The offerings made by the frightened villagers had declined these days, and her home was quieter than usual—the peace before a storm, perhaps.
She knew her sisters would come to her aid whenever she needed them, but she was more than capable to fend for herself.
The front of her house was decorated with statues. She placed the most graphic ones there to scare the offenders away. After hundreds of years, she’d grown sick of turning people into stones. Her sisters teased her of growing soft. She knew better, because the fame brought by the name Medusa was something she didn’t choose to earn.
Now she went by the name Tarja and lived in isolation. The only turbulences were fools trying to break into her sanctuary. Tarja could tell by the voices they make to determine their intentions. Often they were loud and noisy, and it would be easy to fix. There were rare occasions when she was making jam in the kitchen, reading in a wicker chair, doing some cleaning and all that, and was truly surprised by the ambush. It resulted in statues of intruders looking more surprised than Tarja herself.
The solitude stretched. Until one day someone knocked on her door with unprecedented politeness.
Tarja opened the door. The sun was too bright. After she got accustomed to the light, the sight was everything she expected and everything she did not.
Tarja thought she would see some armor-clad man, robust and determined. But a woman greeted her eye. The stranger stood by her door, in a set of protective gear, a sword, a travel-sized satchel, a pair of patchy leather shoes, some sand in her hair and on her clothes, a blindfold, then a faint smile.
“Gooday. My name is Sharon den Adel. I have come here on behalf of the townspeople as a messenger.” The brunet said diplomatically, “Is this a good time to talk?”
“If I said it’s not a good time, where would you go?” Purred Tarja, slipping into a performance befitting the mythical seductress of a monster, “There’s nothing within miles.”
She touched the stranger’s cheek. The outcome didn’t fail her; Sharon’s breath got caught with the contact. The brunet was very beautiful, the modern combination of Aphrodite and Athena, all cheekbones and fine dark hair. Tarja dared to say she may be as pretty as herself. Tarja trailed her hand up and climbed to the edge of the blindfold. Sharon grabbed at her hand: strong, ring-less, smooth.
“Please,” Sharon’s cheeks turned red, “I mean no harm.”
Tarja narrowed her eyes. She leaned next to the taller woman’s ear and husked, “Don’t you want to take a look? Just one small peak, and I guarantee it will satisfy your heart’s desire…”
Sharon’s heart was thudding fast. Tarja hadn’t listened so closely to another set of heartbeat for a hundred years. She was genuinely intrigued.
Before Sharon could no longer resist the temptation, Tarja finally conceded. She withdrew from the stranger’s personal space.
“Fine. Leave the shoes. You’re going to ruin the carpet.”
The conversation led to sex under neither of the women’s intention. Maybe it was the summer heat. Maybe it was Tarja’s loneliness. Maybe it was Sharon in her flight, fight or fuck situation since she put herself into such a perilous state—deep inside the Medusa’s lair.
Now she was finger’s deep in someone she couldn’t see, and she was wet herself.
“More…” Begged the Gorgon, bucking eagerly for friction. Sharon wished she could see the glorious sight. She presumed an extremely beautiful woman had crawled on top of her, and was riding her fingers in frantic.
A pair of hands grabbed her breasts and squeezed them rough. Sharon hissed. She rose from the bed and threw the other woman down, like they were a seesaw. Tarja for a minute thought the brunet might take the blindfold off, but that fear was zapped into desire when Sharon hit that spot inside her after finding a better angle.
Tarja screamed and came all over the stranger. The last time she climaxed this hard was with the toy her sister purchased from the exotic East. Then of course, as time went by the toy broke. Tarja tugged it away in some cobwebby corner; she had better things to do other than masturbating.
The hero looked radiant. There was a flush on her bare chest, and her skin glistened with a sheen of perspiration. Tarja felt like a goddess when she got up to ravish those luscious lips.
Gods were ruthless so that was what Tarja did. She took and she took until Sharon couldn’t take it anymore, until Sharon lay in her bed, boneless, six climaxes after.
“You’re not really here to negotiate any deals, aren’t you?”
While the human was at her weakest, Tarja asked. Sharon didn’t answer right away. Tarja knew then that her own guess had been right.
“Why are you really here?”
“I was going to kill you.”
“What changed your mind?”
