Tag: Labyrinth

LABYRINTH: The Edge of the World By Beverly Jones

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth, Gift
431 words
Beverly Jones
THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
Miriam walked on the edge of the world. It was a path she trod hundreds of times before. The sand was hot as the sun beat down, pouring honey-colored light over her. Sometimes when the moon rose silver over the waves, the sand was cool and pale.
She always walked with her head down, searching where her feet made tiny indentations. Lacy wavelets washed near her feet, teasing, dancing, occasionally tickling her toes as they played along the shore, anticipating the return of the tide.
She sloshed through the rising water. The salt water was warm against her calves, breaking into foam as it curled over on its way to the waiting sand.
Miriam started the journeys along the sea as a child. Her sailor father taught her love of the eternal, ever-changing ocean. Over the years the sea had laid at her feet: shells, tiny jellyfish whose sting was as fierce as its larger relatives, pieces of old bottles battered against rocks and bottoms until the edges were smooth, dead fish nibbled around the edges by smaller fish, plastic six-pack rings that strangled pelicans and pieces of Styrofoam®.
The child walked in her quickly vanishing footsteps. Miriam smiled. She had seen him a number of times playing on the beach. He was always alone. Sometimes he drew intricate labyrinths in the sand and walked them as the tide crept in to cover the lines.
Over the summer, she walked more slowly as he walked faster. Soon they were walking together. She shyly showed him her treasures. She explained how the sea glass lost its cutting edges. She showed him eddy whirls where newly hatched fish congregated. The two of them burrowed their hands in the sand, searching for tiny crabs living there.
Winter descended and the boy no longer walked the edge of the world. Miriam donned sweatshirt and coat and continued her pilgrimage. He appeared during school vacation, taller and paler than in summer.
He asked what new gift the sea laid at her feet. Digging in her pocket, she produced a small piece of wood, worn smooth and grey from the years of soaking in the tumultuous ocean. She held her hands out as if receiving bread at church. He cradled the driftwood in the palms of his hands.
The boy queried why she kept these sea offerings. What was their significance? Knowing he would not understand at this time, but hoping he would in the future, she answered, “They remind me of what I found that is more important than the tokens.”
Miriam smiled, “I found myself.”

LABYRINTH: Eleanor Rigby By Sally Madison

Words: soil, found, labyrinth, bane
Word count485 words
Eleanor Rigby
By Sally Madison
She was five foot eight in her younger days, but time has not been good to her. At five foot four she stands in her stocking feet because her shoes do not fit any more. Her apron still has stains of her son’s blood when he lost a tooth. It’s thin fabric, where she wiped her hands after every task, hints of the colors it use to be, after so many cookies and birthday cakes. Her short gray hair is still cut like a bowl, the same as when she was a child. She had never been in a beauty parlor, nor on a train or airplane. She had experienced two Hailey’s comets. She recalls, the first comet terrorized the farmers. They thought it was the end of the world. They cried and they went to church, alternately. Promises were made to lead a better life. She remembers little about those days, except that it was the only time she saw her mother and father hug each other. But when the comet was gone and peace was restored, the Roaring ‘20s arrived and no one remembered the promises of the past.
Now, with shoulders sagged from a life time of challenges, she shuffles from rocking chair to kitchen chair in her tattered scuffs, back and forth… all day. The meals are not prepared as they once had been. No one comes any more. Bread and butter are good enough, or maybe an egg. As a kid, she and her siblings would eat ketchup sandwiches, they still taste pretty good.
Peaking out her window in the wee hours of a sleepless night, and sees a young man with the threatening baseball stick glaring at each car that goes by. He is hunched over and challenging, as if he was looking for a fight. Who is he after, she wonders, or who is after him? She shutters to think what will happen when he finds his target. As he comes closer into the street light, she thinks, oh yes, I have seen him before. He is the young man who helped me carry my pot and soil when the hibiscus died. He was such a nice young man.
The social worker is coming today, she frets. Last month he found mold on her bread but he did bring the kettle. He always wears that green tie. Green… that was the color of my dress. Her face softens with memories. Oh how happy that day was, the day she eloped with Jessie. She couldn’t have imagined that he would later become the bane of her life.
Her head snaps up, nerves electrified, ripped from the labyrinth of her memories, she hears the tea kettle whistle. At least the pot won’t be boiled dry this time.
Sullenly she wonders, how I ever come to live in this neighborhood, guns going off, people screaming in the night. Where did I go wrong? She knows and she regrets.

