• Death’s Labyrinth
    Written by ellewantsdango

    While three brothers were traveling in the depth of a forest, they came upon a sprawling labyrinth. It’s towering, thick hedges made it look shady, dark and spooky inside. A single wooden sign, old and forgotten, lay just a foot from the labyrinth’s entrance. The three brothers walked closer to the labyrinth, inspecting the mysterious maze. The oldest of the three, Amadeus, bent and picked up the sign.
    “Beware,” it read, “Death comes to those who enter,”
    “Ha!” exclaimed Amadeus, standing up, “that is nothing. Death will never get near me for I am big and strong. Death will fear me.”
    “Hmm, Are you sure?” said Cornelius, the second brother, “Wouldn’t it be troublesome to solve this big of a maze?”
    Amadeus turned to him and smirked, “don’t be so lazy, Cornelius!” Amadeus stood up and threw the piece of wood away, “Besides, you have me. I’m smart enough to solve this in not time”
    “But brother,” piped in the youngest of the three, Claus, “The labyrinth looks dangerous. Let’s just go through the next path,” said he, pointing to a river, “there.” Cornelius looked at him incredulously.
    “Claus, that is more troublesome than going through the labyrinth! I say we go for the labyrinth,” said Cornelius firmly, walking to the labyrinth’s entrance.
    “Come on Claus, the sooner we get in the sooner we could move on,” boasted Amadeus. Defeated, Claus followed his brothers inside the shady labyrinth. They entered and lit up their torches, walking cautiously in the dark. After some time of walking, they came across three paths.
    “Which path should we go through Cornelius?” Claus asked.
    “I don’t know. Ask Amadeus, he is the genius,” they both turned to Amadeus. It seemed like he was in deep thought.
    “My instincts tell me we go to the right.” He said, stuttering, “Yeah that’s right.”
    “Amadeus, I think it’s this way” says Cornelius, pointing to the left, “It looks much shorter. I‘ll go this way, ok? I’ll send a signal if I find the entrance.”
    “No! Cornelius, we should stay together or you might get lost.” Claus was unheard for Cornelius already ran disappeared from view.
    “Hmm, maybe he is right. We should go to different paths and find out which the right path is,” Amadeus said, picking up his belongings, “Are you set, Claus?” asked Amadeus.
    “Brother, I think we should stay together.” Suggested Claus but, Amadeus paid no heed to him and went to the right.
    “You go check what that trail leads to. If you get the right one, send a signal to tell us you’ve found it. Bye!” Amadeus disappeared in the fog. Cautiously, Claus went. As he walked, he heard the soft rustling of the bushes. He paused, making sure he was alone and resumed his walking, but then, he heard it again. He checked if someone was following him but, he saw no one. When he turned to resume his walking, though, he was surprised to see a dark phantom like creature hovering above him. He fell in fear, but uttered not a word for he was too shocked and afraid to even speak.
    “Claus, I have visited your other brothers and they seem quite,” The phantom said, his voice icy, “fun.” It chuckled, “You’re probably wondering what I am,” he paused, “I am Death, the owner of this labyrinth.”
    Claus gasped, “What have you done to my brothers?”
    “You’ll see.” He chuckled, “Follow me.” Claus stammered behind the floating Death. “At the end of my labyrinth is a prize,” He explained, “No one has ever gotten to the end. You see, this prize, ” Death paused, “it’s your life,” Clause whimpered, “It’s either you win and live or I win and,” He stopped and thought, “Well, let’s just say you won’t be too happy to see me win.” He grinned widely at Claus and said, “If you choose to live, I suggest you run now. My labyrinth is feeling hungry again.” Then he vanished. Claus ran fear running through his mind until he reached another intersection. He saw Amadeus.
    “Claus! Are you alright? Have you seen,” He gulped, “Death?” Claus said in between pants.
    “Yes. Yes, I have, we must help each other and escape! He told me that his labyrinth’s getting hungry.” Amadeus gaped at him. “Are you kidding me? It’s every man for himself!” He said collecting his stuff and running down the opposite path.
    “Amadeus, what about Cornelius? We can’t just leave him!” Amadeus stopped in his tracks and turned to Claus, his expression grave.
    “Claus, Cornelius got caught in the vines. I saw him sink and I could’ve stopped it, but I couldn’t. I was too late.” Claus stared at his brother for some time then, sadly, he collected his things and ran to Amadeus.
    “Let’s go,” He said “before death or the labyrinth or whatever catches us,” together, they ran through the labyrinth until they couldn’t run anymore. They stopped and rested for a while, and then they heard soft rustling. They ignored it thinking it was the wind, but, it became louder and louder until it turned deafening. They turned and they saw the labyrinth’s hedges moving.
    “Brother, the hedges are moving!” exclaimed Claus quickly collecting his things strewn on the ground.
    “Death, or rather, his labyrinth, is taking action we need to go!” Amadeus said, collecting his things.
    “Amadeus, quickly,” Claus said, starting to run. He saw his brother reaching for his belongings that were grabbed by the vines and ran back to help him.
    “Brother we must go!” Claus shouted to his brother. Amadeus left his belongings and ran with Claus. They ran enough to escape the raging labyrinth, but suddenly, Amadeus fell. He got caught in a vine. Claus stopped and ran back to grab Amadeus, but, his effort was futile. The moving was coming right at them fast, so, forgetting about his own safety, He kicked the vines and tugged Amadeus out. However, the vines started to crawl on him instead. Amadeus got free and ran, unaware of Claus’ absence. He ran until he saw the labyrinth’s exit. He screamed for joy for they had made it and turned to hug his brother but came in contact with air. He hadn’t noticed his brother’s absence until now. Slowly his smile turned upside down and he dropped to his knees and wept. The rustling came again and slowly, it became as deafening as before, even louder. He felt the branches grabbing and pulling on his feet, but, he didn’t struggle for he was still in shock for what he had done to his brother. His guilt seemed to have immobilized him. Slowly, the vines wrapped up every inch pf Amadeus’ body, strangling him. Slowly, he died in Death’s Labyrinth.