Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Wayfarer


“Well, Prince, I am sorry to lose you as a student, but it is an excellent opportunity for you to continue your studies abroad. Given the considerable gift that you have and your analytic interest, there could not be a better place for you than Athens.”


“Not far away enough. It would be better if I were extremely far away, on an island even. What about Chios?”


“Oh no. I mean Chios is an island and it is rather far away, but with all respect to my colleagues there –well, they’re completely lame. You’ll see. It would be no challenge for you at all. You wouldn’t learn much. It would be a complete waste of your time.”


“Chios is an island. It is completely surrounded by water. You could never accidentally arrive or leave there. It is nearly fifty three (and seven tenths) parasang (or one thousand six hundred and eleven stadia) distant: at least several days journey by land and sea.”


“Prince, you can’t go to Chios.”


“Why not?”


“Because of the Empusae.”


“What are Empusae?”


“Uh, well,” coughed his teacher, with some embarrassment, “an Empusa is phenotypically a young woman with mismatched legs, one like that of a donkey, the other made of bronze and wearing brazen slippers. Ahem. More saliently, an Empusa is a monster that, uh, eats travelers.”


“You’re not serious.”


“Would that I were not, Prince, but there are places that logic and knowledge have not yet reached in this Our Ancient World. Places still ignorant of the gods, piety, virtue and justice and basically run by monsters. Chios is full of them. I think they have a lot of Sphinxes, too, or that could just be the letterhead that they use.”


“I see. And they attack and devour travelers?”


“Well, so we have been led to believe. They start by asking riddles, or that could just be the Sphinxes. The point is, travelers are being eaten.”


“Well, said Bigfoot, either one of two conditions actually hold. Either, there is some truth to these claims, in which case it is still possible to defeat or escape them (otherwise we would have no knowledge of them in the first place), or, as is more likely, I think, such things do not exist to have knowledge of and there is no danger whatsoever.”


“Well, then,” concluded Bigfoot. “On to Chios.”


This was the problem with Bigfoot. He was rather brash and arrogant, not just because he was the son of the King of Corinth, nor simply because he was yet so young, but because he was a terrible know-it-all and not a very good listener.



On his way to Chios, Bigfoot was able to make a more accurate measure of the distance between Corinth, being actually more like fifty-four and seven tenths parasang, (or one thousand six hundred and twenty-six stadia). From this and his measurement of the shadow of his staff along the way Bigfoot also formed the inference that the surface he was traversing must be continuously concave: this explained the phenomena of the horizon. He was very pleased and confident in his explorations in this new style of thinking and so it came as some surprise to him, at twilight, to encounter a young woman shambling down the road, with a gait that suggested a sack race shared between a letter opener and a nutcracker.





As she grew nearer Bigfoot saw that she was the sort of girl who describes herself as “kind of crazy” and is not wrong. She had clearly cut her own hair and made her own earrings, and neither with an eye to the other or the ideal of symmetry. Her legs and socks were also mismatched, being the kind of girl that wore mismatched socks, and being an Empusa. On her right, she had a creaky crus made of bronze with flowery yellow sock and on her left, a shapely donkey leg sporting a ragged white tube. Her brazen slippers glowed in the twilight.


“Hi,”said the Empusa.


“Good evening,” said Bigfoot.


They were silent a moment.


“La-deee-dah,” sang the Empusa and snorted. “You’re not from around here. Well, welcome to Chios,” she said and nodded amiably.


She sighed.


“Okay sweetie, here’s the deal. I ask you a riddle and if you answer correctly you can go on your way, but if you get it wrong, I get to kill and devour you, which is a real shame, b/c you are sooooo cute! I could just eat you up and I suppose I will. tee hee.”


Bigfoot folded his arms and his brows and prepared himself: "Ask your question," he said.


“Tell me,” said the Empusa, grinning so crookedly you had to look at her sideways, “what has ears but cannot hear?”


“You can’t be serious” said Bigfoot.


“Afraid I am” said the Empusa.


“This is not even a riddle,” started Bigfoot. “It’s just a conundrum that trades on simple equivocation, based on plain homonymy, the two senses of the word ‘ear.’”


“Um,” said the Empusa. She did not know what “equivocation” and “homonymy” were, but did not like where this was going.


“Well, do you know what it is?” she asked.


