So it's Murder Scene Blogfest day, hosted by the fabulous Anne Riley and I broke the injunction against writing, because sadly all the murders I have already written are too spoiler filled to be presented for the blogfest today! That means all new, freshly minted, content. Love it or hate it, and I honestly don't even know if it is really any good, as I just wrote it ten seconds ago and that generally means I'm still in the glow of yay!Iwrotesomething! but the likelihood that it will ever make it into a book is very very low, so consider it bonus background content or something. My book on Helen begins 20-30 years after this event. I present you with some Theseus, and his most famous slewing. (That is a terrible misuse of slew.)
The Minotaur's breath was hot and moist on the back of Theseus's neck, but he did not increase his pace. His legs were burning, but in another moment he would reach the outside wall of the labyrinth and the corner where the masonry had crumbled just enough to give him a foothold. At least, he hoped it would.
He could not hear anything but the sound of the Minotaur's heaving breaths and heavy footfalls, and then he jumped, his nails scraping against the bricks, somehow finding purchase, and he hauled himself up. The Minotaur howled with rage beneath him as he clambered to the top. He could see his sword, half covered in dust, two turns back, but somehow he had managed to keep hold of the string. It was too great a risk to reach his weapon with the Minotaur beneath him, panting and pacing and bellowing with its bull's voice. He would never make it to the sword before the creature was upon him.
Theseus wrapped a length of the string around each hand, standing on the edge of the wall. He could, of course, leap over the other side, but Minos would only throw him back into the maze. No, he had to finish this now, but it would require more precision than he was certain he had left in him. He silently thanked Poseidon for Ariadne's help, and prayed that the string would hold long enough.
Then he dropped, landing on the beast's shoulders and forcing it to the ground and the dirt. A horn tore into his bicep, but he ignored the blood, pulling the string taught around the creature's neck, a knee in the animal's back. He pulled up with the string and pushed down with his knee and prayed that his strength and the string would last. The blood was hot and cold down his arm and the Minotaur struggled beneath him, trying to throw him free, but Theseus held on, and the string sunk deep into the throat of the beast. The animal's bellows were silenced abruptly, turned into a guzzling gulp, and the dusty ground stained with blood. Theseus wasn't certain how much was his own, but he stood there long after the Minotaur had stopped struggling, staring at the red-black puddle as it grew, until his fingers grew numb from the string which wrapped around them.
Theseus did not collapse in the dirt, though the idea was more than tempting. He rose to his feet, pulling the string free from the monster, causing a fresh spurt of blood to flow, and carefully disentangled it from his hands. He did not think this was what Ariadne had intended when she had given it to him, but it had served. Theseus retraced his steps back to his sword and then followed the path of the string back through the turns and twists of the labyrinth. He did not have much time, now, before Minos sent someone to be sure the Minotaur had done its job, and Ariadne waited.
His arm ached, hanging as if deadened by the time he reached the entrance. Ariadne hovered, her eyes widening and her lips pressed together into a thin line at the sight of him. He fell to his knees before her and bowed his head. Her fingers moved through his hair, light and gentle, the touch of a butterfly on a flower.
He raised his eyes to hers, but did not touch her, for he had no wish to smear her with its foul blood. "The Minotaur is dead."
She nodded and bent, taking hold of him by his good arm, and helping him back to his feet. "Then we must hurry."
Of course, by most accounts Theseus slew the Minotaur with his father's (Aegeus, not Poseidon) sword, so my interpretation is, in that respect, quite incorrect, but I don't know, it just felt more dramatic this way. Besides, how the heck did he get all the way through Crete to the labyrinth with his father's sword, when he was taken as a slave? It seems kind of impossible that he would manage it, so I feel like if he DID have a sword, it was a generic one. Not that any of that matters here, really! I am terrible at fight scenes though, and not all that good at death, so feel free to take it apart.