LABYRINTH: Labyrinth Planet WC By Michael S. Jones

Week 1 Word: LABYRINTH
Word Count 495
Labyrinth Planet WC
By Michael S. Jones

Daedalus Base Camp
Minos Dispatch 5.12.2219 E.C.
Dispatch Three [3]

Your last reply is moot. The medical cocktail you suggested was ineffective and caused tremors in all but Petro-Specialist Franklin Rich.
When unmedicated most of our circadian rhythms finally adjusted to twelve [12] hour revolutions. Nine [9] of us tended to sleep well into the day while Rich stayed awake too long. We have no idea why his sleep/wake pattern was upside down from the rest of ours nor, of course, why drugs caused no side-effects for him. Are they connected?
We belatedly shortened our sleep times without artificial help and oddball Rich lengthened his. We have met more or less in the middle. Why did we adjust after so long?
[Sleep Documentation Follows]

Yes, we agree that equatorial landings are the only practical way. The notion of four [4] hour winter days and eight [8] hour nights is what the team calls Eastern Standard Wacko.

Exo-Botanist James Bartlett and Exo-Animalianist Virginia Wang discovered a new critter. It is a large, multi-legged scaly thing they have dubbed the centilizard. Grasping protrusions aid its consumption of some local plants.
[Flora Already Classified]
B & W will share discovery credit and want the Latin translation of their designated name.
[Freeze-dried specimen awaiting return trip and detailed taxonomy.]

Labyrinth exploration is more difficult than anticipated. Three entrances (creatively named Tunnels A, B and C) are within easy crawler range. Each “tunnel” has low ceilings and so Wang is always first inside. If her chin touches neck she almost never bangs her head. Occasional cries of pain cause great hilarity. But the taller amongst us proceed painfully always, bent double. Next time send a chiropractor.

Rich says tunnels are not ancient underground rivers. They are multi-cursal with seemingly endless path diversions: left, right, up and down. Yet each entrance contains its own labyrinth. Thus far they never meet or turn back on themselves although they seem to cross paths at different levels. Without GPGPS we are severely limited and line of sight surveying would take a century.
Rich thinks they might be braided in some way. Have the chiropractor bring a bigger ball of string.

Concerns

Some of the fauna is intelligent. Ever since we spotted the centilizards they have taken turns watching us. One stares intently at whatever we are doing for a time and then disappears. Within moments it is replaced by another. Bartlett calls them Watchmen.

Please understand that we have a mutual problem.
The distance each direction makes for inefficient “conversation” and causes frustration Earthside.
But here on Minos my team’s annoyance is cubed. Landmark shapes and shadows look “wrong” and, well, disturbingly alien. No, it is not scientific, but pit-of-stomach anxiety is growing, exacerbated by message delays. Tempers flare.
Why can ships fold space while messages crawl along at multiples of 186,000 miles/sec.? We need cheaper flights or faster messaging.

Family greetings follow. Ginny Wang asks for more peanut butter.