“The intended answer to your ‘riddle,’” said Bigfoot evenly, “is ‘corn.’ Corn grows in leaf covered female inflorescences, called ‘ears’; they have nothing in common with the similarly named sense organ of animals. Your conundrum is based on simple wordplay, a pun on these two senses of ‘ear’; it does not even make sense in Greek.”


“Oh wow,” said the Empusa. “No one ever got that before.”


“Yeah. Well thanks for playing and trying to eat me. I’m going to go on into town now.”


“No, no wait, wait, c’mon,” said the Empusa, scratching along the road, “I mean, that was really good, you’re really smart, right?”


“It’s not untrue that it’s not said of me that I am not at least somewhat clever.”


“Okay, okay, well great, gee, um, um …I got another. And I bet you can’t guess it.”


“Really.”


“Yeah, yeah and it’s sooooo much harder than the other one. I gave you an easy one, just because you’re not from around here. I bet this will get you, even a smart guy like you. Do, do you want to hear it?”


“Okay.”


“Well, well, -wait, if you get it wrong and all, I still get to eat you and everything.”


“Sure. You can try. Ask your question.”


“Um, okay. What gets wetter the more it dries?”


“This is just another conundrum,” said Bigfoot.


“Yeah, well, do you know what it is?”


“It just trades on the transitive and intransitive sense of the verb ‘dry’,” he continued.


“Is that your answer?” asked the Empusa.


“No, the answer is ‘a towel.’”


“Ha!” smiled the Empusa, “the way I learned it, the answer is ‘a dishrag.’”


“A dishrag,” explained Bigfoot, “is a kind of towel, used for dishes.”


The Empusa thought about this. Then she looked as though she was going to cry.


“It’s not fair, it’s not fair,” she said. “I didn’t know you were good at these. Did you hear these before? Did my sister tell you?”


“No,” replied Bigfoot. “I just have a knack for these things” he said, though technically it was not a knack at all. “I’ll be going now,” he said.


“But I didn’t give you the hard ones, don’t you want to hear the hard ones?”


“What, so you can kill and eat me?”


“Well, you say you’re so smart and everything…”


Okay, what’s the riddle?”


Okay. Ahem. Well. This one is really hard. It’s so hard I have to think a moment. She stared down at her brazen slippers. Okay. I know this one. This one is really hard. You’ll never guess it. It goes like this: What occurs once in a minute, twice in two minutes and never in a thousand years?”


Bigfoot thought a moment.


“Are you sure you’re remembering it correctly?” he asked.


“Sure am. Ha ha! Got you. You can’t figure it out. Now I’m going you eat you. I’m going to bite off your cute nose! Ahhhhhhhh-ha-ha-ha!” she laughed and started to scuffle over, her bronze slippers clattering on her hoof and brazen feet.


“Well, wait,” said Bigfoot. “Is the answer you are thinking of ‘the letter “m”’”?


The Empusa stopped clattering over.


“Because the letter ‘m’ occurs once in the word ‘minute’ and does not appear in the orthography of the phrase ‘thousand years.’ But it only occurs once in phrase ‘two minutes.’” he explained.


Bigfoot drew a breath.


“I think it the joke goes: What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in a thousand years? You could also say ‘twice in the memory’ just to mix things up.”


No fair! No fair!” stamped the Empusa unevenly, “No fun. You have to let me win one.”


So you can eat me?”


Yes, “said the Empusa, “yes.” And she looked at him and hungrily bit her lip.


“No,” said Bigfoot.


They were silent a moment.


“Well, then,” said Bigfoot, “on to Chios.” And started walking.


“Hey wait,” called the Empusa, scraping alongside. “Uh, you’re really smart. That’s neat. I mean really smart. This hasn’t happened before. I never met anybody as smart as you. Do you, want to, um, hang out?”


“No,” said Bigfoot, continuing on his way.


The Empusa was having trouble keeping up.


“Because I bet there are still some, like, riddles that you haven’t heard. (Do you want to hear one?) Like, uh how do you keep fish…”


“-from smelling (intransitively)?” finished Bigfoot, not breaking stride; “You cut off their noses, transitively.”


“Yeah, you cut off their noses,” said the Empusa, “wait have you heard that one, because if you have heard it, it totally doesn’t count…”


“Do you not get anything on this island besides Reader’s Digest and Highlights for Children?”asked Bigfoot.


“You have to let me win,” pouted the Empusa. “You have to! No one has ever gotten away before.”


Bigfoot did not even shrug.


