On Collecting

Recently a fellow author asked if I collected anything. That question got me thinking—and looking around my house. The first thing I saw was a collection of sand dollars on the mantel. My daughter and I had picked up on the beach last summer. We chose those specimens which were already dried up and dead.

SAND DOLLAR 1

Then my gaze traveled to the collection of Raku pots my father-in-law had crafted, some of which contain sea shells populated with barnacles, scallop shells, clam shells…across the room, a display containing more sea shells under glass. I’m fascinated by the sea and all of its creatures. It wasn’t such a revelation.

 

I think sometimes things happen like that—passions sneak upon us and wrap their certainty around us. Sometimes this happens by accident. (How did I end up with SO many copies of Real Simple? And what do I do with them now?—Let’s not even mention ALL the National Geographic Magazines on the shelf… Can I get an Amen?)

 

 

 

This got me thinking about the other things we collect, the things unseen, but felt:

Resentments

Grudges

Fears

These things can wrap around us and accumulate just as easily as magazine subscriptions. But how do we unload them?

Sometimes we just need to let them go. Set them free. Let the tide take them from us.

Medusa the daughter of ancient gods, Phorkys and Keto (children of Gaea and Oceanus), had cause to harbor resentment. She was beautiful once, until Poseidon raped her and turned her into what most of us recognize, the many snake-headed Gorgon, slayed by Perseus.

Part architrave with a frieze with mythical Gorgon Medusa head in ancient Temple of Apollo in Didim, Turkey
Part architrave with a frieze with mythical Gorgon Medusa head in ancient Temple of Apollo in Didim, Turkey

In my short-short On Medusa, I’m working on the technical aspect of Flashback contained within a scene. I hope you enjoy! (**If you’d like to find out how Cassandra deals with her angst over being dumped by Howard, download your copy of Curse of the Seven 70s today! It’s available for Kindle and Nook.**)

 

On Medusa  

You think taking my head will be an easy task. One swipe and you’re through. Did you not notice my skin is iridescent with scale, beautifully armored against such assault? And what then, dear Perseus, will you do – once you have succeeded in rending my body in twine? Had Hermes not helped you, had Athena remained silent, you would not have your treasure. But be certain on one thing, dear boy, I was not always as you see me here.

I was beautiful once. Lovely beyond reason when Poseidon turned his head in my direction. He stank of washed up carcasses of creatures you have never laid your eyes on to offer me his godliness, as if I would be impressed with cockles and kelp. My father grew from much deeper things. But Poseidon and his brothers did not take no easily. Instead of leaving me, he molested me. Instead of honoring me, he put his seed in me. Even now, as you saw your way through my flesh, I feel them stirring within.

Did no one warn you, taking a head is a dreadful thing?

He sets his jaw in a determined line and draws his blade across the back of my neck. Rough, my scales dull the edge. I do not pull back, do not flinch. With a great howl the lifts his blade and hacks it down upon my neck. Again and again, he screams and forges into the dense flesh there. My father lifts me in his arms and cradles me to sleep. The blade hits bone and splinters.

Perseus, where is your mother? What would she say, I wonder, if she could see you now… Take care of my children.

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