W. A. Sloan, Commander

LABYRINTH: Labyrinth of Love By Janie D

Labyrinth of Love
By Janie D
Week 1 LABYRINTH Part 2 of Saga
Word Count 410

Little did she know that the chance meeting with him would be that meeting that would change her life forever. He had brought out a spark in her that she did not even know she had.
She now dressed in ways that she had never dreamed was possible. She would wear clothes that she never would have worn before. Moreover, heels, how she learned to love heels. She reveled in the attention that she received when she entered a room. I guess you would call it attitude, presence.
The next few weeks, months, years were like a whirlwind. She spent almost all of her time with him while spending very little time with family or friends. In addition to learning to dress well, she had a crash course in many things automotive. Yes indeed, she assisted changing engines, and transmissions. She was able to not only check the fluids in her car, but on one occasion fairly early on in the relationship, she actually climbed into the engine cavity of an older model Chevy pick up to replace a sensor that a man would have had a difficult time reaching. The lessons working with automobiles kept coming. In time, she could mix Bondo and other substances pertaining to automotive bodywork. She learned how to mix the paint and clear coat so that he could keep spraying the vehicle of the day (or night) with little delay. All of this was great experience, if she decided to apply for a job as an apprentice in a body shop.
Her life was a cycle of scruffy clothes by day at work and tight jeans or short skirts and high-heeled boots and leather by night. There were many other parts to this relationship such as the never-ending labyrinth of work, bars, alcohol and his missing days. She was not blind to the fact that there must have been other women. Then there became the verbal abuse and violence that became more and more frequent as were the missing episodes.
Alas, she moved him out and changed locks so many times that she could almost do it in record time and in dim lighting. Once after he had been missing for several days, she once again packed his belonging in a large trash bag, like usual. He always knew to go straight to his mother after these episodes because that is where he knew his clothes would be.

LABYRINTH: Smokey’s Labyrinth By Ray S.

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth
Word Count 476
Smokey’s Labyrinth
Ray S.

“I found it!” Shouted Wonder Boy.
“I don’t believe it, called out Big Brother, as he navigated his way through the aisles of memories that accumulated in the garage. “Let’s have a look.”
Wonder Boy placed the Bible on a workbench. “The first names date back to 1815.”
“And the map?” Big Brother questioned.
“It’s here, right like he said. We should leave before the others ask to help.”
From childhood, they had heard the stories – Great Grandfather, and the Smokey Flyer. Papa, the locomotive’s engineer was held up for a gold coin shipment bound for the National Reserve. The robbers took the whole train. It was never found. That was Papa’s story anyway.
The boys were prepared thanks to the old man’s map.
If you’re going to steal a train, it’s a safe bet you’re going to need tracks. What better plan than Grand Central Terminal.
Dressed like workers, the duo made their way toward the switching tower and into the work tunnels. The boys encountered workers gathered in a dim light. One of them looked over, “Youse guys workin’ Section D?”
Big Brother was quick opening a metal door. “Nope, we’re up the other side.” They eased through.
On went the headlamps, illuminating like sunlight. Checking the map, Big Brother whispered, “We need the left fork and then the second door on the left.”
Through the gloom of the next chamber, Wonder Boy spied four figures feeding a trashcan fire. Homeless, he surmised or at least meddlesome. A shabby dressed shadow, with a large diagonal scar across its face spoke. “Wader off the reservation did we?”
Another stepped toward the pair. His nose was just a large scab. “Whatch got in dem packs?”
“Just this,” Big Brother shot back, showing a pry bar. Wonder Boy did likewise.
Scarface tried swinging a 2 x 4. Big Brother charged him, jabbed him in the gut with the pry bar. Scarface gasped for air as Big Brother batted the iron bar into his knee. The three others scurried out of the light. Scarface followed screaming and limping.
The passage traveled them west and south. The map weaved a trek around massive rotted out pipes. “What is this place?” questioned Wonder Boy.
“We’re below what used to be the city reservoir., now the Forty-second Street Library. The map showed a spillway, just a small gap between floors. The boys squeezed through, climbed down one level, “And here it is!” cried out Wonder Boy. “Locomotive 2290, the Smokey Flyer!”
The boys found four strong boxes under the coal in the tender. Big Brother opened one and found smaller boxes containing rows of gold pieces, one hundred in all. The brothers loaded up their carryalls, and as they walked away, they talked of the future.
“How do we explain this?” asked Wonder Boy.
Big Brother smiled, “They won’t care.”

LABYRINTH: The Sky of the Labyrinth By Claire Robertson

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth
Word count 203
The Sky of the Labyrinth
By Claire Robertson

“We go right!” 

