prologue

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PROLOGUE.

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Disclaimer:

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.)

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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!"

"Nadia, c'mon!"

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.

One foot. I dove into the Glade, feeling joyous for a second until I realized not all of me had made it.

The first thing I heard was a sickening crunch and the snapping of bone. The second was a collection of horrible gasps, and then panicked yells from the Gladers around me. I turned my head toward the Doors and felt like throwing up at what I saw.

My leg was stuck in the Door.

That time, I felt the pain. It was agonizing, swallowing me up and dragging me under complete and utter misery. The entire bottom half of me felt like it was on fire, flesh melting and nerves being crushed to oblivion. I was vaguely aware of arms all around me, trying to pull me out of the stone's clutches.

Tears flooded out of my eyes in a hot, rapid waterfall. Sobs and screams were coming out of my mouth, my eyes squeezed shut and my mind filled with only one thought: surely I must be dying.

There was no way I could make it out. The seconds seemed to stretch into years as the frantic boys tried to pull me out, the Door continuing to smash my limb to pieces. Time slowed as countless hands gripped my arms and others tried to somehow pry apart the stone wall, which seemed to have stopped closing after my leg had gotten caught. Almost as if it knew that a body part was stuck. Almost as if it had a mind of its own.

And somehow, by a miracle, I was released.

With the force of their pulls, I sprang free and flipped forward, rolling before lying helplessly on the ground. Heads appeared above me and voices merged in and out of each other in a confusing mix. The fire was still shooting up my leg, of which I knew was ruined forever. I was done being Keeper of the Runners.

I turned on my side and spilled the contents of my stomach onto the grass, but that made me feel no better. Instead it made my insides churn and twist horribly like they were being microwaved. My vision turned until all I could see were blurs of colors and then no color at all, and all I was staring at was black. The voices faded out; all I could hear was ringing silence.

Surely I must be dying.

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hello can you say REBOOT!! i forgot how much i loved this story and nadia, so i decided to bring it back

i also changed the face claim from shraddha kapoor to lindsey morgan because the gifs are so fitting and she's my queen so

stay tuned for the first chapter!!

-kristyn

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