“What’s the surprise?” asked Keva who was fairly bouncing up and down in her seat

           Jackson laughed, he glanced over at his girlfriend, his smile grew wider. They had been officially dating for a year now and he knew without a doubt that she was ‘The One’. He was head over heels in love with her; he knew that she felt the same way.

           “You will just have to wait and see when we get there.” chuckled Jackson affectionately squeezing her hand

            The sun rose higher in the sky as they reached their destination; Keva looked at their surroundings. She opened the car door and stepped into the warmth; she relished the feeling of the warm sun on her face. Closing her eyes, she tilted her face towards the burning ball of light in the sky and smiled. Suddenly the sun was blocked from her view as she felt her boyfriend’s lips press lovingly into hers.

           “What do you think?” whispered Jackson grinning, “Are you surprised?”

           Keva opened her eyes and her smile grew wider as she gazed at the ocean. She wrapped her arms around his waist and whispered, “I absolutely love this!”

           Holding hands, they walked barefoot through the sand; Jackson knew that Keva had always loved the ocean and had been dying to go since they arrived in San Francisco a few weeks.

           “Keva, how do you feel about heading over to that closed off area?” asked Jackson pointing towards a less populated area of the beach, “It’s more private…”

           “Why Jackson, how romantic of you!” laughed Keva as the blush spread across her cheeks, “Race you!”

           Jackson took off running after her, this day couldn’t have gotten any better. He caught her, lifting her off her feet laughing when she squealed with surprise. They spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun, enjoying the fact that they were finally alone.

           “The final part of the surprise…the most beautiful sunrise in the world.” murmured Jackson placing a kiss on her neck

           “This has been the best day I have ever had Jackson!” sighed Keva smiling

           Before the sun could officially sink below the horizon, they made their way back to their car. Keva took Jackson’s hand in hers and held on tight when she saw a shadowy figure standing by their car, her heart began to pound furiously; something felt wrong…horribly wrong.

           “Can I help you?” asked Jackson as they neared the stranger

           “Jackson and Keva, right?” came the voice

           Keva tightened her grip on his hand, she felt him squeeze her hand in return. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t see any distinguishing features on this unsettling stranger.

           “It depends on what you want.” replied Jackson warily

           “I want to make sure I have the right people…” snapped the voice

           “Not until you tell us what you want.” snapped Jackson angrily

           The figure straightened, a sharp whistle pierced the air; before they knew what was happening, two white handkerchiefs descended roughly across their noses. Noiselessly, they collapsed onto the gravelled parking lot.

           “Let’s get started.” voiced the stranger eagerly

Hours later…

           Keva felt the cold seep into her body as she struggled to open her eyes; a blinding pain throbbed insistently behind her eyes. Slowly, her eyes opened then promptly closed again at the intrusion of the bright light. Keva tried again. Groggily, she looked around.

           Her eyes widened when her eyes found only cement floors and walls; the fourth wall was made of glass. Peering out of the glass, the only thing she could see was more cement. Keva remembered the stranger from the parking lot, she opened her mouth and tested her voice.

           “Hello…” croaked Keva her voice raspy

           She sighed and tried again.

           “Hello, can anyone hear me?” called Keva pleased that her voice was a little stronger

           Nothing. No voice, no sounds. The silence was deafening and disturbing. Keva wondered if Jackson was okay, if he was alive. Her hands covered her face, the tears that had been steadily filling her eyes spilled over. Sobs shook her cold, fear wracked body.

           “Enough of the crying!” growled a voice, “I need you to listen closely. Do you understand Keva?”

           Keva silently nodded while her eyes tried to find the source of the voice.

           “You will receive a tray of food, eat it.” commanded the voice, “Do you know why?”

           “No.” answered Keva her voice sounded heavy and dull

           “You and Jackson are going to play a game.” said the voice, “You are in a maze, there are traps and clues. You are on opposite sides, if you can reach the middle; you will be set free. If not…well, it won’t be a pretty sight.”

           “Why are you doing this?” asked Keva trying to keep her tears at bay

           “Why am I doing this?” mocked the voice, “I am conducting an experiment. They say that true love is real. I think that is a joke. So, lets put that love to the test.

           “You and your beloved will be able to call out to each other, guide each other; use your trust in each other to survive. You will have ten minutes to eat before the games begin. Good luck Keva, you and your love will have three hours.”

           “This is sick.” muttered Keva before shouting venomously, “Your sick! Do you hear me? You need help!”

           Nothing. There was no response. Keva screamed as loudly as possible. As promised a tray of food arrived, it sat there waiting. Numbly, she walked over and took the tray. Her stomach betrayed her by growling, ‘Traitor!’ frowned Keva as she sat back down

           As she shoveled the last bite of porridge into her mouth, the glass door opened. Keva froze, her breathing became heavier by the second. She inched towards the door. ‘What if his clues are traps?’ thought Keva


           Jackson wondered through the maze; his head pounded furiously. ‘I swear when this is over…I will kill this guy before he kills us!’ swore Jackson         angrily

           Jackson decided to see if this guy was telling the truth, he swallowed hard before calling out:


           A few minutes passed…

           “Jackson!” came Keva’s terrified voice

           “Are you hurt?”

