Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2158254-Medusas-Lament
by Nebic
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2158254
A brief bit of fiction about a Greek Soldier's obsession and love for Medusa.
Medusa’s Lament

Agathon’s sword bounced against his thigh as he climbed the rocky cave entrance. A young Greek hoplite no older than 20, he had been put to an impossible task: slay the queen of the gorgons, Medusa.

The shield and spear on his back made the climb harder, but made little difference to him, since he didn’t plan on going back. Medusa’s story had been told to him numerous times, and with each retelling he became more and more obsessed with it.

The beautiful woman with snakes for hair, turning those who gazed upon her to stone. To everyone else it sounded horrifying, to Agathon it was romantic. He couldn’t imagine how lonely she must’ve been, how long it had been since someone even touched her. He may have been sent to end her life, but that was not his goal.

Leather sandals met granite as he climbed into an open chamber, the floor structured and flat, no longer rubble and debris. Torches had already been lit, and he strode across the large room towards a stone door.

Since no one had returned from Medusa’s lair, no one could tell him what to expect. Pushing the door open, a long granite stairwell awaited, lined with more blazing torches descending into darkness.

It was eerily quiet, with only the wind from the entrance at his back making faint whispers. Swallowing his fear he headed down, carrying his spear so it wouldn’t strike anything in the confined area.

The temperature dropped the deeper he went, and the the granite walls and floor seemed cleaner, less affected by the elements. Eventually the stairs stopped, and the hallway continued to another stone door.

Partly open, the sounds of running water welcomed him, and when entering he found a long decorative bathing chamber, lined with marble pillars, braziers, and a cascading waterfall at the room’s end that flowed into a deep rectangular pool.

The sound of the waterfall was much noisier inside the room, but search as he might, there were no more chambers or doors to be found.

Upon closer inspection, he discovered everything to be incredibly clean. The floors were nearly as reflective as the pool itself. No spiderwebs hung from the ceiling, nor soot or ash from the braziers. Even the waterfall itself seemed perfect, gushing from a natural crevice in the rock wall that had been chiseled flat, allowing the stream to pour in a pleasing symmetrical fashion.

Encroaching on the waterfall, Agathon stared into its surface, seeing himself in it’s reflection. He was still young, the stubble around his face darkening it. His nose was thin, a trait of his mother, while his hair was dark and curly like his father.

He had come traveling light, and so his chest remained bare, only a buckled leather strap to hold his shield and spear. His waist and thighs were covered with simple wool chiton, held together by a belt of leather.

It was as he looked himself over that he noticed something odd, a segment of waterfall where the water appeared darker than the rest. Using his spear, he cautiously pushed it into the flow, expecting the tip to strike stone, yet finding that it did not.

There was a passage behind the falling water, but until he crossed through there was no way to see what was on the other side. Moving his spear to the left and right allowed him to gauge how wide the opening was; large enough for him to pass, but difficult for his equipment.

Turning sideways he pushed though, feeling the icy mountain water chill him to the bone as he shuffled into a narrow opening. Very little light followed him, and deeper into the crevice showed no signs of illumination.

Even further into the passage the walls became closer and twisted, making it unlikely that his shield and spear would pass through. Leaving the waterfall, it dawned on him that any previous adventurer would have had the same issue, yet he saw no signs of their equipment.

Dripping and cold, Agathon approached one of the many braziers, warming himself as he pondered what to do. Leaving his shield and spear behind meant little, although he had hopped to use them as an offering to Medusa.

Knowing he’d need light, he chose to cannibalize his own gear to make a torch. His sword, a single edged blade called a Kopis, was designed for cutting and chopping. He used it now by design, hacking away at his wooden spear to fashion the handle of a torch.

Cloth would come from his chiton, removing the tunic from his waist and tearing it into long strips before wrapping and tying it around the wooden handle.

[Unfinished - looking for criticism and feedback. Also learning how the the site works. xD]
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