Rose's MazeA Story by Rowanna
"You will know when the time comes. The time to enter the maze. But we must go now. At the end of the maze is somewhere beautiful. Somewhere we'll be better off." His voice. Jack's voice.
I woke up from my latest nightmare-ridden sleeps and felt a fresh batch of tears clawing at my eyes.
They were dead.
I screamed as another bolt of excrutiating pain short through me and my heart ached longingly. I tugged at the straps that held me down helplessly and my sobs exploded, tearing my convulsing muscles.
I couldn't help it, I just didn't care anymore. My life didn't matter without them.
Two nurses unlocked my door and ran in. They were both pretty with rosy cheeks and a healthy glow to thier skin. They looked happy.
I looked down at my arm, though it wasn't often I bothered to look at anything. My skin was a sickening white and my bones were well defined. It wasn't healthy. Good. I didn't want to be healthy anymore.
The nurses relaxed and sighed, thier eyes pitious as I stopped convulsing and dropped into my blanket of tears yet again.
The blonde nurse turned to the other and asked something. "Nine years", the burnette replied. The blonde returned her gaze to me, the annoying pity burning into me.
They were dead.
They were dead and had been dead for nine years. Nine years I had been locked in this padded cell.
And they were still dead.
And it was never going to change.
The lessening pain renewed itself and I screamed my hidden anguish to the world.
Then something happened. Something that had never happened before.
The pain lifted for the first time in so long and I found myself standing in a grassy field, the grass greener than any I had ever seen before and sparkling with an odd humidity. The air seemed to ripple with magic and the sky was bluer than blue. I laughed - an odd sound, one I ahdn't heard since I was thirteen. I'd been laughing just before it happened. Just before I found out.
Just before I found out they were dead.
The anguish tore through me, stronger than ever before; and although no tears were shed this time, I fell to my knees and clawed at the ground desperately. I couldn't think.
But it soon dissapeared as quickly as it came, leaving me with a heavy weight on my chest, suffocating, depressing.
I continued to lay there and turned onto my side, looking up at the candyfloss floating daintily along. I reached up to them and fell back onto my fornt.
The cool grass caressed my face as I stared at the magnificent silver gates that stood before me. I hadn't noticed them before, I realised. The heavy weight on my chest grew cold and I put my hand up to it. A key. Our key.
A vision, a mirage, crept into sight. Jack lay beside me. I remembered the day Jack had handed me the key. I threw the thought from my mind in fear and sat up.
The gates. They were the gates to the maze.
Jack told me once that at the other end of the maze was somewhere beautiful.
I wish it had been true.
I pulled myself to my feet and realised I wasn;t tired. I cursed myself. Was I getting over thier deaths? For to end my mourning - to stop grieving; it was the worst sin imaginable.
The key fitted perfectly in the lock and the ornate gares swung open with an ancient creak.
I kicked the earth in front of me angrily as I remembered how the strict head nurse had refused to let me keep it. It was just a key on a chain to her but to me it was a link to my past. A past she said I had to 'let go'.
I turned left. It was a trick my father had taught me once. Always stay left. Oh, how willingly my father had let them take me away. How persuasively her had gottend my mother to send me here. This was not my father. My father loved me. My father would have understood my pain.
I twitched and began to run. Left. Left. Left. Dead end. Turn around and follow my new left. Left. Left. Left again. Why was it always left instead of right? Left was such a negative word, 'They left me'. Right was a more positive word, 'It's all right'.
I halted suddeny and threw myself to the ground. It was horrible. I needed to think and that was certainly what I was doing. I just wasn't doing it right. I was thinking so much that I couldn't focus on a particular thought, couldn;t think clearly.
Voices swarmed around me. Distressed but each recognisable. A baby crying. "NO!", I heard someone scream, "SHUT UP!". It was me.
I pulled myself back up angrily and began running wildly in whatever directions. I pushed through the hedges that bordered the paths in the wretched path to death.
A rattle lay on the ground by my feet. A very recognisable, perfectly intact rattle. I heard a baby crying again and I thought of her. My baby. Gemma. I'd managed to hide her from my parents. Ofcourse they found out eventually. When it happened.
What they must've thought! I didn't care by that time and don't now. But they must have been dissapointed. To have child so young was frowned upon by so many. I was twelve.
I sighed and wondered what my parents were doing now. They probably had a new child. A son. One that wouldn't, couldn't let them down so badly. I imagined them laughing in the garden with him; me pushed to the backs of thier minds and forgotten.
Ah, how blissful that happiness must be. The thought stood my hairs on end, though I wasn't at all frightened.
I ran on, at first occasionaly stumbling or falling but soon almost flying. It was like the hedges weren't there, as if I knew the way all of a sudden.
"You will know when the time comes. The time to enter the maze. But we must go now. At the end of the maze is somewhere beautfiul. Somewhere we'll be better off."
His voice. Jack's voice.
I remembered him pressing the key into my hand. Taking Gemma from my arms, Oh! If I had known what terrors lay at the end of the maze back then!
I ran on and on, repeatedly surprising myself with not being tired when really I should be.
Soon I came across a river. It was a dark blue-green colour and choppy waves splashed against menacing rocks jutting out in akward places. It was another recognisable object. If it was an object. It's foreboding waters teased me. "I did it", they smirked, "I killed them".
I remembered the thud of my heart and the nervous disbelief. Jack and Gemma were dead. My lover and my daughter were dead. My world was gone.
I remembered my fists clenching, breaking that little wooden rattle I'd been laughing about with my friends not long before. Gemma's rattle.
Eurgh, I cannot bear the thought of them any longer. I loved them too much.
I used the rocks that had ruined my life as stepping stones and pushed through the hedge to the other side. I had left the maze.
The grass was greener than the grass that was greener than any grass I'd ever seen before that I'd seen at the other side of the maze and the sky bluer than the sky that was bluer than blue which I'd seen at the other side of the maze.
A figure turned and looked at me curiously. It was me, I realised. But I was here, that wasn't possible.
I blinked and found myself in a hospital bed, tubes feeding oxygen into my nose and sugar solution into my mouth. Doctors busied themselves around me, dark hazes dirfting in and out of focus.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeep.
I closed my eyes and found myself looking at the other me again.
Another figure moved behind her, a man in his early twenties. He looked a lot like Jack and was smiling at me welcomingly.
Then I understood.
That wasn't me, it was Gemma. She must be ten or eleven now, almost how old I was. And the man, he was Jack.
I'd reached the beautiful place at the end oof the maze, and I was better off here.
© 2011 Rowanna
Added on March 4, 2011
Last Updated on October 7, 2011
Norfolk, United Kingdom
AboutI am continually rewriting and improving chapters and stories. I have many handwritten stories that still need typing up. I have started on several novels that are currently for my eyes only, but wh.. more..
People who liked this story also liked..