This all started the night I decided to do the impossible. The night that I knew would end in disaster, the end of my life as I know it. The night I decided to steal Medusa’s bracelet.
The stories my grandmother had told me when I was younger always enchanted me. Stories of how the gods created the earth, how they control it and everything that happens on it. But the one that most captured my attention was the bedtime story where she told me how she took the magical bracelet that clasped the wrist of the deadly, horrifying Gorgon, Medusa.
The bedtime story of the bracelet began like this: Long ago, a daring young woman named Arianna, who had heard rumors about how Medusa would turn every man she laid her eyes upon to stone, made up her mind and decided to travel a thousand miles to the island that Medusa lived on, a forbidden, forgotten, and avoided land in practically nowhere. After traveling for a many days and nights, she finally reached the island that was claimed by Medusa. With nerves starting to build inside her, Arianna still continued to proceed onward into the forbidden island. She passed many stone figures of lost warriors, Heros and soldiers who all had the same goal as her, to steal the bracelet.
The bracelet had secret powers that could potentially help, destroy, or control the world, no one knows. They’re all just rumors. For all I know, the bracelet could be made up, like many things in this world… but that didn’t stop Arianna.
Even after seeing those tortured, frightened soldiers of stone, Arianna still proceeded onward to find the enchanted bracelet. She traveled forward with slight confidence, until she reached the forbidden fortress of the deadly gorgon. According to mythology, Medusa would turn any man she laid eyes upon to stone. But Arianna was a woman, so she had little fear about her intention to take the bracelet. As she walked up those steps to the castle, she heard a faint weeping in the distance… She turned around to look at the grounds. Was it possible that the frozen statues were weeping? While thinking about this, she turned around, and there she was. Medusa, herself. Arianna didn’t make any eye contact, in fear that she would be turned to stone. She tried to say something, anything, until she saw the bracelet.
Her bracelet was made of the finest silver that the earth could produce. Its onyx-eyed snake coiled around a band of more onyx. It seemed to wrap itself around her wrist and entwine her middle finger with a silver chain of bondage. She was so tempted to touch it, to take it, but then she started to hear the weeping again. She looked up. Medusa was crying. Her scaly, dried skin was covered in black tears, and her eyes were staring right into Arianna’s.
“Please help me…” She said, her voice hoarse and scratchy. She held her hand out towards Arianna. “Here’s my chance.” Arianna thought to herself, and grabbed the bracelet off of Medusa’s wrist. As she was running away, a scream was let out behind her. She turned around and saw Medusa fall to the ground. All of a sudden, a huge, bright light came out of nowhere and shined everywhere, then disappeared as soon as it came. There she was, Medusa, standing in all her beauty. She wasn’t the hideous gorgon she was just moments before, but she was what the legend described her as, the most beautiful woman ever to walk the planet. The bracelet held a curse, a curse that was bestowed upon her by Athena because of the horrible wrongdoing that Poseidon did many, many years before. But now, her beauty was restored.
“Medusa?” Arianna said, completely in shock.
“Yes,” she smiled, “it is I, Medusa. You have given my beauty, my life, back to me, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”
After making the long journey home, Arianna melted the bracelet into a silver coin, and carried it around with her all the time. When she died, she was buried with it. Ever since that day, Medusa was never seen or heard of again.
Every since I was a child, I always pretended that I was Arianna and that I was on the hunt for Medusa’s bracelet. Of course, these were childish games and I only played them to keep myself occupied. As I grew older, I became more independent and more interested in proving the story my grandmother would tell me years ago. So that’s what I did. I decided I was going to prove everyone wrong, and that this “story” wasn’t just a bedtime story, but that it was real.
So I set out that morning, only bringing the bare essentials that I would need: a knife, a few loafs of bread and a some fruit, a heavy coat made out of the finest wool, and my lucky owl pendant that was given to me by my grandmother, as a symbol for the goddess of the hunt, Artemis. I said my goodbyes to my mother, and received an encouraging goodbye from my grandmother, and started my long journey to Medusa’s lair.
I had no clue where I was going. I wasn’t sure if I was meant to go one way or the other, stay in Greece or travel to one of the islands, or what. I was completely lost. There was no map to help me on my journey; there was no one to tell me where to go, no hint of direction from the story, nothing. I was all alone. Except my lonely owl pendant that hung silently around my neck when I wandered aimlessly around in the middle of nowhere.
Finally, I found a small area of trees where I decided to rest for the night. Luckily, I found some dried wood and managed to start a fire. I reluctantly killed a little ground squirrel and cooked the animal as a meal. I always hated having to kill poor, helpless animals, but it’s what we have to do to survive, and there was no way that I was going to survive on just small berries and some greenery. I slowly fell asleep after having my meal.
After many days of aimlessly wandering around, and many cold, dark nights that I had to suffer through, I almost decided to give up. I sat down on the hard ground and rested my back against a tree, and thought about what I could do. I could either continue going until I reached some body of water and hopefully find a boat or something and travel to another island, continue searching around in the huge forest I’m currently in, or somehow find my way home. I sat there for hours, pondering what I should do next. The day started to pass me by, when I made the final decision to continue on until I had no choice but to return home...
© Copyright 2016 Ophelia Autumn. All rights reserved.