           “I’m alright…are you okay?”

           “I’m fine.” replied Jackson as he looked around for clues, “Honey, we’ve got this; we just need to work together and get to the middle.”

           A square wooden box caught his eye, it looked out of place; he inched closer to it. Jackson leaned closer to it, until he was eye level with the strange box. He examined it closely, running his fingers over it. Satisfied, Jackson slowly lifted the lid.

           He heard a quiet click and whirring noise; his stomach clenched with fear. Without a second thought, he dropped to the floor just as the box splintered into jagged pieces. Panting, he looked up and saw an arrow sticking out of the wall. He ran his fingers over the area where the weapon now rested. ‘It’s spongy…maybe there are other weak spots.’ thought Jackson curiously


2 ½ hours left

           He watched them wander through his maze, a cruel grin stretched his lips upwards. He couldn’t have planned this any better, their struggle made him feel powerful. He couldn’t wait to see what would happen when he let his other prisoner out.

           Keva turned right and walked for what seemed like a mile before she was able to take another turn. The lights above them flickered violently, Keva gulped; the last thing she needed was to find her way in the dark.

           Without warning a glass wall cut her off, she screamed; distantly Keva could hear Jackson calling her. Her eyes widened with curiosity as the floor on the other side of the glass opened up; a pedestal with a large green button rose up. As soon as the pedestal stopped the glass door slid back into the cement wall; Keva walked towards the button. Her hand stretched towards it; lightly touching the object she hesitated.

           “Talk to me, are you alright?” came Jackson’s frantic voice

           “I’m okay Jackson!” called Keva quietly, “There’s a green button…What should I do?”

           “Are there any other clues?”

           “No…” called Keva, “What if it’s something I can’t handle?”

           “You are the strongest woman I know!” replied Jackson confidently, “I know that you can handle whatever happens. I think we’re getting closer. Keva, I love you!”

           “I love you!” muttered Keva fear coursing through her body, “Here goes nothing…”

           Her hand pushed down on the button, she looked around her frantically. Nothing. Sweat glided down her forehead, as she tentatively moved around the pedestal; as she continued walked, she couldn’t shake off the feeling of being watched.

           ‘I know the stranger is watching us…this feels different though.’ thought Keva, ‘It feels like someone else is in here with us…’

           Keva paused, she thought she heard footsteps behind her; she turned to look behind her. Frowning, she continued forward. Her pulse quickened when she realized her fears were confirmed: she wasn’t alone!

           She picked up her pace but so did the mysterious footsteps; she began to run! Laughter broke out through the intercom, the sound was mocking and cruel, her sweat and tears mixed together as she ran as fast as she could.

           “Jackson! Where are you?” screamed Keva panting

           “What’s happening?!”

           “I’m being chased! I can’t see…” cried Keva her voice cut off as a heavy force collided into her

           Adrenaline kicked in full force as she fought to get out from whoever was on top of her. Pain exploded behind her eyes as the person slammed her head against the floor. Keva dug her fingernails into the persons thigh as hard as she could; this caused him to howl in agony, he released her. She slid from underneath him, staggering forward.

           She tried not to lose the porridge she’d eaten earlier when she saw the blood dripping from her fingers.

           “You have forty-five minutes left!” came the mysterious voice from the intercom


           When he heard the enraged howl, Jackson pushed himself to run as fast as he could. His only thoughts were of getting to his girlfriend. He could hear her heavy breathing, her staggering footsteps; “Hang on Keva! I’m coming for you!” shouted Jackson

           Seconds seemed to stretch into eternity, Jackson continued to run not paying attention to where he was going. If he could just save her…

           Keva wiped the blood from her face as she continued to stumble forward; she could still hear the footsteps behind her. ‘Please make this stop!’ sniffed Keva tears blinding her

           Without warning something crashed into her, knocking her to the floor. She screamed and began to pummel her fists into whoever was on top of her…

           “Keva! Stop it’s me!” gasped Jackson grabbing hold of her wrists

           Keva froze, her eyes snapped open and saw that it really was Jackson! She grabbed onto him and held on tight; he helped her stand as held onto her. He looked behind her and a shadowy figure lurking, watching them.

           “Keva, we need to go now!” whispered Jackson holding her hand

           “Tik Tok, tik tok…” came the voice filled with mockery

           Keva and Jackson picked up their pace, turning right then left. They prayed that they would make it to the middle before time ran out. A yellow button caught Jackson’s eye as they ran; he pulled Keva to a stop.

           “Maybe this is a clue.” panted Jackson looking behind them

           “What if it’s a trap?” argued Keva fearfully

           “We won’t know until we try and right now…we need to lose that psycho!” said Jackson wrapping his arm around her

           Jackson slammed his hand against the button; they waited anxiously. A growling sound came closer, Jackson stepped in front of Keva as their attacker inched ever closer to them. They watched in horror as the man crouched low, his hands out ready to grab and claw at them. As the man began to leap at them, an arrow whizzed dangerously past them and buried itself deep into the man’s chest, knocking him off of his feet and with a sickening thud landed on the hard cement floor. Keva buried her face into Jackson’s back.

