How Are You Going to Get Out of This One?

Welcome to the first issue of Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine.

The Fifth Stranger, by Kristine Ong Muslim

The author of more than 500 poems and stories channels Rabelais in this imaginative visit to a grim ribcage colony.

The Kingdom Defaced, by Louise Norlie

Four members of a royal family make their unhappy home in a labyrinthine palace none of them has ever left. The ending is not that they turn out to be two-dimensional and living in a pack of cards. I swear.

The king snipped the strings that held him together, toppled to the floor and dragged his helpless fragments toward the blazing fireplace where the last remaining echo of his mind finally could be silenced. His fingers tore off of his hands. His jaw came unspooled and dragged on the floor behind him. Before he could reach the flames he was a shell of a corpse, little more than an eye and a bit of a brain, powerless to execute his suicidal plan.

The ministers caught him in time to repair the damage.

Phobia, by R. E. Hartman

Embark on a journey through a bleak cityscape of epistemic and existential uncertainty! What’s that ominous tower that dominates the skyline far off in the distance? Could it be the beacon of hope and meaning we yearn for? (Nope.)

I feel a drop of sweat upon my neck, and must fight the urge to wipe it away. I can never be sure that I have moved my hand in just such a way before. If I haven’t, then that simple act may be my destruction. Or I feel a need to cough, and I panic as it rises, my mind racing through possibilities: have I covered my mouth when I’ve coughed before, and if so how? Or did I suppress it and let my chest heave, or did I simply let it out? Such constant considerations make it difficult to meditate on trying to find some way out of the City.

Tangled Legs, by Greg Beatty

The Rhysling Award-winning poet contributes a sonnet that poses the question: Where does the Minotaur get his drawings mounted?

The Labyrinth and the Stairway (BLDGBLOG)

The Labyrinth and the Stairway

This work in particular represents “a vast fictional topography that exists within the walls of a mythological Roman city.” Within that city, according to the Borges story, “a lone figure traverses its magnificent, eternal architecture in search of immortality.”

Knossos: The Palace of Minos

…the only actual cult room that Evans found is the Shrine of the Double Axes. The room is tiny, barely a metre-and-a-half square, with a plastered clay bench at the back. It was installed, according to Evans, by squatters who reoccupied the site of the palace shortly after its final destruction.

Information Policy for the Library of Babel

…Censorship is usually irrelevant.

Some of the books in the Library are dangerous in themselves: “There is no combination of characters one can make—dhcmrlchtdj, for example—that the divine Library has not foreseen and that in one or more of its secret tongues does not hide a terrible significance.” Others are dangerous because they divert us from the books we seek: “thousands and thousands of false catalogs … the proof of the falsity of the true catalog … some perfidious version of his own [Vindication].” In the face of these dangers, some “Purifiers” have turned to censorship…