Before They Turned Men To StoneIn a land far from here, surrounded by enormous lakes, a young gorgon, Sariphina, lived with her sisters in a sparse dwelling on the edge of a village. Sariphina was blue in the literal and metaphoric sense; her skin was a dull murky blue, her eyes were a dark, stormy, nearly black blue, her hair snakes were the shade of blue seen on recycling bins. There was a glow to Sariphina, as if she was wrapped in Christmas lights that should have been discarded years ago. Sariphina’s sisters, Kocuno and Raksha were green, in the figurative way. Kocuno was a wisp of a gorgon, her skin a light shade red that seemed to be backlit and hair snakes that looked more like soft braids than dangerous serpents. Raksha had vibrant violet skin with hair snakes that resembled elongated lilies. Sariphina was often caring for Kocuno and Raksha, usually to the detriment of her own growth, she missed many major events in the village that she desired to attend.
The sisters had parents, but avoided them as much as possible for their rage and cruelty was quick and without purpose. Their mother was self involved and hardly worthy of the time to describe. Their father was a descendant of Typhon; he was large, tall and brimming with rage. Their father roamed their dwelling at all hours of the day, stopping at times to shout at anyone in his field of view.
Sariphina was growing concerned about their father’s unguided outbursts. Raksha and Kocuno avoided him and never made eye contact, they would weep when he shouted. One afternoon Raksha and Kocuno were playing with their dolls in the common area of the dwelling and their father wandered into the space. For a reason Sariphina could not grasp he started kicking the dolls out of Raksha and Kocuno’s hands, his voice so loud if there were words they could not be interpreted. Raksha and Kocuno froze in place.
Sariphina whisked up Kocuno and grabbed Raksha by the hand, taking them into a side room. Raksha and Kocuno were weeping and confused. Sariphina instructed them to barricade the door when she left, her voice steady but barely loud enough to be heard over the background of their father shouting.
Sariphina waited in front of the door, she was afraid but she knew fear had no place in her. Their father was throwing items, a few of them landing near or hitting Sariphina. When their father approached the side room Sariphina looked directly at him and said one word.
STOPTho noise had drawn the attention of the nearby villagers, they approached with torches. The gorgons father saw the villagers approach and fled. At the dwelling Sariphina had no words for the villagers, she slid to the ground and sat quietly.
Sariphina was grateful for the help of the villagers but deeply disappointed in herself that she even required the assistance of others. Raksha and Kocuno soon forgot about their father as their troubles were just beginning with their mother.