“No! My sources say that left is the safe path!”
“Look at it! There are trip wires everywhere! Look right! Nothing! It’s completely clear!”
“It leads somewhere dangerous, I know it!”
“So what! If there is danger we’ll turn back and-“
“No! How many times have I told you! You cannot go back!” The girl turned right. “Minaya, don’t!”
“Don’t call me that, it’s not my name!” The redheaded girl had had enough. She was pulled into this stupid maze with this guy she didn’t even know. And worse, he insisted on calling her Minaya, even though she had told him a thousand times it was Syria.
Magnus had no choice. He sighed and went after her. He found the girl lying on the ground, staring at the sky through her aquamarine glasses. “Look at that cloud. It looks like it’s coming closer. Cool, huh?”
“Yea, and did you notice the ground is fading away?” Magnus said sarcastically. “WHAT!” This is what my sister has been reduced to, Magnus thought, pathetic. The ground was getting more transparent by the second. One minute later and they were falling, faster and faster, spiraling down through the air. “Caelo labyrinthi, exitiali ita hyacintho” Magnus murmured.

LABYRINTH: Conquering the Labyrinth By Miriam Rose Mancuso

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth
Word Count- 305
Conquering the Labyrinth
Miriam Rose Mancuso

There Kara sat, staring at the unicorn notebook in front of her. The first page read the words “500 words Labyrinth” written in medium red marker. Kara scratched her head. “Hey, Ashlee,” she nudged her best friend who was already working on her short story. “What does labyrinth mean?” Kara asked.

Ashlee shrugged. In her sweet, high-pitched voice she replied, “I’m sorry! I have the word ‘odyssey’!”

Kara sighed and nudged the person (Jurel) to her right and asked, “Do you know what the word ‘labyrinth’ means?” Kara hoped that she would be able to find an answer.

“I got ‘paradox’. Ask Renee; she’s pretty smart.” Kara was so confused.

The boy pointed at a serious girl in a green hijab and matching green dress that complimented the green necklace on her neck. Her long nails were also green.

Kara gulped. She didn’t like talking to popular girls for they in imitated her. She didn’t know how her best friend Ashlee could do it!

Kara slid out of her chair and slowly approached Renee. She cleared her throat and made an “ahem” noise because she couldn’t possibly tap a popular girl on the shoulder.

“Can I help you?” Renee’s cold dark eyes analyzed Kara’s stained grey sweater, faded blue jeans and muddy boots.

Kara smiled. “Actually, you can! What does the word ‘labyrinth’ mean?” Renee rolled her eyes.

“I am not doing your work for you,” with a wave of her hand, she dismissed Kara. “Goodbye!”

Kara, embarrassed, walked away with her head hung. She would never find the meaning of the word ‘labyrinth’!

That night, Kara came to her mom with her problem; she was hopeless!

“Honey, just use google or the dictionary!”

Kara suddenly had a light bulb above her head. She went on the computer and looked up the definition of ‘labyrinth’! Success!

LABYRINTH: Horsing Around the Labyrinth By L. Helterline

Week 1 Word: LABYRINTH
Word Count 427
Horsing Around the Labyrinth
L. Helterline

It was a beautiful day, with a bright blue sky. Of course that meant that the deer flies were hungry, and horses’ ears were perfect for a meal. Mom had warned me that in order to be thought of as a very well-behaved horse, I had to let them chew on me and not tear off for the end of the pasture through the labyrinth of weeds when they tried to bite me. Besides, she said I couldn’t outrun them anyway!
Now at last all of that training I had been doing with Carl, the horse trainer, would be put to the test. Carl was about five foot nothing and he had been training me since the snow had started melting. He said that the best time to train young guys like us was when the snow was deep. It made a soft landing for him just in case we decided we didn’t like the feel of him on our backs.
A new saddle, bridle and blanket were being carried out of the tack room by my rider, Jane. She seemed to be a nice person, but it was my first time with my new saddle and tack. Feeling a little frisky, I just had to try to have some fun, so one of my buddies from Carl’s farm had taught me a little trick to play on a rider. When the rider was putting on the saddle (on the horse, not themselves), the trick was to take a big breath so the cinch was way too loose for the saddle. Of course, by the time the rider discovered the loose saddle, they had already rotated at least half way around my belly!
I was hoping I wouldn’t snicker and let myself out on the joke. Sure enough, Jane stepped jauntily into the stirrup and threw her right leg over my back. Once she had both feet in the stirrups, I had a twinge of guilt. Too late. She clicked her tongue and we set off down the edge of the pasture. I heard Jane say, “Uh-oh” and I felt the weight begin to shift around my belly. It wasn’t long and Jane resembled a hillock-riding cowgirl, complete with bridled horse.
My mother’s voice was sounding in my head, so I stood very still…even though my brain was telling me to run away. Jane clambered up my side while I stood very still. Afterwards, my mother told me what a good girl I had been to stand so still…and then I think I heard her giggle!

