We've a new story and two short poems for you now by regular Angel contributor Bruce Boston. The story tells the saga of Medusa's smarter sister – what, you didn't know there were three Gorgons who could turn you into stone?
The Immortal Gorgons
by Bruce Boston
Medusa was long and away gone. Barely a bad memory, And so very bad she was! Even if she was Gorgon kin. She had bad looks. Bad taste. Bad disposition. Black sheep of the family. As if the snakes weren’t enough, the bat-mad woman had to put jeweled collars on their necks to make them seem attractive.
Then she encountered Mister Shiny Shield, and it was slice and dice time for poor Medusa. She died young for a mythical monster. But then again, if she’d been a little brighter and less conceited.
That left the two immortal gorgons, Stheno and Euryale.
While the centuries dark and light transpired, there were two things that Stheno and Euryale eventually agreed upon. They both hated Medusa and what they considered her undeserved renown with a manic passion. Why should she be famous, a veritable legend that lived on and on, when they were virtually unknown? And after too many centuries together, they also hated one another almost as much.
I should know. I’m Euryale, the smart one.
We just had nothing left to say to each other we hadn’t already said. And looking at one another’s writhing or bound snakes only makes you more aware of your own. We never wanted to see each other again. Earth was fortunately large enough to accommodate us.
Last I heard of Stheno, she was going back to nature. Off to find some primitive tribe in Africa or Indian that would worship her as a Goddess.
“Small dreams for a small mind!” That was the last thing I said to her. She just shrugged, turned her back on me, and walked away.
I can see her now in some isolated village, worshipped and feared by a hundred or so ignorant natives. Believe me, natives don’t fancy getting turned to stone anymore than anyone else.
As for myself, I now live in Hollywood. North Hollywood if you want to be precise about it. I’m part of the cadre of freaks and hangers-on that survive around the entertainment industry. I feed my snakes valium and keep them bound with a turban except when I’m alone. I have my own website where I’m known as Madame Euryale, Psychic to the Stars. I have hundreds of devotees and clients. Even a few legitimate stars. No big deal. I’m just bidding my immortal time.
In my private life I’m an avid science fiction fan. I read the books and watch the movies and television shows. I contribute to the organizations encouraging space travel. The sooner we leave this ball of dirt the better as far as I’m concerned. I’m ready and waiting for other planets. Then I’m going to find one I can make my own.
I’ll create my very own legend, glorious for me and deadly for any who would dare cross me. It will be a legend that will overshadow Medusa’s completely. And I will live on to enjoy it.
The only real history
of the human species
lies in the vanished
memories of the dead.
First to Draw
The last gunslinger
surveys the empty street,
the empty town,
the empty world.
About Bruce Boston... Born in Chicago in 1943, Bruce grew up in Southern California in an era of rock 'n' roll, the Cold War, and the Space Race. From 1961-2001, he lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, attending and graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, while active in the psychedelia and political protests of the 1960s. He has worked in a variety of occupations, including computer programmer, college professor, technical writer, book designer, movie projectionist, gardener, and furniture mover and now lives in Florida with his wife – the writer-artist Marge Simon, and the ghosts of two cats. His website is at www.bruceboston.com
His work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including Asimov's SF, Amazing Stories, Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, The Pedestal Magazine, The Twilight Zone Magazine, Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, and the Nebula Awards Showcase. His poetry has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Asimov's Readers' Award, the Rhysling Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, the Balticon Poetry Award, and the SFPA Grandmaster Award.