The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

A Story by Jacob Clifford
"

Erin finds herself lost in a maze after yet another one-night stand!

"

The Labyrinth

 

Erin woke up in an empty hallway. The floor was cold and hard, the walls were made of metal, and the only light came from the occasional torch sconce. She hadn’t the foggiest idea where she was, but that didn’t surprise her. She was no stranger to waking up in unusual places, though she usually had a killer headache and a man’s arm wrapped around her. This wasn’t even the strangest house she’d been in. So the guy she boinked last night was a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, so what? This was nothing compared to that Mormon with whom she spent the night last month. Thinking about it made her shiver. But still, she wished she remembered Mystery Man’s name . . . or that he’d left her a map for this metal maze.

            What did she last remember? There’d been loud noises, a gaggle of people around her, something bitter and red in her mouth. . . . Hadn't she gone to that new club in town? Right. She’d heard their specialty was a real knockout. That must be it: she’d gone to that new Dionysus’s Vineyard and had one too many. Whatever that special drink was, it really was special, for her to not wake up with a hangover. It left her faculties free to find a way out of here.

            She stood and gave the halls an analytical state, daring them to spill their secrets. They didn't, but at least they looked nice. Smooth, shiny. Lining the walls were ornate, ancient-looking ceramic pots. Past them, at each end of the hallway, was a branching path. She hoped she’d find a sign, maybe something pointing to Ye Olde Spa, because her back was killing her after sleeping on the iron floor. But she found nothing - must have used up all her luck last night. She limped against the right wall and ran her hand along it as she walked. At the intersection, she stayed right. She always went right, because she was always right. She chuckled to herself but stopped when her laughter echoed sinisterly. Shame she couldn’t remember anything; the acoustics were killer.

            On and on she went, always going right when presented with a choice. Once or twice, a loud banging carried through the halls. It always seemed to come from behind her. The first time, she ignored it, writing it off as plumbing or the house settling or something. At the second bang, she swore she heard footsteps drawing near. She called out. No response came, so she backtracked. The hallway was still void of people, and she was becoming void of patience. Where was he? If this was some kind of post-freak game, she wasn’t a fan. She decided to give Mystery Man the benefit of the doubt and assume he just got lost, too. He really needed to consult with an interior decorator. This was no way to woo a lady.

            She resumed walking and, finally, she saw an opening, just up ahead. She hurried forward, only to be knocked off her feet by the greatest bang yet. And again: footsteps, this time right up ahead. Good. Maybe now she could give Double M a piece of her mind.

            She now stood in a square room about twenty feet across. The most eye-catching thing was a wide, circular fountain in the center. Twelve miniature bull statues stood on the brim, like hours on a clock. The little bull at four O’clock spewed water into the fountain. As she watched, he closed his mouth, and the five o’clock bull took over. She was so distracted by the fountain she almost didn’t see him standing at the other end of the room. All the anger and annoyance left her like air from a balloon, because god was he hunky.

            He was easily the tallest man Erin had ever seen, standing at about eight feet. His shoulders were broad and hairy. His arms were thick and covered in coarse black hair. His bare chest and midriff were muscular and furry as a carpet. His legs were shapely in a manly way and covered in, you guessed it, hair. Mystery Man put to shame any man she’d ever found attractive. So what if he wore a skirt made of fake bones? And so what if he wore a silly horned helmet? And so what if his face was long like a horse’s? Those muscles more than made up for all that. And he was so hairy! So wonderfully, gloriously hairy. . . . She really regretted not remembering last night.

            It took her a moment to find her voice. “Hey, you,” she said as coyly as she could.

            He lowered his snout-like nose. “Most women flee when they see me. I believe my visage is too much for them to handle.” His voice sent waves of ecstasy down her spine. Deep and guttural - so manly!

            She smirked. “Oh, I can handle it. There’s no such thing as too much man.”

            “I am no man.”

            He didn’t have to convince her he was a god; she was sold! She stepped toward him, swaying her hips as much as she could without falling over. Her footsteps echoed, forebodingly, promisingly. “What are you, then?” She stopped next to the fountain. The sound of running water made her have to pee, but she tried not to let that distract her.

            “I am named Asterion, though I became known as the Bull of Minos.”

            Erin didn’t know what Minos was, but, as the straining man skirt suggested, he was certainly hung like a bull.

            “Your people have since taken to calling me the Minotaur.”

