A shock, the axe cleaved both land and space apart creating a ripple. Its effect mute, it voyaged seeking form. Shores uncounted and islands unnamed were spared it's edge. After a while, maybe two, the ripple found man but continued nonetheless. Past wooden harbors it swerved, not yet daring a collision. Providence led it gently underneath great behemoths of steel and onwards to it's inevitable end. The bottom came, rose and pressured it to seek flight, driving it ever upwards.

Of History and Sex

- Funfact!
- No, not again. When will you stop, I married the man not the scholar. I will leave you!

The white sheets caressed her body, rippling across her slender hips only to stumble as they found her chest. No, not now I thought. I rolled over onto my back and made it my mission to inspect every inch of the ceiling. What I would find I could not tell, but somehow, in some unimaginable way it seemed important. My eye's search ongoing, my mind searched for the previous thought. It took a while before it came to me. I exclaimed.

- Oh yeah!
- What?
- You know, people never thought the earth was flat.
- I don't get it.
- My Fun-fact.
- Oh...
- Well, maybe they did at some point, but the very first civilizations knew better. The oldest known civilization, arguably, the Mesopotamians knew it, they were fond of both the heavens and math you see.
- Hmm...

Her fingers betrayed her boredom, now venturing all over me to find something. Sadly, I could not for the life of me imagine what. My mind too focused on my tirade. After a close inspection of my shoulders and chest they traveled downward. Seemingly content with my bellybutton, I continued.

- The Greeks followed in their wake, building on the knowledge amassed from the now conquered Persia. Studying the stars and planets, they mapped their positions, their paths and shapes. At some point they realized that the earth too had to be round. Well, they thought it was spherical, but that is kind of the same thing. Right? Archaeologist recently found a device they made that explained the part of the universe they could observe. From the orbits of Saturn to the changing of the seasons. I think it is called something like the Antikythera mechanism, but I'm not sure...
-Oh, great surveyor of the human intellect, why did people say the world was flat then?

Discouraged. Her hands retreated, clearly without finding what they were searching for.

- Well, somewhere between the Roman conquest and subsequent assimilation of Greece and the known world - Damn Empires!- and the arrival of modern science, they simply forgot or did not care.
- (Now Inspired) How could they do such a thing? I mean, one would think they would care about something that important.
- Hmm... They did not forget completely, the knowledge was not lost, simply ignored. Historians have found statements, scattered throughout the historic corpus, referring quite clearly to the planet as spherical or round. The belief that earth was flat is simply a modern myth, based amongst other things on the depiction of the Norse universe as three distinct and flat layers. Flat layers are recurring. The nine layers of hell with the earth on top being another example.
- Oh, that's strange. You think of history as a graph, stretching at first from some point in the past, the big bang maybe. Then beginning to ascend as humanity developed and prospered, going upwards and stretching towards some distant peak.

Her hands found me again, no longer seeking, but gifted with intent. She grabbed my cock and began stroking it. Gently at first, but faster and harder, the pace quickening. Not saying anything meanwhile, I resolved to conclude my fun-fact on an austere note.

- It is our desire, perhaps written in our genes and understanding of our world, to assume that we are on a path going upwards. Knowledge, amassing on the shoulders of each generation are built upon by the next. However, history has it's ups and down. The Jews for example, owner of the greatest civilization at the time – next to the Egyptians perhaps – were cast out.
-You know the Diaspora?

Her interest solely focused on raising my now swollen member, I pressed my head deeper into the pillow, as if this would help me deliver my finale.

-Their cities were burned, their women raped, and their treasures stolen. Homeless, they spread to all of the world. Looked down upon for the killing Christ - remember most of the world was christian - they were forced to live in Ghettos and take the least respected professions. The 1500's and banking changed that, again they prospered and enjoyed wealth and to some extent status, but that light was soon clenched as Christians – people in general wanted a cut. Often blamed for plagues, disasters and witchcraft they soon returned to their slums. Did you know that the Norwegian constitution of 1814 stated that “Jews were not allowed to enter the Kingdom”? At the turn of the 19. century they prospered again, new thoughts and ideas had eliminated the seemingly groundless hatred towards them. Then of course came the second world war, we all know about that as well as...

A surging delight cut me off. Warmth spread from my head and down. My body lost all it's fervour and purpose and my thoughts found that blank space between daily life and realizing that the world still exists. Nirvana?

She stood up, and went into the adjoining bathroom. The storm of the pouring sink was drowned out by my delight. Her body, however, was not free from my gaze. A beauty. Her hair, full and dark, flowed like a river down onto her back. Where her hair ended, skin began. White, but with the dark taint summer had brought. She looked like a model, even though not posing but bent over the sink. Too pretty for myself I thought, and began pondering why she liked me at all.

-So, a labyrinth then?
-History. A Labyrinth, right? You think you are headed to the center, but it tricks you. Turning left here and right the next, casting you off course. What is that famous story called again? Something with M?
-Hmm, I... I don't know.

Enjoying the peace, my head tilted to the side of its own accord and my eyes wound up finding the window. It was night outside, the dark infrequently interrupted by car lights passing by. I had not the strength, nor the motive for straining my eyes to see better. All I could make out was the huge and solemn oak on the other side of the street. I spotted the contours of the house adjacent to it. The facade was all dark and blackness, even though I knew it was painted in a rather vivid yellow and green. I began hearing the water running from the sink as a shape clad in a black velvet cloak came into my line of view.

My body, relaxed only a moment ago, tightened. The sheets once so loose and full of warmth felt suffocating, tightening around me as if trying to strangle me. I found myself sweating. For some reason I was also cold. This rendered the maleficent bedding even more frustrating. The cloaked one approached, closing the gap between my door and it. A bit more. Nearer still. In the middle of the street now, only about fifteen paces from my front door and my bronze door bell. It stopped. My eyes strained, something was not right. The figure was all black, but I could make out the contours. He - or she? I could not make out the gender obviously - was enormous, no doubt close to 2,5m in height. Though larger still, and what really put me off was the shape of its head. It could not be a human head. First of all, it was all out of proportion even when accounting for the massive body. Secondly, Horns spiked out from the temples. The nose was too big, too big to be a nose. I named it a snout. The neck, thick as the oak, hinted at the muscles underneath that cloak.

Water was still running from the sink when our eyes met.

