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Shades of Gray

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Silver sheets of rain pour though the pearly fog, dripping off the high, curved walls and darkening the cool granite beneath my feet. Do the gods cry for me today, or for them? I lift my head, opening my parched lips to drink, feeling the droplets rolling off of my matted fur and horns. Through the soothing rhythm of the rain, I can hear their cries, begging for some final deliverance, repenting sins even they do not believe, searching for some justification to be placed in the hands of such a monster.
Monster. Creature. Beast. Minotaur.
These have become my names, my castigations.
I taste salt on my tongue.
Their cries fade to whimpers as the inky blackness obscures even further the intricate maze of the Labyrinth. In the darkness, having slaked my thirst, I bow my head and lean against the cold wall. The stone is rough against my back, grooved with the marks of my horns. My hands tighten into fists as the pangs of hunger in my stomach threaten to dissipate all shreds of rationale.
Through the cadence of the rain, I hear the slapping sound of leather thong against heel. I look up. A fair-haired boy stands in the cavernous opening of my alcove. Go, I plead with him, leave this place. He stands petrified and his face pales as he eyes the pile of scattered bones in the corner. Of course he cannot understand the words which emanate from my clumsy animal tongue.
I remain seated. I turn away from him and close my eyes. I wonder how old he is, I wonder if he has a lover. I wonder what dreams he held. I wonder if his mother held him to her breast, weeping, before he entered the maze, as my own mother did.
Mother.
I was young then. My arms and legs were still resembled the spindly, ungainly limbs of a newborn colt, and my horns had not yet begun to come in. I had dreamed of being a poet, of debating with bright-eyed scholars, of walking from town to town and having laurel leaves thrown at my feet. I had dreamed of quiet days by the stream with my father, lowing quietly to one another in a language only we understood. I had dreamed that one day I could see my reflection in a stream and not turn away in shame.
And yet the gods were ever cruel with their intentions. My fate was rather to become a dreaded executioner, a beast to be feared and hunted.
My ears swivel as the boy draws a dagger from his hip. I stand and he hesitates. His eyes are wide with panic. He lunges with his dagger. I dodge quickly and his knife slips against the hard rock. The treacherous blade slices his leg just above the knee. The crimson blood trickles down his leg.
Blood.
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A small congregation clusters around the opening to the maze, staring blankly into the darkness that has so mercilessly swallowed their wives, husbands, teachers, sons, daughters. A heart-wrenching scream resounds from the inside of the maze, fading into a low gurgle. One woman collapses.
It has begun.


Inside the maze, a monster weeps.





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blackmist said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Amazing! Extremely descriptive and full of life. You are talented (:
 
AmazingGrace said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm
Ohhh love this!!!  What a brilliant idea!!!  It's sooo wonderfully sad!  It's very well written, I can't wait for more!  :D 
 
CeruleanBliss replied...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Thanks! That means a lot - I'm glad you like it :)
 
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