           The wall that had contained the yellow button slid open revealing the centre of the maze; confused, they slowly walked in. In the centre stood a white table with an envelope on it; Jackson, picked up the envelope. He tore it open and read aloud.

                          ‘Congratulations Jackson and Keva!

You have proved me wrong! I guess true love does exist after all! As promised, you will be set free. Simply follow the arrows and you will arrive a mile from the beach.

                                                           Enjoy your freedom!’

           Jackson and Keva looked at each other, grateful that this horrifying experience was finally over. Jackson pulled her into him, holding her tight; the thought of losing her had terrified him. Keva could feel him shaking. She didn’t ever want to let go of him; the thought of losing him frightened her to no end.

           “Jackson, he isn’t going to let us just walk out of here.” whispered Keva nervously looking around

           “We’ll just go slow…we survived the maze; we can survive him.” replied Jackson reading the note once more

           Slowly, they began to follow the arrows; this seemed too good to be true. Would this psychopath, who had kidnapped them and forced them to play a deadly game, just let them go? Whoever he was, they were sure that he had one more murderous trick up his sleeve.  

           The closer they got to the exit, the anxious Keva began to feel; something wasn’t right, before she could say anything to Jackson, laughter rang out. At the end of the hall, a looming figure stood, he began to clap slow and loud. The echoes from the clapping bounced off the cement walls, Keva cringed while Jackson shoved her behind him.

           “You really thought it would be that easy?” mocked the voice as it came closer, “You really thought that I would just let you go? Just like that?”

           “What do you want from us?” snapped Jackson backing them both away from the figure

           “Are you willing to die for her, Jackson?”

           “Of course, I am!” answered Jackson with no hesitation      

           “Jackson…” gasped Keva as the voice interrupted her

           “Well then lover boy…one more game.” snarled the voice viciously, “If you can make it past me, then you can both be free…this will be a fight to the death.”

           “Jackson don’t…” pleaded Keva

           “Why won’t you tell us your name?” asked Jackson sharply

           The figure began to laugh hysterically as he creeped closer and closer; one of the lights reflected off of something shiny and silver: a knife! Jackson felt his stomach heave violently. He had never killed anyone before, much less hurt someone; yet he knew that he would do whatever it took to keep Keva safe.

           “Catch!” snarled the voice throwing the knife at Jackson

           Determined to not let the maniac win, he caught the knife, however, the blade sliced his other hand in the process. He groaned in pain.

           “Keva, I want you to stay behind me.” instructed Jackson quietly, “I love you so much!”

           Keva backed up, her eyes wide with horror as her boyfriend got ready to fight the faceless figure.

The fight began!

           Jackson swung his blade wildly, hoping to make some kind of contact; he knew he could use the upper hand. The figure stepped forward and suddenly ducked, swiping his blade dangerously close to Jackson’s legs!

           Before Jackson could recover, his opponents blade tore through his abdomen; Jackson cried out as pain seared through him. Keva screamed his name, the fear of what would happen to her if he should fail slapped him hard. He crouched down low as the figure swiped right where his neck would have been!

           “Just give it up boy! You will fail, and you will lose her!” bellowed the voice a deep growl followed the threat

           Jackson stayed as quiet as possible, silently counting to three before jumping up and thrusting his knife deep into their tormentor’s back. A gasp erupted as the figure slumped to his knee’s, as the figure slid onto his stomach, Jackson flipped him over and dragged him over to where one the lights still flickered.

           “Why? Please just tell us why you did this to us?!” screamed Jackson

           Keva ran to Jackson and slid her hand into his; they stared down at the man, who to their surprise was only a dozen years older than they were give or take a few years. The man laughed; blood seeped from his mouth at the motion, the dark red liquid oozed down through the man’s beard.

           “Because I could…” wheezed the man as he sputtering laughter died.

           Jackson and Keva stumbled backwards at the confession; hand in hand they slowly left the building. Numbly they realized the man had told them the truth: they were exactly a few miles from the beach, the moon shone down on the water.



           “Two things: one: let’s get out of here! and two: I love you so much!” whispered Keva as they walked towards the beach and their car.

           “I love you too Keva.” whispered Jackson tightening his grip around her shoulders

           They walked slowly, each lost in their own thoughts; why would someone do this? How could someone be so cruel to another human being? Finally, their car was within their view, the parking lot was empty, much to their relief. They sat silently as they blasted the hot air, Jackson reached for his phone from the glove compartment and dialed 911.

           Jackson looked over at Keva, he leaned over and passionately kissed her lips. Sighing, Keva laid her head on his shoulder as they waited for the emergency vehicles. This time the silence was comforting and peaceful. They had survived together and that was all that mattered to them.

                                  True love really does conquer all.

January 18, 2020 03:16

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.