The cabin on Minos
A strange light

I stood. My feet firm and sure of their place in the soft sand. Was it brown or grey? I could not remember. I dared myself to peek down. Yup, it was undoubtably brown. The sea was calm, but small waves caressed the shore, sometimes venturing up to my knees. As if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders, I looked up and found the horizon. Some say it curves, to me it simply looks flat like the rest of my world. A matter of perspective I thought. That intense red, peculiar to the dying sun filled the ocean, coating it crimson. I relaxed my neck and let my head fall backwards taking in the sight of the sky, not able to decide whether it was blue or black, but full of stars nonetheless. A shock, wet but forceful, met my torso and my feet struggled for purchase. They found none.

I went inside, followed the corridor and took a left. Found my bathrobe and turned on my heels before taking another left into the kitchen. Bathrobe in hand I found the refrigerator and opened it before closing it shut after a quick peek. Subconsciously I found myself at the center of the room. Realizing this, I repaired to the refrigerator. Had I looked inside it already? I was not sure. Opening the fridge yet again made me realize two things. One: I had indeed had a look only moments before.
Two: I knew why I had not remembered. The contents were disappointing at best; a block of cheese, edges showing the beginnings of mould. A 6-pack of coke. Two cans of chewing tobacco, one already opened. A packet of jam lay upside down, it's contents spread over the entire bottom shelf mingling with a pair of boiled eggs. I closed it again and scoured the shelves for contents more worthy of my appetite. After a while, I found a bag of crisps and a couple of salty biscuits, which I washed down with some coke whilst sitting on the sofa.

Sated, at least for now, my eyes scoured the room. The cabin was old, made entirely out of wood, old and cracked. It had been refurbished by the previous owner, who I had purchased it from a year or so ago. In addition to the small balcony, it had a bathroom with running water, a bedroom and a living room complete with a kitchen and dining area. A short walk from the house was an old shed. Originally painted in red and white, it was now grey and rotten, only small patches of red remaining. I did not go there often, but used it to store some of my artifacts. Well, I say artifacts, but really just stuff I do not know where to put. Such as, 9 packets of A4 sheets of paper, my extensive book collection and my 9mm handgun. I had gotten the house cheap, come to think of it. The seller had seemed a bit strange and distant, nonetheless, the price was good and I needed to get away from the city and the people there. From the memories of her. Suddenly, pondering about I remembered my bathrobe, which I had carelessly dropped on the floor. I went over, picked it up and slapped it on.

Suited and ready for anything, my thoughts returned to her and that night. I had no clear recollections of it. I remembered saying some fun-fact and lying in bed, but what prevailed was an endless dark. That had been a year ago, I had been alone here on this island in my cabin ever since. A seagull swerved past, circled back and landed on the balcony railings. I watched it, mind transfixed. Behind it, the sun was almost gone past the horizon, only a thin red strip remained of today. The impatient moon was dimly visible above.

As dark descended, I went out onto the balcony to enjoy the evening. I had poured myself a glass of my favorite liquor, sailor jerry, with some ice. I had the bottle in hand. The balcony was old and decrepped, the refurbisher had not had time nor the means to finish this last part of the job; something about the logging company stopping sending supplies to Minos, my Island. Exotic trees, nameless due to my ignorance stretched over the balcony. Covering it in shade daytime, but at night the leaves rustled and whispered. Secrets of old perhaps? Perhaps they talked to their friend my house; talked of days long gone, deeds long done and people long forgotten. I sat down in the only chair present, an old wooden thing left behind by the previous owner. I gazed towards the horizon, but for some reason I could not find it. Two glasses later, I was asleep.

A blinding light. I jumped up startled and ran in circles, not sure where to make of myself. That primordial instinct to flee or fight is well founded, but when you know not where or if danger is or where you should go, it quickly gets silly. Somewhat calmed down, I surmised that the light came from the interior of the island. I relaxed - its just a light - and for some reason thought of angels. How do angels look? The bible is sparse in description, leaving it mostly to the artists to deduce how to picture them. Depiction of angels in old churches - like the basilicas in Italy, filled with stolen columns from Afrique – are non existant. At some point however, they needed to create something real for people to look at, wonder at and connect with. Scholars believe it was the ancient god Hermes who won the competition, so churches from that point on where filled with wing bearing humans, now called angels. Later, they found that grown people were not innocent enough, to tainted by life and sin. Therefore, the later renaissance and baroque periods saw the emergence of child angels, the ultimate depiction of purity and gods grace. Like a wave had grabbed a hold of hermes, brought him trough the neglect of time and to the present, an immortal god. How do angels really look you ask?

The light was too bright to stare at directly. My eyes hurting, I stared down on my feet, Angels, or Hermes, still flying about my vision and mind. After a while, I could not say how long, the light dwindled. I looked up. The light was now a faint glow, but still clearly visible from where I was. It illuminated the island, and the tree-clad mountain in the north-east corner of it. Hovering over the trees, the light seemed unnatural, like a lamp in a dark room. Something was not right, was the light natural or constructed. Excited and inquirious I stood erect. I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly whilst raising my hands over my head. Deeper, and then deeper still. My lungs unable to contain any more air, I dropped my arms and for some unknowable reason I let out a shriek. Horrible and Defiant, it traversed the island. Past inland groves and thick tress, past bedrock and ruins it went and ended on the side of the mountain. All quiet now, and eyes still closed, I could hear the waves battling with the shore.
Bathrobe and sandals on, I walked with a straight course and straighter back into the middle of the forest.

The forest of Hercules
A Recording of Death

Moral was high, but the forest proved denser than anticipated. I had spent my days either on the beach or in my cabin, so this was uncharted territory. The light, so clear from my cabin, was nowhere to be found here. The trees shut it out. Thick trunks and branches, both dead and alive littered my path. Every now and then a bush or rock would send me tripping in the darkness. After an especially foul thorn thicket, I found myself on my knees and hands panting heavily. I looked up, trying to find the light, but it could not see it. A chill descended on the forest and a wet mist wound its web ever tighter around me, coating the previous dark in a grayish tint. The waves were picking up now, I could hear them even here, a long way into the forest.

