Flash fiction project: one dark story per day, all the way through October, each one based on one normal thing gone wrong. More of this year’s stories here.  You can find last year’s stories here, or at Amazon as October Nights.

Normal thing:  Corn maze

TURN RIGHT

The corn leaves are so dry they rattle.  The people walk into the maze, laughing, joking, jostling each other.  There’s always one who says

—the rule is always turn right

And then someone else says

—or is it left

—how lost can we get it’s only a couple of acres

One young man in a gray hoodie, he’s by himself, is wearing headphones and listening to music as he steps through the entrance.  Is he taking this too casually, or does he need to filter out the noise in order to solve this riddle?  The corn throws shadows over the ground, it sucks up the afternoon sunlight. The sun itself drops behind the mountains to the west, leaving the sky burning and bright.  But the shadows are confused, it’s like being in a Wal-Mart at four a.m. on Black Friday under the flickering fluorescent lights

—was it a right or a left

—look there’s a sign saying we’re halfway through

—hey you can’t just push your way through the corn

—haha of course I can you can see the footprints in the mud where other people did it

—that doesn’t mean it’s right

—it’s a corn maze not a contest

—get back over on your side before I push you back I’ll call security

The shadows are thick upon each other, but still nobody knows the way out, the way through.  They turn in circles, they can’t help themselves.  Twilight is over.  They pass underneath the platform that will show them their progress, a seething sea of corn with shadows shuffling through it, saying

—are we there yet

But this is it, this is everything, all that’s left is food trucks, tamales, lemonade, cotton candy, pizza, picnic tables, lights on strings overhead, “Monster Mash” over the speakers, little kids crying, discarded napkins, mud, hollow, cold, more lines, more standing, back to the car, feet hurt, gravel road, turned around, headlights, shadows, still hungry, corn

—which way do we go to get home

—turn right to go home turn right

Dark, strange, twisted, and wonderful – #paranormal #horror and #mystery stories from Wonderland Press.