Minotaur by Howard Litchfield

Word Drawing: Minotaur Story # 1

Last night I heard an explosion in the sky. It shook the windows of this room; I watched, fascinated as the ice on the outside of the glass fractured and fell into the darkness below.

I don’t remember how I got here. All I know is what I see in front of me: a ten-foot-square room, white walls, a bed, a table, a chair, a light switch that operates the bare bulb in the centre of the ceiling. There’s only one door, which leads to the small bathroom.

Sometimes I wonder how the food that appears on the table each morning gets there, but I’ve been here so long that it’s easier to just say “Thank you” and not to ponder that mystery too deeply.

I say that all I know is what I see, but perhaps that’s not true. If I were to trust my eyes and ears I’d say I’m alone in this room, but sometimes at night… I mean, when I turn out the light – outside the window it’s always dark, just blackness stretching out into the distance above a snow-covered plain. Sometimes at night
I can feel him in here with me.

The Minotaur.

I can feel the warmth of his body when he gets close, the soft huff of his
breath on my neck when he exhales.

Sometimes I talk to him, telling him stories I’ve made up during the day, like the story of the boy who kept the ghosts of books as pets, or the man who collected paper birds in a coffin. He never answers but I like to think
he enjoys them.

I wonder if he can see me, or perhaps, as seems more likely, he’s in a similar position to me, locked in a room, alone and just feeling me there. Perhaps he’s telling me stories. Whatever the truth of our situation, I like to think we’re friends.

Tonight I ask him if he heard the explosion in the sky. I can sense him stop, his breath held and I know that, wherever he is, the Minotaur heard it as well.

I walk to the window and stare out at the sky. The Minotaur moves next to me; if we could, I know we’d hold hands, because at last we’ve found something to share.