Over at the Wonderland blog we’re trying something out for the first half of the New Year: we’re going back to our Flickr-inspired fiction habit of the past, in which we write a story or poem or passage in response to an image provided from Flickr’s Creative Commons. (You can read some of my old ones here, though I make no guarantees about their quality.) We’ll be doing it on a monthly basis this time, and all are welcome to share their work via the linky below the image prompt sometime in the next two weeks.
Please enjoy, and please check out the work of the other participants. I found it sparked my creativity not just to do the exercise, but to see the vastly different responses others came up with. Without further ado, here is the photo prompt:
Harryhausen Skeletons, by Flickr user Jürgen Fauth of Berlin.
My Mother the Gorgon
A bloodcurdling scream echoed through the house, and I jumped, dropping the shampoo bottle.
“MOMMM! There’s a snakeskin in my underwear drawer!”
Safe behind a locked bathroom door, I snickered. I’d been hiding the dry old piece from one of mom’s molting snakes for an opportune time when I needed to take revenge on my sister, Nikki. That time was now.
Most people think twins are closer than close. That they’re inseparable, like two halves of one whole. That’s definitely not true for me and Nikki. If mom hadn’t actually been there at our birth—and if we hadn’t been identical—you couldn’t find two more different people.
I’m Star, short for Astarte. I’m the sane one. No, seriously. Need proof? Just wait for three…two…one…
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
“YOU ARE SO DEAD!”
BANG BANG BANG
“DON’T THINK JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NAKED I WON’T KILL YOU!”
“I can’t hear you,” I shouted merrily. “I’m in the shower!”
She banged on the door one more time for good measure, and then I heard her footsteps recede down the hall. I burst out laughing and turned off the water. Drying off, I considered that this was pretty mild revenge for telling Mom she walked in on me and Danny Meyers kissing in my room with the door closed. She was just jealous. Nikki, I mean. Mom was mad. Not too mad, but mad enough that her snakes let out a hiss or two.
The problem wasn’t that I was kissing Danny Meyers, or that the door was closed. The problem was that I had a boy over at all.
Not having boys over—or friends—or anyone—it’s one of the major downsides of having a gorgon for a mother. You have to keep a lot of secrets.
To answer your first question, no, Nikki and I don’t have snakes for hair. We’re only half gorgon. All we inherited from our mother was her tan Mediterranean complexion, an uncanny affinity for reptiles, and in Nikki’s case, her volatile temper.