Walls Of Reality
Jenara Harrison, Grade 9, Caroline Chisholm High School
The lights go out. Darkness floods in, obscuring everything. You feel around, biting back panic that threatens to overwhelm you. Every path, every escape route covered in a dark veil. Impenetrable. Turning in circles you try to use your senses but they too are rendered useless. You take a few stumbling steps forward, reaching out your hands. The cold air presses against your eyes and you blink away tears. That's when your fingers encounter a wall, slick and solid. You feel along it, creating a mental picture of a black wall that stretches up into the blackness. When your hands start to decipher what is around you, your panic starts to turn slowly into terror, mind numbing terror. The map in your mind expands to accommodate the vast structure before you. You're boxed in, no way out, only forward, into the dark depth of the unknown. You stagger back as the realisation hits you. This is what it's like. The truth of why nothing ever goes as it should, all those dead ends, pitfalls and corners. The reason why it's unsolved, full of misleading thoughts and actions. No one can escape it.
Something groans out in the gloom. Murky howls follow. Is it never safe? Is there no respite? You lurch into an unsteady run, as fast as you can away from the sounds of death. Maybe you'll wake up. Maybe it's all a dream but you doubt it.
A hiss cuts through the ebony fog much closer than before. You push your legs to their limits. You won't die here, not now, not like this. A raven croaks in the distance, at least you hope; really hope it's a raven. You don't want to know what other horrors this place, utterly devoid of light, could concoct. A beating of wings interrupts your now ragged breathing. You try and run even faster, but a burning has started in your legs and is rapidly spreading, to engulf you.
That's when you slam into something hard, wet and unforgiving. Something chuckles, a deep rich sound. Full of menace and a promise of a slow and painful death. You try to rise, to run, anything but your hands are sticky and something is dripping slowly down your face. It feels awfully like blood. So this is how it ends? Like this? How come some people are given lights and some are given nothing, some are given a way out, but with a blind fold. This is unfair. But isn't it always unfair? When is it ever not?
Silence is filling every crack, every crevice. No escape, no escape it's pounding in your head. Never a second chance. The bitter thought bursts unbidden into your brain. Why you? Why don't you just give up? But you're used to it now, always asking always taunting. It's something you've always got to fight. Always be better, stronger than the urge to just give up. That's what it's like in the never ending maze, that is life.