Becoming a Gorgon

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First of all, don’t panic. More people than you realize are becoming Gorgons daily, so you are not alone. We recommend joining a Gorgon support group as soon as possible. It may or may not help, but join anyway.

Step 1

You will experience searing headaches similar to migraines. A hissing sound will accompany these headaches as snakes emerge from your scalp. This is normal and expected. To be fair, it’s not normal in the general sense. It’s quite a terrifying experience. We recommend wearing a hat to conceal your new reptilian hitchhikers.

Step 2

You will notice that your gaze turns insects to stone. They will fall out of the air and land on the ground like tiny pebbles. When this happens, it means your powers of petrification are starting to manifest. Congratulations! In the case of mosquitoes and flies, this may be a welcome development. At any rate, the condition is progressive, so we recommend investing some money in a flattering pair of sunglasses—the darker, the better.

Step 3

Small animals, such as rodents and birds of modest size, will turn to stone if they look into your uncovered eyes. Depending on their position when the change occurs, it could result in unique and desirable art pieces you can use to decorate your home. Think of it like taxidermy but faster, cleaner, and less expensive.

Enjoy this phase of becoming a Gorgon because it gets crazier from here on out. If you’re not already, we seriously recommend wearing sunglasses.

Step 4

Your gaze will petrify larger animals, such as cats, dogs, and deer. These pieces may also be suitable as home decor, though a stone deer is heavy and unwieldy. Use your best judgment here. Also, start wearing sunglasses already! Sheesh.

We forgot to mention that your flesh will take on a greenish hue. People will likely notice this, so we recommend blaming it on a rare, incurable skin condition. Or tell people you’ve become obsessed with body paint. Pick one or the other. Flip a coin if needed.

Step 5

Your Gorgonization will reach its crescendo when you can petrify humans with nothing more than a passing glance. Please try to avoid this, especially with people you know and love. They will not appreciate your gift. Always wear sunglasses in the presence of others, and explain that you have developed extreme light sensitivity.

If you do render a person in immortal stone, do not panic. I’m not freaking out! You’re freaking out! Okay, deep breaths. That’s better.

It’s essential to look on the bright side if this happens. It’s a beautiful introduction to outdoor sculpture gardens, which are lovely to admire and have been known to increase residential property values.

Step 6

This next phase can be weird if you’re unprepared for it, so read this section carefully and go with it. You will begin to enjoy your transformative powers at some point—it could be anywhere from three months to two years from the onset of symptoms. This is when you will start curating your sculpture garden, selecting suitable victims who are aesthetically pleasing and generally disliked by most people.

You will find various ways to justify your compulsive acquisition of statues. For example, you’ll be doing your part to curb overpopulation. What’re a few dozen missing people here and there after all? And think of your contribution to the arts!

Step 7

People are not idiots—most people, anyway—and they’ll eventually catch on to the fact that you’ve become a monstrous freak who should be banished from civil society. Now is the time to give your two-week notice and list your home for sale. The increased property value due to your stunning sculpture garden will be helpful here.

If your family hasn’t disowned you, now is the time to go your separate ways. Gorgons are solitary creatures for rather obvious reasons.

Step 8

Find a suitable piece of land in the forest to build your lair. Use the proceeds of your home sale to hire masons to build a stone temple. Allocate plenty of open space because you’ll regularly add statues. Speaking of which, you’ll need a lot of marble platforms for the future growth of your collection. Throw your sunglasses away. You won’t need them anymore.

Step 9

Acquire some treasure to pimp your lair. I don’t have specific advice here. Just use your imagination. Rob a jewelry store or pawnshop, pan for gold, or ransack a dragon’s cave. You have a lot of options.

Treasure is essential because it will attract adventurers. You can probably see where we’re going with this. When an unsuspecting adventurer arrives, jump out from behind a tree and render them in solid marble. We probably should have mentioned the importance of vigorous exercise earlier. It’s a serious workout to carry solid marble statues through the forest and place them on stone pedestals. Try to pace yourself as best you can.

Step 10

Live for thousands of years in self-imposed exile and constantly curse the name of Athena for bringing this malediction upon you in the first place. Cultivate a suitably evil cackle to be the last thing your unfortunate victims hear in their pitiful mortal lives.

Summary

There you have it. See, it’s not as bad as you thought it would be. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and consider how lucky you are to have magical powers and immortality. Take that, Joneses!

Oh, one last thing. Under no circumstance should you engage in battle with that major prick, Perseus. I promise you it won’t end well.

Copyright 2023 Olivia Quinn

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash


Story notes

This was a silly idea that grew into a story. It’s been sitting around for months on my laptop, so I decided to polish it up and publish it. I hope you find it mildly amusing.

While this story is light-hearted and wholesome, have no fear! I’ll be back to my usual profanity and gratuitous nudity before you know it. 😉


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Olivia Quinn lives in Ohio with her dog and two cats, who mostly get along. She is pursuing her BA in Creative Writing while working part-time in a lingerie shop. She may be found after hours standing motionless among the mannequins. Olivia is the Editor-in-Chief of Stone Cold Stories and an Associate Editor at Rock Hard Press and GAZMYK Magazine. Olivia is the author of the upcoming sci-fi erotica novel, StoneSport Chronicles: Volume 1, due out in the summer of 2024.

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