63 comments

Submitted on 11/26/2020

Categories: Fantasy Funny Holiday

What if Perseus had fallen in love with Medusa instead?




“Bless, O Zeus, our gifts to thy use and us to thy service, and give us grateful hearts, our thunder god, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others, through the Lightning God our Lord, Amen.” Vemery finished speaking the Benison Day words and looked up.  

In the still-shadowy light, he could see the flushed faces of his family. Their green skin was tinged a lovely blue in the black-yellow light, their coin-shaped eyes glimmering with the dancing light, their snake hair flowing without breeze, hissing softly. They stood around a darkened table, holding hands, standing behind their chairs.

He looked at his mother, the matriarch of the Gorgon family, Medusa. She stood next to her new husband, Perry, smiling softly, watching Vemery with pride. 

At her benevolent nod, Vemery whispered a short canticle in Ancient Greek, waved his hands expressively, nodded to his little sister, Yorja. 

She turned and flicked the light switch in the corner and the whole room lit up. 

The magical silence fell away and everyone began to speak at once. 

Zen and Zan, Vemery’s twin brothers, pulled out their chairs and sat down as one. Yorja sat to the left of them, plaiting her hair into thick braids. The snakes hissed, jabbing forward to bite, but she swatted them away, ignoring their attacks. Medusa and the new husband -- whose grey skin looked suspiciously painted-on -- sat together at the head of the table, smiling slavishly into each other’s eyes and holding hands. Well, Medusa stared into Perry’s eyes. Perry stared in the general area below Medusa’s chin. He couldn’t seem to look at her face. 

Aunt Stheno sat to the right of the twins, and Aunt Eurydale and Uncle Gentar sat on either side of Vemery, on the other side of the table. 

“Who’s this?” Aunt Eurydale hissed to Vemery, pointing at Perry. Everyone began to pile their plates with the food; breads, blood-pudding, chicken heads, strangled frogs, boiled mice, and a bowl of fried human fingers. 

“Mom’s new beau. They got married last week and this’s the first time she’s really brought him home.”

“You’ve never met him?”

“Yeah, once, the day after they met. They met on the Hero’s Quest app but they weren’t so keen on each other yet. I told Mom he looked nice. I mean to eat, but she didn’t notice, so here we are.”

“Speaking of, try the fingers, Vemery,” Uncle Gentar said, shaking them. “I bought them at the market yesterday, such a deal. Imported from Sparta. You’ll love them.”

“Thanks,” Vemery replied. He took one and bit it off, making a sound like the snapping of a carrot. He crunched down. It tasted like cinnamon and chicken flesh and -- “Iron,” Vemery said, almost gagging. 

“It’s the nails,” Uncle Gentar said apologetically. “They’re treated so they don’t chip off. Deep-fried you know. Latest technology.”

“Is it toxic?”

“Naw! They’re good.” Uncle Gentar took two and crunched them together in his mouth. 

“So,” Aunt Eurydale said keenly. “She didn’t take his name, did she?”

Vemery, his mouth full, shook his head. 

“Good,” she said decisively. “Be a shame for Medusa of all people to abandon the Gorgon name.”

Vemery swallowed. “He took hers. Perry Gorgon, now.”

Aunt Eurydale wrinkled her nose. “It’s a disgrace to stain the Gorgon name with a pasty little wriggler like him.”

“He’s one of a kind,” Vemery said. “Not too many like us without the last name to go with it.”

“Perry, want to try the fingers?” Zen called. “Your snakes will love them.”

“Snakes?” Perry asked, bewildered. He didn’t look at Zen though; he watched Zen’s plate.

“Your hair.”

“Oh!” Perry stared at the bowl and suddenly looked sick. “No -- no thanks. I might be allergic. It’s, er, a tradition in my family to, er, not… eat things that we’re allergic to.”

Zen pushed the bowl forward. “You might be, but your snakes will love them, I swear.”

“Oh,” Perry said helplessly, touching the head of one of his snake-hairs. “They’re looking a bit lifeless today.”

“They look dead,” Zan observed. 

Perry twitched his head dismissively. 

“Okay, well…” Zan said slowly. “I’ll put them up then.” He stood and placed the bowl on the kitchen counter, out of sight. 

Perry swallowed. “Thanks, kid.”

“Hey…” Aunt Stheno broke in, squinting her eyes at Perry but talking to Vemery. “Who is he, anyway?”

“He said Perry Suesrep,” Vemery said, gulping down blood-pudding.

“Perry?” Yorja said. “Funny name. Isn’t it a girl’s name?”

“Didn’t think so. Who cares?”

“Hey, Perry!” Zan said loudly. 

