Unfortunately I do not own tmr or any of its characters. I only own what has come out of my own head. (js because copyright will slaughter me.)
We were late. So terribly late. The Doors would be closing any second and we were still out in the Maze.
The Runner-in-training beside me was starting to lag as I sprinted top-speed toward the Glade. Beads of slick sweat dripped down my face, my hair whipping behind me as I pushed myself farther and faster than I'd ever gone before.
"C'mon, Ken!" I urged, shouting as loudly as I could with my quickly drying throat. My backpack bounced against my spine as I ran. I turned my head slightly to see the boy straining to keep up with me. His face was red and flushed, teeth clenched due to cramps that were probably developing in his stomach. "You can do it! We're almost there."
Just then, I felt a rattling under my feet as the ground shook, the awful grating noises of stone against stone echoing through the air. It would've knocked me off of my feet if I hadn't been so used to it by then. I felt ice-cold fear run through my bloodstream as the realization sunk in. The Doors were closing.
I swore under my breath, pushing myself to the limit. I was going so fast that things were smearing together and I was barely aware of my surroundings. Luckily I knew the Maze like the back of my hand after just over a year of running in it every day, or else Ken and I would be goners.
A few more sharp turns and we'd be at the Glade. The ground below us continued to shake, the screeching sound of the closing doors ringing in our ears. My heart was pumping so hard I thought it would burst as it tried to keep up with the exertion I was forcing on my body. Short, quick pants replaced what were usually controlled breaths, making me realize that I was more terrified than I'd ever been before. My veins burned with adrenaline.
Another turn and I could see the Glade. The thirty-something Gladers were gathered around the closing Doors, worried looks on their faces. Nick, our leader, spotted us, and immediately shot a finger out to point at us. The crowd shuffled backward to provide room, and soon chants of encouragement filled my ears.
Relief started to replace the fright. We could make it.
But then I tripped on a thread of ivy, my foot snagging on the plant and pulling me to the ground with a grunt. I landed hard, scraping my hands and knees against the rough concrete. Ken started to slow, green eyes wide as he looked back at me, unsure if he should keep going or help me up.
"Go!" I urged him on, picking myself off the ground. My knees were already trickling blood, palms cut and starting to bleed as well, but I could feel no pain. The adrenaline prevented it from reaching my brain, and I continued to run toward home.
Ken broke through the Maze, causing me to sigh in consolation. If he was okay, that was all that mattered. I didn't want the death of a Greenie on my hands. I wouldn't be able to live with myself.
I reached the Doors, which were near shut by now. Turning on my side to squeeze through them, I shuffled on my side and pressed my hands against the wall as if I could somehow push them apart. The Gladers on the other side were screaming now, various male voices echoing in my ears as I strained to make it to the Glade.
"You can do it, Nadia!"
"Don't give up now!"
Two feet. I continued shuffling, body nearly giving out with how much I was having it do at once. My vision swam and I swore I felt my eyes cross for a second as the walls pressed against me from either side. I could barely breathe, my chest tightening in fear.