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The Maze Runners
“So...you ready to figure this maze out?” Isabel asks me.
“Um, yeah, sure,” I say, not letting on that I am scared to go into the ginormous field of corn that stretches out a mile long in front of me. I mean what ten-year-old wouldn’t be frightened, but then again, everyone else in my class has probably already been in and out of the maze about three times. I must be the mature and fearless fifth grader that all the younger grades expect.
“Are the other girls still playing house in the wooden hut things?” I ask with a shaky voice as we start walking toward the maze. My feet trip over themselves as I trail behind Isabel along the bumpy grass. I can only hope that she didn’t notice my voice and clumsy feet.
“I think so,” she responds.
“I’m glad I got out of that! All I was trying to do was clean the corn kernels off the floor and then people started yelling at me to go to sleep!” I laughed, grateful that my nervousness was forgotten.
“Yeah, it got weird really fast,” Isabel replies.
“So...we’re just supposed to go in and follow these hint things once we find them?” I ask. Yes, Ara. That’s how mazes work. You went in one when you were seven. Now stop acting like an idiot.
“Yeah, I guess so,” she responds.
We walk for a little while along the muddy path, talking about our classmates and how miserable and soggy this day has turned out to be. I decided to pick up some cobs of corn and pick off pieces to make a trail.
“What are you doing?” Isabel asks me once she looks back and sees me peeling the corn.
“I thought that I could make a trail, in case we get lost or something,” I said, “not that it will do much anyways. This whole path is practically made of corn kernels.”
“Come on, let’s cut through here,” she said while starting to walk down a tiny path between rows of corn.
“But that isn't part of the trail!” I exclaim.
“So… it helps us get out of this maze sooner. The faster we are out, the faster we can go inside where it is warm!” Isabel reasoned, continuing along the shortcut.
“I guess you're right,” I sigh.
“Let’s just focus on getting out of this maze, and then we can get hot chocolate and go back to the zipline,” Isabel says as I finally follow her down the skinny path.
We keep walking, me following Isabel’s lead. The air is so cold that I can barely feel my fingers, which have abandoned the corn kernels and are now shoved into my jean’s pockets. The only noise I’ve heard for the past fifteen minutes was the clattering of my teeth and our feet squishing into the muddy ground. It was too quiet for a corn maze in a pumpkin patch filled with fifty kids. I start to hear a droning, whirring sort of sound. My heart beat faster as fear built up inside of me. I attempt jumping up high enough to look over the corn, but all I manage to see are dead tannish-brown corn stalks. No tractors, no buildings, and no people.
“Isabel?!” I cry out.
“And here's hint nineteen. Didn’t we already see this?” she asks me, seemingly ignoring the sound of my voice.
“Isabel!” I holler. She whips her head towards the sound of my voice behind her.
“Sh!” I cut her off. My frozen ears are filled with the pulsating noise. “Isabel! Do you hear that! That’s a tractor!” I exclaim as my body fills with dread and my heart sinks into my stomach.
“Yeah, that means they left for the pumpkin field without us!”
“Come on, we gotta go!” I yell, and we start dashing through the walls of corn.
“Isabel, this way! The noise is getting louder!” I yell as Isabel starts trailing off behind me. A minute later, we emerge near the entrance. The dirt road leading to the pumpkin field is right in front of me. The dirty red tractor holding the rest of my class is already halfway down the road. They are so far away. How are we going to make it?
“Isabel, we’ve gotta run! They’re already halfway there!” I yell, as I sprint off, leaving Isabel to follow. My fists pump through the air as my feet leap over the ground. I’m slowly getting closer. Just a little farther Ara. I ignore the growing burning sensation in my legs. Slowly but surely, I catch up my distance and find myself jogging next to the tractor, with Isabel beside me, yet no one sees us.
“Hey! Somebody up there! Stop the tractor!” I holler at everyone on the tractor, hoping that someone heard me and stops the tractor. They all turn around and look at us in bewilderment. Mrs. Starns gets the tractor driver to stop and lets us on. As we hop up the steps of the trailer, I think to myself, although Isabel and I make a good team, I’d rather not have another near death experience.