When she wakes again, lying on a bench, the putrid smell of dried puke on her lips, she immediately scans her neck's back and no trench is to be found. Suddenly, she's aware that her arms encircle something which is occasionally and slightly moving. Realizing that she's able to move again, she tilts her head and sees a baby cradled in her arms. The baby itself has a frog-like face and no arms, but merely stumps. The blood gushing from them has proceeded to sully Ariadne's dress. "You fucking bastard," she spits incensedly, pushes the creature against the rest of the bench to heave herself up and goes to a nearby river. As she takes off her vestment, a dry biscuit falls down onto the moist grass of the river's bank. Oblivious to the small incident, Ariadne starts to scour the stains when while shortly peaking at her reflection in the water she sees a glowing light radiating from her left eye. It is then that she feels a seething pain in the jellyness of her eyeball. She turns away from the water and all at once the pain is gone. Attempting to resume her activity, she again experiences the sensation of being virtually stabbed in the eye in rapid succession. Throwing her hands into her face and turning away, tears begin to flow down her face and she buries her head in the space between her knees and chest and sobs quietly. When she opens her eyes again, she sees the biscuit through the green slit between her legs. She takes it and contemplates throwing it into the water but then she hears the crying of the baby from afar. "There," she says offering it to the baby's feet. Seeing its helpless struggling, she sighs and sits down, breaks off a crumb and shoves it into its mouth."I didn't expect you could be that motherly," the Pied Piper says, then, sitting on the free spot on the bench. "I secured some bandages, they're becoming rarer these days what with the manufactories' unability to satisfy the everincreasing demand. Well, do you want to apply them?" "Why would I?" spits she. "It's yours, you've got hands, show it some love. This was actually quite a birth, certainly peculiar. It's destined to become a chimney sweep."
She is blown off the building which is partially penetrated by a huge tree. The one that she had passed when leaving the city. While falling she manages to turn, falls upon a branch to which she tries to cling desperately, and dazzled by the impact thinks that her breasts are squeezed into her thorax by a myriad of insects dwelling the wrinkly surface of the branch, and just as she tries to catch her breath, the branch breaks off and she once again resumes her descent towards the street's asphalt. She wonders if before the end of her fall the wind (Eris must be really sick) will actually succeed in its attempts to carve fissures into her cheeks, peel off her face's skin and rip off the flesh that lies underneath. Again, she turns, arbitrarily, and eventually bangs against the floor, hears a cracking sound and feels the increasing loss of feeling within seconds and soon figures her body to be fully paralyzed. That is when an enormously quiet and short noise, a sigh of exhaustion, ascends from her throat. Her ears, her small ears, are plunged in a puddle, merely her hilly face sticks out like the mask of a nymph. The nymphs, where are the nymphs? And, Ariadne a nymph? A siren rather, mute, devoid of song, inanimate, feeling a stream of puke skillfully creeping up the slippery walls of her esophagus. Then, she hears the damped pitter-patter of soles on asphalt, she hears screaming nearing and loudening. Wearily, she tries to avert her eyes, sees a tadpole looming, burning, engulfed by flames, running, screeching, desperately seeking water. She sees it seeing the puddle in which her head lies, sees it coming with great pace, squalling, ululating, jumping off into the puddle. And it lands on Ariadne's eye, founders in the quicksand of her jelly eyeball, and it along with its squeals disappears in the black hole of Ariadne's left pupil. Then, more water dabbling upon her forehead and flowing over her cheeks into her mouth, tasting salty. Disgusted, she thinks about spitting it out but figures it might just end in her face again. The tears materialize into a smooth snail sashaying down her esophagus and sticking itself like a belt to the insides of Ariadne's ilium. Then, eventually entering her consciousness is the unnerving feeling of an edge digging a trench into her neck. She splays her arms which just as the rest of her body lie a few inches above the level of her head, all the while scraping across the gruff surface, and then she intensely grips said edge and her fingers' knuckles turn white. She tries to rise, but finds she can't. Her eyes still closed, she feels two meaty hands swiftly and inquiringly fingering her neck. Then, she senses that it's being bestrewn with a powder. And then, there's the dolorous feel of four tines harshly entering her neck's laryngeal prominence. Shortly after, an even more violent movement, that of a knive, cleaves the lump whose one half, then, is ripped off. Ariadne's eyes, now wide open, still have to adjust to the blinding light, but finally, she sees the countenance of an old man with thin lips, smiling and munching. She smells her own blood which trickles down the sides of her neck and off into the puddle. After the man has finished, he cleans his mouth with a handkerchief, and wanders off. The kerchief slips out of his hand, takes the shape of an auricle and hovers now over Ariadne's head. She hears him saying from afar, "You'll grow another one shortly, a smaller one, so your voice won't be as low, and you'll be able to sing like you're supposed to -- like sirens do." and after a small break, "And your neck's broken, someone should fix it."