“Wait, wait,” she cried. “You won’t tell anyone the answers will you? Because that wouldn’t be fair!


“Kiddo,” called back Bigfoot, you haven’t asked me a single thing that you couldn’t find on the back of child’s paper placemat in a cheap Greek diner. Your average fortune cookie is more perplexing. I have no idea how you have survived this long.”


And with that Bigfoot disappeared.


“Wait, wait, wait,” called the Empusa, after “–what do you call a zipper on a banana? Huh?”



All wise and knowing Prince of Corinth, the people of Chios thank you for freeing their island from two great scourges: first, the predations of the Empusae, which have made travel, commerce and visiting sunny Chios impossible for decades, killing and eating our best young minds of every generation. Second, for vanquishing their terrible riddles, which have stumped and confounded us all for an equal amount of time.”


It was really nothing.”


I mean, how do you keep a fish from smelling? Salt, some of us thought. Bury it deep others said…”


Wait, you knew the question? How?”


Some of the best and brightest minds of each generation, though unable to best the question itself, were able, however, simply to run away. The Empusae don’t run very fast, mismatched legs and bronze slippers, you see. Other best minds of each generation, however, stayed and really thought about it and got eaten. However all of us have labored in vain for the answer that you, brave, wise and all knowing Prince of Corinth…”


It’s just 'Bigfoot' now. And I am just a traveler.”


I hope you will accept this honorary degree and macaroni painting that the best minds of our current generation have created, depicting you in your triumph over the Empusae.”


Ah. Yes. Well. Thank you.”


We also ask that you please write the answer to these terrible riddles down, so that all may know and learn them and not forget them later and so we, of the isle of Chios may continue to be free and go out after 6 pm. “


Sure, sure. I can even add some other ones…”


So, wise and noble 'Bigfoot,' Prince of Corinth, what are your plans now?”


Well, the honorary degree is great, but I would still like to get an education. I understand they are doing some interesting things with logic on the faraway island of Crete.”


Oh no, Prince, you can’t go to Crete!”


Why not?”


Well, it’s really complicated, but they do things really differently there. There’s something wrong with the way people talk. It’s confusing. I mean, they say nice thngs, but somehow, you can’t really trust them. You’ll see.”


Well, the faraway Island of Crete is, first of all, far away, and, second has the property of being an island, and this is exactly what I am looking for.”


But, Prince of Corinth, it is impossible to travel there.”


Why?”


Because of the Lamiai.”


The what, now?”


The Lamiai. They kind of look like beautiful women from the waist up, but from the waist down they are snakes.”


You can’t be serious.”


Yes, Prince, it is true. From the waist up, they may be quite comely and even may not be wearing a top, but from the waist down they are all serpent and scales. They also eat travelers.”


Do they also ask riddles?”


I don’t know. I think that’s something that Empusae and Sphinxes do, for sure, but none have lived to tell the tale.”


Except, presumably, those that told the tale of what a Lamia looks like.”


Yes and those that have told such tales have told that the riddles of the Lamiai are much, much harder.”


Do we have an example?”


They’re really hard to remember, but they are not at all like regular riddles. I mean they are really hard and confusing. “


Well, then” announced Bigfoot, “off to Crete.”



On the voyage over Bigfoot took note of the fact that the sailors and slaves tended to pronounce and hear Greek differently, based on their native language. As the slaves rowed, he realized that many of them knew what to do when they heard the call “row faster,” but did they know what it meant? Did they know it was two words or did they simply think of it as one: rowfaster?





The Lamia was indeed, quite beautiful and her eyes were intense gems of intelligence. Bigfoot had trouble looking at her and felt not unlike like he was in the presence of a god. Also, she wasn’t wearing a shirt, so Bigfoot found himself staring at his big feet and thinking that his toes looked plump and stupid poking out of his sandals. She spoke in a raspy, fluent, sibilant voice that slipped in circles around him.


The Labyrinth of the Palace," she said, "is only the most patent labyrinth here. In legend has it that the master of that place continued expanding, building labyrinth upon labyrinth (for creating mazes is like that), until every room, every street, every corner of the island became part of a labyrinth, but one of increasing subtly. The path the little boy shepherd takes to the field may be a labyrinth and the path he takes back a separate labyrinth, or anti-labyrinth. The light pouring through the complex cover of the leaves of the trees is a labyrinth, the bark of that tree another labyrinth, written, in part, as a response to the other.”