I could not get lost, I would not be able to find my way back with my limited knowledge of the island, or at least it might take me some time. I looked at my watch, 3:50. I stood up and brushed the dirt of my knees. I thought of her then, my sweet dark haired muse. I had woken that morning, sheets stained with stale blood and that smell, the smell of fear and death. No body meant that the police could not jail me, but that was only a formality. I could not have killed her, I loved her. I trudged on, the thought of her became unbearable so I thought back on my other girlfriends. Stephanie from high school, my blonde. She was petite and insatiable. Like me she wanted the world, but when high school ended she discovered that the world was not for her, but for me. I went onto Harvard, and she went to a job at McDonalds. I heard that she had a child now, a girl with dark hair causing all sorts of insomnia. Margareth, the one who got away. She was perfect, brown hair and tan skin. A personality to melt away the snows of winter and to shade for the sun in summer. She was smart and beautiful, always well dressed. Clean and wrinkle free dresses, no matter the season and her hair was always loose, except when working, she would have a ponytail then. It only lasted fifteen months. She was stolen by a man, with more expensive suits than me and a beach house in Malibu. Then there was Christine. Slender and dark, like her end. Somehow, I had ended up where I started, thinking of her. I fixed my gaze forward and imagined that I saw a light dwindling there, somewhere in the distant. The forest was no longer quiet, I could hear the leaves overhead rustle in the wind. My course set, I proceeded.

After a lifetime of battling with the island's habitat the forest gave way to a clearing. I looked ahead, but was disappointed when I found the light to the right of myself. I had gone wrong. I cursed myself for being human, birds and fish have something much like an internal compass, directing them always to true north. Trekking south in winter, they find their way both there and back again due to this. Humans are not like this, they rely on sight. The army experimented with blindfolded soldiers in the cold war and found that without sight, humans would automatically and without fail veer left. Given enough time and space, they would walk in circles. The same was true for people navigating the desert or the steppes. Without any exact landmarks or point to navigate after, they would quickly turn of course, always to the left. Some callous officers even tried this hypothesis with the soldiers high on LSD, needlees to say it did not go well, they would walk in any direction except the one they were ordered. At least it makes for a good story. I thought I was headed straight but I was not. I looked back into the woods, the black thicket furthermore obscured by the mist appeared for a slight second like a labyrinth. I could not help wonder, had some constructed mechanism led me of course? Brushing the thought away, I turned around and jumped.

In the middle of the clearing was a house. It had been empty before. Now however, the clearing was split in the middle by a river. A house was next to it, the waterwheel on the side taking advantage of the river. As it turned, the cogs made an eerie clicking sound. Clack. The house was strange, not just because of the unnatural light to the east was casting its favour upon it, it was unlike any building I had seen. Brown, and not of timber but of mortar, the house looked alien. The roof was made of thatch, like they did in ancient times, and the facade was littered with paintings in all colors imaginable. How I wished to be a parrot then, to see all the colors humans missed. Clack. I approached the alien object and was crossing the narrow bridge when a figure appeared. Unnatural, like the light which he looked to be made of, the man – no, the ghost – walked from the other side of the clearing. Clack. His strides, ever so fervent, did not make any sound. Drawing closer, I saw whips of smoke, almost like waves rolling around the man. He appeared more like a silhouette now, I could see through the smoke that was the man. I heard waves, raging against land, it could have been the trees. He looked familiar, but I could not place him.
The figure was headed straight to me, I held my breath and looked towards the light to my right, bracing for an impact. Before we met, however, the wisp turned right and into the house through the door, he did not need to open it. Clack.
This was weird. Absolutely surreal. I should leave now. I do not have to go in. I remember thinking the thoughts, but as a train headed for the station, some unknown desire led me to the door, some part deep inside speaking from behind my consciousness urged me on. The door was of oak, once fine but cracked now by the years. A bronze door hammer clad the center, in the figure of a lion. I closed my eyes, grabbed the lion and knocked three times. Clack. It opened by itself. Clack. Despite its appearance, the door opened soundlessly and without any effort or intervention. I could not see anything from the outside, it seemed like a black hole. Even the mist seemed to be dragged into the darkness, I took a deep breath and looked to the light one more time. As I entered I clenched my Jaw shut, it dropped soon thereafter.

The door had not only appeared like a black whole. It was just that. Not only had I moved across an ocean and five border crossings, traversed a selection of mountains and taken the tube back to my apartment in the city. Space. I had also moved across time, twelve months more or less. This was my – ours – apartment, The lights were off and the temperature chilly. Two wisps were dancing around, I recognized them both. Flying around my kitchen was the foggy remains of Christine, the air tainted with the scent of her perfume, Dior Fragmatic. The one who had entered before me was reclining in the couch, looking at the black screen of the 50 inch tv. It was me. How I loved that thing. Time speed up, the wisps danced, their strange blue mist fluttering and hovering about the room, lingering longer still. I followed it, and was soon where I had been a year prior. She was in the bathroom, I in the bed. My gaze, just as before fell from the ceiling to the window. A recording, that was what this was. I knew what would happen. I screamed at them.
Dubious psychics and spiritualist, people I did not really bother with, often surmised that ghosts were nothing but recordings, caught in endless loops. Remnants of violent energy, they were cursed to repeat the event over and over, unable to react or interract. Very much like how my mind, or conscience had played the night over and over again. Without fail, without alterations, without that last scene.
My wisp turned its eyes from the window as Christine came from the bathroom. She lay down next to me and they started talking, soundlessly. I could not remember any of this. My wisp were on his back, looking up the whole time. The last thing Christine ever did, was to turn her head towards the door where I was standing. Our eyes met and for an instant we saw each other. She smiled at me as a tear trailed its way down my cheek. My ghost rose. Looming over her, he struck. Again and then again. I screamed, its effect still mute, but I needed to scream then. Not to change anything, but simply to assure anyone else who might be watching that I was not enjoying this. The beast in the bed was not me, could not be me. It was my ghost. My horned ghost, pummeling the love of my life until it all went black. I had closed my eyes.

