A popular corn maze carries a dark secret.

Katrina Nething, Special Contributor

 There were eight of us in the parking lot, staring deep into the abyss that was poorly titled: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

“Hold on! We’re not going to actually walk into this thing, are we?” Mika questioned, surveying the surroundings.

“We’ve got tickets and free time,” Jessica retorted.

“And for what? A prize at the end?”

“Yeah. So what’s stopping us?”

“The fact that it’s a school night,” He said, playing with his rosary.

“Well, I finished everything, so I’m free tonight.  Also—” Jack pulled something out of pocket. “I’ve got a knife.”

“That’s a switch blade,” Ianto noted, raising an eyebrow.

“So? It will work!”

“Listen, I’m not agreeing with him,” Jessica said, gesturing to Jack “But I’ve also got nothing to do. So, count me in.”

“Plus, have you looked at this place? It’s spooky!” Alex exclaimed.

“I mean, it looks like it could be fun,” Ianto murmured, shrugging

“Ah yes! The sign is really convincing!” Jessica rolled her eyes

“I agree!”

“I was being sarcastic, Lucy.”


Awkward silence reverberated around them.

“So, are we all in agreement? We’re going?” I asked.

“I’ll go, but only if I can hang with you,” Amairs declared.

“I’ve got no problems with that.”

“Can I join?” Lucy pleaded.

“Again, I’ve got no problem with that.”

Mika sighed.  “Listen, I’m glad you guys are gonna go out and have some fun, but I’m not going in there. I’ve got stuff to do at home.”


Mika started walking back to his car, but Ianto called out: “Wait! Before you go, show the tattoo!”

Mika laughed, then lifted his shirt. Oohs and aahs went around.

“How’d you get that scar?”

“Come on Mel, THAT’S what you’re focused on?” Jessica berated me.

I swallowed.

Mika said something, but my eyes were fixated.

I swallowed and whispered, “I’m fine.”

“Okay,” Mika put his arms down, “Bye Mel!”



I snapped out of it.

“So…how are we going to tackle this?” I asked.

“Let’s split up and race! See who can finish this thing first!” Lucy gushed.

“Are you stupid? We got random tickets here and you want to run head first into it? No way! We should all stick together,” Jessica growled at Lucy, causing her to shrink away.

“That’s gonna take forever,” Ianto commented, “let’s form groups.”

“Any objections?” I questioned.


“Good. Jessica, you’re not a fan of Jack, Alex and I clash 9/10 times, Lucy…I’m taking Lucy and Amaris.”

“I can take Jack!” Ianto exclaimed, raising his hand.

“Why are we all talking about each other like we’re property?” Jack joked. Alex smiled before declaring:

“I’ll put a down payment on Jessica!” Everyone burst out, howling and chuckling. “No-not like that! You know what I mean!” No one could stop smiling.

“So,” I said, bringing the group back “It’s settled? Good. Alex and Jessica, take the top path; Jack and Ianto, take the middle. Lucy, Amaris, and I will take the bottom path. Got it?”

Nods and yeps and yeahs.

“Good. Let’s go.”

I watched the others start small talk with each other, and start walking along the paths. We started walking, only to reach a crossroad.

The left looked like a long hallway.

I led them to the right. Four walls entirely made of corn await us. I could see the exit to the room, when Amaris grabbed my attention. “Soooo glad that they’re gone.”

I stopped. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, have you seen these guys? They’re slow! I bet you anything we could beat them and take that prize before them.”

The wind picked up. Lucy huddled closer to me and Amaris threw her head up, laughing.

“I bet I could do it all. Get out of here the fastest. Get the prize first.”

The wind was howling, kicking up the dust.

“Amairs, chill! It’s not that important!” I yelled at her.

She couldn’t hear Mel.

“Who’s gonna stop me!” Amaris called out.

“I am, little Pride.”

Something shot through her stomach.

Through her stomach.

Her face.


In agony.

Lucy screamed I grabbed her hand, and ran down the path. “Amairs!” She screamed, choking on her tears.

It was all she could do on her own.



There were six of them wandering aimlessly and fearlessly in the abyss that was poorly named: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

“We made another wrong turn.” Ianto commented, causing Jack to look over his shoulder.

“And why aren’t you leading us? I mean, clearly you’re so smart,” He growled, rolling his eyes.

“Because you’re easy to push around.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah,” Ianto strutted up to Jack and shoved him back. “And I want that prize. Duh.”

Jack punched Ianto.

The wind picked up and started laughing.

He did it again.

And again.

And again, ignoring Ianto’s pleas.

Lenses on his glasses gone red.

Then, he stumbled back, grabbing at his neck. Ianto fell back into a wall. Jack was lifted off the ground, feet dangling.

“Now, little Wrath. You really shouldn’t have done that. You see.”

Jack’s neck snapped to the side and his eyes dimmed.

Ianto grabbed his knife.

“It can cause you pain.”

His body fell to the ground.

The wind died.

Ianto paused, looking around.

He could run out of the maze entrance.

He could look at Jack’s body.

He could.

He could.

He could.

He didn’t.

He died.

Choking for air.

“Should have done something, little Sloth.”


There were four of them, separated and exploring the abyss that was poorly named: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

I ran into the third room designed in the corn. I was so lost in my thoughts I didn’t hear Jessica and Alex barging through the maze.

“Hey! Where are the others?” Jessica asked, lightly pushing at my arm to get my attention.

