If you read my objectives for 2014 (and why wouldn’t you, they are a riveting read worthy of the best sellers list) you’ll know that I plan on writing fifty pieces of flash fiction this year to beat my total of twenty last year.
This means that I need to write on average one piece of flash fiction a week.
With one piece of flash fiction written so far and being in week 3, I’m two fictions behind. Seeing as the Terribleminds prompt for last week’s flash fiction challenge was kinda fun I thought I would do it again.
This time I got the words Minotaur and Prison. Hence this slice of inanity, below…
Flash Fiction Minotaur Prison
Aradiseus was suffering from of a run of bad luck. A pig had invaded his house and made a complete sty of it, his girlfriend had ran off with the local wine merchant, and worse of all his name had been drawn as one of the ‘lucky’ few chosen by the gods to be fed to the Minotaur. From what he had been told, it was a fairly simple process. All he had to do was enter the labyrinth, meet the Minotaur; the large snarling, half-man/half bull inhabitant and then proceed to be torn apart and eaten by him.
Not an entirely pleasant prospect but he had been assured that his sacrifice would appease the gods. Though as Aradiseus wandered through the stone labyrinth, the old sword he had been given shaking in his hand, there was something about the agreement that didn’t sit well with him. He wasn’t even entirely sure why he had been given a sword, unless they felt the Minotaur would need something to pick the shards of crunched bone from his teeth with.
The Labyrinth was little more than small stone passages with nothing except the odd patch of dry grass or skeleton to distinguish them from each other. Aradiseus had wandered the labyrinthine passages for over a day now. He had drank the last of his water, and found himself not being entirely sure if he should be happy the Minotaur hadn’t found him, or concerned that if the Minotaur was all a myth then a rather uncomfortable future of dehydration and madness awaited him.
He was in full contemplation when he was thrown into a dark, uncomfortable shadow that brought with it a sort of wet dog smell, and the distinctly odd feeling that a large mythological creature was about to ruin his day.
Spinning round, he saw the hulking frame of the Minotaur bearing down on him snorting. He lost his footing, tripped and tumbled to the ground.
With a scream that sounded a lot less macho than he had hoped, he pointed his shaking sword towards the beast.
‘I’m not afraid of you’ though he couldn’t imagine anyone would believe that.
The Minotaur lowered his head and snorted at him, his fangs framing his monstrous snarl. His head was at least three times bigger than Aradiseus’; he could have used the bull’s nose ring as a necklace.
‘Are you going to eat me?’
The Minotaurs ferocious look shifted towards one of bemusement.
‘Eat you?’ Praise the gods, no of course not. Why would I want to eat you?’ asked the Minotaur in a calm and considerably plumy voice.
‘Ummm because you’re the Minotaur?’ said Aradiseus meekly. ‘I thought that’s what you do.’
‘Oh, I see. I’m half man half bull so that automatically means that I go around like a complete lunatic and eat the few visitors I actually get?’
‘What? I didn’t mean to… offend you?’
The Minotaur reached down and offered his hand, which Aradiseus took and stood up. ‘I’m not offended my dear chap. A lot of my visitors seem to be under that ludicrously uninformed idea. Are you hungry? I could rustle you up a sandwich or something.’
Aradiseus nodded slowly while his mind fizzed and popped trying, and failing, to deal with the bizarre notion that the creature in front of him, who could crush his skull with one hand was offering him a snack.
‘Yes, please.’ Well what would you have said?
‘Excellent, then follow me. It’s not far.’ The Minotaur strode off through the labyrinth forcing Aradiseus to adopt a half-jog to keep up with him.
‘So you don’t eat people, then?’
The Minotaur bellowed with laughter ‘I’m a herbivore, unless you happen to be a lettuce I’m not going to find you too tasty.’
‘It’s just that our king said…’
‘Your king said that I must be fed several people a year in order to appease the gods or some other such nonsense?’
‘That’s about the size of it, yes.’ Aradiseus found himself looking at his feet. ‘So why does he send people to you? …and why don’t they ever come back?’
‘You’re an inquisitive little thing, aren’t you?’ The beast tilted his head to one side and smiled before bounding down the passage. ‘We’re here.’
The passage opened up into a wide courtyard, filled with men and women of all ages. Some singing, some dancing, others engaged in deep conversation and a few wandered through the crowd offering drinks and sandwiches.
‘Welcome to Tuarana’ said the beast stretching out his powerful arms.
Aradiseus said nothing. What the hell was going on?
The Minotaur grabbed a sandwich and handed it to Aradiseus ‘Cheese & Pickle? It’s quite nice.’
Aradiseus tentatively brought the snack to his mouth and took a bite. ‘It’s delicious, thank you. What’s going on?’ he said finally having the courage to ask.
The Minotaur sighed and cleared his throat. ‘I suppose you will work it eventually.’ Then he laughed to himself ‘oh, it appears you already have. Good man. I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of telling you. Though, I would like to congratulate you on your imagination. It’s so vivid. So wonderfully bizarre, that it really is a shame we never got to meet each other.’
A very uneasy feeling of nausea squirmed in Aradiseus’ stomach, which he could only relate to that two or three seconds warning you got before being violently sick. His legs became too weak to support his weight, and he fell to the floor. His eyes too heavy to keep open he heard the Minotaur’s voice trailing off…
‘Thanks again for my existence it was wonderful. Though, good job you’re not an atheist, eh?’
Aradiseus gathered all his strength to open his eyes one last time. The Minotaur was gone, and the courtyard and its inhabitants had vanished. His head pounded, and his lips were dry, and the water skin he held was bone-dry.
‘Hmmph’ he said with a tired smile.