Vivian Wagner


The desert museum had a labyrinth made of black volcanic rocks placed in sand. Sagebrush spread for miles toward the dusty horizon. My father and I and my young son and daughter walked the labyrinth, going toward the center, and away, and toward it again, talking over the stones about the mystery of this one-path maze, about how we couldn’t get lost, even if we tried. The labyrinth does this, guiding you further into itself even as it pushes you away. My father was anxious but happy that day, laughing as his grandchildren followed him through the stone paths. At home, my mom breathed slowly in their house’s air-conditioned shade. That time, with the labyrinth, was our last visit with my parents before she died. The next time I saw my father, his face was wild and strained. He told me to go away after her funeral, and I did. The labyrinth does this. It draws you in. It pushes you away. And always, the sun keeps shining, painfully bright, while lava, hardened, absorbs its heat and light.

Beauty of Decay 2 by DL Pravda

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