You can even see such labyrinths if you look at your own hands," she said, tracing her finger tips over her smooth skin, where it gently faded into even smoother and more beautiful scales. Bigfoot blushed. "The crook of your life line, the little creek that runs in the valley of your hand is a labyrinth and one you shall spend all your days walking and never escape while living.”


Labyrinths appear complicated, but this is mere appearance. For every labyrinth contains its solution, snaking through it, if you could only but see it. Otherwise, it would be mere confusion.”


It is a subject that many people find difficult,” finished the Lamia, soothingly “so don’t feel discouraged.”


The field where the Lamia spoke was littered with rusted, discarded swords. The Lamia was known to fix her victims with some sort of powerful spell, after which they either wandered the island, completely distracted and befuddled, to be picked off by the Lamia at her leisure, or simply offed themselves forthwith, in total frustration and despair.


Bigfoot felt a little discouraged.


So,” began the Lamia, as though cooing to a tiny baby, “one day a labyrinth emerged from the palace in the form of a law. That law was that ‘All men are to be clean shaven. For this purpose every man is forbidden to leave their village and that village is to have one and only one barber. That barber is to shave all and only those men who do not shave themselves.’”


The Lamia leaned close and whispered, “Now, tell me: does any barber shave himself?”


Bigfoot found himself staring into the intensity of her eyes, and sensed, all at once, the not merely the brilliant intellect, but the amazing cruelty behind them.


He closed his eyes and thought.


The Lamia remained close as though doting on an infant. He tried not to feel her presence.


Bigfoot opened his eyes suddenly. “The law is invalid; it cannot be followed.”


In fact,” continued Bigfoot, “your story is basically proof that such a law cannot be valid. If we assume that a barber were to follow this law, then he would have to shave himself, but then he would be violating the law that he himself is under. But he would also violate that law if he did not shave himself. In imagining just this one barber trying to comply with the law, we have demonstrated that it cannot, in principle, be complied with by every barber in every village under any circumstances. Therefore, the law cannot be valid, or is poorly formed.”


The Lamia drew back and hissed. She directed a truly venomous look at Bigfoot that was positively soggy with animus.


Clever little man,” she hissed, “clever, clever, little man. But that was a mere nip, a feint. Watch carefully now, because you will see it coming, but it won't make any difference.”


Listen to me, my cunning little foundling,” she said, closing.


Very carefully, she began her spell: “I am a Cretan


All Cretans,” she said, “are liars.”


Bigfoot’s mouth opened as though to speak. Then it closed. His expression froze. Then he opened his mouth again, only to close it once more. This process began to repeat itself, until it began to look as though Bigfoot were reciting something to himself underwater like a fish.


The Lamia smiled with satisfaction and drew back for the pleasure of looking at her victim. Her eyes took on a very gentle and tender, very female expression, as though Bigfoot was a stray kitten.


She stroked the fine hair on his distracted head with the delicate tenderness of a true predator. Her fingers traced the spiral of his locks that spread from the apex of his cranium. My poor little foundling, she said with her fingers, so clever, so smart. It’s a pity your wandering ends here, but it’s really for the best. You are too good at riddles, and some riddles are better left unanswered. It is kinder that you and your story simply end here with me, in this corner of your labyrinth, in my arms. I will be gentle with you. I will save you so much grief. My poor, poor clever little prince.


Bigfoot’s head snapped and he looked straight at her.


“You’re lying!” he said.


The Lamia recoiled as though bit.


“You’re lying! Either you are not a Cretan, or not all Cretans are liars! But you cannot be telling the truth; both sentences cannot be true.”


The Lamia began to retreat. This had never happened before and she found herself stumbling backwards over the discarded armor of her former examinees. Bigfoot closed on her and she shot out like a common garden snake, humiliated and distraught, to hide in her cave.


Bigfoot stood before her cave, with its piles of despoiled luggage and men’s shirts. He considered if he should go in and kill the Lamia, but he knew he was not that kind of hero. He thought about pushing some kind of rock to seal the entrance, but none was at hand, and, even if it were, he would have needed help to move it. The ragged and picked over Samsonite was out of the question.


Bigfoot had a thought. The Lamia had taught him something. He could indeed create an obstacle no one could move. Using the end of his staff, he wrote in the sand before the cave, so the Lamia could read it: THIS SENTENCE IS FALSE.


The words might easily be erased from the sand, but once the Lamia had read it, she would forever be its prisoner.