He stepped toward her. His footsteps sounded unlike her own. She looked down and saw why: instead of toes, he had hooves. That was a little weird, she had to admit, but who was she to judge? No one was perfect.

            She flashed him a cheeky grin. “I’ll call you whatever you want, big boy. Just as long as we can speed this up.”

            He squinted. Lord, his face was awful hairy, too. And his eyes were so beady and bloodshot. . . .

            “Speed this up?” Double M repeated. “My sacrifices are normally terrified of being eaten. They run and scream insults, and I chase. I must admit, the chase is my favorite part.”

            “No need to chase me, Mystery Man. I’m all yours. I’ll even call you Asterisk, or whatever, if that’s what you want.”

            “Asterion.”

            “Yeah, that.” She stepped up to him and placed her hand on his pecs. So firm! She could endure some role playing as long as it was a package deal with this beefcake!

            He backed away, frowning. “You are strange, woman.”

            “Am I going too fast for you? Did Mommy raise a gentleman?”

            He looked down, his face suddenly conflicted. “I never met my mother. I only know of her from legend and rumor.”

            She tried to rest her hand on his arm, but he stepped back again. God, was he crying? Who knew hairy men were so into method acting?

            “That’s rough, buddy. If you want, I can be your mommy.”

            “You could never take her place.” He glared at her through red eyes - even redder, that is. “She was a queen.”

            Erin threw up her hands and plopped down on the edge of the fountain. “Look, Minnie Tori, or whatever, I’m trying to play along here, but you’re making this really hard.” She looked longingly toward his skirt.

            “This is no game. My mother was Queen Pasiphae - ”

            “Pacific,” Erin said.

            “ - Pasiphae! And she was tricked by the gods into having a child with a bull.” He banged his fist against his chest. “She was disgusted and wanted nothing to do with me. So” -he gestured vaguely around him -“King Minos had this maze - the Labyrinth - made to imprison me.”

            Erin stared blankly at him. “Right.” She patted the fountain. Reluctantly, Mystery A*s Star Man sat next to her, shoulders hunched.

            “Sounds like you have some issues with your parents. Don’t we all? The important thing is to focus on the positive.” She ran her hand suggestively up and down the seven o’clock bull. “This thing is lovely! This whole place is . . .” Cold? Empty? Weird? “. . . comfortable. And, uh, pretty.”

            He straightened. “It is quite comely, isn’t it?”

            “Yeah! Your mom couldn’t have hated you too much if she had such a nice place made for you, right?”

            He nodded. “I suppose there is some truth to that.”

            She touched his chest again. “Besides, I don’t think you’re a freak.”

            He looked at her out the corner of his eye. “You don’t? All the other sacrifices did.”

            There was that word again: sacrifices. She wasn’t sure what he meant, but she said, “I’m not like most women.” In a whisper, she continued, “I can be freaky enough for us both.” She leaned against his thick torso. “So what do you say we make use of this lovely Labia-wrath?”

            “Labyrinth,” he mumbled.

            Her heart skipped a beat as she reached for his hat. “What do you say we take off this hat, and I’ll show you” - She yanked at the horns, but they didn’t come off. She tried again. And again. He glowered at her. “This isn’t a hat, is it?”

            “No.”

            “You have horns.”

            “Yes.”

            “We’re not role playing, are we?”

            “I do not know what that means.”

            “You’re an actual bull, aren’t you?”

            “Minotaur.”

            She lifted her head and scooted away from him. “Well, ha ha, I hate to end this bonding moment, but I really have to get back home - my cat will eat my weed if I don’t feed her. Pfft.” She stood, but he grabbed her arm.

            “Feed,” he repeated.

            Erin always knew her lust would get her in trouble. Though if she had to die, she supposed this wasn’t the worst way to go: being eaten by such a hunk. But he released her arm.

            “Go,” he grumbled. “I’m not in the mood.”

            Normally those words, spoken by such a heartthrob, would bring a tear to Erin’s eye. Now, her shoulders seemed to shed a few pounds.

            “Great! But, uh, how do I get out?”

            “It’s actually quite simple. Years of traversing these metal corridors have given me a perfect mental map of the Labyrinth." He ran his fingers through the fountain's water. "If you go straight out of this room, from which direction it does not matter, and follow the left wall at every turn, you’ll soon come to an opening just large enough for a human to slip through.”

            Left? “Why not right?”

            His nostrils flared. “Left is always better. Nothing in here is ever right.”

            In the interest of escaping with her life, Erin held her tongue.

