Twists and turns. False starts and endings. But a true path to the center. I tried to remember what I knew about mazes.
This was not quite like those charming country estate mazes. Then again, those green puzzles had more meaning than met the eye.
Some were fixed, while others could be changed, thus altering the course.
Being in this strange place, I figured 'anything goes'.
The area was dim, not dark. I held my Sword as much for illumination as for defense, for it had an elvish glow.
The path curved and became angular at times. I reached a couple of dead ends early on. I figured that would be the least obstacle.
A voice called out, 'Lost already?'
It was sweet, melodious, quite like the Woman who visited me in the beginning.
It was not.
This one appeared round the next bend, sweeping along like a moderate wind.
I stopped and so did she.
We regarded one another and I sized her up, to a degree.
She was close to being a mirror image of the Woman. Aside from her dress, which was above the knee and black, there was an air of immodesty about her. Mind you, I love bikinis on girls, for instance. But this was the 'vibe' I was getting. There seemed to be a lack of respect for humanity in her.
Though she spoke pleasantly and smiled, it was that feeling behind her that spoke the most to me. I am thankful for that gift.
The immodesty? It was more like pride. And way more pride than a Bertha Better Than You exhibits.
'I'm merely making my way on the Path', I said. 'What is this place called?'
Her chin lifted slightly and she declared, 'You are between the Worlds.' She leveled her gaze, with eyes like moonlit pools, inviting one to jump in.
I centered my gaze at just above her eyes in the middle of her forehead and commented, 'My own little Limbo huh?'
Those eyes flashed and she tilted her head down, so that she looked at me from the tops of her lids. The angle also altered my 'eyeing' her.
'Call it what you will.', There was now a cold pursing of her lips and she went on, 'It is the place where energy gathers, where all meet for weal or woe.'
She stepped toward me.
I immediately swept my Sword between us.
'Kindly keep your distance. Unless you have a message, you may either pass way around me or', My eyes bore into her, 'you may retreat.'
She stopped, unable to advance. Frustration bored into her features, making her look used, hard.
'I wouldn't dream of impeding you. Very well, know this, for the Sword you have compells Truth: There are some who seem to be your friends, but may be your enemies. There are some who seem to be your enemies, but may be your friends.'
I bade her pass me, keeping the Sword between us.
She drifted away, as though floating and disappeared in the dim.
I advanced, pondering her words.
Of course, there are always 'fair weather friends', those who are around for the good times, but run when anything negative comes. Any trial, backup, support wanes and disappears. And that is even after you may have offered them comfort and succor. They take but do not give.
I thought it was deeper yet. Sunshine patriots came to mind. They feign to take up the banner of Freedom, but only when it suits them. When the time comes to truly commit, they run. Or worse, they go to the enemy.
As for enemies, some people don't know which side they are on. THEY stand between and for no better reason lash out in frustration. They may be misguided and serve the darkness because they are beguiled and have bought the message. There are some who keep things at arms distance til something compels them to act. They may be in the underground, deep cover.
As these thoughts rolled round my mind, I noticed a sharp slope ahead. At the top, there appeared to be an opening at either side.
Being committed to the course, I made the steep climb and found two choices, right or left. I glanced behind. There was no path remaining. I could never go back. And, I figured, those twists and turns would have led me to at least a similar place.
To the left, there seemed to be a grey level path that went around a bend to the right. The right path had a curve to the left. Nothing straight ahead.
Wondering, Prospero's speech came to mind.
And now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's my own
Which is most faint, now t'is true
I must be here confined by you
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill or else my project fails,
Which was to please.
Which ws to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant
And my ending is despair
Unless I be relieved by prayer
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and trees all faults
As you from your crimes would pardoned be
Let your indulgence set me free
I took the righthand path.
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