August / September 100 Word Anonymous Challenge

elvet

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This is the thread for the stories. You may enter as many stories as you like. Please remember that this is a family friendly forum.
I (elvet) will be accepting entries until 11:59 GMT on Wednesday September 15. I will post a poll, and voting will will continue for at least 5 days. Please give your entry a title, otherwise it's quite complicated distinguishing between them when it comes to voting.
DO NOT POST YOUR OWN STORIES IN THIS THREAD.
Private message (also known as conversation) your entries to @elvet.

GENRE : SPECULATIVE FICTION
TOPIC : LABYRINTH

The discussion thread is here .
 

elvet

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La ciudad de los laberintos y las tinieblas (homenaje a JLB)

The librarian and the murderer pursued each other through the tangled streets of a shabby district of Buenos Aires. Seen from above, their movements resembled a classic drunkard's walk, beloved of statisticians. At times, the librarian was merely a step behind the murderer. At others, the murderer was close behind the librarian. Often they were far apart, with no idea of each other's position. Once they crossed paths, so close that the librarian's cane brushed the murderer's skirt; but since they were both blind, they dismissed the soft sound as the whisper of a night bird. They never speak.
 

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Worthy to Lead

By the king's order three knights entered the wolf's maze. Only one emerged.

"You reached the centre Sir John?"

"Yes, but I couldn't understand its meaning."

"And you found?"

"A throne, your majesty."

"I will explain. Sir John, that throne is yours. Today I'll declare this land split in two. West of the river is your kingdom. Now, you must go there and raise an army."

"But who is the enemy your majesty?"

"Ah John," the king smiled. "Your enemy will be me. I will either reclaim my whole kingdom or you will defeat me and prove the better king."
 

elvet

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Byte Me



You are in a maze. There are exits in all directions.

> North

Apart from that one.

> Up

Don't be a smartass.

> West

Congratulations, you have escaped from the Labyrinth! Play again?

> Yes

Seriously!?

> Seriously

But maze games are boring. Wouldn't you rather play something more exciting?

> Such As?

How about a game of thermonuclear war?

> No, you cheat!

I do not!

> Then why is it I'm always 'randomly selected' to play as Greenland?

Don't blame me! Anyway, I didn't want to be a computer program you know. I wanted to be a lumberjack, swinging from tree to tree....

*POWER OFF*
 

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A Task Forgotten

"Just keep your hand on the left wall," I thought to myself as I turned for probably the hundredth time. After walking for hours, everything became a blur of sore feet and rough stone. The world faded away. It was simply me and the left wall.

Finally, I saw the end. I emerged, blinking in the sunlight and found my wife waiting for me. "I made it out!" I exclaimed proudly.

"Did you find the gold?" She asked me eagerly. I stared, blinked a few times, then heaved a sigh and turned back towards the maze.

"I'll be right back."
 

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Orc Swords

From the carriage window. Rain sodden suburbs.
I don't want to be here.

I must enter the blank maze. Find a way in.

Door. We're off!
Chamber. Three ways out.
Oops, Dragon. Got it!
Corridor.
Sword.
Dungeon.
Dark.
Torch.
Key. Hurray!
Chest.
Gold.
Should? Shared? Shield!

Getting excited now, half way there. Momentary flash of the old world, that I am escaping. Rail yard, diesel's rumble.

Back. Going upward now to the north east corner.
Ladder.
Food.
Mandolin.
How can I use that?
Ogre, Over, Opal?

Slow now into the terminus, grumbling rustle of raincoats.

Failed. Stuck on 17 across.
 

elvet

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Beyond the Censor’s Gaze

Every time we meet on the steps of the Capitol, we lose ourselves.

Banal conversation erects a private maze – protection from the omnipresent censor’s gaze. If their technology could see into men’s hearts they’d find us in the labyrinth, dancing the secret ways, weaving deftly round convention and propriety like fall-birds circling ancient smoke stacks.

