Tale #82: Ariadne’s Web

There is, of course, the story of Ariadne and her ball of string. It’s always told as if that was her way of keeping Theseus from getting lost. But really it was to tie him in place.

Just as her brother was half bull, she was, as her name alludes, half spider. And with every adventurer she lured in with her tricks, with every length of twine she gave them, she slowly remade her brother’s labyrinth into her web.

And, despite what the stories say, no-one ever escaped.

How many entered that labyrinth? How many in good faith took with them her wool? Unspooling it behind them, each loop they left behind a comfort to their terrified hearts, a protection against disorientation, despair.

In reality all it did was lead her brother to them. He left no trail, yet his victim’s always did. In his fury he tore those poor men limb from limb, ate the hearts from their chests, sucked the marrow from their bones, watched in the dark with demented glee as the last lights of life left their dying eyes.

Ariadne lay her eggs in the bodies he left. When they hatched, her children feasted on the rotting flesh in which they had been born, before, eventually, they scuttled down the delicate trails of her web that stretched out around them.

Out from the dark, towards the light of the town.

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Notes:

1. Written in January 2016
2. One final thing
3. For that maze
4. Of ours

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Tale #80: A Labyrinth Of Streets

The labyrinth was built over several generations, new pathways added every few years at the whims of each successive lord, until eventually the maze was so large and complex, so tightly woven and dense in self-referentiality, that the people of the town it encompassed (and embraced, and contained) could not only never find their way out, they could never reliably find their way home either.

Over time they settled in new houses, made new families, found new friends, and formed new communities to replace the ones they had lost in the ever-branching complexity of this prison in which they lived.

The lords grew ever angrier at this resistance. They built the maze ever larger, wove it ever tight, progressed, they imagined, ever closer to their dreams of complete control.

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Notes:

1. Written on July 3rd, 2019

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The Shop Everlasting

We walked the aisles
forever
never stopping
to worry
whether we could afford it
or needed it
or even really wanted it

The tills were so far away
we just piled it all up high
with an abandoned exuberance
in the baskets hanging from our arms
and the trolleys
which snaked ahead of us
like a cargo train

It was comforting
somehow
too
so alongside the excitement
and the glee
here was a feeling
of strange contentment
as we walked onward
through this labyrinth
we never wanted to escape
lost
in this dream
from which
we feared to wake

__________

Notes:

1. Written on August 1st, 2019

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