Saturday, April 10, 2010

Murder Scene Blogfest!


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.

Happy Blogfest!


  1. Shades of CLASH OF THE TITANS. You pulled me into the writing immediately. Quite a feat. Come check out my entry from my historical fantasy, RITES OF PASSAGE. It centers on my favorite hero, Samuel McCord, and his mysterious and deadly wife, Meilori Shinseen {the Chinese word for the dreaded fae of Luck and Fate.}
    Thanks, Roland

  2. I definitely need to keep a length of string around for these situations. Nice job!

  3. Thanks Roland! I will check it out.

    Iapetus: Haha. I think it must have been magic string :) Thanks!

  4. I thought it was great! I love the description of her touch on his hair. Great job!

  5. Fiction is all about changing the story - do whatever you want with it! I love myth-based stories. Nice job!

  6. I liked the change. Really great description here to pull us into the scene. Well done. :)

  7. Harley: I wasn't sure about that part, myself. I'm glad you liked it!

    Heather: I love myth everything :)

    Sarahjayne: Thanks! I always feel like description is my weakness.

  8. Great job, Amalia! So glad you participated!

  9. I love your take for the murder scene. Your descriptions were awesome and like Harley, I really like her touching his hair. Good job!

  10. I loved this, Amalia! I would love to stay in contact with you about writing mythology, I don't know a lot of people that are doing that and it would be great to have someone to talk shop with.

    Your writing pulled me in immediately and kept me there. I want more!

    (This is Anna from Bounce Bounce Splat, for some reason my OpenID isn't working)

  11. Anne: Thanks for hosting!

    Denise: Yeah, I think it stretches the definition of murder, since the Minotaur is technically not really a person, but it works!

    Anna: You can always find me here! :) Feel free to shoot me an email or what have you! I'm also on twitter: @AmaliaTd

  12. I thought the changes you made were great. Your descriptions...especially the fingers on brick, scratching for purchase...were wonderful and made me fall right into the world you created. Great job.

  13. I liked this a lot. Very dramatic, fast paced, good visuals. Nice!

  14. Excellent piece, Amalia! Great details, mythic :) drama and I love the juxtaposition of the violence with the sweet romantic interlude with Ariadne. And I think you did brilliantly with the fight scene. I even picked up a few tips for the next time I run into a Minotaur...

  15. Raquel: I was reading your post just as you commented on mine! :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Layinda: Thank you!

    VR: you know me, just can't stop with the myths :) I'm glad to know that you'll be safe when the Minotaur Apocalypse comes!

  16. Ooohhh, a bloody one, great description. I had the same thoughts as VR re: the murder and the romance; you balanced that well.

  17. Your murder is an ancient one. You pulled me in and had me willing Theseus on. The details are so important in painting the scene, great post.

  18. Brilliant. Loved the paced of this. I totally agree with Tara and VR, the way there was a hint of romanctce worked really well!

    I really liked the description of the slewing too ;~D

  19. You have such a lovely way of taking my back in time. I forget the modern sounds around me and just enjoy. Great job!

  20. Tara: Thanks!

    Elaine: Quite! I'm glad you were rooting for Theseus, I think he's a pretty good guy.

    Mia: haha. Sometimes misusing words is fun!

    Charity: Thank you! That's a great compliment!


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