HumpDay Quickie #111

Posted: June 15, 2016 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , ,

Medusa

by Steph Ellis

 

They called her Medusa for the writhing coils of tubing snaking from her head. These were the channels by which her immunising blood was stolen and fed to the bodies lying comatose in the beds beneath her. The nurses who waited on her were in no danger though – she was too weak from the never-ending leeching. The real dangers were hidden, by Asclep who had discovered her and by Medusa herself whose stony eyes glared at the prostrate forms, picturing them as the white-shrouded corpses by rights they should be. The image made her smile and the nurses stepped back, unsure. When she smiled, they knew she would start talking, had been warned not to listen to her; she had a way of getting inside your head.

Asclep had wanted to cut out her tongue but time had been short, he had had to start bleeding her straight away to prevent their own extinction from the plague sweeping through the population; Medusa had been regarded as a miracle, as God-given.

She suddenly twisted sharply and a section of tubing dislodged, her blood washing the world a rainbow of crimson and pink. A nurse tried to reattach them but Medusa struggled violently, deliberately forcing him to insert the needles into the veins on her left side.

“You should drink as well,” she whispered in the young man’s ear. “Take it,” she said. “It is my gift to you.”

He obeyed.

Too late, Asclep discovered the lifeless bodies, all now mere stone. Slowly he walked up to Medusa, saw how the tubing was attached to the wrong side of her circulatory system, to the blood that could only bring death; information he had not shared, fearing his treatment would be stopped.

“Drink,” she whispered.

Asclep looked again at his patients. As a reward for his life-saving work he had been allowed to treat his own family, immunise them against the plague. But now they all lay dead before him. He had nothing left. So he drank.

Medusa sighed and the coils writhed and loosened. Strengthened, she tore herself free from her shackles, stepped out into the world and washed the earth red.

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