Summer Writing Club: Week ONe
From Labyrinth to Paradise
I gradually opened my eyes. I didn’t want to escape the warm clutches of sleep, but something in my head was nagging me that I must. Where was I? My body had no will to get up, to move or stretch after who knows how long of lying here. I tilted my head to the left. Lying there in the snow beside me was a key, very large at that. I picked it up. It was very heavy and at closer inspection, I could see the slightest details inscribed in the key. I saw patterns of vines with roses curling around the handle and then I saw it. An exquisite carving of an acorn adorned the very top of the handle. It was, in a strange, fascinating way, enchanting. I stared at it; it was mesmerizing. When I could finally wrench my attention away from the engraved acorn, I noticed an elegant note tied to the key with a maroon ribbon, just below the handle. I carefully untied it and placed the ribbon aside. I carefully looked at the delicately written words, in a dainty, cursive hand. I read the words once, then twice, and even thrice. According to the letter, I had until sunrise to solve the labyrinth. I finally stood up and stretched some. I took a deep breath, knowing that this would be my last moment of peace for a while.
I looked to the sky. The sun was just going down now, so I would have all night to solve the labyrinth, I thought positively. But even now, before my endeavor has even begun, drowsiness tugged at my eyelids, coaxing them to fall and for me to sleep soundly. But I knew I couldn’t let that happen.
Ahead of me was a huge wall, and directly in front of me was a humungous door, with the exact same acorn on it as was engraved in the key handle. I glanced at the key, then back at the door. I started to walk forward, key in hand, adventure in mind.
I stared at the giant door. I took I deep breath, and put the key in the lock. Except the door wouldn’t open. I tried pushing the key in farther, but it was as far in the lock as it would go. I jiggled the key vigorously and tried turning it again. The door stood as still as stone. I again jiggled the key and tried once more to turn it. The key turned with ease and I heard a light click, signifying that the lock was now unlocked and the door was open. I push open the door, which was surprisingly light. What was even more surprising was what this supposed “labyrinth” really was; a forest. This forest was different though, it was extremely dark, and I couldn’t see the sky. It was almost as if the whole world stopped half-way up the trees. I stared for a moment, yawned, then began my trek through this strange forest.
I stumbled blindly through the bare trees and knee-high snow. I couldn’t see very much in front of me. I seemed to be yawning constantly; I was exhausted. This seemed to go on for forever. Everything went by in a blur as my eyes glazed with sleep. I glanced up to see if it was sunrise. It must be sunrise by now, I thought wearily, but then I was reminded of the pure blackness overhead, almost like a cloud, blocking my view of the sky. I sighed. I was so tired, that sometimes I’d just close my eyes while I trudged along, willingly taking the risk of colliding with a rock or a tree. I had done this many times, thinking about just lying down in the snow and sleeping, when I crashed into something. This thing was definitely not a tree, or a rock, it was too solid and expansive. I drearily opened my eyes to small slits, but then opened them wide; I was fully awake. A massive wall loomed in front of me. I glanced left and right, but still could not see where this wall ended. To my slight left, though, was an intricately engraved door, with the same acorn as on the first door and key. I shuffled over to this new door, and cautiously opened it up, as it had no lock. Inside, was paradise.
Everything anyone could possibly need was inside that place. Gardens with juicy, ripe fruit plentiful on every tree. All sorts of vegetables growing large and strong in long rows. A cart with paper, pens, and books, which, to be honest, is all I could ever need. I saw animals of all sorts galloping, grazing, playing, and sleeping on rolling hills just past the gardens. Everything seemed to go on forever, and everything was there, everything I would ever need. In the middle of this utopia was a large cottage. I longed to entered the cottage, but I hesitated. Should I leave, and go back to where I came from? Should I leave this paradise and go back to that miserable labyrinth? I turned to consider this, but when I did, there was no door, just a huge wall with no way to the other side. The door had disappeared. I turned back to the cottage, since I had no way of going back to the labyrinth. I opened the door to this grand, yet cozy home. There was a kitchen, and a beautiful, round wood table in the center of the room with four matching chairs. Peeking into other rooms, I found a bathroom with running water (I would definitely take a warm shower later!). I discovered a pleasant bedroom with a pair of pajamas neatly folded on top of a queen sized bed buried in warm blankets. I snatched the pajamas and practically floated to the bathroom. I delicately changed out of my cold, wet clothes and into the fresh pajamas. They felt blissful against my skin, now free of those dirty, old clothes. I sauntered back into the bedroom and melted into the warm blankets. Just before I closed my eyes, I thought of the paper and pens I saw on the cart before I entered the cottage. Maybe I’ll take some paper and pens. Maybe I’ll write my story someday. But for now, I can sleep.
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