Montag, 9. November 2009

Minotaur

Long time ago on a sunny island in the Mediterranean there lived a cursed king. Or at least his people thought he was cursed. For although he had a beautiful wife and a daughter who was as lovely as spring itself, he did not have a son.

Well, that part was not really true. The people thought he had no son, because the king's son was hidden away from the world and never shown to anyone. He had strange deformities on his head, like tiny horns, and his whole body was covered in fur. When the king saw his child, he immediately thought that his wife must have betrayed him, and he prepared to kill this ugly deformity, a child that was barely human.

But his daughter, beautiful Ariadne, pleaded for the life of her brother, and the tears from her blue eyes convinced the king. So the child was hidden away, playing in gardens that were surrounded by huge walls where no mortal was allowed to enter. The royal family, of course, did not count as mortal, so that was all right. Once a young page got lost on the huge royal estate, and when he was found wandering the beautiful gardens, the soldiers instantly cut his throat.

Despite being cared for like hardly any other child on the island, the boy grew to be a really wild child. He wouldn't be touched by anyone, and raw meat was all he would eat. With disgust his parents discovered that he was not only able, but indeed delighted to hunt small birds and rabbits. Sometimes you would find him sitting in a corner, all covered in blood and bits of fur. The chirping of the birds died out in this part of the island, and no one knew what had caused this. But whispers arose that this might be another sign of the king's curse. There were rumours of revolution.

By this time, although the boy was dangerous and hideous, the king couldn't bear to have him killed. So one of his wise men buit a maze for the boy, where he was brought and hidden and forbidden to ever come out again. In time, the boy forgot how the sunlight had felt on his skin and what fresh air tasted like. Without people who talked to him, brushed his wiry fur or talked to him, the boy grew ever wilder and stronger, trusting no one but his sister Ariadne, who would sometimes sit at the entrance of the caves and sing to him.

Sometimes other children were sent to him - slave children usually, or children from far away who had been found separated from their parents and were lost anyway. They would wander the mazelike caves for a few hours, frightened and crying, until the boy jumped out, playing tag with them until he tired of it and tore them apart. Those kids broke so easily. Their bones were scattered all over the maze, yellow and white and gnawed.

As the boy grew older, it became more and more difficult to keep him hidden away from the people and the world. His parents and his sisters had warned him that the sunlight might kill him, but one night, when no one was standing on watch and the ocean lapped at the beach right in fron of his caves, he carefully left what he considered to be his home for the first time.

This was only the first in a long series of secret excursions. Every time he became bolder, sneaking through the villages and peering through windows at other people doing what people do. He felt strange desires rising up inside him. It was not food or companionship he craved, but - something. One night he tried to get this something from a young girl who was out at night, waiting for her lover. The girl was shocked into frozen silence as he appeared in the dim moon light, and it was over before he really knew what had happened to him. He left the girl and ran back to his safe caves. Her family found her later, mind lost beyond recovery, wandering around the village naked, covered in blood and bodily fluids.

Still his family kept sending him companions to play with, so he wouldn't get bored or starve. He started playing with them - the young men they sent him only irritated him, so he got them out of the way as fast as possible, but he kept the women around for some time to enjoy their company.

His sister Ariadne, meanwhile, had heard the rumours of demons abusing the village girls. She went to the farmers and collected all the stories they wanted to tell her. She always brought special food and gifts to make sure she was welcome, and especially the old people told her lots of stories to while away the boring evenings.

At last, Ariadne knew she had to kill her brother. She prepared everything, and when they sent new people into the caves, she was ready. She waited outside, keeping the thread in her hands that would lead the young man back into broad daylight. She had given him a sword, her parents knew nothing about it, and planned to escape with him. She was still beautiful, but her eyes had taken on a haunted expression on hearing everything her brother had been accused of having done. She had spent long hours sitting with the crazy women - for there had been other women and girls, just like the first, some even worse, if that was possible. Now she listened to the sounds that came from the cave, the angry screams and the sounds of metal hitting stone. She imagined seeing shadows fighting at the back of the cave. Her heart beat fast.

Suddenly, there was silence.

Ariadne stood there, holding her breat, waiting for whoever would emerge from the cave.

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