Story a Day Challenge – Day 3 – Right (Maze)

The Prompt

Your character is lost in a maze with the instructions to find a very important document or treasure hidden in its center. Or perhaps the character has lost this important thing, and must find it before the wrong person does. Added bonus points if they must battle a minotaur, dragon or fearsome magical villain.

(A touch pressed for time, so kept this one relatively short. I also followed the prompt a little  more literally, but still had fun coming up with something I hope is interesting to read. RAFO if I get bonus points today!)

 

Right

Daemu clawed at the dense foliage as she rounded another right turn, sounds of pursuit growing ever closer. Always turn right, right?  she thought. Does that even work?  Again and again she turned right. Dead end.

Panicked, but trying to keep her directions straight, Daemu spun around. Toward her pursuers. There has to be more than one with all that racket. Sprinting forward, arm outstretched to follow the wall to her right, Daemu started turning before she could even see the turn. She had felt the curl of the corner first.

She felt the rush of air as her hunter turned the opposite direction only yards after she had passed. For the first time Daemu was grateful for the near darkness. Right, right, right. She snarled in frustration as she was blocked again and had to backtrack.

I’m never going to get out!  Forget riches or treasure. The thing Daemu wanted most was her freedom. Right, right, right.

The  dimly lit open space in the center of a swirl caught Daemu so by surprise that she stumbled. Passages spun out like tendrils. There were seven of them. No. I came through one. Only six. Daemu whimpered at the thought of doing everything she had already done up to six more times. And what if one of these leads to a different spiral with seven more tendrils. Would I even know?

Sobbing in exhaustion, Daemu collapsed. She couldn’t take it anymore. I really will never get out. The finality of the thought broke her heart and she felt numb. Stuck. Forever. She sighed and turned back toward the path she had emerged from.

Instinctively, she took a step back when the man burst through, sword raised. Why is he so small? she wondered, then wondered again at the absurdity of the thought. Daemu screamed in pain as the blade plunged home in her heart. Fire blossomed before her eyes and she was consumed by it. Her final thought: Free!

*****

Henri flung his arm in front of his face to protect it from the fiery blast. Dragon down, he thought, panting. Now to get out. Always turn right, right? He clawed at the dense foliage as he rounded his first right, sounds of pursuit not far behind. Does that even work?

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