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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by gabemay on March 6, 2012

The Riddle of the Sphinx

Once long ago it was said that sphinxes existed in the wild, that preyed upon lone travelers that happened to cross paths with the sly creatures. The monster was said to have the body of a lion, the head of a human, and wings of a great bird. When she was not wandering the wild, she would be near temples of great importance and would act as a guardian to those meant to steal the divne relics the temple guarded. She would always conjure up a riddle, and would give her prey the chance to escape her ferocious claws if they were to answer her riddle correctly.

And so, as years passed by, the number of shinxes dwindeled down, to the point that they only existed in legends and myths. I too, thought that this monstous creature that was exalted by past civilizations, mentioned in ancient greek mythlogy, and practically worshiped by the Egyptians, I too thought that the sphinx was just another imaginary creature.

It wasn't unitl I got lost in Yellow Stone National Park that I finally believed.

Luckily, I was only lost for three days; it was a miracle that I was rescued, most people that get lost in that park are never found again and yet fate brought me to the last Sphinx on Earth, and I must say it was besting her that got me rescued. It was the third day when I came across her path.

I thought I was hallucinating.

After all, I had been surviving on the last reserves of water that I had luckily stored copiously in my backback. As for food, well there was protein bars, granola crunch, and any sort of edible creature that I could hunt down, yet my stomach was still growling angrily, it was a wild animal that would not be tamed no matter how much I fed it. I could never get a good nights sleep with out the lively forest waking me up and scaring me with each random unseen noise. I had a pounding headache that seemed to jab me at everyside. I could barely muster a clear thought without the pain in my head forcing me to recess back into submissive agony.

And so, while I was stumbing along an old game trail I came across a cave. It wavered before me, and had a forebodding aura to it. I was not in my right mind, or else I never would havedone what I did at that moment, and it was nearing dawn, so I decided to test and see if anything lived in it by throwing a stone in the depths of the dark cave. That is when she came out screaming the most blood curdling scream ever heard in the history of mankind. She was beautifully frightening. Her face looked as if somebody had spent hours on photoshop perfecting her features, removing the blemishes on her skin, and all the imperfections on it as well. Her eyes were a deep golden color, that pierced your very soul, for you could tell they belonged to an ancient being, one could loose them selves in the depths of wisdom that waved in her eyes. Her body belonged to that of a lion, the hair was a deep golden red, and glimmered in the sun with great majetic beauty. Her claws were huge and meancing, they were also golden and they sparkled in the sunlight; no matter how valuable the material her claws were made of one would have to be a fool to try and hunt such a ferocious animal. For the Sphinx was larger than a large horse. She also had the wings that had to belong to an animal that no longer existed, for such feathers of delicacy did not exist of any beast of the air, rather one would think that such wings were best fit on an angel if ever there was one to have been seen.

She was a monstor, she was a queen. and she was about to take my life. It only took one stone to be thrown in her lair to draw her out, and out she came, furious as ever.

"How dare you disturb my domain human!" snarled the beast and the woman "Now you will know the wrath of the last Sphinx, Viceria, as I pierce you with my claws and tear you up with my teeth, lest you answer my riddle correctly, then your freedom will granted unto you!"

At this the sphinx circled around me, as a shark would swim around the fish it was about to devour.

She continued, "Only one has suceeded in answering this riddle, he bested a close relative of mine who was born one litter before me, and I doubt your petty mind will be able to answer it. But I say this," and with much hesitation on her pretty face the Sphinx Viceria continued, "since you encounted me in my lair there is an addition to my proposition, if you are able to answer my riddle, I will give you the chance to play with me in a game of riddles, if I win, you must bring me a human of your own blood to eat since you already answerd my first riddle and I am bound to let you go, but if you beat me in the game of riddles, I will grant you one genuine wish and you have my word that I will not trick you by granting you something else playing upon the words you use to convey tour wish."

I didnt dare move an inch the entire time she spoke. I kept stone still, my blood had run cold, and my face was a deathly white. It was until she came up close to me and breathed on my that I knew that what I saw, was no apparation. Even then I kept as still as possible as I forced a response out of me.

"What is your riddle monstor?" I replied as the words stumbled out of my mouth.

"What creature walks on four legs in the morning, two in the day, and three in the evening?"

Immideatly I was glad that I paid attention in English class, for I rememberd reading about this riddle in some greek mythological story. Confidence even began to swell up inside me as I knew the answer to it.

""Oh sphinx, you are so dumb! This riddle is know to all! It is a human!" I replied defiantly, trying to mask my fear with a false cover of confidence.

The sphinx Viceria roared inhumanely, and reared back. She flapped her great wings and flew high into the air, and then tummelted down to the ground, shaking the ground beneath her.

