Perseus whispered a prayer as he descended the rough-hewn rock stairway into the gloomy torch-lit cavern below.

He kept his eyes averted as he stepped on near-silent feet through the ancient cavern, dodging through and hiding behind stalagmites that sprouted from the ground, reaching tall to join the stalactites above, from which water dripped in a continuous rhythm into pools in the pitted floor. Some met in the middle—giant columns in a subterranean cathedral.

His ears strained to hear anything unusual. There! Was that a soft step? A slither of scales as sinuous bodies rubbed against one another? Sibilant hisses? A shudder of fear skittered down his spine as he continued his hesitant journey through the cavern.

He raised his bronze shield, gifted by Athena, gazing only at the reflections in the highly-polished surface. In his other hand, he clutched the adamantine sword, its edge keen and sharp. On his head, he wore Hades’ helm of darkness to help him melt into the shadows. Both gifts from Zeus. But could the gods be trusted? Would these gifts truly aid him in the task set him by Polydectes?

He crept around the cavern, using the shield to see around the stalagmites, and finally saw her, reflected in all her monstrous glory, sneaking up behind him—Medusa, the gorgon, snakes slithering and hissing around her head.

Perseus squeezed his eyes shut, blindly swinging the blade in an arc. She didn’t stand a chance as the adamantine edge took her head cleanly from her body, from where leapt the winged horse, Pegasus.

As Medusa’s body fell, Perseus heard the screams of her sisters, Stheno and Euryale. He scooped up Medusa’s head, placing it into the knapsack given to him by the Hesperides, the nymphs who tended Hera’s grove. 

He melted into the shadows, racing towards the light of dawn, where Pegasus stamped his hooves impatiently, afraid of the cries of the remaining gorgons.

Perseus threw himself onto Pegasus, who broke into a gallop before rising into the sky with a swoop of his wings, leaving the island of Sarpedon far behind them.

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    6 months ago

    Wow, Carrie. What a great story for a “Reflections” theme. Of course, the Medusa myth would be perfect for such a prompt, and you’ve told it well. I knew most of the story already, but I didn’t know that Pegasus was born of Medusa. Pegasus was always a favorite of mine – the winged horse. I loved your description of the caves. I could just see the stalactites and stalagmites!

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    5 months ago

    Carrie, I liked how you built up the drama and kept the reader on the edge of her seat! Mythology is so interesting!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    5 months ago

    Hello, Carrie. Your mythology story always makes me fall in love with it. I really enjoyed it, especially the build-up of the drama. Well done. 

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    5 months ago

    I do so love your mythology stories, Carrie, and what a story this is! The perfect build-up to a dramatic ending and filled with amazing descriptions. One of your best!

    Emily O'Leary
    Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
    5 months ago

    Extremely well written. Your love of mythology always shows in your writing! I also was unaware that Pegasus was born from Medusa!

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    5 months ago

    A well crafted story of the old myth, Carrie. You have managed to mix in both drama and a lot of details from the old stories. To me, it was an informative story, since I wasn’t aware of all the ingredients you used.

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