Here is my story from today’s Lost in a Maze prompt (thank you, Leslie!). This kind of meandered around and needs a lot more development to be a reasonable story, I think (I never got really focused on the bigger questions of what was going on, because I wasn’t certain, so…).
Anyway, it also owes a lot to my current near-obsessive listening to the Welcome to Nightvale podcast.
Fog and Mirrors
The fog is thick, thicker than I’ve ever seen it before.
But that is the least weird thing that has happened today.
When I first woke, with my eyes still closed, all seemed well. Than I cracked open first one eye, then the other.
I have no idea where I am. There, I said it.
Let me back up. Waking, I found myself laying on a low bench. It was soft and comfortable. I was outside and the grass was soft under my feet as I stood. This is not where I had fallen asleep.Or at least I don’t think so. I believe I fell asleep as usual in my bed last night, but I cannot clearly remember that specifically.
And, although it seemed so clear and obvious when I first awoke, I am having a progressively more difficult time bringing to mind ‘home’ and ‘bed’ clearly.
The fog that I previously mentioned means that I cannot see much beyond this small space around the bench. I am going to explore, though. I will report back.
I am no longer at the bench.
I do not know where I am, though. I left the area where the bench was by circling out further and further into the fog until I found a path leading away. Carefully, I have followed the path.
The bench must have been in a clearing, as it was a much larger space than where I am now. The path is bordered by shrubs slightly taller than I, so I suppose this must be a sort of maze. Or at least, I think so. The fog is playing tricks with me and I could be wrong.
I am not sure whether I should keep walking or not, as I don’t know what I’m looking for or where I am going.
But I have realized that I left my notebook, that was in my hand when I woke up, in the clearing, on the bench, where I was.
At least, I think it was my notebook. It was in my hand.
I wish I had looked inside of it when I had the opportunity.
I have decided to go back to the clearing with the bench, although I am not sure if I can find it.
I turn around 180 degrees and begin in that direction, walking slowly. The fog is as thick now as when I woke up.
I think. Maybe thicker.
I start to walk back and I can hear my steps echo.
So I stop. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Maybe I should never have left the bench in the first place, but I guess it’s too late for that now.
I think I can still hear my steps, but I am standing still. I look back to where I have been and I think I see a shape. A big, hulking shape with a long neck, perhaps? A swinging tail?
I refuse to believe it’s a dragon and I keep on walking.
I try to keep my breath calm.
The air is neither hot nor cold. And despite this heavy fog, it does not feel particularly humid.
How far had I walked from the bench before I turned around? I have no idea.
I think I hear a sound in front of me and, without thinking, I run towards it.
Another shape? Is it a pointed hat? A flowing cape? A magician perhaps, I laugh to myself, because I get closer it vanishes.
If it was ever there in the first place.
My breath is coming faster now and anxiety is building as my stomach twists and my head feels light. I want to go home.
I wish I remember what that was. Where that was.
I try to calm myself by walking briskly, but not running. It cannot be that far now.
Was that a roar behind me? I twist to look, while still moving forward.
I refuse absolutely to believe that is a minotaur, so I will say no more about it.
I am not in some sort of low rent YA fantasy novel. I will not entertain the premise.
I walk more quickly, breathing fast. I try to keep my mind still, blank, empty.
I will not think of anything.
Eventually – and it felt like forever, although I know it was not – I find the bench again.
And my notebook, lying discarded on the grass.
With a sigh of relief, I pick up the notebook and lay down on the bench, slowing my breathing.
I am falling asleep, but I am worried what will happen if I do.