This was the best entry for the creative writing topic, Midas’ Ink.
Midas’s daughter Phyllis, doubly shaken by the traumatic experiences of turning into a frozen gold statue and her father’s head rolling off the guillotine stand and falling at her feet and looking up at her, eyes unblinking, had shut herself in her room for more than a week, not saying a word to anyone, never even making a sound. She had wanted to weep endless tears of frustration, but found that she was somehow unable to let loose even a single one. “Why? Why is it that I feel no emotion for my father? Is it because of his aloofness, always running his experiments, his weird “science”? Or is it just the kind of person I inherently am?” Racked by confusion and guilt, she bit deep into her lip, drawing blood. “Always let your mind free, let it wander the plains of consciousness and find what it may, the results might surprise even you.”, was what he had said to her when they had last spoken. Father. She found herself wanting to go into his study, the place where he had spent most of his time, and simply roam around and look at everything. She found the large table in the room just as she had remembered it, cluttered with bottles of multicolored liquids and papers with strange symbols on it. But, this time, there was something new there, a bottle with something inside that looked like condensed castor oil. And, a note beside it that said,
This is all I can leave you, my precious young one. It is my magnum opus, the end result of all I have done. I leave this in your care, trusting you to make what you will of it.
She spilled a little of the liquid on the table top and lo, the liquid had turned to gold, shimmering bright in the dark. “This is far too dangerous for me and mother to handle on our own. Mighty Zeus, give me a sign, tell me, What do I do with this?”. Zeus, son of treacherous Kronos, heard her prayer and let fall a sprinkle of white powder from the ceiling. Phyllis saw and understood, for she was well versed in the portents of the Gods. She gathered what was left of the family fortune, hired a crew and a ship, and set sail for the land of the white soils, that lay far, far beyond the sea. “It is only there, that the greedy eyes of men shall not fall upon this wondrous invention. It is far too great for someone to throw it away as mere gold.” They sailed far and long, past the Scylla and past the mermaids, past the golden city of Atlantis, built by her father. They watched in awe as the Southern lights danced and waved, they looked with some longing at the island where the Golden fleece, another of her father’s inventions, hung from a lonely tree, and they feasted at the castle of Circe, one of her father’s many servants. Finally when they reached the cold icy land they had sailed out to find, she found herself in a dilemma, unable to decide whether to let the bottle lie there, or take it back and show the world what her father had achieved, his future repute snuggled in her mittened palm, glowing golden-brown. Athena, goddess of wits, saw her ponder and showed her a sign to her most favored daughter, A penguin crowed loudly excited at the birth of its child, and an albatross,attracted by the loud gloating, swooped down and snapped up the child. Phyllis, making sense of the omen, buried the bottle and set sail for distant homelands. It lay there, nestled in the icy bosom of the Antarctic, until the late 20th century, when Roald Amundsen tripped on it, dug it out and made a fortune melting down the gold and selling golden huskies. But that, dear reader, is a tale for another day.