I stood silent for some time. Eyes closed. Soon a wind came, the sound of trees returned to and far of I imagined that I could hear the shore. No clack though.
My eyes opened and I found myself in the middle of the clearing, but the house had vanished. I felt weak and powerless, the destiny I had fought so hard not to believe had been played before me. Not in black and white, but in shades of blue and grey. I had loved her, how could I have killed her? It made no sense. The light was still there though. Unlike before, now it seemed natural and friendly , like a lone spirit protecting the island. I looked down into the forest and reckoned that I still had a long way to go. I could be no more than a third of the way. What time was it? I was not too fond of it, but Christine had insisted I get this one. It was an all black rolex with navy blue visors, making it quite the ordeal to spot the hour in the dark. I cursed out loud, something which seemed to work because right after I managed to locate the visors in the darkness. 4:20.
Four hours till sunrise. I jumped a bit when I realized that the light would probably disappear then, my mission had a deadline and an end. I gave my body a thorough inspection, reassured myself that I was still alive and kicking and ventured forward. Just before colliding with the maze of vegetation I looked back, to my surprise there was a bull standing on the edge of the clearing, peaceful and silent but glaring ominous towards me. How could I have missed that? I picked up the pace, slightly terrified it might charge towards me. Soon the forest engulfed me.

The Forest of Hercules
- A Labyrinth

Expecting the path to be as tangled and strenuous as before, I initially released a sigh of relief. After breaking through a thick wall of branches, stumbling over an ant's nest and battling a stream too deep for my liking, the forest opened up. I trudged on leisurely, the canopy overhead was not as thick now. The mysterious light cast rays that struck the overhang, some emerged intact. Strange as it was, the forest looked like a big box box full of bullet holes, through which daylight streamed through. I even found the sky. Black, not the blue or grey of late evening, but the pitch black of the true night. Fluttering stars emerged behind the occasional cloud, and the moon – almost full – waited to be dismissed by the sun. However, I had plenty of time if the terrain continued as relaxed as this.
With the light in sight and some space to move my arms, I did not feel as stifled and anxious as I had on my previous excursion. With the light aiding me, I could not be thrown of course as before. Something felt odd mind you, I just could not put my finger on it.

After a while, 32 minutes by my watch's count, I placed my finger on the oddity. I had gotten no closer to the light, and I now knew why. Three brown baboons had crossed my path and run ahead, the alignment of the trees split them into three. Soon thereafter, two of them came back, chose a new path and continued. I had not seen any of them since then. Therefore, I stopped to gather my thoughts. Fore me where three paths, four damn-near straight columns of trees, each one veering in slightly different direction. It seemed as if this was not a natural forest, but perhaps planted or designed in a particular manner. Trees do not grow in straight lines, but in random patches. What was this? If the government or a private company had planted or interfered with the Island, - especially an island this pristine and untouched – I would have heard of it. Brushing the thought aside, I took the rightmost path and carried on, anxious now. The strange forest spurred my thoughts on to design. Thinking back on an anthropological work by an Icelander, Asmundarson something... Man has always seen itself as something different from nature, the idea of civilization furthered this idea. Civilization is a barrier or rampart, a design man uses to protect themselves ideologically from the savage and ferocious nature. Nature, of course, is not designed. Some theologians will quote works, mostly from private and rather biased faculties, but the main consensus amongst true experts is that earth happened by chance. Nevertheless, design assumes purpose, just as the purpose of the very much designed civilization is a trick to elevate man above meere nature. If nature was designed it would have had to have a purpose, if it was not, it would be empty and vacuous, void of meaning. I was rather fond of the latter belief, but now my mind was slowly changing. Could the forest be designed?
The row of trees turned sharply to the left. Turning, the light was to my left now, I was nowhere near the center.
Assuming - a stupid thing too do – that the forest was designed. What purpose was it designed for? I took, another sharp right, before following the curved wall slightly towards the left. Who was the designer? These questions, as deep as and bottomless as the human soul, gave me a headache. I looked down, pondering, and walked straight into a thick wall.

A dead end. A wall of trees blocked my path forward and closed me off both left and right. The only way forwards, was back. Frustrated, I looked up towards the sky, still black. A comet shot accros the heavens, painting its wake in swirls of red and yellow. This eased me somewhat, and I noticed that the wind was picking up. Trees began to flutter violently in the wind, a group of squirrels migrated across the lit treetops overhead and even though I close to the center of the Island, I could hear the roar of the sea. The foaming of the waves. I heard something else too, a vicious and cruel roar, from somewhere near the coast. Birds, wake now from the musings of night hurried anxiously past. I retraced my steps, anxious and fearful, and chose a different path. The forest seemed totally out of place now, like the light in the sky. I resolved to pick up my pace, the quicker I could get our of here the better. Scuttling forward, I thought of her. What she would say. What she had said.
-So, a labyrinth then?
-History. A Labyrinth, right? You think you are headed to the center, but it tricks you. Turning left here and right the next, casting you off course. What is that famous story called again? Something with M?
-Hmm, I... I don't know.

I could not get out. Whichever way I chose, I did not get any closer to the light in the sky. As I traversed across the solemn columns of trees, brown and grey at the bottom but with fresh and vibrant roofs of red, green and everything in between; the light shifted above me, but I did not get nearer. I stopped, the mist was gone now and some warmth had returned. However, I was more anxious than ever. Who - or what - had let out that roar? Was someone chasing me? The bull from before perhaps.

The Temple of Minos
A baboon and a Shopkeeper

A red herring swam anxiously in the water. It did not like the night. Fish as you know, like to eat and reproduce when it is dark. But the surface had been filled with a strange light all evening. Casting gloom and portent on the subsea inhabitants. The fish met its end in the embrace of a baboon, the approaching storm had cast it too close to shore. The baboon, enduring the forcefullness of the waves, ventured inlands. Its prize in hand. Chancing upon a clearing it sat down to enjoy it in solitude, but was soon surprised by a horrible monster. It was a human. Tough something was off about it, something with its head and size. Scared, the baboon dropped the fish and ran on. It braved an ocean of trees, a small stream, but very deep and finally chanced upon a man. This one seemed more normal, but a bit distressed. Their eyes met there, in the thick of the forests. Walls of trees, lit by that incessant light had led them together. In the eyes of the man, so sure and certain of their place in the universe, the baboon saw fear along with something else.