I looked up at her. “I-I don’t know how to say it….”

Her face fell. Alex looked confused.

“Say it.” She growled.

“I lost Lucy-”

“That’s not so bad-”

“And Amaris’ dead,” I growled.

“What?!” Alex exclaimed. Jessica froze. “We need to find Lucy!”

“And Jack and Ianto,” I whispered.

“We need to tell them and get out of here. Plus they might be hurt.”

They could be hurt. I could hear them talking, but couldn’t make out the words.

Before my eyes was Amaris.

Her face in agony.

Her gashed stomach.

“Hey! Wake up, we’re walking.” Jessica grabbed my arm and started pulling me along.

Lucy stumbled through the maze. Her breath was shallow and her sleeves were soaked. She finally found a corner and crashed into it.

“Little one.”

“Please, go away.”

“That’s not nice.”

“You killed her!” She screamed.

“Liar,” it replied calmly, “she would have killed herself.”


“I just wish I was dead,” Lucy whispered, wiping at her nose.

“Little one, do you mean that?”

“Why would anyone say that jokingly? Yes! Stop hulking over me and get it over with!”

“You wish for what someone else has?”

“If you put it like that, yes. Wholeheartedly!”

Its hand grabbed her head.

“As you wish, little Envy.”


Too much.



I back tracked with them, until I noticed a fork down the path I ran before I found Jessica and Alex.

“Lucy?” I called out, walking down it.

I froze. Jessica gasped.


Her head was gone.

I swallowed and backed up. My hand almost touched my stomach. I led us back, hearing Jessica’s sobs reverberating in my ears.

“Jack? Ianto? Where are you?” We got back to the place where Amaris’ body was.

It was replaced.

With two bodies.


Neck was snapped.


Neck was crushed.

I threw up. “I’m fine, I’m fine.”



Holding myself.

Jessica gagged.

Alex grabbed Ianto’s knife, “You okay?”

I nodded, my eyes looking at the exit to the room.

It was blocked.


There were three of them shocked and stumbling through the abyss that was poorly named: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

“You know, that thing isn’t too mean, at least there’s a full moon,” Alex commented.

“Speaking of which, what’s that in the dirt?” Jessica asked, pointing to something shiny in the ground. She dropped to the ground and started digging it out. He met my gaze.

Shinny. Gold. Square shaped. She picked it up between her two fingers.

“Oh!” I exclaimed. She laughed.

“Yes! You know, with this thing, I could get my guts rearranged, you know what I mean?” Jessica exclaimed, rising to her feet.



I gagged.

Her body.

His body.

My body.

My stomach.



“Is this really the time?” Alex gasped.

“Yes little one, is it?”

“Did you hear that?” I asked.

“It’s just the wind,” Jessica sighed, then smiled mischievously at Alex. “You know, no one’s around, wanna put on a show?”

The wind picked up, slowly.

“How about you put on the show, little Lust.”

Jessica’s arms raised. She dropped to her knees. Her face froze, mouth as wide as her eyes.

The sides of her mouth ripped.



Alex cried out.

“Uh oh. This is going to get a little messy. I’d run if I were you…unless you’re a little voyeur.”

It didn’t have to tell us twice.


There were two of them screaming and running frantically through the abyss that was poorly named: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

I followed Alex down the hall and to the right. He shoved me into the corn until we came across the fourth room in the maze. We gasped for breath.

“They really are all dead,” I gasped, lowering myself to the ground.

“Yeah.” Alex shrugged.

“How are you so nonchalant about all of this?”

“Death isn’t scary to me.”


“Hey,” Alex said, hitting my arm “do you see that?”

I grabbed him. “Don’t. Touch.”

He pulled away.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” He walked over and pulled something out of the wall.

Green. Rectangular.

“Hey, money.” He looked for more.

“She was right. Don’t touch, little Greed.”

I screamed and ran at Alex, trying to pull him behind me.

His neck had a red smile.

I pulled his gurgling, slumping, body beside me.


I gurgled.

I gagged.

I dropped him.


There was one of them running frantically through the abyss that was poorly named: The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.

I knew it was bad to run with scissors. I’m sure it was a worse crime to run with a knife.

It stood before me.

Grainy. Seven feet tall. Steady breath.

Blocking my exit. My entrance to go home.

“Move. Or I’ll make you.”

“Oh, will you? You’re so tired. Don’t you want to eat something?”

Food slid across.

“Or empty something to be better?”


I swallowed.

“Leave me alone.” I begged, shaking

“Little one—

“Shut up!”

I could see them clearly.







Their corpses. Their swollen stomachs.

No way to be emptied.

I gagged, and choked, and threw up.




I swallowed.

“I’m not fine.


I rose up and glared at it and rose the knife.

It tilted it’s head.

I yelled and ran at it. The blade pierced it.

It didn’t move.

I twisted it, and pulled. Something oozed out.

The smell.


I stabbed it again. More gasoline.

It didn’t make a sound or move. It needed to be emptied.

Like me.

The whole maze did.

“Time to burn.”

I struck the blade against the corn

It lit.


“I’m possible.”

It smiled

“Not for long.”

I dropped it.


I laughed, lungs filling. I screamed, lungs emptied.

I limped out and walked straight. So much smoke.

I touched my stomach. Empty.

I’ll keep it that way.



The wind had completely died. Grains of sand were left everywhere. A mailbox down the street was filled with tickets.

To an abyss.

That was poorly named:

The Funnest Corn Maze in the Whole World.