Chapter Nine

+ It's hard to imagine

But one day +

+ You'll end up like me

I guess the darkness isn't as bad when you're in it for what felt like hours. Not that it's comfortable or anything, but I just have other stuff on my mind; so I could care less about the darkness.

That girl

What's up with her? She knows me! I met her! I can't believe the labyrinth made such an innocent girl so damn messed up in the head. It's starting to make me believe what the porcelain clown told us; how the labyrinth is an evil living thing intended to make us go crazy. And I'll admit the thought is tempting. It's hard to keep it together when you're surrounded by nothing but insanity.

Finally, there was light shed on us, literally.

This part of the labyrinth was made from stone, and it looked like a normal labyrinth one would go into for the fun of it. After walking about a few more hours, I saw a carving on one of the stones that held the wall.

"Hey Ash!" I pointed out the Christmas tree-like carving on the stone, "I think someone missed Christmas and wanted to celebrate."

Ash smiled, agreeing with me. "Not a bad thing. Maybe I'm not the only crazy one that keeps track of the days."

I smirked at him. "Shut up Ash, you aren't crazy. You're actually incredibly sane, especially for someone who stayed here for five years." I looked down, "Do you ever miss your family?"

A small pause. "Every day."

"Me too."

After that was kind of an awkward silence but we kept it that way as we walked away from the Christmas tree. What was fearful was that we weren't the only ones that were quiet, so was the rest of the labyrinth. The only sound was Ash and I's footsteps on the dirt road.

This was an alarming silence.

I stopped walking. Ash did the same a few steps after and turned to look at me. "What's up?"

I made a frown, I wasn't even sure myself. Something just didn't seem right.

"I don't know," I said as I dismissed it. Maybe it was just the unsettling silence.

I just resumed walking in the direction we were currently going.

It felt like hours.

All we knew what that we were lost with no sense of direction. Everything just looked the same. I was starting to get frustrated, so I plopped down against a stone wall and put my head down leaning it against my knees.

"You okay?" Ash asked.

I chuckled darkly, "no."

"Don't worry about it Dawn. We've made it through every other part of the labyrinth. This one is just like the others. We'll get out of here," he said encouragingly.

I lifted my head to look at him, "Thanks Ash-"

I barely made it through Ash's name when I saw something at the corner of my eye. When I looked at it, I went stiff in shock.

In the stone across from us was a carving- the same carving of the Christmas tree we saw a while back.

I wanted to cry.

Ash had a confused look on his face when he saw how quickly my facial expression changed. He turned around to see what I was looking at. His eyes grew wide as well.

"Shit…" he said in a voice so low I could barely hear it.

"Ash," I started. He turned to face me, "we're never going to get out of here, are we? We've been walking for seemingly hours and we're back at the beginning. The thought of losing my mind seems like a really good idea right about now." The crazy thing was that I dangerously meant every word.

Ash just looked taken aback about what I had just said. He didn't say anything about it though. He turned around and said, "Let's keep moving. We're sitting ducks here."

If I didn't see his reaction to my words, I would have thought he ignored me completely. "Fine."

When we came across an intersection of paths, Ash came to a sudden stop and collapsed.

"Ash!" I cried as I ran to his side.

"It's okay Dawn," Ash said in a weak voice.

All I wanted to do was help but I had no idea what happened to him, so I just helped him to his feet.

Ash looked past me and his eyes were wide. "Dawn," he said nervously, which was very unlike him.

"What's wrong?" I asked, but I didn't need an answer. As I asked, I turned my head in the direction Ash was looking and he had every right to be afraid.

In the center of the intersection, there was a lady who –you could tell by her skin- looked like she was in her late sixties. She had salt and pepper messy hair that reached down a bit lower than her shoulders and she had thick bangs that were no longer than over her eyebrows. She wore a dress but it was barely put together with all the holes and shreds that were through it. She had no shoes, no eyes, and no jaw. Her skin from her upper lip had healed and connected to the skin on her neck. But even with no eyes, you could tell that she was looking at us. Her arms that fell limp to her sides were shifting a bit.

"Come on, Ash," I whispered in his ear, "We have to run. Now."

Ash made a slow nod.

We made small movements as we turned around and walked away from the lady. When I looked back, she was still in the same place we left her.

Finally, we had to take a break. Ash was getting weaker and weaker by the minutes and I had no idea of how to help him.

We both sat down on a stone that was conveniently against the wall. Ash's back was against the wall, while I was sitting more forward.

"Are you okay, Ash?" I asked him. I was getting really worried about him, and it didn't help that I had no idea what had happened to him.

"Yeah, don't worry Dawn. I just need some rest."

I gave him a wary look. Something was definitely wrong; he just didn't want to worry me.

After that, there was an eerie silence. That's when I heard it.


As if someone was dragging their feet against the dirt road.

I stood up.

"What's up, Dawn?"

"I hear something." We both stayed silent but I didn't hear anything that time.

"Ash, stay here, I'm going to look around."

"What?!" Ash yelled in protest, "this is a labyrinth Dawn, you can't just go wondering around on your own."

"No need to worry, I won't go far," I said as I walked to my left.

"Dawn! Get back here!" Ash cried out. I ignored him though; he was too weak to do anything about it anyway.

I walked in a straight line and turned right at a dead end. Everything was too quiet, it didn't make sense. In every other part of the labyrinth, there was always someone screaming. The only thing I could have guessed was that either everyone here is "dead" or we are really the only ones here.