I was frustrated. I was beginning to get tired too, but the maze gave me no pause. I stood silent for a moment, my ears scanning the environs for any clue or threat. My vision spectating and analyzing the fork ahead. A rustle of leaves, dewy and complacent after the long hours of mist and night. I turned around to greet the sound with my eyes and was somewhat disappointed to find only a baboon, I had hoped for a kind spirit or something like that. A great monster even, as long as it would get me out of here. Our eyes met, the baboon remained transfixed. Its brown fur was motionless, the wind failing here to cast it adrift. The long arms hung down, almost touching the brown mud, spotted only with red leaves. It looked sad, the black eyes gleaming with the silver of the unnatural light above. Evermore imposing due to the redness around them. I think I saw a tear fall. Innocence and Nature. Before long, the moment was over and the ape ran, picking the path to the left.
I waited a second, only to be spurred on by a wet splash, a deep groan and the trees to my right rustling about for reasons totally unrelated to wind. I ran then. Scared and Hunted I ran after the baboon, away from whatever was behind me.

I had somewhat doubted the monkey, it was too boring of a sign, it could not possibly have any meaning. I had run away from something though, and by accident our paths had crossed again. Soon thereafter, the baboon and I had obviously found the right path and arrived at the end of our short but amicable journey. I stood silent, the baboon was sitting next to me. Both of us looking at the light. We were not looking the same way mind you. Before, the light had had a source, some point to navigate after. Like the northern star, so often used by sailors of old. Now, standing almost directly underneath it, I could not see where it came from. It seemed to shine out from everywhere, its true origin was untraceable. The chilly air around us was littered with smaller lights - probably deserters from the one true untraceable light – hovering about aimlessly. The mist from my anxious breath streamed forward, encircled a light, and for a moment it appeared like a mosquito. The mystery revealed – I thought - I looked down. We were in another clearing, the earth was unnaturally flat like an air strip, but littered with flowers. Some were yellow, some red. The flowers too seemed to light up, though it may have been a trick played by the light-mosquitoes. Close to the center was an enormous construction, like the house only bigger. Red columns lined the exterior. A roofed gangway behind and behind them was the house itself, brown but filled with vibrant paintings. Two stories tall and majestic, much like the house I used to own. I laughed out loud.

Before the ancient temple stood a man, old and grey, but with size hinting at former strength. He was clad in grey denims, knees sticking out from holes in the material. He had a red and black, checkered flanel shirt, sleeves rolled up to his elbows. A “I love NY” cap adorned his head. Nike sneakers, old and threadbare, masked his feet. The picture was made complete by the blue and yellow parasol under which he was standing. He had a cash machine standing on a desk to his left and to the rear of it a vending machine filled with crisps and sodas of all kinds.
“Ha! Certainly not a profitable venture” I mused out loud and looked towards the baboon for reassurment. He did not seem interested and hurried off into the bushes, daft animal that it was. I watched him go before hurrying across the flat, serene and well lit plain to the mysterious vendor.

King Minos

Approaching the mysterious vendor, I realized how shabby I must have looked. So, I stopped for a moment to assess the damages. My sandals were muddy, and the sole on the left was beginning to come off. My bathrobe was infused with leaves, thorns and the occasional bug; ranging from ants to centipedes. Like my sandals, it too had amassed a rather impressive amount of soil and dung. Not good, certainly not fit for civilized conversation. However, I realized that the man under the umbrella would understand. There was a light in the sky after all.

He greeted me fondly and a bit too loudly.

- Cheerio!

I (attempted to) returned the favour.

- Hecher...
- Are you daft boy?
- Uhm, no...your cheerio caught me a bit of guard is all.
- Ahaha! Well, that thing often happens, especially round here.
- A squid?
- What?

Miraculously, from seemingly thin air, though I am not entirely sure about that; he produced two dead, staked and deep fried squids along with two cans of Stella Artois lager beer. I realized just that second that I was absolutely famished, conquering forests and ghosts will do that to you. We both - I in muddy sandals and he in severely worn nike sneakers - munched and conversed on happily. After a while I asked, I could not bear it any more.

- I realize that it is probably none of my business, but I gotta ask. How is business going? And why, of all places, are you here in the middle of nowhere selling whatever your selling?
- Well, I've been here for as long as I can remember. I've just sort of always been her, y'know, selling stuff to passerbys. Though they don't pass by so often. Your my first customer in three months? Four? I can't remember exactly, time goes by so fast.
Wow! (I exlaimed) and its proftiable?
- Oh...I don't know about that. Gotta ask someone else about that. I don't really care for them money, ever since Augustus went and standarized the coin value.
- Wait, Augustus? Like the Roman emperor, son of Caesar and the month of August?
- Yeah, that's him alright.

I could not believe my ears. Here was a man; in the middle of nowhere, selling random stuff (What did he sell?) who had not cared about money since the reign of Augustus 2000 years ago. I shoved down the last piece of squid, as chewy as it was rich. Downed the last of my beer. And asked again.

- So, who are you?
- Well my name is Minos, King Minos once, but not many people seem to care about that anymore.
- Minos, like this Island?
- Yup, I reigned here for some time, but then it all went to shits.
- What? How? Why?
- I could tell you my story, but it would probably bore ye and it would take long?
- No, I assure you, I want to hear it. I have all the time in the world.

With me ignoring the fact that sun was not far off. The man - no King Minos – rose reluctantly and a second thereafter he had produced a small bonfire, I could not see or remember how he had done it. He sat down and glared ominously into the fire, the branches searing, crackling and dying in the flames. Wisps of smoke streamed upwards and covered the space between us in a grey fog, contorting and twisting into ghostly forms as it rose higher through the light. I could not see his face, only his eyes. Like glistening rubies, they penetrated the smoke and for a moment the smoke looked like a ghost, with eyes as red as a ruby.

King Minos' Long Story
w/ Musing

- I had a wife once, her name does not matter. She had gorgeous, black hair and skin more pristine than summer. She was rumored, in my time at least, to be one of the finest women in all of Greece.
- Which is where we are now (I supplied)
- Yes, so beautifully in fact that she gained the attention of none other than Seuz himself, my father. So, lust raging, Zeus took the form of a bull and descended from his seat on Mount Olympus. He found my wife bathing and...ehem copulated with her. The result was a son, not my son but a possible heir nonetheless. So, instead of sacrificing him to Poseidon I had my old friend Daedalus build a labyrinth beneath my temple, the one right behind me. I locked him in there so he would never get out, and to feed him I organized an event where people from all over Greece would come and try to find the center, feeding him with their dead corpses. Long story short, I was betrayed by my daughter and a young man named Thesevs, who slew him. And...the son, or creature, was not like any human mind you. He had human features. he had strong legs and a broad human back supporting absolutely massive shoulder on the sides. A strong kid. However, he had the head of a bull, black and fierce. Horn sprung from his temples, like the rings from his nose. An ugly thing.

