they resorted to humans? 
It doesn't matter I am starving I have not eaten since I left for that delivery. I walk cautiously into the room, looking around. I call out once more "Hello? is anyone there" and again, I hear nothing but the echo of my own voice. I start to eat, and once I am full, I stuff as much bread as I can into the pockets of my pants. I start to walk out of the room but then I hear a loud mechanical *click*. I jump back just as a large stone ball almost as tall as I am drops from the ceiling in front of me. I wipe my forehead and try to squeeze my way past the ball. It's no use, so I begin to climb over it. Once I am over it I continue down the hallway. I can feel my elevated heartbeat. I turn down another hallway, then another, then another, until I finally slump down, exhausted, and shut my eyes to fall asleep. 
I wake from a loud BANG as a trapdoor opens and another rock, this time smaller falls from the ceiling. The rock bears a note that reads; If you ever wish to escape, you must get past the guardian on the easter most exit, and use its horn as a key for the lock. As I ponder this, a compass falls from the ceiling. I use it to go east for what feels like an eternity until I suddenly hear a low growl. I turn the next corner as an ax falls from the ceiling right in front of me, nearly chopping my toes off. As I stare in disbelief, I notice a door ahead. I continue and hear the same low growl. As I open the door, a beast comes into view. And behind him a door. That must be the exit I think. As I do the beast or what I know as a minotaur puts its head down and charges. I can't hope to defeat him, but as I think that, I get an idea. I jump out of the way and he crashes into the wall behind me. As I run for the door, the minotaur gets up and charges again. As I jump out of the way again, the beast crashes into the wall, his horn going into the slot. YES, I think as a click opens, I grab the door and open it, just as the minotaur charges for me. I hear a slam as it hits the closed door in front of me. As I look around, I realize that I am in the ally that I got attacked in. I run back the way I came and hope to never go back in there. I never again take any delivery form outside of town, no matter the price, as for me and my family on that farm continue on the journey of life, whatever it may bring.
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