The hero furrowed her brows. Age crawled back on her face in wistful lines and wrinkles. She was now fit for a conqueror. Tarja wouldn’t be surprised, if Sharon reached for the sword that was semi-abandoned by the bed, and swung it at her in full attack.
Sharon stayed in repose.
Sharon ended up loitering for a couple of days. There was a deadline for her delay. If her people didn’t see her in a month, they would come to tear the Tarja’s house down.
The older woman didn’t mind. Her life had been boring anyway. People said that time would heal everything while slowly killing you, and Tarja wished that could apply to her as well.
“Which aspect? The healing or the killing part?”
Sharon asked, her breath ticklish on Tarja's neck. Tarja realized she had thought out loud after their blissful in-bed activities. The fabric of Sharon’s blindfold was now damp with sweat. Tarja had been wondering what color the brunet’s eyes were. But the cost of that knowledge was too grave.
“I don’t know.”
The vulnerability in her answer was shockingly candid. Sharon tensed by her side. Tarja sighed, and said flatly, “You should sleep on the reason of your visit.”
Sharon huffed and left the bed. Tarja watched as her bedmate stumble away, somehow with grace and dignity.
They didn’t speak for the rest of the day.
“I don’t want to kill you anymore.” Announced the guest solemnly after she found the host tending to her plants in the back of the house. Tarja had to say Sharon’s hearing was good.
“I thought I was going to slay the evil, stone-hearted monster Medusa, but I ended up meeting—”
“Tarja. It’s what I call myself now.” Tarja cut her off, hollow, a faraway look in her eyes. But the hero couldn’t see it. The hero could not see many things. Sharon set her jaw.
The hero said tersely, staring at a rough direction of Tarja’s voice. Tarja was both disappointed and relieved that she wouldn’t be hearing the rest of Sharon’s speech. She appraised the stranger. Sharon was wearing her thin robe, a bit too small so it left an ample amount of skin on display, and then some more for imagination.
Tarja put down her watering jug and walked towards the hero. She was amazed by the human’s patience with the blindfold. Sharon, upon hearing her footsteps, darted out her tongue to wet her lips.
“What do you have in your backyard?”
Sharon asked awkwardly. Tarja wanted to laugh at the mortal’s reaction. She almost found the stranger endearing.
“Mostly statues of my victims.” Said the Gorgon airily. Sharon jumped when she found Tarja standing close.
Tarja continued, playing the hem of Sharon’s clothes, “Travelers, adventurers, bounty hunters, heroes…some pomegranate, apple trees, daffodils, and whatnot. Innumerous plants to mention.”
The brunet swallowed. Tarja wasn’t sure if she did that out of fear or excitement. Perhaps both.
“Sounds like you have quite the green fingers.”
She couldn’t hide the tremor in her voice, nor her desire.
“I guess so.” Tarja glided her hands up and was met with no barrier whatsoever, only Sharon’s hot, slick folds. She continued conversationally, “I grow whatever I want, and they always live.”
Tarja rubbed the outer lips of Sharon’s entrance, and dipped her fingers into her heat. Sharon was ripe and ready. She bit her lip and parted her legs, granting Tarja better access.
It was a lazy afternoon, and Tarja was lazily fingering her foe on the stairs to her garden. She half-imagined the statues were observing them, and she was not shy to share that idea with the mortal.
Sharon moaned at that. She was on the edge.
“Don’t you think…” Sharon panted, reaching for Tarja’s waist for support, “…that some magic must have come with your curse?”
Tarja stopped. She pulled her fingers out of Sharon, ignoring the pathetic whimper from the hero, and glared at the blindfold.
“You know nothing about that.” Tarja growled, perplexed that she didn’t have the courage to rip that fabric off of the mortal’s face. Maybe it was seeing Sharon stunned and flushed with her juices rolling down her toned thighs. The visage didn’t help with the Gorgon’s resolution.
“Assume nothing, young girl.”
Deflated, Tarja left the stranger stranded on the shallow stairways.
The hero was too young and she was too old, thought Tarja as she disappeared into her blooming garden, it would be unwise to give a start to something that was bound to end.
Later that night Tarja glanced at the lunar calendar before she went to bed. She was surprised to find the mortal there.
“Aren’t you supposed to be gone?”
Her voice was low and bore no warmth. Sharon sat with her legs tugged neatly beneath, unaffected. She had bathed and changed into a clean tunic.
