Cauldron Anthology Issue 8: Untold Fortitude cauldronissue8changes - Page 15

Smiling, Athena moved forward through the people towards the tree. As her foot touched each stones, a new tree began to sprout. Poseidon flung his spear into the temple. It clattered to where I stood, stopped at my feet. I stood rooted to the spot as he strode towards me. “You,” he said, “I remember you. Pretty little temple virgin.” “Oh Poseidon, you’ve come for me,” I ran to him. He took me in his arms, his head descending to meet mine. He kissed me harshly, holding me tightly. “You’re hurting me,” I tried to pull away, but he was too strong. He pushed me to the ground, ripped my tunic, and forced his way into my body. I fought and screamed, but he covered my mouth with his hand, held me down with ease. I was no match for his furious strength. How could he do this to me? It went on forever, wave after crashing wave and I thought he’d never stop. Through the pain, I began to real- ise he was using me to demonstrate his power, prove he wasn’t beaten by her. Through the blackness I heard thunder. I opened my eyes and looked into the storm. “How dare you desecrate my temple?” Winds whipped up in her fury, her words shaking the temple. “I warned you.” She raised her hands, and Poseidon pushed away, disappearing in the receding waves, out of her grasp. She turned to me, her face the fury of ages, her power surging. Thunder rumbled, and the ground shook at every step she took. I cowered, tried to cover myself with my ripped tunic. “No man will ever look on you again.” She shouted. “Monster you are, monster you will be. Medusa, I banish you.” I woke laying on a rocky island, pain at the core of my body. My scalp began to writhe, and my golden locks tumbled onto the rocks. My body ached and groaned. My skin was rough and calloused to my touch. I searched frantically for a pool of water. What had she done to me? I stepped away in terror at the refection that confronted me. Vipers had replaced my golden locks, my flaw- less complexion was pocked and marred, scaled, tinged with green. My fine figure sagged. I stared at the crone. It was the last time I would ever look at my face. “It wasn’t my fault” I cried out to the empty heavens “I’ve done nothing wrong.” I screamed and railed, but it made no difference. The seed of hatred that Athena had sowed grew within me as quickly as the olive tree. I was delighted when I discovered that anyone who looked upon me would be turned to stone. I grew to enjoy my evening walks among the statues, developed a local notoriety. No one could come close enough to hurt me. Like my monstrous sisters, I too could now be immortal! 15 Cauldron Anthology