Within the Labyrinth

(sound of cawing)

Memory: I flew as high as I could. The tree that grows pocket watches is northwest of here, unless the sun decided to wander again. 

Ziva: (unsure and taken aback) Oh. How lovely. 

Memory: You’ve forgotten again, haven’t you?

Ziva: Forgotten what? And what do you mean “again?

Memory: I told you it was not a good idea for me to leave you for so long. 

Ziva: I don’t understand. 

Memory: Then listen. Listen well. What I will tell you now, I have told you once, but I will tell you again. Your name is Ziva. You are a witch. You are trapped in this labyrinth and recruited me to be your memory. 

Ziva: I recruited a raven to be my memory… what happened to my memory?

Memory: Hush, be still now, and I will give you the first memory you gave me. 

(raven wings)

Ziva: Hello there, raven. 

Memory: Caw!

Ziva: Come now, I know a ex-familiar when I see one. Say a proper hello now please. 

Memory: (suspiciously) So. You’re a witch are you? 

Ziva: Yes, I am.

Memory: Then you can be on your way.

Ziva: I will be, but I’d like to talk to you first. 

Memory: And I’d like dig my claws in your hair and peck out your eyes, but one doesn’t give into every whim. Witches! I’ve had enough with witches. They’ll stroke your beak and call you “my pretty”, then sacrifice you to an inescapable labyrinth just to get their hands on some magical artifact. So if you’re old familiar met a similar tragic end, and you’re rooting around for a replacement, look elsewhere!

Ziva: I don’t need you to be my familiar, thank you very much. But I would like you to be something else for me. 

Memory: If not a familiar, then what do you need?

Ziva: Memory. I heard stories of your kind acting as thought or memory.

Memory: True… but I have no desire to ally myself with a witch. 

Ziva: But I’m a good witch, I assure you. And good company as well. 

Memory: Good? And what unspeakable atrocities have you committed to get you sentenced to this Labyrinth? 

Ziva: That’s just it. I don’t remember.

Memory: (Caws angrily)

Ziva: Honestly, I don’t! I traded away the memory of how I got here. 

Memory: (Caws curiously) 

Ziva: There was an intersection of five paths, a few hours walk behind me. One corner was hallowed in like an alcove, so I sat in it to think about which road to take. When I did, the other four corners of the intersection spoke to me. 

Memory: They spoke to you?

Ziva: They wanted to barter with me.

Memory: What did they want from you?

Ziva: One corner asked for my newest memory and one asked for my first. One asked for my saddest memory and one asked for my happiest. In exchange, I asked for a compass that will show me the way through the labyrinth. 

Memory: And which memory did you choose to trade? 

Ziva: I thought it was wisest to trade my saddest memory, which turned out to be the memory of the day I was sentenced to this place. But as I learned now, that was far from wise. (Ziva Sighs)

Monster: (roars in the distance)

Ziva: (scared) What was that? 

Memory: The monster of the labyrinth. 

Ziva: What’s it like? 

Memory: Who knows? I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen anyone whose seen it. I’ve never seen anyone who’s seen anyone who ever saw it. Why was your decision unwise? 

Ziva: Memory, my dear Raven, is not a book where one can simply tear out a page. Memory is more like a great tapestry, and once you snip one part away, the threads start to unravel. I lost the memory of the day of my sentencing and at first I didn’t mind much. Then I tried to remember what I was being tried for, and found that memory was gone. Then I tried to remember what I was doing the days before the trial and found those days gone. My memory is coming undone, and that is what I ask of you, Raven. Will you be my memory?

Memory: … And was the compass worth your sacrifice? 

Ziva: I doubt it. Whichever way I turn, the compass always points south. I fear I’ve been tricked. So I ask you again Raven, will you be my memory? 

Memory: I think that any witch with enough trust to believe a strange piece of infrastructure can’t be all that wary. And that any witch with enough stupidity to be outwitted by a pile of rocks can’t have that much guile. So I think I am at least safe from you, witch. I will be your Memory. 