“Great Prince of Corinth, we of Crete salute you and praise your clever wisdom, I really mean that, I am being so sincere right now.”


“Thanks” said Bigfoot drily.


“Great job” someone said.


“Yeah, way to go, genius” someone else added, “you’re a real hero.”


“In exchange for your great a singular ‘heroism’ we extend to you the Cretan salute, which we will hold as long and as hard as we can at your backside as you depart”


“All the world knows the people of Crete are Cretins,” said Bigfoot scooting with his carry-on, “but only I know just how nice you people really are.”


“No really,” he added, “I’m going to recommend you to all my friends. You can count on it.”


“Where to, Hercules?” asked his cabbie.


“The harbor, Hermes” replied Bigfoot.


“Oh yeah? Where you going?”


“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll wander around the mainland again. I’ve never been to Thebes.”


“You can’t go to Thebes, there, Jason”


“Why not?”


“”Cause that’s where the Sphinx is, genius. Maybe you haven’t heard, but she eats travelers


“Yeah, well, I guess it’s a shame I suck so bad a riddles, then” said Bigfoot. “On to Thebes.”



On the road to Thebes, however, Bigfoot, was extremely puzzled by the following problem. If poor doddering Polybus wasn't his father after all, then it was still true that he, 'Bigfoot', believed he was raised by Polybus. Yet it was not true that, he, Bigfoot believed he was raised by his foster father, even though they were the same person. But how could one be true and not the other? And who, now was this 'Bigfoot'? If you had asked him before, he would have said that he was he was the son of Polybus -but this simply wasn't true. What was necessarily true of him, what did his name name?


Bigfoot was so distracted by this puzzle that he was nearly run over by a rather grand carriage.


The carriage stopped a few feet away. Bigfoot strode over, curious and infuriated as to who could be so arrogant. The passenger stuck his head out, his interest and temper also piqued as to who could be so impertinent.


The man in the carriage was sharp-eyed older man, who wasted no time in telling Bigfoot what for.


"Royalty has the right of way" he declared.


"Pedestrians have the right of way" countered Bigfoot.


"Being a pedestrian is an accidental, secondary quality. If you were in this carriage, you would not be a pedestrian, but if I were on foot, I would still be a king."


"It just so happens," said Bigfoot, "that I am royalty."


"Oh the hell you are!" said the Stranger, who had never met such an insolent smart-ass.


"Yeah well, step down here and we'll see if 'king-ness' or 'kingship' is really your essence when I put my big foot up your ass" announced Bigfoot, who did not care to be condescended to, least of all, intellectually.


Bigfoot was a young and vigorous man. He had at least twenty years on the old man. He found himself in a surprising homicidal rage, stomping on the arrogant face of the Stranger, to the screams of the horses.




The Sphinx blanched as though she had been dropped in cold water. Her wings involuntarily flared and fluttered and her tail shot out.


“That,” said Bigfoot, “is the answer.” “Now let me pass” he said, turning to go.


“Wrong!” said the Sphinx.


“What?” asked Bigfoot.


“Wrong answer,” shot the Sphinx. “Nope. Negative. Not it. No partial credit, either.”


“Of course it’s the right answer” declaimed Bigfoot. “How can it not be?”


“Yeah, right, like you would know,” said the Sphinx, “like I suppose you have the answer key or something. Did you really think I could sit here and eat people all day if it was that easy? Like no one would have just guessed by now? “


“How is my answer not correct?” insisted Bigfoot.


“Well, I could just tell you it’s not and leave it at that” said the Sphinx, huffily.


“Well, what’s the right answer?” challenged Bigfoot.


“I don’t have to tell you that either,” closed the Sphinx.


“I don’t believe you” replied Bigfoot.


“Well fine,” said the Sphinx, “you can just die and be eaten not believing me.”


Bigfoot looked the Sphinx in the eye. The Sphinx found something else of immediate interest up and to the left and began to paw nervously at her perch.


Bigfoot glared at her.


“Fine,” he said, “you can eat me, but you know I got the right answer.”


“You so did not get the right answer!” protested the Sphinx.


“How is my answer wrong?” countered Bigfoot.


“Well,” said the Sphinx.


The Sphinx was quiet a second while her tail swiped around.


“Well, “she started again. “For one thing you completely misinterpreted my question, she said. I asked, very clearly, what crawls on four legs in the morning, walks on two legs at noon and three in the evening. We are clearly talking about a single day, a fifteen-hour period at the most. Your answer very confusedly conflates this well-demarcated diurnal period with the course of an entire lifetime. Without, I should add, any textual justification whatsoever” she concluded.