            “Eventually,” he continued, “you’ll come to a combination Starbucks/Bath & Body Works. If you value your money, do not go in.”

            “I’ll come to a what now?”

            “About a year ago, two women came into this maze, thinking it was something called a Renaissance Fair. They set up their chain store and waited for the ‘geeks’ to arrive. They seemed so happy, I didn’t have the heart to eat them.”

            Grinning, Erin patted his beautiful shoulders. “You’re not so bad, Minnie.”

            He scowled, but Erin thought he was trying not to smile. “Go, before I change my mind.”

She went, pausing at the edge of the room. “You know, Aster, you may be big and hairy, but you don’t have to be mean if you don’t want to.”

            He furrowed his eyebrows. He touched one of the miniature bulls with surprising gentility. “Go,” he mumbled, almost too quietly to be heard.

            So she did. To give the ladies something to do, she bought a vanilla latte.

© 2019 Jacob Clifford


Author's Note

Jacob Clifford
I'm back! This is the first story I've written in an age, but I hope it turned out alright. I believe I'll be coming back to this story periodically to tweak it, so I'm open to any and all suggestions. Hope you enjoy.

*note* As this site is wont to do, it wreaked havoc on this story's formatting. There's nothing I can do about it, but I'm sorry.

My Review

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Featured Review

Clifford,
Creative story telling. A free spirited loose lady with plenty of attitude and old stud, "Minotaur", make for great Greek mythology. Your conversation's between the two add a lot of spice and make the story. I kept waiting for Erin to scam the ole boy and escape. Maybe she did, only you know for sure. Your story flowed well, good descriptions, and kept the reader interested. I enjoyed it very much.
Richie b.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Thanks for reading, Richie. I was waiting for a daring escape, myself. I had no idea where the story.. read more



Reviews

The story entertained me and kept me engaged throughout. I did have an ominous feeling about it right from the time she began going ‘right’ all the time haha. Two rights in this case made a wrong and there were so many ‘rights’. This was a lively and descriptive piece. Also, highly imaginative. The flippant, amorous, side of the protagonist came through so well too. All in all, a memorable story. My takeaway is to think more imaginatively.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Erin was a delight to write and voice, and the Minotaur was surprisingly enjoyable as well. The two .. read more
DIVYA

3 Years Ago

You’re welcome Clifford.
Your storytelling seems to be much better than I remember from before. I love the way you came up with a novel concept, then you packed this with attitude & obvious misunderstanding, to be somewhat of an allegory about how we each come to mate with vastly different expectations! Even tho your story is entertaining at face value, I was having fun thinking of all the ways this represents life & the lessons we learn. You do a great job at placing glimpses of the situation, here & there, so we kinda have to figure out what's going on, as we go along. Good puns with flippant wordcrafting & attitude (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'm glad you got some enjoyment from this story. I had a lot of fun writing it, both the bold sexual.. read more
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.
Well, Clifford....you have outdone yourself with this one! A fantastic read!

All at once clever, humorous and poignant, this kind of modernised tale on 'Beauty and the Beast' is very well conceived. As a fan of Greek mythology i enjoyed the references and most of all you have created a fabulous female protagonist to carry the story along. Ain't she something! I don't know what she drank the night before, but hell, it must have been strong! The sexual innuendo and banter scattered throughout certainly hit the mark and made for quite a few chuckles.

This is a fine short story, Clifford. Very inventive and professionally written. A marvellous write! Happy New Year, my friend.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

You honor me with your praise. I had a lot of fun writing this story, and I'm thrilled if any of it .. read more
WOW!! Very well written and very descriptive, I enjoyed the imagery and detail of your story.
This is a very well written story.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Thanks, Brandie. I'm glad you enjoyed this fun little story.
Clifford,
Creative story telling. A free spirited loose lady with plenty of attitude and old stud, "Minotaur", make for great Greek mythology. Your conversation's between the two add a lot of spice and make the story. I kept waiting for Erin to scam the ole boy and escape. Maybe she did, only you know for sure. Your story flowed well, good descriptions, and kept the reader interested. I enjoyed it very much.
Richie b.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Thanks for reading, Richie. I was waiting for a daring escape, myself. I had no idea where the story.. read more

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Added on December 3, 2018
Last Updated on April 15, 2019

Author

Jacob Clifford
Jacob Clifford

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About
Thank you, my Cafe family, for all that you have done for me. This has been a wonderful period of my life. If any of you ever want to reach me, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] more..

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