Ziva: Thank you very much, I - 

Memory: I shall start with the essential memories first. What is your name?

Ziva: Ziva. It’s a pleasure to meet you, my Memory.

(wings flutter back to the present)

Ziva: Yes... I remember that now. But… oh, Memory, I can’t remember anything that happened afterwards. 

Memory: We made escape plans and had pleasant conversations. 

Ziva: I take it none of our escape plans were successful? 

Memory: No, but I did enjoy our talks. 

Ziva: Can you run me through what escape attempts we already tried? 

Memory: Certainly. Stand back for a montage of failures….

(sound of flapping back into memory)

Memory: Ziva, why are you unraveling your lovely sweater? 

Ziva: I’m trying to leave a trail behind me. 

Memory: A trail of yarn? 

Ziva: Yes, it won’t show us where to go, but it will show us the places we’ve already been. A friend of mine got out of a maze this way once… Or was it something I read it in a book?… This is so frustrating. (Sigh)

Monster: (roars)

Ziva: The monster!

Memory: Run!

Ziva: Run where? 

Memory: Away! 

Ziva: Memory: (gasp for breath)

Memory: (panting)I think we’re far enough away now… Let’s… Let’s rest a while…

Ziva: (wearily) An excellent suggestion. 

(Time passes as characters catch their breath)

Ziva: Let’s keep going north… At least I think we were going north. How many left turns did we take while we were running? I don’t remember.

Memory: It doesn’t matter, we’ll just follow the path that doesn’t have any yarn in it. 

Ziva: But… no path has any yarn in it. 

Memory: (CAW!) It’s gone! Where did it go? Did you drop it? 

Ziva: I don’t - 

Memory: Yes, yes, you don’t remember, I know. Wait here while I find where we left it. (caw)

(woosh sound as Memory flies away)

(woosh sound as Memory returns (perhaps first sound in reverse?))

Memory: My condolences for your sweater, Ziva, it gave its life in vain. It’s thread has been ravaged by minute moles and hour worms. 

Ziva: Pardon? Did I have a sweater?

Memory: Oh for - 

(sound of fluttering back to the present)

Ziva: I remember that now, our first escape attempt. 

Memory: Our first failure. 

Ziva: Memory, my sweater had an ‘R’ on it. What did the R stand for? 

Memory: Your good friend the Raven. 

Ziva: Truly? 

Memory: Probably. Possibly. You never told me what it stood for. 

Ziva: Then I suppose I’ll never know. (sighs)

Monster: (ROAR)

Memory: (panicked CAW)

Ziva: RUN! 

Ziva: My legs feel quite strong. Have we been running from this monster often? 

Memory: Very often. My wings have never taken so much exercise. 

Ziva: I think I can even keep talking while I jog. What did we try after leaving a path of string?

(flutter of wings as memory goes back)

Memory: Ziva, watch out!

(sound of Ziva falling and items cluttering on the floor)

Ziva: (gasps then winces in pain)

Memory: Are you alright? 

Ziva: Fine, just tripped. I’m not hurt… What are all those? 

Memory: They fell out of your pocket when you fell. 

Ziva: That’s right, they do feel familiar. 

Memory: I don’t suppose there’s anything here that can help us?

Ziva: Let’s see… There’s the compass. No still pointing south. A hankerchief, a few coins, a ring, and AHA! 

Memory: What?

Ziva: A pen!

Memory: A pen? 

Ziva: Don’t you see, we can make markers now. 

(sound of writing on the wall)

Ziva: There. 

Memory: (reading with a bit of difficulty) Ziva and Memory, you have already been here and you went right. 

Ziva: Right is right, let’s be on our way, shall we? 

(Flutter back to the present)

Ziva: I take it our markers didn’t work, since we’re still here? 

Memory: The labyrinth rearranged our letters and scattered them all over. Some of the messages it left us were quite insulting. 

Ziva: But that’s cheating! 

