I'm making a special treat for you...instead of having this be just another story in my grand comment thread, I am making a new thread JUST for this story!
And the comment thread can be found here!
Maze of Survival
A man feels extreme dizziness, his vision blurred to be nothing but a distortion. He can barely sense a thing; all he knows is that he is alive. He can’t smell, he can’t hear, he can’t talk, he can’t taste, nor can he even feel. He doesn’t even know if he is standing up or not, his vision too foggy to see a thing. The black haze refuses to clear, his body stubbornly refusing to move.
I am so disoriented, he thinks to himself, barely even able to manage the thought.
I can barely see. Can I move? I won’t know yet.
Finally, his vision begins to clear, the black swirling away and slowly being replaced by the silver touch of an apparent wall. His senses slowly return; he smells salt on his back for unknown reason—twitching slightly at his nose—he tastes the cold air around him, the heat still returning to his veins. His hearing is still blank, as his thoughts can barely be felt at all. The previously cold air turns warm, his skin’s hairs lowering. No sweat overruns his body, but he knows it could very well just be his dulled senses.
At least I am alive.
He then thinks about it some more, wondering what has happened to him.
Now, can I move?
The thought occurs to him after he realizes that he had somehow unknowingly stood up earlier. Or had he regained consciousness while standing? He cannot determine that. However, he does feel heavy, as if he had just come from a great burden. Finally confident in himself, he waves his hand in front of his body, revealing the fine tanned structure which he had just now noticed. He didn’t notice the tan before, but then again, he wasn’t paying attention. His whole body wavers a little, but—to him—being alive is enough.
Finally, he regains his hearing. He can hear heavy breathing: his own. Focusing on that, he realizes that he can feel it as well; his chest is pretty compressed. Compressing and then trying to expand great distances to accommodate his lungs. So far, his body is succeeding in keeping him alive, but he knows not how much more he can take. He stumbles greatly, leaning against the metallic wall to regain his support.
My breathing is heavy. I can hear my heart pounding from this confusion. I don’t remember how I got here, nor anything from outside. And that worries me.
He can feel his heart now. Pumping over and over again, it is heavy. The rapid beats thump through his body, vibrating his chest. His ears vibrate in tune with this beat, never ceasing. Thump, thump, thump, the beat now can be felt through his veins as well, his pulse obvious without touching his hand to his wrist.
Taking a look around on all sides, he sees no way out. Above him, there appears to be some type of ventilation, likely the reason why he hasn’t suffocated. Behind him lies a solid wall; a dead end. He is leaning towards the left, so he knows there is nothing there. Looking right, he sees a parallel wall, identical in almost every way. The silver surface reflects his image and he can see that the metal is obviously hard, maybe steel. The passageway he is in seems only wide enough for three people maximum, obviously meant to cause claustrophobia. Looking down, he sees what might be a metal plate, possibly leading down to another level? Hard to tell, but by the looks of things, the place is likely underground. And going deeper underground rarely leads to freedom, so perhaps the ventilation? No, the ceiling is two dozen feet away, too far for him to reach without some type of ladder. And even if he could get in, ventilations—for some odd reason, the memory just pops in—are not known to be able to fit people in well.
Where am I?
Staring straight forward, he sees the passageway branching out a few hundred yards before splitting into three ways: straight, right, and left. This is something that obviously is not normal, so he considers how it could very easily be a maze. And mazes—another random memory popping into his head—are notorious for hiding terrible secrets.
Where ever I am, I doubt I want to be here. The thought is one of desperation, but with nothing else to do, what can he do? He is still slightly disoriented, so he doesn’t even think to look in his pockets or even search his own clothing, but considering what has happened, it is doubtful there would be anything of significance.
I have to escape.
With nothing better to do, he starts moving forward. His vision moves up and down, mimicking his footsteps. Now he can begin to feel the sweat on his body, the liquid finally and miraculously returning to him. The beads start to drop, cooling his body from non-existent heat; the sweat is from fear. The hairs on his skin stick straight up, now showing how the fear is causing him to feel cold as well. He hears his footsteps on the floor, the distinctive tapping on the floor forming a rhythm that he moves by. He moves most of the distance slowly, still unsure what lies ahead.
Every maze has an exit.
Suddenly, something catches his eyes, forcing him to look left. Looking at the wall, he sees something rather peculiar to him.
Writing? I guess I am not the only one to have been here. That is both comforting and worrying.
His eyes zoom in on the writing. The black text shows some signs of fear, represented by the messy curves. Whoever had written this had barely contained the supplies to do this; he can imagine that it is a miracle that this person did not have to write in his or her blood. Looking at the text, he is horrified to learn of the meaning in there; now he believes that whoever wrote that could possibly have been insane.
