I was born into the Labyrinth, born from the walls and the floor and the nothingness, cold and alone. I was born into an endless stone prison with nothing but my own skin and the darker-than-dark shadows behind me, surrounded by looming stone walls that reached to a sky I could never see.
I do not remember my early years in the labyrinth, cannot remember, for the knowledge and memories of a better time long gone elude me, disappearing like little drips of water into an never-ending sea. All I can remember (or perhaps, all I wish to remember) is that once upon a time, I had been curious. Curious and naive, exploring the labyrinth and enjoying my stay no matter how lonely it was. Curious and foolish, thinking that someday I would leave. Someday this would end.
Time has passed, unnoticed and unmeasured. It has been an eternity since then, and I am no longer a child, though there really is no way to tell when the only things here are me and the labyrinth. But somehow, some way, as the time has flowed by (for surely time still flows, right?) my legs elongated and my shoulders widened and the baby fat that once coated my naked body melted away, leaving only wiry muscles developed by the endless walking and occasional running I did on a daily basis (because there was nothing else I could do). Somewhere between the transition from “before” to “after”, my voice had changed too, losing the squeaky shrill quality it once had, if my screams and memory were anything to go by.
An eternity. I had grown up, and even without any nourishment or education, I had gained knowledge. Deductive skills. And while I did not know much, there were still several things I knew. Things I always would know.
- I am alone here in the Labyrinth.
- This place is a Labyrinth, for it is a complex maze and complex mazes are labyrinths.
- This is the only Labyrinth I have ever known, so therefore it is the Labyrinth.
- The Labyrinth is never-ending.
- I can never escape.
As morbid as it does sound, it must be true because how can it be not? All I have ever known is this Labyrinth, the Labyrinth, and never in this eternity have I met another being or seen an end or found a way out. I had been here for eternity and I will be here for eternity.
For how does one escape a Labyrinth that has no start and no end?
Heavily inspired by John Green’s Looking for Alaska. You might even consider it low-key fanfiction. Link to image can be found here.
Part 1 of 3 of the Before and After series.