THE STAIRWAY OF TARTARUS by Miguel Ángel López - 206 Word Stories - Bag of Bones Press
The Stairway of
by Miguel Ángel
many conspiracies against the Gods I was condemned to the Stairway of Tartarus.
I was told that if I reached the top then I would be free, so I began my
ascent. The steps were lost in the horizon, where more like me were ascending,
but I did not lose heart and continued my advance.
day I came across another convict who walked the stairs in the opposite
direction but moved perpendicular to me, contradicting the laws of elementary
physics. I asked him why he was descending and he replied that it was me who
was doing that.
came across more captives making the opposite journey, until one day I found a
guardian of Tartarus, suspended in the air in a diagonal position. I asked him
why he was floating crookedly and he replied to me:
It is you who is advancing at an angle on this staircase that is supported horizontally.”
then I understood my eternal punishment, since the Stairway of Tartarus neither
ascends nor descends, but lies flat on the ground, and it is its walkers, in
impossible senses, who think that we ascend it. May the Gods one day take pity
on our wretched and impossible penance.
Miguel Ángel López was born in 1981 in Madrid.
He has published stories in Spain. If published, this would be the second story
he has had published in English (the first was in Bewildering Stories magazine
many years ago). He currently has poems and flash fiction pending publication
in the anthologies "Octavos" and "Constraint 280" in the