Perry stopped kissing Medusa with his eyes closed and looked over at the twin. “What?”

“Your name is really Perry? Isn’t that a girl’s name?”

“Short for -- well, for Perseus.”

“Perseus?”

“Perry…”

“I feel like I’ve heard that name before.”

“Perseus. Hmm.”

Aunt Stheno snapped her fingers and looked triumphantly at Medusa’s new husband. “Ah-ha! Perseus! Son of Danaë?”

Perry put his fork down defensively and said, staring at Stheno’s plate, “Son of Danaë and Zeus, I’ll have you know.”

Zen reached over and yanked on Perry’s hair. It came off in his hands, spilling out lifelessly; the snakes were made of Play-Doh. 

Everyone stopped eating and stared at Perry.

His face paint was beginning to chip off.

Perry stared at Medusa. To the side, anyway; he looked at the edges of her hair, or just above her head. 

“I would’ve done anything to be with you,” he said desperately. 

“You tricked me?” she gasped, fire blazing in her eyes. Everyone else looked down. They’d seen Medusa Gorgon like this before, and it was never a good sign. This was why she was in charge of the family.

“I love you!” he said. “You wouldn’t have dated me if I hadn’t disguised myself. You wouldn’t have even swiped right. I knew it’d be hard, never looking at your face even by accident, but I did it because I love you. It’s been so hard, trying not to gaze upon your beauty…”

“I knew it was a bogus app! I’ll get those Hero’s Quest salesmen…”

“No!” Perry protested. “I swear! No, it was my fault. Meddy, I’m so sorry. I love you. I wanted to date you as soon as I set eyes on your picture. You were breathtaking. I look at that picture every day, since I can’t look at your real face.”

The room was silent. 

Medusa watched Perry’s face. 

Perry looked in the general area of Medusa’s chin.. “You still are.”

“Hmm…”

“I’m sorry, Meddy! I love you! Please forgive me.”

Medusa was the first one to look down and start eating again, and when he did it, everyone else shrugged, glared at Perry, and kept eating.

Zan said under his breath, “It’ll get interesting when Mom wakes up hungry one night and there’s a tasty human next to her.”

Uncle Gentar stood, took a fried finger from the bowl on the kitchen counter, and chewed it with loud snapping noises. Perry winced with each bite, looking at his own plate. Suddenly, Medusa seized Perry’s hand and held it tightly, lovingly, watching his face. Perry looked hugely relieved. 

Everyone looked from Gentar to Perry to Medusa and then laughed.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

63 comments

Zilla Babbitt
16:07 Nov 26, 2020

In case anyone's unfamiliar with the myth of Medusa and Perseus, here's a link to a Britannica article about it: www.britannica.com/topic/Medusa-Greek-mythology This was a blast to write. It basically wrote itself: When I wrote it I'd have to stop and indent a few times and type out a scrap of dialogue I wanted to include later on. It's very short, so that was part of it, but also the story was just fun to write. Hope you enjoy!

Reply

Show 0 replies

Yes!! I love your new stories so much! So glad you made another one! Before I start this comment, I just want to thank you for including me in your bio...it means a lot. Honestly, thank you for motivating me! About the story...I loved the way you added a Greek mythology twist to it! It really captured the essence of the plot, and I am in awe by it. Such a great job Zilla!! I really enjoyed this story. Have a happy Thanksgiving! =)

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
15:31 Dec 01, 2020

Thank you! And of course :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Ifan Fin
16:18 Nov 27, 2020

Hi there! Ifan here. Ever since I got to Reedsy I was aware of your existence because of the Leaderboard (however clumsily this sounds). But, strangely enough, I was kind of unconsciously putting off reading something of yours for quite a while. Now, I stumbled upon this story through the comments section of your profile (since I followed you earlier today). What drew my attention was the fact you mentioned this book that you took your name from. I know this book from years ago. I didn't manage to read through all of it but I read some of it...

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
17:59 Nov 27, 2020

Hi Ifan! Thanks for dropping by :) I only heard of Sinclair Lewis for his Babbitt and his Arrowsmith, but he's written so much. I've heard of American Psycho before, but I've never read it. I've heard it's deliciously scandalous but gory. I'm so glad you like this story, I loved writing it. I don't have time this weekend but I'll drop by your stories sometime this week. Thanks again!

Reply

Ifan Fin
18:05 Nov 27, 2020

Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon then! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
07:11 Nov 27, 2020

Wow!!! A very very creative work! I'd first come across the Medusa tale in Percy Jackson series, and when I read the first line of your story, "What if Perseus had fallen in love with Medusa instead?", I was intrigued! The story had me hooked till the last line! I'd like to read more of your fantasy genre stories. Can you suggest a few of them?

