Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Amnesiac in the Maze

Tomorrow, I'll be presenting a new 5 (or so) Questions with Mike Czyzniejewski. His story "The Amnesiac in the Maze" is featured in the current issue. To gear up for the interview and in case you haven't gotten your copy of the new issue, which you should because it's a stunner, here is an excerpt from the story.

The amnesiac, during his time in the maze, is by no means alone. Other people, other visitors to the farm, come and go through the maze every day. The amnesiac assumes that the busier days, always two in a row, are weekends, and starts to count time in that way. Before long, he knows when it will be Saturday and that gives him solace, to know at least that much. Like most people out in the world, he starts to look forward to the weekends. He enjoys others, and most of all, hopes that one of them will help him find his way. So far, they haven't, but he looks forward to running into them, anyway. He decides he is sociable, wonders if he was always sociable. If that's the first piece of the puzzle.

At night, the amnesiac sleeps in the dirt, nestled against a row of stalks like he would lie against the wall in his bed. Corn is firm enough to support his weight, yet surprisingly pliable, like an outstretched arm from a lover, or maybe his mother. Occasionally, he wakes with something crawling on his face, inside his clothes. Even in the moonlight, he does not check to see what it is. He'd rather let it be, let it cross him like a road and allow it to move on. He'd rather become part of the ecosystem that is the corn maze than disturb it any more than he already has.

The amnesiac tries, several hours a day, to recoup his past. Without any distractions, without outside stimuli, he figures he will be able to concentrate. Everywhere he looks, it is either corn, dirt, or sky. As he ambles along, he expects flashes of his memory to come back to him, for his subconscious to kick in, offer up some clues. There is no scientific evidence to back this, nor are there documented cases of this theory proving correct. But the amnesiac doesn't know that. He's trapped in a corn maze and speculation, along with hope, is all he really has.

To read the rest of "The Amnesiac in the Maze," stop by our webstore to order a copy of the current issue, vol. 7, no. 2.

No comments: