Only a few more posts until the end…
Part 12 – Puzzle
“Come now children, into my study.”
He led them into a tiny room, a single square place with no windows and only a gap in the wall for a door. The girls followed him and watched as he lumbered, as a hunched beast, over to a solid stone throne with a low back. He turned and sat down with a large grunt.
“You can run so fast,” said Danni, “But?”
“I’m heavy and clumsy when I walk?” he replied. “I have to conserve my energy for the chases. Have to play the part, you see.”
Danni didn’t question him anymore. She didn’t want to upset him and anyway the room was full of interesting and unusual things which caught her eye.
There was a wooden desk piled up with old tomes and several artefacts were scattered around the room. Danni couldn’t make sense of them. The tiny room was dull and plain, lit only by candles but the artefacts were piled up in every spare inch of the room, bizarre and very alien to her.
“Now then,” said the Minotaur, as he settled on his throne. “Let’s see if you’ve learnt anything from this experience.”
“Learnt?” asked Diana. “How could we learn anything from this awful place? All I want to know is where the exit is?”
The Minotaur looked at her in disappointment. Danni, meanwhile, put her hand to her forehead, deep in thought as if weighing up the question.
“What about you?” he asked Danni, two large brown eyes focussing on her.
“Hmmm,” she said. “Well, there’s this place is two places, the tourist labyrinth and the maze. Not everyone can end up here or there would be some of the other tourists here now.”
“Go on,” he said. “You’re nearly there.”
She hesitated, feeling as if she was close but not quite there.
“Think Danni. What’s the point of it? You’re right. Not everyone ends up here. Why?”
“I suppose it’s like life,” she said, speaking more naturally by now. “For some people it’s a simple ride, a game that they play in, but for others-”
Danni looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back, such a strange smile
strained back on such a creature’s lips.
“For others,” she continued. “It’s a terrifying maze, full of false paths and enemies and… wisdom.”
He grinned now.
“Well done. You’ve got it. Now you can go home.”
“Why even bring us here?” Diana protested, a confused expression marring her face. “Why put us through this?”
The Minotaur looked straight at Danni, raising his eyebrows.
“Oh dear,” he said. “She really doesn’t get it, does she?”
Danni grinned back at him.
“Nope. It’s still just a maze to her. She doesn’t think that way.”
“Normally,” he said. “We wouldn’t let her go but she’s you twin and you got it so I’ll tell you how you can both get out. It won’t be easy but it can be done.”
He pointed to a bookshelf where a single necklace was hanging from the frame and asked Danni to take it. It was a beautiful necklace on a silver chain and had no gemstone but a smooth pale, piece of marble shaped into an oval adornment.
“That is your reward and a gift from me. A reminder of this place and what it means. You must always wear it.”
Danni nodded, studying the necklace and then putting it on. It was just long enough to fit over her head. She looked at her twin in wonder but Diana clearly still didn’t understand.
“How do we get out?” she asked, turning back to the Minotaur.
He nodded at the stone wall on at the instant the bricks surged forward, grating against each other. When they stopped moving the outline of an exit could be seen, a dim light shining through the gaps to give the impression of a door. It moved again, this time opening and revealing an entirely new realm.
The girls stared out into the new place for a second before Diana moved forward to set off through the door.
The girls turned around, surprised by his urgency.
“In order to get out you must do exactly as I tell you,” he said. “Exactly.”
Copyright (c) bardicblogger / a thinker never sleeps / Teri Montague 2011
- The Mirror Path – Beginning (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Part 2 (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Part 3 (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Part 4 (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Part 5 (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Strange Depths (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Wild Depths (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Instinct (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Voices (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Trap (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Mirror Path – Judgment (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)