The pig is gone. Ariadne realizes while rubbing off the vestiges of sleep out of her eyes. It is still night and the moon whirs within the space between her chin and her lap, stressing the sallowness of her arms. An infinitesimal fly scurries over one of her limbs, occasionally disappearing in the shadow that it casts, and suddenly returning through the gap established by two fingers. Ariadne softly shakes off the insect and laggardly takes off her blue dress, the Amaryllis pattern near the hemline frowzy from sitting on the footpath. Heaving herself off of the ground, she pats off the sand clinging to her vestment and walks just as klutzily to the nearby kerb aiming for a strangely clear puddle. With metallic, intermittently twitching voices, three Hyades instantaneously start to sing simultaneously as their faces illuminate on the surface of the pool:
Delusive is the puddle
Alluring the innocent to stick their flesh
into its sulfuric acid muzzle
out of mad Eris' vesica it fell
the spit of scoundrels meshes well
Blankly staring at the nymphs' performance and their sudden disappearance, Ariadne vests again and starts for a walk down the street. Without noticing at first, her feet are soon in contact with the bouffant texture of moss instead of the jarring callousness of asphalt. She must have reached the city limits, the last few houses are comeple-te-ly covered with ivy. The walls and roof of one building are even penetrated by a magnificent tree's branches. The greenery increases in density with every step that Ariadne makes in departure from the city. Eventually, the path she formally strode on appears no longer existant, and Ariadne is left to meander through a sea of exuberant vegetation. What initially appears to her as a huddle of odours, soon transforms into an olfactory conglomerate of perfect amenity. Eventually, she enters a mansion-like edifice. At the foot of the stairwell lie several eyeballs. Witnessing a low yet continuous whimper from above, she slowly walks up the stairs, dust clinging to her hand that glides along the banister. A shape looms curled up against the wall of a long hallway. Ariadne beholds its darkness and fails trying to make out anything substantial. She kneels down and waits for the creature to say something. When nothing but occasional hiccups are uttered, Ariadne hauls herself up again and starts for the hallway. Suddenly: "I don't want to have this vicious ability anymore, to kill others with a single glance." Now it dawns on her, the beak, the tail. "You're a basilisk!", she exclaims. The basilisk says, "I don't want to see anymore", and after a short break, "I've been trying to blind myself so often now, but after a few seconds a pair of new eye balls always springs out of my orbitae again. I even grew a third one. I've tried to use blindfolds, but Eris made them burst into flames. And I've tried to hide my eyes under my claws, but Eris chopped them off. Don't you look at me. Leave me alone." As she taps along the thick blue carpet of the long hallway, a pair of antique chairs looms. They stand opposite each other. As she approaches them, a whistle becomes increasingly audible. When she reaches the chairs at last, the noises nearly split her small ears. Frowning painfully, she can clearly make out two different sources of noise now, preoccupied with what appears to be an impetuous dispute. The sluicing soundwaves bedevil Ariadne's attempts to keep her balance. Stumbling backwards, she tumbles to the floor and starting to crawl on her knees, she eventually manages to pass. Resuming her walk down the hallway, she is soon hailed by an oneirocritic with an eye patch on his left and a monocle on his right eye who elegantly flirts a fan, providing her with flurries of fresh air. In his other hand, he is busy cleansing a pocket watch with swift excess. He steps aside and offers Ariadne a look into the mirror he formerly stood in front of. Appalled at the sight of a compass piercing her head, she quickly raises her hands and nervously fumbles through her hair. The man mildly smiles. He shortly swings the pocket watch in front of Ariadne's head, not hypnotically, but admonitorily, then hands her a pack of sulfursticks. When the hallway eventually comes to an end, Ariadne faces a luscious oak door. She uses a sulfurstick to light the two sole lamps affixed on each side of the entrance. That is when she properly sees the door's squeamishly hand-carved geometric patterns and a semicircular sun crowning the door's top. Enthralled by its exquisiteness, she belatedly notices the violent noise coming from above. Shortly after, rain bursts through the ceiling and pelts down on her and drenches her in a jiffy.