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:44 Nov 28, 2020

Aw, thanks! Um, let me think. Octopus, The Octopus Queen, Queen Cymbeline, Tsrael's Crew, The Horse-Spirit Story, Warwick House, Called, Jupiter, Blythe, Goldhead, On This Hope, Chaos Tea, The Big Red House Where Truth Resides, Pallas, Nightfall: A Reimagined Twilight Story, Feast of Anastenaia, Imbolc, Jonas and the Bubble Queen, Of Bees and Queens and Cobwebs, Afterlife and Forgotten Love, Will You Let Me Fly Above the Stars To Die?, Night of the Flaming Cow, Zenobia Harsch Has No Idea She's Dead, The Moon Grasper, Sunflower Car, Iljas...

Reply

17:03 Nov 29, 2020

Woahhh!!! That's quite a list!!! I'll check 'em out! :D My favorite genre is fantasy, to read and to write. Half the time, I start the story as non-fiction, but somehow it ends as a fantasy one!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Rhondalise Mitza
15:12 Nov 29, 2020

Heyy, I love this! You finally gave us what we all wanted and jumped on the alt myth wagon. Also you're nearing two hundred stories... what's it feel like to have that much talent rolling around in your brain?? :)

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
23:21 Nov 29, 2020

Aw, thanks! What about you... close to ninety?!

Reply

Rhondalise Mitza
23:36 Nov 29, 2020

Haha, yes, close to ninety and several of those are part of series, though.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
F. A.
10:03 Nov 28, 2020

I LOVE this, it's a blast! You are such a colorful writer; if your words were food, it would be the only thing I'd eat for the rest of my life.

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:33 Nov 28, 2020

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Amaya M
22:59 Nov 26, 2020

Zillaaaa my next story (that i will write using the prompts from tomorrow) is gonna be dedicated to YOU REACHING 200 STORIES BECAUSE THAT IS A VERY VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONNNNNNNN and ill post it on the same day that you post your 200th. so in one week ish.

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
23:01 Nov 26, 2020

*gasp* THANK YOU! That's so sweet. I'm looking forward to it SO MUCH now :)

Reply

Amaya M
23:05 Nov 26, 2020

of courseee you're always so sweet to me and you deserve it you work so hard yayyy i hope you love ittt wait what about this: I'll name a character the same name as someone from Babbit. i doubt anyone will make the connection so it'll be our secret lollll

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
00:32 Nov 27, 2020

Have you read that? I had no idea! I read it for sophomore English and it was SO boring. But I'm glad I did because I got my name from it!

Reply

Amaya M
01:22 Nov 27, 2020

i haven't read it, but i've heard of it. i was thinking of maybe reading it but probably not lmao. can you tell me some characters? or I might just search it up idk

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
03:21 Nov 27, 2020

It's a great read about the middle class, the lavish life, boredom, purpose in life, greed, and consumerism. It is boring but supposed to be. It's set in the Roaring Twenties starring a boring middle-aged, middle-class man named Georgie Babbitt who sleeps around when his wife's not home, pursues money and drink till he's almost sick, gets everything he wants -- and is still unfulfilled. I remember Georgie and Myra Babbitt, Paul and Zilla Riesling (Babbitt's friends), T. Cholmondeley Frink (poet), and Tanis Judique who's Babbitt's mistres...

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
20:41 Nov 26, 2020

Ooh! This was a blast to read Zilla! You're looking at someone who l o v e s mythology, especially Greek mythology, so...this was just an amazing read for me. Also, by the way, just out of curiosity, do you think it was the greek mythology that influenced their sparks of innovation later in the empire's history? I think it did, but I wanted to get somebody's opinion on it. Well, I'm going to save you from reading an extra long comment about my research on mythology, but I'll say this. Thank you for posting such an amazing piece. Nice and ...

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:35 Nov 28, 2020

Thank you! I don't know, actually. I think we know so much about their mythology because they wrote it down and had so many creative spinoff gods, but honestly I think they had a lot of literature and military innovation that wasn't provoked by their religious beliefs. I think some of their military actions (come home with your shield or on it) was definitely influenced by their gods (Ares mainly) but that's all I can think of.

Reply

21:29 Nov 28, 2020

Yeah, I do admit that's true, but some of it might've been that their mythology was just the foundation and they wanted to know more about the world besides their religious aspects. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Amaya M
20:13 Nov 26, 2020

wait wait im confused isn't ur third story usually posted on Thursday? bc you have Tuesday off to do novel instead of reedsy?