LABYRINTH: The Piano Recital By Nan Ressue

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth (of self-doubt)
Word Count 317

THE PIANO RECITAL
Nan Ressue

Mom told me it would happen. I would have to go on the stage by myself and play my piano recital piece. She said it would be fine if I practiced a lot and could play it every time with no mistakes. Do mothers really know everything?
It was time to check the calendar again. Yes, there it was in one of those little squares. “Joseph, recital, 2 pm, Benton Hall”
By the next morning, my heart was still beating pretty fast and my hands shook on the keys when I practiced. Why did I think this was going to be fun? Lunch came and went but my stomach wasn’t interested. At least we were going to walk to the school instead of driving so it would take longer to get there. Mom wanted to sit right down in front. I got a copy of the program so I could see when it was going to be my turn. Oh dear. It looks like I’m going to play second. The auditorium was filling up in the front rows and before I was really ready, the lights dimmed. Here it comes. During the applause for the first pupil, I suddenly realized that the only safe place for me would be under the chair. That’s where I slid my quivering body.
There was the teacher, standing, searching the auditorium for me,
“Joseph?” she called. “ Joseph Andante?” No answer
My mother’s voice found my ears. “Joey? Come on. It’s your turn”
“I can’t Mom,” I whispered
“Why not?” she asked.
“I wet my pants”, I confessed
It was pretty quiet on the walk home. I know Mom was disappointed but I really didn’t care. There were lots of other kids who played for the audience.
“Besides,” I said quietly to myself, “in an emergency like that, it’s good to know that a kid can always use their secret weapon”.

LABYRINTH: Walking the Labyrinth By Maggie Robertson

Week 1 Word: Labyrinth
Word Count 500
Walking the Labyrinth
Maggie Robertson

Taking her first steps, the questions come. What is this life all about? Why is she here? What happened to it all? Where did “It” go?
Like the steps she takes now, the life steps calculated to take her to a better place seem to be taking her backward to a place of utter dependency, her time controlled by others and largely spent on unrewarding pursuits. This was not the Intention, not The Plan.
How did she become so disempowered, relinquishing all that was hard won; the sense of self, the sense of purpose, the greater knowledge of who she is ~was~ supposed to be.
The self-determined, connected life, part of something bigger, something worthy, was supposed to continue with a freeing of burdens to make room for creativity to stream into her life, to allow more time for honoring her being.
She always thought she would be fiercely living her values, and was puzzled to be so far away from that life. The exhaustion of her being came not so much from physical work as from the constant effort to fiercely live her values in the face of so much resistance from those who should be her strongest supporters. The dreams not realized, the creativity not expressed, wore her down to an empty shell.
It had taken her four decades to find her voice and feel she was finally coming into her own. Now her thoughts frequently landed on Icarus, wondering if she shared in his fate.

She reached the center and lay her body in the emerald moss bed beneath the shelter rock, even her dreams too discouraged to show up. Curling within herself, she indulged in the hibernation of her soul. Time passed as it always does for her, in corkscrews and spirals, mazes and starbursts. Now and again a pulse of connection pieced her being. As her rest brought healing, the pulses came closer and closer together until they became her very heartbeat, connected with the rhythm of the Earth around her. Only then did she awaken. With the darkness now fading from the sky, she retraced the Labyrinth path, each step working to uncoil the razor wire that bound her spirit. This time instead of questions, with each circuit came declarations:

I will simplify.
I will stop struggling against myself.
I will do justice by my children.
I will spend my time thoughtfully and with Love.
I will succeed in my own eyes.
I will create my own space.

I. Am. Not. Linear.

With those final words she emerged from the Labyrinth, carrying with her the realization that balance is a process that must be recognized within the context of time. She knew in her heart that the ebbs and flows of life will always be. Once again secure in the knowledge that she and life are one and the same, her body opened up wide to the Universe, and her soul came out to dance to in the sun.