Memory: Labyrinths cheat. If they didn’t, they’d be simple garden mazes. 

Ziva: What else did we try?

(flutters back to the past)

Ziva: Memory, I was thinking. Some parts of this Labyrinth appears to have sentience. 

Memory: Pardon? 

Ziva: If it’s able to trade and trick and tease, then perhaps it can do other things as well. Such as answer our request for directions? 

Memory: (Caws condescendingly) I highly doubt it’s that easy. 

Ziva: You forget that I’m a witch. I know the power of a properly phrased request. And it can’t hurt to try. (clears throat) Labyrinth. Or, that is to say, This Particular Wall of the Labyrinth. Can you please help us get out? We’d be forever grateful if you did. 

(Walls rumble)

Memory: What in the name of the all seeing eye does that mean? 

Ziva: It means it will trade me a clue in exchange for a thought. Sounds reasonable enough. But why do I have this feeling…

Memory: A feeling that it’s a terrible idea? Because that’s precisely how you lost your memory, remember? Do not make deals with heartless things. 

Ziva: That’s right… you took my memory you wicked thing. 

(Sound of Ziva kicking a wall)

Ziva: Ouch!

(Walls rumble)

Ziva: How dare you say such a thing! I’ve never known a ruder pile of stones in my life. 

Memory: Ziva…. How do you understand what the walls are saying? 

Ziva: Hm? Oh, I’ve always had a gift for languages. Haven’t you noticed we’ve been speaking in Raven this whole time? 

(Flutter back to the present)

Ziva: We’re speaking the language of Raven right now? Then what language is my mother tongue? 

Memory: Oh dear, things are getting very very bad. What language do you speak when you dream? 

Ziva: I can’t remember any of my dreams. 

Memory: Of course not. Let’s try another track. (CAW)

Ziva: Ouch! YOU ACCURSED RAVEN. What did you do that for?!

Memory: English. You speak English. People tend to curse in their native language. 

Ziva: Yes, that feels rights. I suppose I should thank you. 

Memory: You’re welcome. 

Ziva: But I don’t think I will. 

Memory: You’re welcome in either case. 

Ziva: (testily) What did we try after that? 

(wings flutter back to past) 

Ziva: This character in the story… or was it a friend after all? No matter, there was a woman trapped in a maze once, and I remember she escaped by keeping her left hand on the left wall and not letting go. 

Memory: Is that a way of invoking a finding spell?

Ziva: Very like one, it’s a kind of spell called an algorithm. According to Math Magic, this way we’ll cover all the trails and eventually one of them has to be the way out. 

Memory: I never trusted Math Magic. Too tricky. 

Ziva: No, this can’t be right… 

Memory: What’s not right? 

Ziva: This wall. This wall isn’t right. It isn’t supposed to be here. 

Memory: What do you mean? 

Ziva: I mean, I’ve been drawing a map on my handkerchief and this wall shouldn’t be here. 

Memory: Could you have made a mistake? You are rather forgetful lately.

Ziva: I don’t think so. People may forget, but ink does not. Memory, I think these walls are moving… 

Memory: (Caws in surprise)

Ziva: Why not? You told me time and again that this Labyrinth cheats. 

(flutter back to present)

Ziva: I remember now. Then we had the idea of me scaling the walls, but I couldn’t, then we tried having you fly over and describe what you can see. 

Memory: That’s right, I was to fly as high as I could and report back to you. 

Ziva: Memory. How many times have I asked you to fly above the walls? 

Memory: More than once...

Ziva: Memory! 

Memory: This was the seventh time I told you our story. 

Ziva: (grief stricken) No. 

Memory: Sometimes, if I hurry back, I can catch you before you forget anything. I think if we keep-

Ziva: Memory, tell me truly. Is this hopeless?

Memory: Come now- 

Ziva: Memory, how long have you been trapped here? 

Memory: There is no time in this place. The labyrinth feeds on time and age. But I believe that if I ever left this place, the outside world would look very different than the one I remember.