I was astounded. Not really sure what to believe. At first I thought he was simply mad, a lunatic pretending to be the King of Minos Island. However, no madman could recite the ancient myth of the minotaur so concisely and so personally. No, he might still be mad, but at least there was some method to it. I looked up. Craned my neck backwards and gave my black hair a proper comb with my right hand. I The hand came across something sharp near my temples, I did not know what, so I looked into the fog again. I had one more question

- Do you know what this strange light is? It is the reason I went so far into the forest.
Light, what light?
- The light all around us, floating in the air in the middle of the night.
- Hmm, no I don't know about that. Can't really see what you're getting at.
- Hmm, ok. I felt like there was something special about this light. That somehow if I got here I would receive some deeper understanding of life or something.
- Well, I'm not really at liberty to perceive something from this side of the world. So thats probably why I can't see it.
- What do you mean?
- Hmm, Ye know what happened to me after I died.
- No.
- The gods appointed me “King of the Underworld”. I was to greet people arriving at the gates to the land of the dead. Dante Alighieri assigned me the role of judge too in his work the divine comedy, which I still don't find the least bit funny by the way. So, I'm only really allowed to be there, which is why it is hard for me to be here and why I might miss a thing or two. In a sense I'm not here.
- Wait, if your someplace else, how can I see you? I'm still very much alive. You're not judging me are you?

I rose excitedly and looked down on myself to see that everything was still there. My dirty sandals, check. My ankles and shins, another check. My venturous bathrobe, check that. My human body, fucking check.

- Relax will ye, I may not know much about that light. But I know other stuff.
- Like What?
- I'll answer your question with another.
- Was something chasing you through those woods?
- No, I...I'm not sure.
- Does this Island seem natural to you.
- It...It did up to just recently. What the fuck are you getting at old man?
- I told you about the minotaur, half beast half man. The ultimate metaphor. And the labyrinth built to contain him. Constructed.... no, designed for just that purpose.

The wind was growing in strength, making the trees bordering on the clearing bend and twist until I were certain they would break. The luminous night, so chill and damp only a moment ago, Suddenly felt hot and stifling. My pulse quickened. Fear was coming. The night was setting.

- What is this place?
- Are you, whatever you name is, a man or a beast? The purpose of this place is simply to find out.

I took a step back; from the man with the strange business venture, from whatever was chasing me. Away from myself and my past. I was a man, not a beast. I had realized, that the island was not natural but designed. A design needs to have some purpose, I deemed the light to be just that. Who was the designer? I still could not tell. My lungs reached for air, but found little to grasp. Meanwhile, my eyes searched the sky fervently for the true source of the light. They could not find it, but then a miracle happened. The smaller lights rose upwards and, swiveled about a bit before converging right above the entrance to the temple. Of course, that had to be it. I inhaled, lungs filling now with crisp and clean night air. Exhaled, and felt my muscles tensing and straining under my skin. I leaped at the bonfire and towards a ghost made of smoke, a kick at the ready.

The Labyrinth

My kick, whilst looking for Minos, found only air and I almost fell. The mysterious King had vanished along with his umbrella and vending machine. All that remained was the embers in the bonfire, occasionally spurring on thin streams of smoke that quickly blended in with the air. At the temple, the light had vanished inside. I had to go there, to get to the bottom of this Island and this realm of Minos.

I ran to the temple, the images on the walls clear now. Classical imagination made many monsters, these monsters were now rampaging along the walls. The snake haired medusa, a woman defiled by Poseidon. The one eyed giants I could not remember. Even their gods were monsters, more men than deities. The minotaur, more bull than man. The painting seemed to move about, but I could not determine if there was any movement or if I was just dizzy. Approaching the staircase, medusa's eye found me. I remained frozen for some time. Until I realized that I had not been made to stone. Relieved, I looked down the stairs. The stairs went down rather sharply, so far that the bottom was concealed in darkness. Her dark hair trailed through my thoughts then and I thought about our last conversation. The earth was not flat, but round. People of old thought so too, but for some manner they designed it layered and flat. When a hero went to the underworld, he always had to go down the layers like Dante's inferno. Like Hercules over the river styx and down through the cave with Cerberus. Or Grettir descending into the realm of the dead through the grave mound. This felt just like that, and as I descended I felt as I was descending deeper into hell. Deeper into my own dream. The staircase held only the sound of waves, crashing ever so gently agains the shore. Had minos judged me well?

The darkness below was complete. It took a while before my eyes adjusted, but darkness is still darkness. My hands traced along the walls. They felt like sand rough, yet smooth, and crumbling behind my touch. I rushed ahead, and my hand lost the wall. Some fumbling around proved that I was by a fork. Not a trident, but a fork. Two paths led on, one to the left one to the right. I listened, after all my sight was useless down here. I smelled too, the path to the left smelled wrong, not horrible like rot, but like the mindless mint cocoa coffee shops used to sell around christmas. Ridiculous, I thought. Then I realized. I was in a labyrinth, not a metaphorical one, like the forest. This labyrinth was real, made of sand and blood and men.

Thud! Thud!
Footsteps were approaching from the left, slow and painful. A silhouette emerged, grey agains the blinding darkness. Another Thud. The figure, on account of both sound and grayness could be no more than. A few feet away from myself. I looked to the right. I hoped unlike the very real labyrinth that this creature, like the forest, was all metaphor, no substance. The wet breath that caught my neck just after proved otherwise. My muscles tensed, and I stood frozen. Slowly, I dictated my muscles to move and slowly they obeyed. Against their will. Fore me stood the cloaked hoodlum of the year past revealed. Grey and thick muscles supporting the head of a bull. Ferocious and angry, the eyes pierced straight through me, to the bottom of my soul. I brushed the sweat away from my forehead, Screamed then turned on my heels and ran to the right. I did not know if I was chasing the light or if I was being chased by an entirely too mythical creature.