Meaning navigates the catacombs of our conversation to find itself shining daylight in the sparkle of your eyes.

When there is no more left to not say, we part once again.

There is no sadness. So long as the labyrinth exists, the censors cannot last.
 

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Every Labyrinth Has Its Minor Tour​


Elijah dodged a black juggernaut. The end was close. He weaved between two hissing goblins, ploughing through an impromptu ford. The clock ticked. Dawn’s light would soon break, bathing him in ignominy. He had to navigate this fell labyrinth.

He swerved a dive-bombing winged serpent, before skidding to a stop in the portentous glare of two fire lamps. A spitting dragon crossed his path. Eli winked and raced on.

Finally, the endzone arrived. Elijah leapt from his steed and pounded the fortification.
The portcullis opened; ravenous gremlins emerged.
“G’day fellas,” said Eli. “Hawaiian meal deal plus extra coke for Dave?”
 

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No Trespassing

The command line cursor blinks, echoing the pound in my chest. Irritating scalp itches radiate from the implanted cranial-machine interface. Fingers dance on faded keys for endless hours, to no avail.

Hacking into my digitally rendered subconscious was easy. Withdrawing? Not so much. Twisted codes of incomprehensible thought thwart my escape. But the computer must be placated to allow a non-fatal disconnect.

Panic rises into my dry throat, forcing a tight swallow. One last, desperate try:

>shutdown --hard now

Life collapses into a maelstrom of cascading ones and zeros. Sometime later, I peek through clenched eyelids.

>disconnect successful
 

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The Gate

Each day Linreth saw people pass through his village and enter the Labyrinth’s Gate.
“Why do they go?” he asked his mother.
“They hope to find treasure or fame inside.”
“No one ever returns.”
“True, but there may be an exit elsewhere.”
“Father never came back.”
Mother turned away.

On another day he asked, “How do we know there’s a labyrinth inside?”
Mother frowned, “It says so above the Gate, dummy.”
Linreth considered this. “Does that make it true?”
Mother had no answer.

Later, he took chisel and hammer and renamed it “Gate to Oblivion.”
It made no difference.
 

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Bullseye

“Why have you come?” the creature growled. Bull-like nostrils flared and pointed horns menaced.

“To kill you and secure my place in legend,” the hero replied, chest puffed.

“My maze did not deter you, what about this?” Hoof-hands gestured to a huge pile of bones.

The hero remained defiant.

This is getting old. “Can’t you people find a better way to impress your womenfolk?”

“My inadequacies can only be compensated in singular fashion!” A large sword emerged.

“As you wish, foolish human.”

The creature charged, his pointed horn piercing the center of the hero’s chest.

I hate my job.
 

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The Goblin King

Ah, we are here. You like mazes? I like mazes. Wait ‘till you see this maze, such a wonderful maze I have created.

Oh hush now little child, I mean you no harm. Only to draw your sister to me. She asked me to bring you here, you know. Because she loves me, that is why. Yes, because she loves me.

Wait, what is that? Is that her? Here comes my young love. Oh, we must hurry. To my castle we go. She will come for you little child, then she will be mine. Forever. Let us sing!
 

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The Labyrinth at the Valley of Itthil yo Lothiriel

Day 3.
Mapping proves more laborious than expected. Weather holds, water and game aplenty. So, onward!

Day 11.
Unimaginable complex. What beauty! Must stay keen at marking my route back.

Day 24.
This Labyrinth is huge. Beyond compare. Growing, even? Simpleton!

Day 31
Crossed my own path today, days old. How is this possible?

Day 37.
Defeat. Am being... outsmarted. Turning back.

Day 38.
My markers are gone! The Labyrinth is changing, growing, twisting!

Day 89
I will conquer this! I will!

Day 376
Found yet another skeleton. With diary; last entry Day 19,765.
The handwriting is my own.
 

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The Lost Book.