Ziva: Oh Memory (starts weeping)

Memory: Hush now. Don’t cry. Wipe away your tears. Let’s get moving. 

Ziva: What’s the point? I’ll never get out of here. I’ll never see my loved ones again. Oh Memory, I can’t even remember their names! 

Memory: Ziva. If we don’t keep moving the monster will catch up to us. Please get up. 

Ziva: A monster. That’s right. We keep hearing it. Has it been chasing us?

Memory: There’s a handkerchief in your pocket. Dry your eyes. Take a deep breath. Keep moving. 

Ziva: Yes, my handkerchief with the useless map, I have it here somewhere… Wait, what's this? 

Memory: The thing that got you into this mess, the compass you traded your memory for. 

Ziva: That’s right. The broken gadget is still pointing south. (sigh)

Monster: (roars)

Memory: (panicked) Ziva. We must run! 

Ziva: (thoughtfully) No….

Memory: Ziva, you must not give up. Whatever our ending, it mustn’t be in the belly of a beast. 

Ziva: No, I mean, the compass isn’t broken. 

Memory: What? Of course it’s broken. Not every direction is south.

Ziva: But it’s not pointing south. Don’t you see? I asked for something to show me the way out. It’s not pointing south at all, it’s pointing at me. 

Memory: Ziva, the monster!

Ziva: Me. 

Memory: What? 

Ziva: Me. That roar is nothing but the echo of my rage and sadness. I am the the monster of the Labyrinth.

Memory: What are you saying. 

Ziva: I’m a monster of this Labyrinth and to this Labyrinth. Stand back, I’m going to break this wall down. 

Memory: How? You have no power here. 

Ziva: You have said it yourself, I am a witch. And what is a witch but a woman who can turn one thing into another? I may have forgotten the cantrips that turn words into reality and the names that turn to love in my heart. I may have left behind cauldrons that can turn hair into gold or vegetables into soup. I may have lost my wands that turn spoons into swords and yarn into sweaters. But I am still. a. witch. 

Memory: But even a witch can’t make something out of nothing! And you’re a witch with nothing left to her!

Ziva: Nothing left to her but her rage. I will turn my anger into destruction. Now stand back. 

(sound of explosion and rocks tumbling) 

Memory: CAW!

Ziva: Labyrinth. Let me out and give me back my memory, or I will take you apart stone by stone! 

(stone rumbles)

Ziva: Is that so? Well, I’ve been here a very long time and I have a lot of rage stored up. 

(sound of explosion and rocks tumbling one after the other) 

(Labyrinth groans)

Ziva: Giving up already? I’m just getting start - Ulric!

Memory: What? 

Ziva: My oldest son! Ulric! Oh, how could I forget such a precious name? And Godric, my dear Godric, And Baldric and Cedric and Eric and Roderick and my sweet baby Tristan. Labyrinth, clear a path for me now so I can return to them, or I’ll show you how painful a mother’s fury can be. 

(Sounds of stones crumbling away like dominos)

Memory: The exit! I don’t believe it! 

Ziva: Hurry, I have to get back to my family! I hope my husband is taking good care of Tristan. 

Memory: Is your husband not good with babies?

Ziva: Oh no, my husband’s wonderful with children, why else would we have so many? I mean I hope he’s managing to keep the council at bay all by himself. 

Memory: What council? 

Ziva: The council that trapped me here!

Memory: Why did they trap you? 

Ziva: Something about disobeying one of their idiotic commands. 

Memory: What was the command? 

Ziva: To have no more children. (scoffs) As if anything ever managed to keep me from doing something I wanted. (sighs a sigh of relief) We’ve made it. 

Memory: I never thought I’d see a horizon again. Not a true horizon free of bricks and dead ends. 

Ziva: Oh, and you were right by the way. 

Memory: (Caw?)

Ziva: The R did stand for Raven. Or more accurately, it stood for Ravenwood. How would you like to make your home there?