Thursday, July 15, 2021

NIGHTMARE ON CRETE


A GENERAL PETTYGREE SHORT STORY
Mary and General Pettygree On Expedition
Chapter 1 of 2

Date: Late 1930s
Location: Ruins of Gortyn, Island of Crete
Circumstances: Search For the "Mythological" Labyrinth

"There it is Mary. The ancient ruins of Gortyn.

"William, I did not expect it to be so large."

"Professor Basingstoke and his benefactor Sir Allan Catherwood should have seen us riding up from the ship by now."

"There they are dear."

"Here come the Pettygrees Basingstoke."

"Dare we hope what we are about to open for the first time in the modern era will enrapture the general's readers?"

"And bring in sizeable grants from the Royal Archaeological Society and perhaps some wealthy American to keep this dig active. --- Aye."

"Welcome to Gortyn Mr. and Mrs. Pettygree."

"No. Thank you indeed. Your message arrived in Alexandria just in time before we sailed for home. Your suggestion that my readers might find the hopeful discovery and first opening of the mythological labyrinth said to be here from antiquity is intriguing."

"Professor Basingstoke?"

"Yes, Mrs. Pettygree."

"Mary will be fine. Is the entrance to what you hope will be the labyrinth just ahead within those prodigious columns?"

"We thought so at first. But no. It is near but you need to dismount to get there." 

"Mykonis a local goat shepherd will guide us to it. There he is and he appears to be ready to take us down."

"Engleesch people, Yassou and Kalimera! Come come...."
(Hello and good morning)

"According to Basingstoke's map, this is only a minor temple edifice. It hardly seems likely that it shelters the cave entrance to the home of the mythological minotaur."

"Is it is safe? It is in a terrible state, William."

"No telling my dear, but it took more than two thousand years to crumble into this condition. We can only hope that probabilities are with us --- today at least --- we should be alright."

"Yes, I agree. Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. Let's enter, shall we?"

"Right you are Mary."

"Mykonis will lead with the torch followed by Catherwood and then us," said Basingstoke.

"Come come my friends. All is well say I, Mykonis."

"Goodness that torch has fantastic illumination, William."

As Mary turned to look back inside, Mykonis bellowed....

"Stamata!" (Stop!)

A great shaking ensued followed by crumbling stonework, horrendous noise and firery smoke concealing mortal injuries and screams from within the edifice. Basingstoke and the Pettygrees were thrown backwards off their feet by the earthquake.

"Oh William. Professor Basingstoke is dead, crushed by this fallen stone!"

"Mary! Something else is wrong. Listen. Unholster your revolver."

"What is it William?"

"I don't know but we may in a moment. Start backing up."

"What the deuce are those abominable --- impossible --- things?"

"Creatures from hell surely, Mary."

"What could be worse?"

"You had to ask! That my dear is the mythological Minotaur of Greek mythology."

"Mary, on my mark fire two rounds into each of those undead skeletons. I'll put four into the beasty. Then run back to the horses and gallop to the ship."

"What are you waiting for?!"

"Ready, aim, FIRE!"

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CLOSING REMARKS

Chuck The Lucky expertly painted the mythological creatures about to torment the Pettygrees further.

Most terrain items are decorative pieces sometimes useful in aquariums. All have been purchased from pet stores.

Thank you very much for looking in. Comments welcome below, if you please.

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11 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Wonderful summertime reading and viewing, Bill!!! I'll dash back to the concession counter for some popcorn and a Coke during the intermission while waiting for the next installment. Great stuff!

Best Regards,

Stokes

Michael Mathews said...

I say, that's a lot of "bull," no "bones" about it! :-)

tidders said...

Wonderful ! lovely setting and story ..

Awaitng the next installment

Der Alte Fritz said...

The start of another fascinating adventure for the Pettygrees. Is this real, or is it a dream?

Greg said...

Reminds me of Saturday morning matinees with a nod to Ray Harryhausen. Splendid story and pictures General. I can understand the veracity of Mary's riposte of "It doesn't look ******* very mythological to me, dear!" was somewhat drowned out by the background noise and therefore cannot be confirmed.

I cannot wait for the next instalment.

Best wishes,

Greg

tradgardmastare said...

A most enjoyable post. Currently there is an exhibition in Edinburgh devoted to Ray Harryhausen in the Gallery of Modern Art. Your post reminds me of the great films of my youth. Looking forward to reading more Bill.

Stephen Gilbert said...

Love the change of pace, love it all.

Stryker said...

Another great yarn beautifully told!

Gallia said...

I am grateful for your interest, thoughtful remarks and that you took the time to write. Chapter 2 is in production. ETA: Before August 2021.
Thank you very much Gentlemen!
Respectfully,
Bill P.
Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree

jurgenation said...

Why would you ever trust a Greek / Cypriot Goat herder. Great Harry Hausen touch ,,see you in August ,Great Work.

jurgenation said...

Great Harry Hausens!! Never trust a Cypriot Sheep or Goat Herder. Great work ,see you in August.