“I didn’t ask for this. Why would I ask for this? No one can look at me without being turned to stone. I never asked for this. I didn’t want to be shunned this way. I hate that no one can look at me. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? You don’t. I can answer that for you. You don’t. I know that you don’t. Who would, other than me? No one knows how I feel. I didn’t ask for this.
“Do you know the tale? Well, do you? You probably do. The tale of my death. Someone learned not to look at me. A wise choice. It will most likely continue throughout the years. First, shields. Soon enough, mirrors. It’ll continue. Did they really think that I’d die? They never learn. I wish I could. They never learn that I’ll never actually die…” I’m pretty sure Medusa looked at me then, but I wasn’t looking.
“Well, I’m glad,” I told her. My voice shook in fear. “No one deserves to—”
She put her hand on my arm. I shuddered. “You’re terrified.”
“I can’t help it. I’m sorry.” One of the snakes in her hair hissed in my ear. “I… wasn’t expecting it. You know. Running into Medusa.”
Medusa paused. “I… see.”
“Well, the textbooks said—”
“I know. They said I was dead.”
I nodded. “I always wondered how they knew.”
I think she shrugged. “They didn’t, really. They don’t know much. How do they know so much about Athena’s birth? Did they just go up to Zeus and ask, ‘Hey, have you by any chance had a full-grown woman burst out of your head, fully clothed, thanks to the fact that you swallowed your wife’?”
I swallowed hard. “I-I don’t know. I guess people made it up.”
“Then tell me this. How did they manage to get it right?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
Medusa sighed, standing. “Very well. Anyway, I’d best be going. Don’t want to get caught again.”
“Umm, I have a question.”
“…. Lawn gnomes.”
She laughed. “Wanna know how gnomes became extinct?”
“N-No thanks. I think you just answered my question anyway.”
Medusa chuckled again. “Good choice, kid. You’re fun to talk to. Maybe I’ll come back again some time.”
“Call before you do. I don’t really much like… surprises.”
“I will.” She leapt out the window, and didn’t land. She was gone.
My mother shrieked.
“What’s wrong, Ma?”
“Who in the world took our dog and left a dog statue in its place?! What a horrible prank!!”
“I don’t know, Ma.”