“Oh come on” exclaimed Bigfoot. “You can’t be serious.”


“I am quite serious. This is the riddle as stated. If you want to go around making up your own riddles and answering them, that’s your business, but this is my riddle and you haven’t answered it.”


“Okay fine,”said Bigfoot. “So the question is ‘what crawls on four legs in the morning, walks on two legs at noon that same day, and three the evening of that same day?’”


“Yes,” said the Sphinx. “Good luck with that.”


“The answer is a drunkard” said Bigfoot.


The Sphinx both yelped and squawked, as though her tail had been stepped on.


“A drunkard,” explained Bigfoot, “is dead drunk in the morning, and crawls into bed. He walks on two legs at noon, but by evening he goes about with a third leg –that of the bottle.”


The Sphinx reared up and roared. Her wings flapped furiously, slamming and knocking her bibelots and various souvenirs of travelers she had eaten everywhere.


“Now,” said Bigfoot, with forceful evenness, “you will let me pass.”


“NO!” roared the Sphinx, “No! No! No!” And she reared again. Bigfoot had to shut his eyes and brace himself against the furious gusts of her wings, which swiped before his face, in the blasts of which he could hear her screaming and roaring, her claws slashing at her perch.


“That is not the answer! No! Wrong, wrong, wrong!” screamed the Sphinx. She drew down on her front paws. Bigfoot could see her eyes were red and watery. He choked down on his staff.


I asked,” growled the Sphinx, “what goes on three legs in the evening -legs. A bottle, she declaimed, is NOT a leg. “


She seemed ready to pounce on Bigfoot regardless of his answer.


Bigfoot fixed on the Sphinx with a solid steely gaze.


“Fine,” he said “then he goes out with a cane.”


You idiot!” screamed the Sphinx, “where is a drunkard supposed to get a cane all of a sudden in the evening?”


“Maybe it’s ten-cent drumstick night at the bar.”


“Look,” continued Bigfoot pointedly, “in the absence of veiled or allegorical meaning, are you really asking a riddle? Isn’t what you are asking just a question? I mean, continued Bigfoot, why not just ask me what specifically walked on all fours at six o’clock this morning? Or why just not ask me who and what he was wearing?"


"With sufficient qualification,” added Bigfoot pointedly, "anything could be a valid answer, you could just say 'Bigfoot' and be just as right."



At this the Sphinx smiled quite toothily.



“All right then, smarty pants,” snarled the Sphinx, “what walks on all fours in early life, kills his own father on the way here and then goes on to bang his mom on two legs and then learns to really regret it walking around blind with a cane, oh let’s say, twenty years from now? Or should I ask ‘who’?”


“I don’t follow you,” said Bigfoot “what are you talking about?”


“YOU!” yelled the Sphinx.


These words did not seem to have the thunderous effect upon Bigfoot the Sphinx had expected and intended.


“What are you saying?” asked Bigfoot. “How is that a riddle?”


“You, you big dope! The guy you killed on the way here was your Dad! And when you get to Thebes, you’re going to marry your Mom!” stabbed the Sphinx, triumphantly.


“Now, that’s just a personal attack,” countered Bigfoot, deflating the Sphinx completely. “Besides, my Dad lives in Corinth.”


“No, you idiot, your real Dad, the one they said you would kill in the prophecy!” explained the Sphinx.


“How can you be so dense all of a sudden?!” she wondered.


“Yes, exactly, the prophecy,” said Bigfoot, “that’s why I left Corinth.”


“No, that’s not your real Dad. Your real Dad was the guy on the road here.”


“But I killed that guy.”


“Yes, just like in the prophecy that said you would kill your father.”


“But my Dad lives in Corinth.”


“GRRR!” roared the Sphinx and reared and pounced.


However, mid-flight she realized that if she ate Bigfoot her riddle would no longer be valid, and so was forced to alter her trajectory at the last moment and hurtled off the cliff, too angry to remember that she had wings.



Bigfoot looked over the abyss. As always, when he figured something out, he was quite pleased with himself. He liked being right. Today he felt like he had just passed his baccalaureate and now the world was his.


“Well, then,” said Bigfoot “on to Thebes.”


FIFTH QUESTION;WORDS 4,723: 9,125, NEXT BY 21 JULY


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