Mouse in a Maze by Laura Lawless

The dream, like morning mist, shimmers to life. I am running down dark alleyways, scattered like some maze, twisting and turning, often leading to nowhere. I double back to get out, only to find another brick wall, impenetrable. Teetering on the edge of panic, gasping for breath, I spy a man leaning against a wall.

“You, there,” I call out. “I need help. I can’t seem to find my way out of this alley.”

The man turns toward me with a look of cool assessment. “Indeed, is that so?” He responds as he raises a pipe to his lips. The smell of tobacco wafts through the dark air.

“Yes, it’s so,” I say as rain begins to fall from the sky. Thick heavy droplets fall with loud splashes on the pavement below. The sound is so loud I can barely hear myself think, so I raise my voice, shouting above the sound of the rain. “Please show me the way out.”

He merely chuckles as he coolly observes my frustration, making no move to comply.

“Did you not hear me, sir,” I say, my panic returning. “I need help out of this maze of alleyways. I’m lost.”

The man smiles regretfully. “I’m sorry. I can’t help you. You must find your own way out.”

My frustration boiled over and I shouted at the man, “Oh bugger you! I am only dreaming. If only I could wake up and be gone from this dark, cursed place! If only I could wake up, you, sir, would be no more.”

The man took a long drag from his pipe and exhaled slowly. He eyed me curiously and laughed once more at my plight. “My dear, that would only happen if this were your dream.”

“What do you mean” I spat, “Of course it’s my dream. Who else’s could it be?”

The man pushed himself from the wall, and as he did so, he began to grow at an enormous rate. He became a giant right before my eyes, and he stepped over the wall I was so desperate to pass. Then he turned and looked down at me still trapped in the dark alley.

“It’s my dream,” he said calmly. “And you are merely a mouse in a maze. It’s up to you to get out.”

(C) Laura Lawless 

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