I am a gift. I am a curse.
The beauty of my face, the hiss of my hair. The glass of my eyes, the stone of my heart. I am perfect. I am imperfect.
Many make the fatal mistake of assuming beauty contributes to perfection. That lacking the ability of prepossession deems you flawed. But a flaw can only be labelled so if we consider it a flaw. Why should I be called a monster when I am merely nothing but a mortal? I did not choose this life, it was given to me. It is my duty to live it.
My mother called me a gift. She told me I was special, precocious. With the flutter of lashes I could make men swoon, and with a glimpse of their eyes I could make men stone. My mother warned me of men, of their rapacious nature. She told me that if they turned to stone that they would have hurt me. I was callow at the time, believing every lie she fed me, my young heart desperate for any sort of excuse for as to why no man could look at me. Why no man could ever truly love me.
I am not to be loved. I am not to be cherished.
My father called me a curse. A siren with a serpent song. He would berate me, abuse me with his vitriolic tongue each time a man fell victim to my beauty. I would hear him at night, screaming at my mother for granting him such horrid children. I was not a gift to him, I was a burden. But he is to blame for what I am. The monster in my marrow comes from him. My mother is beautiful, and so I am beautiful. My father is a monster, and so I am a monster. I do not get to choose who I become, because my fate has already been chosen.
I stand at my window, looking out at the statuary littering my garden. Each one a fool who spared a fleeting glance. Each one paying an eternal price.
They are afraid of me. The Gods fear Gorgons, like an elephant fears a mouse. I am an anomaly, and so I am unpredictable. I know, one day, someone will come to kill me. I will be slain remorselessly, because I am not understood.
They are afraid of me. I am afraid of me.
I live in solitude, in an abode that resembles more of a prison than a home. The walls are cement, the windows are blurred. Every surface is made of wood or stone. Nothing that reflects.
I have never laid eyes upon myself. The one rule tethered to me since birth: never look at your reflection. My supposed allure is based on the eyes of others. I am perfect. I am imperfect. That is what I have been told, but I will never know. I am my own destruction. My existence is my enemy.
Skin like porcelain, eyes like gold. Hair like death, a heart so cold. That is who I am, because that is who I am told to be.
I am a gift. I am a curse. I will never know which one is true. But I do know one thing for certain.
I am Medusa, and I turn men to stone.