Friday, January 27, 2017

The Bride of the Minotaur

The Bride of the Minotaur
Bobby Derie

The fire burned low to glowing coals. There was for the bullock nothing to stare at but the empty paths, and the walls...walls set without cement, stone fitted to stone, that shimmered oddly as different shadows played on their surfaces. It seemed to him that he could catch reflections in the shadow-haunted surface, mercurial images from somewhere else. One form in particular he caught sight of more than once...and a smell grew stronger in his nostrils that reminded him of long ago, days of warmth and milk and sun before the labyrinth. He could almost feel the eyes on him. Something sneaking up one of the paths, perhaps, though he can hear nothing, discern no direction...yet those shadows the walls perhaps could give him a clue, a scattered echo of what stalked him in his own prison.

So the son of Persiphae lifted his head, and gripped his cudgel a little tighter. He catches glimpse of wet fur, and low nubby blue horns, udder. Then he did hear something, a kind of wet, heavy breathing, and the smell that was almost overpowering as he turned to face the source of it.

She stood before him, half. Taller than a man, though she came only up to his shoulder. Her blue fur wet, the hair about her head braided into two long plaits woven with sea-shells that modestly cover her breasts, a bronze chain and skirt hanging over - but failing to conceal - the bulging blue-black udder. A feminine musk surrounded her, and yet oddly she was still very much a creature of the sea - the tail that swishes languidly behind her is thicker, and ended with a fin rather than a tuft of hair, and great gills are visible between her naked ribs. Dark aquamarine spots splotch against the blue of her fur - yet it is the ice-green eyes above her comely muzzle that captured and held his attention, as she carefully inched closer.

The minotauress says nothing at first, those deep languid eyes still stared intently into his own. Her hooves step daintily, with a soft tread, tail flicking back to and fro. I am a walker of the wet labyrinth, great-granddaughter of AuĂ°umbla. Her dialect was strange, each vowel drawn out into a kind of lowing as she inched closer, and sent chills down his spine. She reached out as though to touch him, then drew back, suddenly coy.

"I am Asterios, son of Persiphae." He laid down his cudgel and drew closer, breathing in her warm, wet scent.

A smile flited across her muzzle, and this time when she drew close there was a sway to her hips, emphasized by flicks of her tail. She draws close - close enough for the minotaur to be enveloped by her musk, and to feel her hot breath against his own fur. She ran her hands over his hard, muscled form, then leaned in to nuzzle at the nape of his neck, her few ornaments clinking against his iron body.

I see you have not laid down all your rods. She whispered breathily in his ear.

The sleep palace was lightly disturbed, as though with an earth tremor. Then another one. The cows and bulls in the fields were awake and lowing into the night, and the palace shook. Finally, near dawn - there is a rumble of falling masonry, and a great crash as a section of the labyrinth collapsed. Soldiers rushed in with bronze spears flashing, but found the minotaur languid, the strength drained from his legs, barely able to stand. Clutched in one hand was a lock of blue-black hair, tied into a plait.


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