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What if Medusa was just a girl

Of course she had snakes in her head!
They all wanted a piece of her, and she needed protection. Who would not wish for protection? Maybe Medusa was just going through what women go through, are expected to go through, always go through.
What if Medusa actually had intricately braided hair? And her braids were luxurious? And she was beautiful, (high cheekbones, elegant carriage, soft skin) and radiant like the sun? What if she was actually an artist?

What if along with weaving at the loom, (woman, she was a woman) she also sculpted? (How manly!?)
What if she was tired of the attention she did not seek, the children she did not want, time she did not have, and one day decided to pray to Athena:

Save me, save me. Help me be who I want to be.

And Athena gave her snakes.

What if she loved her snakes? Fed them every day and took care of them like they were her babies. Maybe they all got scared of the monster that had appalling hair that bit you if you tried to pull it into submission. Maybe she had a garden, where she worked on her stones. Maybe she chiseled beautiful men she saw in the markets, the heroes with the laurels and glinting eyes.
Maybe the heroes died in far off lands and someone saw her sculptures.

(Murder, murder! Burn the witch.)

What if she was uprooted from her life, because of her love for art? (A woman! She does not belong here!) What if she was forced to run to the caves, where the seers were supposed to embellish the rocks and demons were known to lurk. What if she found a cave and shed tears and tears of heartbreak? Why couldn’t she have what she wanted? Solitude.

And then she found the gems, and stones and her art again.

But would they stay away? (Leave good enough alone; let her go; let her live.) Maybe they came, one by one, with swords and knives and fire, and she hid in her labyrinth, looking at their faces through secret holes, shuddering, hushing her snakes, so they could be spared. So she could live without fear.

And one day, one of them found her. With her statues of (demons demons demons demons) men. And feared her sorcery, and saw the desperate scramble and chiseled arms.

Maybe the last thing she saw was a struggle to free her arms, grooves from her nails on the man’s skin, the glint of the sword, and the last thing she heard was the hissing of her snakes in loathing.

Maybe all Medusa wanted was to be left alone.

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