"Human you disgust me! I dare you try to best me! After all the years I have spent on this planet do you not think I know of the mytholgies I am in? I know this riddle was widley known, and now you must accept my challenge, for when you agree to something with a Sphinx, you are bound to your word no matter how you try to break your oath! Give me your riddle boy!"

"Sure thing! Push me and I keep bandits away, turn me right and bandits might steal what I protect."

The sphinx laughed, which brought goosebumps crawling all over my skin, "Are you trying to insult me human? That one my grandmother could have come up with! It is a lock!"

I cursed under my breath as I prepared for her next riddle.

"I always come to all, but to some I come even when my time is still due. I dine with fate and destiny, some fear me, others embrace me, and even some try to bring me on. What am I?"



"Hmm," I tapped my foot on the soft ground beneath me, the Spinx never specified rules on guessing, and already I could see her scowl of frustration as Viceria realized her mistake.




At this the Sphinx made a strange sound, almost a guttrual laugh from her throat that should have belonged to a lioness. The sphinx got close to me, her tempting lips ever so close to mine. I could even smell her breath which smelled of wild flowers one second a raw meat the next when she finally whispered ever so saftly, "no."

I had to think a while more for this one, and I was about give up, when I saw a hawk swoop down and kill a nearby snake, and then I realized the answer was death.


I could see the look of dibelief on Viceria's face, and her face then contorted into a fierce frown of rage, "Dam you human! Death it is!"

And so then I jumped in the air with yelp of glee and a sigh of relief. "Okay Viceria, the-last-Sphinx-on-Earth, slove this, 'You can check me when you need to know what marks our lives day by day, you can stand me when you need to know what stalks our lives night by night, or day by day, you can use me when you need to command one to see something, whether it be night or day, day or night. What am I?"

"Human, your intellect surprises me, but riddles within a riddle will not stump me, you are talking of but a watch."

I cursed loudly this time, and I threw my hat to the ground in rage. After all, besting this Sphinx was my only way of surviving now, for if I lostI would still live, but be bound by my word to bring her a blood relative, which I only had one, and that was my three year old daughter. I would be bound by the Shinxes strange so called magic to complete my vow and I would never recover from the regret and grief it would put me through. Yet if I won...if won? I would be free, for I would in an instant wish to be back in my comforatble apartment and rock before the fireplace with my in my lap and my little girl playing dolls with the nieghborhood kids in the far corner.

"Ok Sphinx, hit me with your best shot."

"You can never stop me, but sometimes you have to check me, which then you wish you could stop me, for you don't have enough of me."

The only reason I answered this correctly was because my previous riddle's answer was somewhat similar. "Time?"

"Dam you human!" screeched the Sphinx Viceria.

So now it was my turn, and before concoting a riddle of my own, I had tot hink what would be difficult for the Sphinx to answer. I realized that the creature probably spent her time in the wild, like the legends said, given she was in a remote area of the park and in a cave, and thought that if the answer was some sort of modern thing, I could probably beat her in this game.

"I have six mouths, yet four legs. I am fed by many colors. I am not every where, but where I am people seem to walk around me. What am I."

"A god"




"Angel? Sphinx? Centeour?"

"No to all of those! Do you give up Viceria?"

I knew at that moment I had beat her for her face held a boring sense of surrender, and she had also guessed at the riddle.

"Human, I commend you, and I must resign, I shall not belittle myself when I know the answer will not come to me. What is it?"

"No," I repled swiftly, "grant me your wish and I will tell you the answer to my riddle."

Viceria made a dangerous smile appear on her face, and suddenly I felt very afraid as she quickly agreed to the arrangement. Soon I found myself in my apartment, and I was about to call ex-wife and the ones I went camping with to tell them I was home, when I saw Videria apppear before me, fully naked, and fully human.

"Human, you failed to solve my riddle within riddles. and you failed to awknoledge yourself with Shpinx lore, and now you will father my next child."

I froze in horror, in disbelief, in shock. Already the course of event had taken a sharp turn. I had gone from being delisusional to being in my apratment, then to being what I would say on the verge to being delusional once more.

"You see human, the answers to my riddles were Human, Death, and Life, Ha the next riddles would have gone on to hint that not telling the answers to riddles would leave us to mate inevitably, but of course you did not trust my word though I am bound to it. My offspring will not be as smart or as powerful or as clever as my anscestors, but it will sill be smart, still be porweful, and still be clever. I am a Sphinx human! Part human, part angel, part lioness! I can mate with whomever I please! and now you," she breathed, "you will be the father to a Sphinx."

And then she took me into her dark embrace, and I fell into a deep blackness, not even able to partake in the mating as the Sphinx drained a life out of me, and into the blackness I sleep, scarred for life, scarred for life.

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