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
22:55 Nov 26, 2020

Yeah I actually did post on Thursday. At least my Thursday :)

Reply

Amaya M
22:57 Nov 26, 2020

oh my god...i am the stupidest person to exist. I THOUGHT IT WAS WEDNESDAY ILQIFLUYAVLASDBVLU

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Lucas Zhou
23:00 Dec 02, 2020

wow.. to tweak a myth like medusa into this story is amazing!! you seem to have a flair in writing!

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
23:22 Dec 02, 2020

It was so fun :)

Reply

Lucas Zhou
23:29 Dec 02, 2020

glad you liked to write it! it was fabulous spot on^.^

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Mira Caplan
23:12 Dec 03, 2020

Wow...I absolutely love your twist on this myth! I loved all the little things you added in, such as "You wouldn't even have swiped right." It made me laugh, and gave the story that je ne sais quoi.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Lourenço Amorim
11:42 Dec 03, 2020

I create a funny story, a great mix of Greek myth and the "meet the girlfriend family" story. All the characters have a unique personality and something to add to the short story. I admit I got a bit too confusing with so many people in the same scene, anyway great work.

Reply

Show 0 replies
04:27 Dec 01, 2020

The perfect story to read after a day of binging Maya’s stories. I’m glad you hopped onto the myth retelling wagon — I hope to do so someday as well. I’ve actually always thought of that question. Back when I used to read Percy Jackson, I started off hating Annabeth. And Aunty Em was so sweet, I was totally rooting for her. I wanted Percy to be nice to her and ditch Annabeth, but obviously, that didn’t happen. That little thought sparked a nice, long daydream as a response to the idea of Perseus and Medusa hitting it off. So when I saw yo...

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
15:46 Dec 01, 2020

Thanks! I wasn't actually thinking of Percy Jackson when I wrote this, but I have read almost every one of those books (got halfway through House of Hades and couldn't take the darkness). It's a bit of a classic plot, though isn't it, a hero falls in love with the person he's supposed to kill or injure or blackmail or hate or something. Percy Jackson's good because it pushed a lot of modern kids into being interested in Greek and Roman myths, which were slowly dying out because only old white male historians seemed to be interested in th...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

I LOVE this twist on Greek mythology! Everything is accurate, which is SUCH a relief. (That Disney Hercules movie was a disgrace, y'know what I mean?) Great job! It's so creative, to think, Hey, what would happen if he married the person he was supposed to kill? I know I wouldn't have thought of that. I also love the modern twist. Hero's Quest, deep fryers, this is great! Great job!

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
15:46 Dec 01, 2020

Haha! I haven't seen that movie, actually. One of the few Disney movies I haven't seen. Glad you like my story :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Kevin Broccoli
18:31 Nov 30, 2020

I really love the concept of this story. You clearly have a passion for the mythology, and I'm a big fan myself.

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
15:47 Dec 01, 2020

Thank you! I grew up reading D'Aulaire's book of Greek mythology and learned everything I know about myths from them. It's a great book.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Avani Gupta
03:28 Nov 28, 2020

This was so cute! You said you enjoyed writing it, and it really showed! One thing - In your bio, check #8 in your Honorable Mentions thing. I think there's a typo somewhere along the lines that may or may not has been there for a long time and I've been debating on whether to tell you or not(!)

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:33 Nov 28, 2020

Oh my gosh, yes. Changed it, thank you :)

Reply

Avani Gupta
23:16 Nov 28, 2020

Yay! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Scout Tahoe
20:23 Nov 27, 2020

You say it was fun to write and it was certainly fun to read! Ha, I never even imagined that scenario. It was so creative and your description of the Gorgon family was absolutely lovely. I’m still laughing and I don’t know why. I used to be obsessed with Greek mythology. You’re making me look at my past and as a reader I like that. I enjoyed this a lot.

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:36 Nov 28, 2020

Oh, it was. I have several Greek mythology books and writing this made me want to go find and reread them.

Reply

Scout Tahoe
20:01 Nov 28, 2020

Exactly, and you should. ;)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Lilah Blackburn
03:42 Dec 04, 2020

I love the story! Your story is so interesting. I can’t wait to read more.

Reply

Show 0 replies
B. W.
00:06 Nov 28, 2020

Oh my gosh, this is a great story but I honestly LOVE Greek Mythology along with some other ones, so I'm really glad that you had some Greek Mythology in this story and I think you did a great job with it ^^ I liked everything else about the story and ill give it a 10/10 :)

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
19:33 Nov 28, 2020

I was thinking of you as I wrote it, actually :) since you write so much Greek mythology stuff. Glad you liked it!

Reply

B. W.
19:59 Nov 28, 2020

aw, you were?

Reply

Zilla Babbitt
15:47 Dec 01, 2020

I was :)

Reply

B. W.
17:40 Dec 01, 2020

aww :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply