to understand gothic

Mar 18 2012

just like the things that happened to Sarah on her way to the goblin city, thought John. only there had always been something, a riddle or friend or route, more than this.

he had spent his whole life preparing for this labyrinth. and it had been even more difficult to find the entrance. but after all that the way had seemed as clear as he had expected. and he had known he was taking the correct turns when things felt so familiar. to someone else in those endless grey slate corridors under that endless grey sky things might have seemed all the same, but they hadn’t to John.

the labyrinth was so beautiful. and it was alive. it knew why he had come and it wanted him there. it was leading him onward to his destination. he felt he was one with the labyrinth and its ways were given to him. these were ways that others would not have known, that were revealed by John’s hands on the stone. and he was in control now. John was king of the labyrinth.

but that was as far as he had come. he had unexpectedly reached a dead end and when he tried to turn back the way he had come had closed behind him. he had found himself imprisoned here in the labyrinth in this small square enclosure hardly large enough to accommodate his sleeping body. he had run his hands over the smooth sheer walls as high as he could reach for hours and hours, and they had availed themselves of no hidden flaw. there was nothing no way out. the slate sky crackled drily with suppressed electricity and darkly loured. the food and water was all gone and only his own excrement remained to eat.

John cast his mind back and considered again how things had happened. his recollection had become indistinct, he realised, before he had found himself in this predicament. had he lost his concentration? had he lost himself? how could the labyrinth betray him like this?

suddenly the tiles beneath him opened into thin air and he plummeted for several seconds to the floor of a pit where his body was impaled on razorlike stalactites. he twitched and squeaked for a while as he died, but his mind was completely clear.

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