The crowds milled about IKEA on a Saturday afternoon. Stifling showrooms overfilled with fabrics elegantly draped over furniture made it hard for Seth to see his Mom and her shiny red bag. She was darting around, muttering and taking pictures. They were in bedrooms, he took a turn – and ran into a man with a huge head of a bull standing by a bed, covered by a bright orange duvet splashed with blood.
Plenty of people were around. Seth wasn’t scared but he lost sight of his Mom. Texting was useless- she was caught up in beautiful things. The Minotaur looked at Seth. Despite his muscles, his head looked too heavy for his body. Blood dripped from its horns.
“Have you seen my Mom?” Seth asked finally.
“No. I had my young man today and won’t be feeding for a while”, the beast replied. Seth remembered Greek Myths from grade six, a couple of years ago.
He caught sight of the shiny red bag and tried to follow it. The crowds hustled against him, he lost sight of it, took another turn, and found himself by the blood-covered duvet again, the Minotaur looking thoughtful.
“So, you just live here?” he asked desperately looking around for his Mom.
“They send enough for me to feed”. He drew his lips back, blood-stained teeth gleamed under the neon lights. There was his mom- no – it was another woman holding a shiny red bag. Seth walked around and soon enough he was standing by the Minotaur again. But now they were standing in a beautiful kitchenette with high marble counters and bright steel faucets.
“You are back. I don’t need to feed and next will be a woman”, the Minotaur replied, looming over him.
Seth couldn’t help asking, “Why here?”
The beast gazed upward and moved its features into a thoughtful expression.
“A contract, renewed over the ages. This place is in the current pact. From Greece to Sweden and beyond. And the air is well-regulated here.”
“I would accept you, were it your turn to be sacrificed”, the Minotaur finished morbidly.
A gleaming metal bar was lying randomly on a black marble counter. Seth grabbed it and swung at the Minotaur’s head. The blow wasn’t mortal, but surprised the ungainly beast and it fell, hitting its head against the countertop on its way down. Seth bashed the pipe again and again, hidden from view behind the tall cabinets. The thick skull split, Seth kept smashing until the bloody contents smattered the polished decor.
Seth dropped the bar – there was his mom, her red bag swinging, weaving her way through the brightly-patterned counter tops. He ran towards her.
“Where were you- oh dear, what did you spill on yourself?” she asked.
“I went to the cafeteria – it’s that stupid loganberry sauce” he said.
“So clumsy. Come on, let’s go.”
They hurried towards the exit, Seth taking care not to lose sight of her again.