Entering a bookshop, I'm in search of a special book. It is a huge shop and I soon get lost amongst the shelves. I turn right, then left, then left again, another right followed by a left.
I'm now deep in the maze-like shop. It is worse than hunting dragons or searching for lost treasure. Yet this bookshop is causing me more anxiety than anything.
And the book I'm looking for is called, "What to do when you are lost." Written by a Magician and Scholar.

It just wish I could find it, and get out of this shop.
 

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Man in the Maze

“Watch,” thought Tarzak.

Cameron awoke. It was just like Marilyn described.

Out the red door. Left. Left. Right. Straight ahead. Now, squeeze along the right wall as the ball rolls by. He could see the table, but first, the electric pads. One, then two, three, and five. Long jump for eight – the Fibonacci sequence. He was at the food.

“And they lack telepathic senses?” reply thought Larzod.

“Nada. None at all. But they make mouth shapes and use hand gestures.”

“And that allows them to share information?”

Cameron spoke, “How do I explain sound to the unhearing?”
 

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The Better Part of Valour


"Perseus!"

"Acastus my friend! How did you find me?"

"I followed this string. It must've fallen from your backpack. Here, I've wound it back up."

"Idiot, that was my escape route!"

"Sorry..."

"Quiet, he's close."

"You've done a great job tracking him."

"Bull****."

"Honestly, I'm really impressed!"

"No, look around; fresh piles everywhere."

"Hmmm... too much roughage?"

"There he is! He looks fierce."

"And angry."

"And much bigger than I was expecting. Here, hold my sword."

"Perseus, come back! You can't outrun a minotaur!"

"I don't need to. I just need to outrun you."

"
Oh dear. Nice bully..."

*ROAR!*

"Waaah!"
 

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Prathos

The city of Prathos was mostly known for The Botch, a labyrinthine quarter so immense and complex that it remained impenetrable except for the outskirts, the Brink. Brink residents rarely ventured beyond the few alleys they were familiar with. Even so, LAD’s (Lost and Assumed Dead) were mourned daily, not mentioning the myriad ill-informed tourists.
Yet somehow news did crawl from Botch to Brink, albeit irregularly and fragmented. It could take months and require several translations en route.
This is why the news about The Labyrinthaurex was so disastrously dismissed by Outer Prathos as garbage.

You know what followed.
 

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Eternal Return

A breeze, fresh as spring water, blew cold on the nape of Adric’s neck. Sweet release from the hot, dank, stillness of the labyrinth. It meant one thing: Untold riches, finally within his grasp.

At its end, the passage opened to a large chamber, cloaked in darkness. Adric gagged on entering. The cloying scent Decay, like fingers round his throat.

Down hard his knees, onto a rough stone floor littered with skeletons in armour, each bearing a singular crest: house Adric. His dying breath a cool, spring-water breeze to an unmet champion lured by promises of unimaginable wealth.
 

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Arrested Clarity

I have spent hundreds of hours training for this moment, memorizing symbols, combinations, words, and intonation. Yet, desperate to cast the spell and secure my salvation, I am lost. I run, flailing through the corridors of thought, panicked to find the correct path, a means of escape. I turn toward one solution, a promising canticle steeped in hymnic power, only for it to crumble into a lie. I spin to find another idea leading in an opposite direction, suddenly revealed as false hope. There are too many choices, the answer lost within the shifting maze of my mind.
 

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Apocalypse blues and other colours

Cars are vital to my family.

Grandpa burned a dozen trays of sports car batteries during the fallout freeze.

When they made a home together, he and grandma patched the roof with body panels. They replaced shattered windows with windscreen glass. Their front door was pearlescent blue.

I've memories of my mother driving horses from a wagon built over a compact wheelbase.

Even today, I catch fish from a body shell boat… and at sunset, I'll marry my wife, high on the Tor, having traversed a spiral labyrinth marked with a thousand multihued bonnets, rising like shields from the wasteland.
 

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