When last we left our heroes, they were trapped inside the cave of the Cyclops. Sir Charles told the tale of the beast, but it was Kenneth, Lord Marston, who revealed that he already had a plan for escape…

mythstalkersTHE LABYRINTH

Part Ten

An hour later, the sound of stone grinding on stone alerted the captives to the return of their monocular captor. Sunlight washed in from the other side of the boulder, interrupted only by the silhouette of a giant. Gorgorymus had returned to feed.

Before it could establish its dominance over the puny cowering humans inside, though, the yellow-haired one stepped forward and approached it. It smelled funny. It smelled of… not fear.

“Well there!” the yellow-hair said, a strange expression on its face. For some reason, the sides of the human’s mouth were turned upwards instead of down. “Our host has arrived! Dashing good to see you, Mister…”

The yellow-hair seemed momentarily confused, which made Gorgorymus feel a little better.

“Dear me,” the puny human said, “I don’t seem to have gotten your name.”

The Cyclops twisted up his face into the most terrifying grimace he could and leaned over the oddly unafraid dinner course.

“I am Gorgorymus!” he bellowed, trying to spray the stench of raw sheep with each word. Humans seemed to dislike the smell of his breath. “Guardian of the Isle of Hephestaeus… and you are my meat!”

The human failed to blanch.

“Meat?” he asked. “No, no. My name is not Meat.”

No wonder this human wasn’t showing fear, Gorgorymus realized. He was feeble of wit.

“Not your name,” the Cyclops clarified. “Just what you are.” That should clear it up, he thought.

It didn’t. The meat kept talking.

“Well,” it said, “it would be rather impolite to eat someone without knowing their name, don’t you think? Especially someone like myself whose name might be of some small interest to you!”

Gorgorymus frowned. “Interest?” he asked. “What is your name that I should find it so interesting?”

The yellow-hair took a breath and began another annoyingly long sentence.

“You see,” he said, “because I have always been so impressed by the mighty Cyclopes, I have taken for myself the name ‘Eye.'”

“Eye?” Gorgorymus repeated.

“Aye,” the human said.

“I see,” Gorgorymus said. “You have strange names where you hail from, Eye.”

“You think so?” Eye said, mulling over the Cyclops’ pronouncement. “Perhaps you should meet my associates.” The yellow-hair gestured to the long-haired meat in the purple dress. The meat waved at the giant. Gorgorymus did not wave back.

“Take her, for example,” Eye said. “She was born in a grove of trees, and took her name from them.”

“Call me Yew,” the long-hair said, her voice pleasant but still befuddling.

“Call you me?” Gorgorymus asked, confused.

A third human stepped forward, this one with black hair, even above his lip. Gorgorymus was glad they all had different colored hair. It was getting hard to tell them apart.

“No, no,” the black-hair corrected. “I am Mee,” he said. “It’s… ah… short for ‘Meager,’ as I am just a poor player, fretting and, uh, strutting.”

“Was that okay?” Mee whispered to Eye, assuming the giant couldn’t hear.

“I suppose that’ll do,” Eye responded.

Before Gorgorymus could ask them what they meant, Eye had stepped forward again, addressing the Cyclops directly.

“Unfortunately, Gorgorymus,” he said, “Yew has been captured.”

“I have?” Gorgorymus was starting to lose the path of the conversation.

“Yes,” the yellow-hair confirmed enthusiastically. “And Eye has been captured too.”

“But… I thought I was the one who captured you.”

The kind-voiced Yew tried to help. “No, Eye was not the one who captured Yew,” she explained. “You were.”

Now Gorgorymus knew he had lost track. He sat down on the floor of the cave and scratched his head, hoping to dislodge something in there that might help him make sense of this.

“Yew… captured… yourself?” he finally tried. “I am getting confused.”

“Yes, its very unclear isn’t it?” the yellow-haired meat who had started this all said. “Since Yew has been captured, Yew has become very unhappy.”

“Being confused… does make me unhappy,” the Cyclops admitted. His head hurt from all this thinking. Since the dim-witted meat seemed to know better than Gorgorymus, the Cyclops added, “How can I become happy again?”

“Well,” Eye said, “you could let us all go. That would make Eye happy again, and it would certainly make Yew happy.”

The human sounded confident in his answer, but something didn’t seem quite right.

“But… if I let you go,” Gorgorymus asked, “what will I eat?”

This time, Mee spoke up. “Eye can eat me,” he offered.

“You could even just eat part of Mee and let the rest of Mee go,” the long-haired meat suggested supportively.

Gorgorymus thought about it. Finally, he got to his feet and pronounced with all the confidence he had, “All right! I will eat Mee, and let Yew go.”

“All of me?” Yew asked.

“No,” the Cyclops said, trying to clarify. “I will let all of Yew go. I will only eat Mee. Then Eye will be happy.”

I certainly will,” the yellow-haired meat said. He stood there as if he were waiting for something, but Gorgorymus had already thought too much today to figure out what.

“The rock, then, Mister Gorgorymus?” Eye finally added.

“Oh, right,” the Cyclops said, pulling the boulder from their way. “Sorry.”

One by one, the strangely-named humans walked out of Gorgorymus’ cave. Last of them was the dark-haired Mee. Suspicious that something wasn’t going according to plan, the Cyclops stepped in front of the exiting meat.

“Excuse me,” Mee said, trying to step around.

“Wait,” Gorgorymus said. “Wasn’t I going to eat Mee?”

Mee nodded, patting the Cyclops’ arm in good-natured agreement. “Oh, certainly!” he said. “Eye will eat me when we get back to the mainland.”

From down the path, the yellow-haired human waved. “Eye promises!” he yelled. “Ta!”

Gorgorymus stepped out of the way and watched as the five humans walked off.

Something didn’t go right just now,” he muttered to himself, and he headed into his cave to think it out.
“Now,” Lord Marston said, looking over his shoulder. “Run like the devil is at your heels.”

To be continued…

© 2013 by Douglass Barre, All Rights Reserved.

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