I took a left, ran for something like forever before taking another left. Then a right. I was getting tired now, but I could not cease, the creature behind me would not allow it. Another left later and my face hit the wall with a dry thud. Fortunately, the creature was no smarter than myself. I fell and got up quicker than I thought myself able. The bull hit the wall beside me shortly after, and I used the opportunity to jut past it. Faster I thought, but my legs would not listen. I should have spent more time on that treadmill my parents gave me for christmas. My ears found no pursuers, but I continued nonetheless, breath strained and heavy, loud against the earthen labyrinth. A left, then another right, then another until I had no idea where I was or why I was running. Suddenly, I spotted the light flowing ahead of me. I followed it. Reached for it. My hand seemed strange in front of me. Like it was something dead, no longer a part of me. Just before catching it, I was tackled, the arms around my legs told me that it was a man. The horns in my waist was another story.

I rose alone. The Bull was nowhere in sight, where had he gone? I had journeyed upon the center of the labyrinth. A boring, square room, but lit my a single electric lamp dangling from the ceiling. To me however, the room was as beautiful as daylight. In the center sat a bench, sad and lonely except for the beauty mounted on it. My shoulder sank and my breathing eased and gave way to true pleasure. How do Angels look? I knew now, they looked just like her. Christine wore a simple, yet in some way perfect, white summer dress. Her dark hair flowed from her scalp, down around her neck and over her right shoulder where she had tied it together with a flower ribbon. Her skin, tan after a lifetime in the sunlight completed the ensemble. From all the colors of black to the divine completeness of white. I halted onwards, my hand revealed that I had no wound from the horns which had ferociously penetrated me only moments before. Straightening up then, I marched the rest of the way like a soldier returning home from valiant war and reclined next to her.

- You were that light? You were my Angel?
- Hmpf, yes.
- How, I don't understand how this is possible.
- You're dead.
- Aren't you?
- No...I...I'm still here. I loved you.
- And I you.

After that we remained silent for some time, I did not bother to check my watch. Her head found its way to my shoulder, and my arms their way around her. A perfect moment. Please end the story here. Before long, she asked.

- So did you figure out where you are?
- No, I met some strange guy who said this place was designed and something about men and beasts. Why do you wonder?
- Well, you should know, you are the designer.
- Wha...
- We're in the underworld. Represented in your mind now as a dark labyrinth.
- But, I went here from my beach house, which I had had for more than a year. I bought it with actual money, worth something, unlike King Minos thought.
- No, this is your mind. It only needed some time and guidance to find the right metaphor. The forest, evermore stifling and unnatural. You did not realize that the light was me until just now, did you silly. I was your muse, like the one Virgil had of old.
- I met people...
- A mythical, but if real, long dead King driving a dubious stand in the middle of this island.
- What about the bull?
- The bull?
- Your nature, maybe? A minotaur is the ultimate metaphor.

I had too that point always assumed that my life, much like history and stories in general, venture onwards and upwards towards some climax. That had been an illusion. Life, like a labyrinth is not a straightforward path, was more like a maze or labyrinth. I had always believed I had gone forward, going out of school with good grades. Entering harvard, each girlfriend had been an improvement on the next. Each step a step closer to my dream. I now realized I was further away from that dream than ever. Further away from her kiss. True happiness. Money did not mean a thing, they were designed as a system not as happiness. Although they had purpose, their purpose were all in the minds of the men wielding them. Like a maze has no purpose, except if a man or a king assigns it, by putting either a bull or a light in the center.

- How I wished to see you again. To ask you, why you did it?

She whispered the words slowly and I realized just how cold she was. Her skin grew from solid and tanned white, to a transparent grey and blue smoke. She was a recording. Like the recording in the hut by the clearing. Not real, but a memory played over and over again. This recording - or memory - was different though. This memory could speak, think and interact. Not yet made, not yet here.
I cried then, begged her not to leave, and said that I was sorry. I would not admit for what. Waves rolled agains the shore, sloppy and weary after a heavy storm. The lamp above grew brighter. I begged some more before cursing, for all I had not seen all I had not been. We both disappeared in the light, blinding now, I could see no more than I had in the dark maze.

Of Shore
Of Beasts, 9mm's and civilization

I woke and find myself in the same chair as yesterday. An empty glass rested in my clenched palms. The sun, discovering the storm had passed, peeked anxiously over the horizon and bathed my face. Shadows lurked under the trees-with-no-names. The waves were calm now. I could only hear the cry of birds, a baboon shrieked in the distance. The bull and the minotaur had been me. Man is part of nature, however much we design we will always be that. And like in nature there exists both good and evil, so good and evil exist within humanity. I tried to design away the evil within, but the evil within is of nature and therefore unmutable and purposeless. Unless, by chance, some god designed nature and put the evil in the hearts of men. How cruel that would be. When did I become evil? Children were not evil, they could not have become angels then. I did not want to be evil. Perhaps that is why man put up the barrier of civilization. To distance ourselves from the capriciousness of nature or god, to say that to be civilized is to be something more. But civilization, as you know, is human and therefore its purpose is hard to get at.

I could not escape the evil of my own. Day after day, glass after glass I had played recordings of that fateful night in my head, hoping to change it. However, recordings cannot be altered. Time only flows forward, though our lives twist and turn like a forest or a maze. Drinks can not carry away the pain, only lessen the memories for a time. I rose and noticed that I had indeed slept through a storm. Several trees had fallen along the shoreline, which was twisted with freshly washed up debris from the ocean. I gave myself a thorough check-up. Laughed a bit, when I found my bathrobe and sandals in pristine condition. Only my hair had been stirred by the storm, strong winds had sent it fluttering and twisting, making me look very disheveled.

I thought again of her. I could not run away, like I had run from the metaphorical minotaur. All I could was to face it. A recording, an event, can not be changed. Some beastly rage had enveloped me that night, a rage I chose to forget. I had pummeled her with my fists, I could not even surmise the reason, it was totally illogical. Perhaps she had not enjoyed my fun-fact? No, my fun-facts are awesome, it had to have been something else. Her face had turned to mush, soft and plumpy beneath the scourge of my horns. Her hair like the web of spider, clinging and sticking to everything. Her beautiful skin crimson, like the setting sun. I had to shower afterward to get rid of the blood, hair and mucus. Remembering, this I realized how I loved to bathe, I would do it every morning. Like Pontius Pilates rinsing his hands of Jesus' blood. Neverminding, while dissolving the body in acid, I took a shower to get the blood away. I rinsed out of the plastic tub used and drove out to sea, taking great care not to get noticed. I cast the tub into the sea. Afterwards, I went home, slept like a child and forgot everything. How had I forgotten the bloody sheets?

