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Narrative forces.

Narrative forces. published on

While we were out, someone had constructed a tiny labyrinth in the driveway, so we pulled in very carefully. The tops of the labyrinth were green with moss and tiny vines, and throughout it were interspersed little courtyards with delicate, exquisite gardens, buildings, or machines inside them – the buildings and machines had no obvious purpose. thegeekgene and I tried to step into a couple of the courtyards big enough to get our feet into without breaking anything, to see if doing so would shrink us down and allow us to investigate, but we just broke the walls. Disappointed, we went inside.

A few minutes later, going outside again, the labyrinth was gone – there was one strange room taking up the entire driveway, in a vaguely Sicilian style on the outside, with dark wood panels engraved with a maze on the inside. It didn’t look like the same maze.

The building had a basement. We went down into it and, looking up a second stairwell, saw that it led to someplace other than our yard. (I considered going to get my camera so I could post this on Flickr.) It was bright and sunny and contained butterflies and singing birds. Clearly it was one of the cheerier genre of magical labyrinths, like the kind you’d find in a book with a title like Jewel Princess Adventures #3: Princess Sapphire and the Secret Treasure. It would be perfectly safe provided I didn’t try to enter any of the places you’ve got to be pure of heart to enter.

Authoritatively, on the basis of my extensive knowledge of the taxonomy of YA novel labyrinths, I explained this tothegeekgene. She got a torch – the kind that burns, I mean; I don’t know where she got it – and we climbed the stairs. A dark metal gate slammed down behind us, and the birds all started singing.

elongated_tito pulled us out with a rope (I’m not sure how that worked, maybe it was an Escape Rope from Pokemon) and I said, Clearly it’s actually an ironic labyrinth, that mimics one of the happy ones, and later one we’ll find unkind parodies of archetypes like the helpful old man, who will probably have What 20-Something Jerks Think Alzheimers Looks Like, and the doofy monster that talks about itself in the third person, who will be in the middle of an unpleasant divorce. It’s fine, we’ll just need to bring some extra supplies.

thegeekgene got a frying pan and some pecan pie, and I got a big knife and a bag. Despite having nearly been trapped by it once, we were still too excited about our magic labyrinth to want to go any further than the kitchen for our supplies.

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