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THE LABYRINTH

although we passed them unmolested, I felt a sense of danger. Something was wrong. As you can imagine, we were looking at the place as our future home, so I tried to calm myself with the thought that it was simply because we were strangers there and fugitives from the law. But I have been in many ports and this one was different; it was too quiet. Then one of the men reminded me that we needed provisions and I realised what was missing. This was dawn at a working fishing port, yet there were no market traders setting up stalls, no errand boys clattering through the streets, no whistling or shouting, no drunks slumped in doorways. Everyone appeared to be going about their business but nobody was hurrying. They walked calmly, as if sedated, in a world of their own. No one travelled in pairs and we began to feel uncomfortable in our group.” “We straggled out into single file. Eventually we accosted an old woman who looked as if she was kind, and attempted to act out our needs, pointing to our mouths, rubbing our bellies and offering her coins. She ignored our money and answered us in a dialect that was a strange, sing-song mutation of our own. It was possible to understand her words but we could not place her accent. From this, we concluded that somehow, these people were distant descendants of our own race. We were not entirely pleased with the discovery. It would make our first days easier but it did not rule out the chance that our own countrymen would find us here some day.” “The woman seemed puzzled by our request but did not mind us following her. We were surprised to see that she did not seem to know the way herself but appeared unperturbed when she ran into dead ends. She followed a path that was so convoluted that we hardly knew whether we were doubling back on ourselves or walking further from the sea. After some time, we arrived back at the 3

L is for Labyrinth  
L is for Labyrinth  

L is for Labyrinth is a short story which is part of the book an a-z of possible worlds