‘I do not know why I am here, but at least I am alive. I have seen many humans who have been here longer than I, obviously driven insane. They attacked me with what little cleverness they had left after being driven insane--all at different times--apparently no order in their attack. I must get out of here, because I do not know how many more I will be capable of defeating. I may loose my sanity, if I haven’t already. With what I have done, I may have lost sanity the first time I encountered them. I have killed many setting their traps, beating them before I fell into them. I very easily could be mistaken their intentions, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I hear footsteps. I have been lucky so far to only have encountered one at a time, but if they work together, I am doomed. I must run now and pray I live.’
This text affects him greater than he can imagine; this person sounds like he could have once been like him. His memory loss is great; only random figments of his past remain. Little shards of whatever was before mean nothing; he can’t even remember his own name. All he knows that is useful is likely subconscious; he can talk, think, and move. But everything else from before save those random strips remains enigmatical.
He walks away, getting closer and closer to the intersection. He still doesn’t look around his possessions, but he somehow knows he has no weapon. Perhaps the memories of the past have some use; they likely would identify the presence of a gun, sword, crowbar, bat, or the like.
I have no weapon, so I must pray that I find something before these “people” come for new blood: me.
He walks further. Still, the only change is how close he is to the intersection. His pulse remains very high; the only sounds are his pumping heart and his footsteps.
I must be careful.
Finally, he reaches the intersection. His pulse increases slightly and his footsteps stop, but no new sounds greet him. If he went by sounds, nothing new would greet him. That could be bad—not all people could be evil or insane—but most likely, this little fact is a good thing. From what he has learned so far about this place, the insane people could very likely just kill him.
Let’s see what’s to the left.
Veering to the left, he looks to see a familiar sight: a dead end. The pathway goes about a dozen yards before being met with a solid wall; exactly the type of thing that he had encountered when waking up. For all he knows, someone once woke up there, but it would not matter to him; that little offshoot—to him—is worthless.
Turning around clockwise, he finds himself facing what was originally to his right. He looks further, but all he sees is another passageway. In the distance, he can see a wall. However, that wall is not a dead end; that wall branches off to create two more pathways. No different from the way he is currently going, it would be hard to tell which to take. The ninety degree turns can easily become a trap, so what should he do?
A passageway that I may take, but I’d rather go strait. This definitely is a maze.
Moving forward some more, he begins to hear his own footsteps again, his eyes again moving with the vibration of his body. However, he has managed to tune out that sound. What he hears is not his own footsteps. And he is guessing that is bad.
I hear something.
He looks strait for a good few seconds; the same passageway he had set forth for remains there, undisturbed. If someone is there, they are behind one of the ninety degree turns far ahead.
Nothing that way.
For a second, he looks to his right, ridiculing himself at how stupid that is.
There’s a wall there; it couldn’t be coming from there.
The sound is getting closer. It could be footsteps, but from where? He has no intention to find out, but if he doesn’t locate where the sound is coming from, running might let him literally just run into this person. He looks left, finding the same problem.
Same here; that wall has nothing.
Three directions eliminated, he begins to ponder. The possibly way down he saw earlier comes to mind, so he takes a good look at the floor; it is now metal like the rest of the chamber.
Solid floor here. There is no way the sound could be under me. What’s the mistake the heroes make in the movies before they get devoured? I’m having trouble remembering. This feeling is all so new to me. Oh, right, they do not look up.
Another random memory. More and more of those keep on popping up, but at least he remembered another minute fact that could be important. The sound continues to get much closer.
Nope; there is no gargoyle, snake, werewolf, vampire, or any other monster. Nor is there any human. Just me.
More random memories; he can now see some images from his past. Yet they are doing him no good, so he pushes them aside. The sounds are nearly behind him, so he finally decides to take action.
So it must be from behind. Wait, I can hear it as if it is right…
Suddenly, he feels a red flash; a disturbingly familiar feeling. But this time, he can feel pain. Pain on his head, his vision slowly fades away in the familiar black swirl. However, this time it feels more permanent, as if he will never wake up again. Turning around, he manages to steal a glimpse of his attacker; a lone figure wielding a large crowbar had stuck him and waits his falling. He is lucky enough that this rogue is not striking again, giving him the chance for just a few minutes of extra life. When his vision finally disappears and he is loosing his thought, he sees person who he cannot lay a gender on is hovering above him, ready to claim the spoils of a war that he had never intended to get involved in. No chance to run, no chance to fight. All he can do is let go and pass away.
So, I really face my end, don’t I? This sucks…
< Message edited by mastin2 -- 6/30/2008 2:02:11 >