Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Glimmer of Hope

By Jillian Teeters, age 14, Ohio

 

The pounding beneath my feet ran deep into the soft earth, rubbing the tender soles of my feet. I turned the corner as the dry husks of corn surrounded me, closing in to laugh at my predicament. The sharp scent of soaked earth mixed with the deep, musky aroma of rotting vegetables wafted around me. Each turn seemed identical to those before it, causing me to become even more perplexed. I had inadvertently become hopelessly lost.

In the distance, a little girl’s high-pitched laughter rang out, making me wish I was in her position, having fun with my family instead of cloistered in the distance. I peered around the corner in front of me, trying to jog my memory. Did I turn left or right here?  The long series of turns I took jumbled in my mind, causing me to become separated from my dad. I called out to him several times, never eliciting a response. What if I never find him? What if I never see him again? My thoughts immediately jumped to the worst possible scenario, as they still always do, but even more so in my young mind. Trying to console myself, I bargained with myself: If I don’t find him in twenty minutes, I’ll just create my own path through the corn like he taught me years ago. That memory played in my mind, distracting me from the current situation.

I was very young, maybe three years old, sitting on my dad’s broad shoulders. That was my first corn maze, and we’d continued the tradition ever since. The first year that I tried to navigate on my own two feet, he taught me to create my own path if I ever got lost when it was dark. It was quiet between us, but his demeanor showed me that being lost out here in the dark was something to be very concerned about.

Suddenly, I was jerked back to the present reality, as my foot caught in a well-worn ditch in the path. Gravity forced me forward, as I collided with the soft, muddy earth beneath me. My sweater was now soaked, covered in mud, dripping onto my jeans and into my rain boots. Tears threatened to spill out of my eyes, the salt burning. I made turn after turn, never seeing anything that jogged my memory. I collided with countless strangers, almost knocking a little boy to the ground. I’m sure I was quite a spectacle, but I continued on, trying to find my way back to my father. In the distance, the exit of the labyrinth called my name, taunting me.

As I took yet another turn, a flash of deep blue caught my eye. I finally found him! I have no idea how I got here, though. We’ll never get out of here.  At least we’ll be lost together now.  I ran into his comforting embrace, spreading mud onto his clothes. His arms wrapped around me like a blanket in the dead of winter, his smile shining as bright as the morning sun.

“Where have you been sweetheart?” He questioned, as he leaned down to meet my eyes. “It’s been almost a half hour.”

Tears sprouted up, threatening to break through the walls I’d put up. “I got lost, and I still don’t know where I am. Can’t we just quit and get out of here?” My voice betrayed me, cracking, as salty droplets streamed down my plump cheeks.

“Now, you don’t really want to give up do you?” His eyes held a deep sorrow, giving me a miniscule clue that I had disappointed him.

“I just want to get out. We’ll never find our way out, so we might as well give up,” I whined.

“But if we give up, we haven’t conquered the maze. I thought you wanted to beat Matthew.” His voice was eerily calm, causing me to replay his words in my mind several times before answering.

“I do, but I can’t. Maybe I will next year.” I sighed, defeated.

“But how do you know you can’t? What if we can find our way out? We’ll never know if we give up now.”

Suddenly, I snatched the map out of his grasp, stomping my small boots into the soft soil. I plowed ahead, my seven-year-old mind eventually shifting from completely perplexed to being able to exactly pinpoint where we were in the maze, and how we were going to get out. My dad meandered behind me, letting me take control. Every so often he’d tell me how much time we had left until the sun set, causing me to speed up each time.

Finally, after yet another turn, a glimmer of sunshine—a glimmer of hope—was seen up ahead. The path was wide open, leading straight to my success.

I had done it. We had finally made it out.

2 comments

  1. Grace /

    This was a really good short story! I loved the flashback in the middle of it and it sounds like it could be a great book or maybe go along with another short story. I hope you write more and have fun!

  2. Jillian /

    I’m so thankful that you posted this! Thank you!

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