Excerpt: The Maze Runner

This is from the WIP I’m working on. I hope to finish it soon. Here is chapter one. I hope this whets your appetite. 🙂


Percy Callendar was one of the richest men in the world, and he was only twenty-six years old. He was also single and gay. So when he decided it was time to meet the love of his life and settle down, he came up with a test devised to measure their courage and persistence, because who wanted a husband who couldn’t handle a little stress?

The first thing he did was hire someone to build him a house, and not just any house. It was the ultimate haunted house, sprawled over ten acres that overlooked the Pacific Ocean, and included a full basement and a couple of medieval-looking towers: one at the west corner and one at the south. Designed to encourage visitors to get lost inside it, there were hidden rooms, trap doors, and secret passages.

During the next couple of years, while his money made him more money, Percy watched the house come to life. One day, while Percy watched a crane move trusses into place from inside his expensive car, the site foreman ambled over, a toothpick in his mouth. He leaned on the open car window. “What do you think, Mr. Callendar?”

Percy regarded a certain spot on the second floor where he planned to place a gargoyle. “I think this is going to be great fun. Are we still on schedule? Will it be ready on time?” He was now almost twenty-eight, and he couldn’t wait to get started. Somewhere out there was the perfect man, and he couldn’t wait to find him.

“We’ll meet the deadline,” the foreman said laconically, migrating the toothpick to the other side of his mouth. He turned toward the house. “Your IT guys are already installing stuff in the basement.”

“Excellent.” To pull this off, he’d hired the best. “Spared no expense,” as they said. Not only was he searching for a husband, he also wanted to have fun, and what could be more hilarious than watching people bumble through his ultimate haunted house? Halloween might only come once for most of the world, but in his life, the holiday would be a monthly occurrence. At least until he got bored with the whole thing and moved on.

“People are gonna say this is a huge waste of money,” the foreman pointed out.

“It’s my money to waste.” Percy turned brilliant violet eyes on the man. “I give plenty of money to charities. This…”—he turned his gaze back to the structure—“I do for me.”

It probably was a waste of money, building this monstrosity to test only twelve men, but after he’d found The One, he’d sell it to someone who would turn it into an attraction for the masses and no doubt make all his money back within a few years. Percy would have happily moved on to the next thing.

Twelve men, between the ages of twenty and thirty. Smart, accomplished, and yes, good-looking, because looks mattered. They didn’t have to have model-ready bodies, but anyone obese wouldn’t be considered. Being overweight was an indication they didn’t think enough of themselves to eat well and exercise occasionally, and geeky as Percy was, that was important to him.

He’d hired a research firm to find the guys, being specific about what he was looking for. They’d offered him a list of fifty, with photos, and he’d winnowed it down from there. Six had dark hair, five were blond, and one was a ginger. Four wore glasses. A couple of them were lean, a couple were pudgy, and the rest were average weight. All were between five foot nine and six foot one. And all of them, of course, were gay.

He briefly considered the possibility he wouldn’t find someone in this first group, but just as quickly, he dismissed the idea. These men were intelligent, attractive, and good at what they did. He would click with at least one of them.

The foreman straightened, stretching out his back. “It’s your money. Guess you can do what you want with it.”

There was nothing like stating the obvious. Percy didn’t bother to respond, and the man took the hint and ambled back to work.

Just a few more weeks. Percy couldn’t wait to begin.



About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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24 Responses to Excerpt: The Maze Runner

  1. Helena Stone says:

    Oh yes, consider me intrigued. I can see so many possible avenues for this story to walk along it almost hurts my head. Can’t wait to find out which one you took or, and this is far more likely, if you found one I can’t even begin to imagine. I’m not going to ask for a when, safe in the certainty that the book will come when it’s ready. I wish you good writing (and not just for selfish reasons) 🙂

  2. Shawna says:

    This book will share the title with a popular YA trilogy, with the first book having the same name. Also recently converted into a movie, due to be released in September.

  3. Hannah B. says:

    My appetite is whetted! I look forward to finding out who will win Percy. Percy’s violet eyes reminds me of Talis’ purple eyes in Phoenix Rising.

  4. Jaycee Edward says:

    Very interesting. I assume these were the twelve candidates who put the toilet paper on “over”.

  5. Patricia says:

    Great start! I am more tuned in to the foreman with the toothpick than rich kid Percy. I kept wondering what the foreman was REALLY thinking. So I’m hooked!

  6. I like it! And yes, definitely intrigued. I’m already thinking, he has things all figured out, bet somebody or something is gonna throw this guy a curveball 😉

  7. Yvonne says:

    I think most things you write will have us intrigued:-)

  8. Karen H says:

    Well colour me interested this just looks like fun. Can’t wait to see what Percy will find out not just about the love of his life but also about himself, I’m sure.

  9. A.M.B. says:

    Looks like fun! I’m curious to know whether Percy will find his match in this group (and whether Percy will learn to be a little less superficial). Is this going to be a full length novel?

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