Darkness

March 6, 2009
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My senses had sharpened. I could feel the adrenaline pulsating throughout my exhausted body. I was tired, yet I continued to breathe slowly and silently. I was alert and aware of my surroundings as my instincts became more acute. And unnerving sense of danger emanated within. I could feel the presence of nature, and I knew that I was on my own. My thoughts were shrouded in fear and I needed to clear my mind. As I took a minute to regroup, calmness and determination replaced my anxiety. I had been in a life-sized hedge maze for over an hour, and I was completely lost. To make my situation worse, the sun had just dipped below the horizon and complete nightfall would soon be at hand. If I was in the maze for over three hours, my friends vowed to come looking for me. But having to be rescued would be humiliating, and I knew that completing the maze on my own was a feat that I had to accomplish. I pressed on.
Any previous sense of direction that I had possessed quickly dissipated, leaving me feeling helplessly alone. In front of me lay a long dark corridor branching out into countless other sections and behind me was the pathway from which I had come. I figured that pushing on forward was a better idea than backtracking, so I walked about fifteen feet and took the first right. The sight made my heart sink. In front of me lay not the exit to the maze, but more endless paths. The reality quickly sank in. The maze was huge, as if created only to me crazy. In front of lay countless decisions and behind me lay countless decisions. But I had been in this type of situation before, and I knew that doing nothing was the least productive way of getting out on my own.
Just then I heard a shrill scream echo from within the hedges. By this time it was completely dark, and I figured that the scream could only come from one of two sources. Either my 'friends' were messing around and trying to scare me, or I was losing my mind. A rustling in the bushes around me made my blood run cold and I froze where I was. The sound became louder as rustling came closer, and I was thinking that a harmless joke had just turned into a cruel prank. Or perhaps it was worse. Maybe I was doomed to rot in this unforgiving maze with the unspeakable demons lurking just around the bend. I waited. I considered running, but my legs refused to move. I could hear my watch ticking in the dead silence of night. Moments turned into minutes and I stood frozen in what seemed like an eternity. Finally I heard no sound emanating from the dark hedge, and I decided to continue forward, to make a desperate attempt at escaping.
For the next hour I proceeded to run around corners, and take innumerable lefts and rights until I finally saw an end to the maze. I rushed forward, only to find that I was leaving thru the same opening from which I had come. My friends were waiting for me loyally, but they were not laughing at my expense like I had expected. They were quiet, and as I gazed into their eyes, I saw pure fright. I knew before they told me that they had nothing to do with the screams or the rustling in the maze.





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