Returning to the present, I went straight inside, found my walk in closet. The shelves littered with suits of all colors. Arranged after the rainbow, from red to pink to black. Was black a part of the rainbow, I remembered reading somewhere that black contained all the colours. White only had one. This in mind, I chose the white suit. I decided on a purple tie attached after, to accompany the rather glary ensemble. I went with some yellow suede shoes, Christine had hated them, but I liked them. I could not say why, but they were somehow so ugly that they were actually kind of cool.

I marched straight to the shed, feet gifted with intent in their yellow suede shoes. Brushed away an entire collection of Loeb's classical works only to find the item of the day.

Back on the balcony, I sat down. The item, metallic and heavy in my hands, was with me. I granted myself a final meal, a glass of sailor jerry elegantly poured and half a packet of jam from my refrigerator. Buzzed and ready to go. I gifted the item with the intent only humans can bring. Its, as many know very hard to commit suicide. The body, after years of natural selection, have developed mechanisms to make suicide rather arduous. An animal, climbed onto the balcony and sat down quietly on my lap. A baboon. It did not know the purpose of the 9mm, after all it had probably never seen one before.

- Hey Baboon! Did you know humans are the only creatures to commit suicide. Why is that?
Nevermind that. Here is a funfact for you, it is my final one. Did you know that when your brain detects you are about to kill yourself. To die. It makes a final spasm in an attempt to save you. Lots of people, when aiming shotguns at their heads, twitch at the final second. This often ends by themselves blowing not their brains, but their necks out.

The Baboon offered little response. Only its eyes, full of innocence, betrayed the fact that it was still watching me.

- Also, you cannot strangle yourself to death. A human I mean. If you hold your breath, muscles will cramp at the final second letting in air. People who have attempted hanging often do tiny mistakes like making the rope to long, leaving them tip-toing across the floor for hours until rescue.

The baboon sat quietly in my lap. Unimpressed. A gun was my best bet. I pulled the hammer back, revealing a loaded chamber within. I sighed, thought of her, and raised the gun to my temple. This was the surest way, I was certain of that. I needed only to gift my index with intent. Shortly thereafter, my alarm inside beeped that it was 12o'clock. The baboon ran off into the forest and I pulled the trigger. Her face flashed past, then darkness. What came next?

The Nurse and the priest

A chopper had brought him in. He had shot himself in the head on a remote island in the Mediterranean. The doctor deduced that in the very last second, he twitched, lending the bullet a course that exempted it of his brainstem. He was alive, but in a coma. If he woke, he would probably have some memory loss. The nurse, checked the machines and wrote the numbers down diligently. She did not understand them, that was for the doctors and professionals to analyze. Moving the limbs and joints, to keep blood-flow steady and to avoid ulcers, she thought about what she had heard on the news. Apparently, he had been wanted for the murder of his wife for some time. He had been hiding in the cabin for more than a year. After searching it, the police deduced that he had been low on supplies. That was probably the reason why he had killed himself, had he shown his face in any civilized part of the world he would have been caught. Picked up by CCTV or by his credit card transfers and eventually sentenced. Perhaps life in prison, perhaps less. Well, nonetheless, man cannot escape their nature. Nor their fates.

An old man, priest of some kind would often come in and read to the patients in the coma ward. For some he would read the bible, for others he would recite the entire corpus of Edgar Allan Poe. The nurse would often catch herself in standing idly by, listening to the captivating soliloqui's of the priest. This day, he marched straight to the man accused of murdering his wife. He was a strange man. Both austere and out of place. Out of touch. Out of time. A black, catholic cassocc clad his torso, a naked silver cross dangling from his neck. His feet bore nike sneakers, old and worn, probably from the 70's or 80's. A cap stating “I love NY” clad his head. She could not see his face, but his size told her that he was strong, not your ordinary priest. She remembered a documentary from long ago, the theme was the development of the early medieval church. Though the theme was dull, the presenter was hot, so she picked something up. In 1215 the church council had made the cassock a mandatory dress for clerical workers, and allowed only few alterations to the described formula. Old Nike Shoes and Tourist Caps, she was seemingly certain, was not part of the negotiations.

The priest grabbed the limp hand of the man, placed it on his lap. And produced from thin air, or had it been hidden in the folds of his raiments? An old translation of the legend of Hercules. His life had been one of bravery and tragedy. Tricked by the god of deceit, he was poisoned and made mad and as a result slaughtered his wife and children. To amend he went through two twelve labors. Why is history filled with the same numbers, twelve disciples, twelve labors. Every character in a novel knocked three times on a door, sometimes seven. All characters met three obstacles on their paths. Or seven, or twelve. Some numbers, it seems, are holy. Hercules had not intended to murder his wife, but all his labour had been in vain. He had ventured to the underworld, cleaned a horse stall, killed a boar and cleft the continent of Europa and Africa apart. He had even held the world on his shoulders a while, whilst tricking Atlas, that was her favorite part. Imagine holding all the weight of the world on one's shoulders! In the end however, he was only a man. He could bear the world, but not the loss of his family. After atoning for his sins, he built a pyre of wood, lit it up and walked in. Hoping perhaps that the fire could cleanse him, reunite him with what he had lost. Turn back time. His life seemed like a wave, like the one sent from his axe when he cleft the Mediterranean. It rushed forward to its promised peak, the collision with the shore. It was easy to see it as a wave now, but perhaps it would prove more difficult in the present. She imagined hercules probably saw his childhood as good, the murder of his family threw him off course and he spent the remainder of his years repairing back to that same point where it had all went wrong. A point; obscure and unreachable. No, his life must have been an ordeal, a long walk through a longer maze; walls blocking his sight. She rose and looked at the priest and the man abed. Clad in white velvets. He looked peaceful and strong, dark hair grown long and chin filled with stubble. How would his life look a millenium from now, seen by someone far away. Far above. A labyrinth, like the one Hercules navigated. Reluctantly, she went out of the room and into the next, another patient was waiting for her to record his numbers after all...Her heels clicking along the hospital tiles.


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