While I was in thought, I heard the ground crunch behind me. I stood frozen in my tracks. There was someone –or something- behind me, and I was too afraid to face it. Unfortunately I had too; if I kept going, I could have really lost my way.

I turn around, it got really dark, but to my knowledge, I was losing it and hearing things because there was no one behind me. I decided to walk back to find Ash, I felt a lot safer around him.

As I started walking back to where I left Ash, I heard the ground once again crunch behind me.

I know I'm not losing it.

I spun around, then left scared.

She's back.

"Ok~…" I said as I started walking backwards, "sorry I bumped into you again, I didn't know you were going this way also."

Her eyebrows furrowed together. I somehow knew it wasn't in confusion. So I turned around and made a sprint in Ash's direction.


Ash jumped, startled by my outburst.

"Dawn, what's wrong?" he asked in a worried tone.

"Crazy should-be-dead lady is back. I don't know what she wants, but I'm 99% sure she's following me! Ash, we need to start walking!"

Ash nodded his head as he slowly got up.

"Come on, Ash!" I said. I knew he wasn't feeling well, but I couldn't let us be caught by the –thing.

He put his arm around my shoulder for support and we walked together –slowly.

We were never going to get away from her.

"Come on, Ash. I know you could do it!" I encouraged. You need to.

I turned my head around and there she was –staring at us. She didn't start walking in our direction though. She just stood there; motionless.

That scared me more than anything.

"We could do this, Ash. We could get through this. I need you too if we want to get out of here…"

"We turned a corner and I decided to take a small break –very small. So I leaned against the stone wall –and then fell through.

"Dawn!" Ash said, running in after me, and then crashing into me.

"What's up with –" I cut him off cupping my hand over his mouth.

We were in some kind of secret hideout. It was small dark room; the only source of light came from the wall we just came through. We could see perfectly outside. We could still see the wall though, but it's faded and transparent.

"I don't understand this and neither do you, but we could just hide out here for a while –at least till you get your strength back," I whispered softly to him.

He nodded slowly. Even though our hiding place was fairly small, one could sit up and still have enough leg space.

He sat closer to the entrance of our hiding spot and I sat closer to the wall behind us.

Ash looked like he was ready to pass out. I can't remember the last time we slept. "Maybe we should take advantage of the situation; let's sleep for a bit."

Ash glared at me. Clearly, he didn't agree.

"Come on," I persisted, "we've earned some rest. Besides, no one could see us-"

This time, it was Ash who put his hand over my mouth. It was now my turn to glare at him. Ash put a finger over his mouth, silencing me.

That's when I heard dragged footsteps again.

About an agonizing five minutes later, we finally saw the lady who had been following us. We walked slowly, continuing on the path before us.

I held my breath almost the entire time as she walked obliviously past us; especially when she turned in our direction, stopped, then finally continued walking.

We both let out a breath as soon as she was out of sight.

"Now can we relax?" I asked Ash.

He closed his eyes before answering. "Fine," he said while he rubbed his temples. I smiled at his, Ash could be paranoid sometimes.

We both eventually fell asleep. For how long, I wasn't sure. When I woke up though, I woke up to her face.

She was looking down at us from outside the entrance. She either knew we were there, or she was just resting her head on the stones, I'm willing to bet it's the former.


I put my hand over Ash's mouth and shake him awake. He woke up slowly, thankfully.

"Oh, fuck!" I heard him say from under my hand which managed to muffle the volume of said comment.

"What do we do?" I whispered in his ear as I took my hand away from his mouth.

He shook, then lowered his head, his eyes were in constant motion.

"We take her out," he whispered back.

"What!?" I silently mouthed.

He didn't reply, he just continued to look at me. I could see it in his eyes though, he was dead serious.

I shrugged my shoulders in defeat.

Ash stood up as best as he could, since the space we were in wasn't very tall. I stood next to him.

"I'll tackle her to the other wall and you run out of here. Run to your left and continue straight. I'll sprint after you," Ash whispered into my ear.

I was not okay with leaving him alone. "How about, I run out of here, and then wait for you?" I counter offered, "I'm not okay with leaving you alone."

"Fine, let's just get out of here," he said, and without second thought, he ran into the lady and slammed her against the wall.

"Run!" he called, I ran and he followed out of the mess.

We ran until we no longer had the stamina to run anymore.

"We better… have… lost her," I said between heavy breaths.

"I… don't think… she'll catch up to us… she can't… run," Ash replied.

We started walking slowly until we reached normal walking speed again.

"Hey, you're feeling better," I commented.

"Yeah, guess I really did need that rest after all," he said with a smile.

We kept walking a little more and that's when I heard something.


I made a frown. That tune; it sounded familiar.


"Let's follow that sound," I said. I didn't wait for an answer as I jogged toward it.

Until I stopped, because I saw him.

Oh God.

Author's Note: Sorry about the wait for this chapter! I knew what I wanted for this chapter- that's why I didn't think it'd take me long to write it, but I had no idea how to execute it. But today I wrote almost all day until I got it done :).

I also want to apologize in advance because the next chapter will take a while to put up (I hope not, but it probably will be). LET ME EXPLAIN! I'm applying into a nursing program at 3 different colleges. They all want letters of intents, and beautiful grades. The deadline is March 1st, so from now until then I won't have much time for my fictions :(. So I'll start writing again when I submitted everything to these colleges, but know that I have two other fictions to update before this one. So again, I'll say sorry in advanced. Even though, let's face it, I don't update very often :(.

Anyway- for those of you who are still with me, you are awesome!

Keep reading & cyber hugs are offered for those of you who review :D!