“I want to see you before I leave.”
Tarja blinked, and quickly recovered from the request.
“And how would you do that?”
The hero smiled, mysterious. The breeze carried the clouds away so the pale, full moon could flow like liquid-silver, leaking from windows and cast steaks of light on Sharon’s silky hair and milky skin. Damn Artemis.
“I trust you.” Sharon said quietly, expression profound, her hands working on something behind her head. Tarja’s heart jumped to her throat as Sharon echoed, “I trust you.”
“What are you doing?”
Demanded Tarja but it was going to be too late. She raised her hand to block her own closed-eyes just as the blindfold came off. Her hair didn’t turn into aggressive, hissing snakes so she guessed the opposite woman was still alive.
The bed dipped. Then a pair of warm hands grasped her own, removed it from her eyes (Tarja muffled a scared mewl), and blanketed the dry, smooth fabric over her eyes.
“There.” Said Sharon piously, wrapping a tie that was not too loose. In the darkness, Tarja had a million things going through her mind, from so this is what Sharon feels like all the time, to she’s going to kill me I’m a fucking idiot, to this is the karma I deserve.
You unmasked for me before mine came off.
Instead of feeling a blade penetrating her neck, the mortal’s words carried the same weight. Tarja was immobile like one of her statues. Sharon explored her form, from the structure of her face to her body. So this was what it would feel like to be worshipped, to be like a god.
Seeing Tarja for the first time, Sharon was breathless. Tarja’s hair was long, black, and sleek, nothing barbaric like the myths advertised. Her body was voluptuous and petite, alabaster without a single blemish. Her face…Sharon could infer with the rest of her features, that Tarja was cursed with envy and hatred for her beauty.
“Why do you trust me?” The raven-haired woman exclaimed. Sharon kissed her chastely on her lips, almost holy.
“Because I see you. I see who you are.” Sharon pressed another kiss on the corner of her mouth, “I may be ignorant, and I know the tales I heard about Medusa in my journey would take me nowhere near the truth.”
Asked Tarja ludicrously. She couldn’t move. Then she was guided backward until the back of her head touched the pillow.
“Like you said, you call yourself Tarja now.” Tarja could feel Sharon’s heat looming over her. She could feel Sharon’s fervent gaze caressing her body. She had never been so naked before. Sharon could easily kill her now, ending the life of Medusa and doing an honorable public favor.
“And that’s what the world should know, don’t you think?”
Sharon whispered, her scent honey-like and feminine. Tarja didn’t think she’d be able to forget that in a century. Sharon kissed her eyes through the blindfold, the gesture bringing tears in Tarja’s eyes.
“What’s your real name?”
She asked thickly before she got carried away. Sharon paused.
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
Tarja tasted her words and pondered over them.
“My sisters…I’m sure you’ve heard about them.” Tarja smiled bitterly, “Too long ago they brought me a prophesy, saying that one day there will be a hero called Perseus, who would be the end of me.”
Sharon didn’t say anything. Her movements didn’t proceed. Tarja felt restless and was considering the odds if she just got up and flee. She didn’t want to kill Sharon, nor to turn her into stone to keep her for all eternity; it would be plausible, but too selfish. Pointless, even.
“I was called Perseus when I was little.” Sharon eventually answered in reminiscence, “My kin were not related to me by blood, so for a while, they thought I was a boy.”
Sight was a powerful thing; Tarja only realized that after she lost it. She would trade anything in the world to see Sharon, and leave the brunet unscathed.
“Would you tell me about it? That oracle about Perseus killing Medusa?”
Sharon implored, humble, her fingers descending from Tarja’s jaw to trace comforting circles on her throat. Strangely, Tarja was certain that the hero wouldn’t choke her to death. That acknowledgment sent a powerful pang to Tarja’s heart. She laughed all of a sudden. She understood it now. Damn the gods and their divine-intervention-bullshit.
“What?” Sharon asked, smiling along bemusedly because Tarja never laughed like this, rich and infectious and carefree.
Tarja shook her head, still grinning. She pulled the mortal down and muttered later before she kissed her.
Perseus thus vanquished Medusa once and for all. Off of the historical record, there was a nobody named Tarja who bore magical abilities, in love with a hero who at some point in her life, proved that evil could be triumphed over by empathy and openheartedness.