Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Sphinx: a flash fiction morsel

You are standing on a vast sandy plain that extends in all directions. In front of you is a Sphinx on a stone pedestal. The Sphinx has huge claws and a smug smile on its face. It is looking directly at you.

You can not go East. You can not go West. You can not go South.

North is the Sphinx.

You approach the Sphinx.

"None shall pass," says the Sphinx.

"Hang on," you say. "I thought you were supposed to ask me a riddle and let me pass?"

The Sphinx sighs. "No one ever gets my riddles and I've got indigestion from the last traveller. Go away."

"That's not fair," you say. "Ask me the riddle and let me pass."

"What's brown and sticky," the Sphinx says.

"A stick," you reply.

"Wrong, it's toffee," the Sphinx says.

"How was I supposed to know that?" you say.

"You weren't. Come closer and let me eat you."

You are carrying:
a ball of wool
a bar of soap
a bar of chocolate
three cherries
a cloak

You use the ball of wool on the Sphinx. Nothing happens.

You use the bar of soap on the Sphinx. Nothing happens.

You use the bar of chocolate on the Sphinx. The Sphinx reaches out to take the chocolate but you pull back at the last moment.

"If I give you this bar of chocolate, will you let me pass?"

"What sort is it?"

"Hotel Chocolat 82% Ecuador single estate."

"Give it to me and you can pass."

You hand the chocolate to the Sphinx.

You go North.

The Sphinx speaks without looking up from the chocolate. "On your way back, bring us some antacid, will you? This is going to wreak havoc with my digestion."

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