I spent the last few weeks setting up a business. I needed a day job, so Medusa’s Demolition was born. Do what you know, right? It was surprisingly easy, so that was a huge bonus for me. I didn’t like using my Gorgon powers to turn people to stone, but releasing the stone to its most basic form felt a little bit like setting the world right, one building at a time. The bigger the building, the more energy it took, though.
The world was covered in one kind of stone or another. There were cities where every square inch was covered by stone, metal, or wood. They even had to put gardens on the roofs of buildings in some cities.
I have done two jobs so far, and they paid ridiculously well. Someone in Kansas City actually built a barn out of stone. What were they thinking? The Virgin Islands had plantation buildings that were already halfway crumbled. That one was easy, there were only pieces of the buildings left. Mortals were always trying to tear down the past to make room for something new.
I’d heard from Luke a few times; he was actually turning out to be a good friend. He kept his word, too. The police, led by an anonymous tip, found the graves of three young women. Everyone assumed the men responsible were in hiding. I felt like I’d done some good, and it was nice.
I still wasn’t socializing with the other immortals, so I spent most of my time either setting up my demolition business or hanging out with Luke. With money coming in, I could finally leave the God Complex. I should be able to average one job a week, and at that rate, I’d be able to put away quite a bit of money. I couldn’t wait to have my own space.
Word was starting to spread about my return. I was nervous about reconnecting with the other immortals, but I couldn’t isolate myself forever.
I finished the paperwork and was about to head to bed when my phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hey, Medusa? I need your help. I’m texting you an address, can you get here quickly?” It was hard to hear him because he was keeping his voice low.
“Luke? Are you ok?” I was instantly alert. Luke was becoming a friend and I was worried about him. My snakes lifted their heads, tasting the air, sensing something was wrong.
“Just come as quickly as you can. I sent the address,” Luke said.
I wanted more information from him, but he had already hung up.
I teleported to the front of the small house and checked the address just to make sure I was in the right place. It didn’t seem like anything was wrong here, everything was quiet. Just as I started walking up the driveway, the front door opened and Luke was there, ushering me inside.
“Thanks for getting here so fast,” he said, taking one last look outside before closing and locking the door behind us.
“What’s wrong? You seem ok,” I said, looking him over.
He seemed nervous and kept tapping his fingers on his thigh. “I need a huge favor. I feel bad asking, but it’s important.”
I wasn’t sure, but it seemed like he kept looking at my hair. I reached up and ran my hand down my hair, feeling self-conscious. “Ok, if I can help, I will,” I said, and to be honest, I had been bored.
He seemed to relax and said, “One of my clients got himself into some trouble, I could use some help trying to get him out of it.”
“Ok, I’ll do what I can.” I stood up, excited to be doing something.
Luke jumped up and grabbed a set of keys off of the little table by the door. I followed him out to his truck.
We drove through the city and into an industrial park, the whole area seemed deserted. He pulled to a stop in front of a large warehouse.
“It’s not going to be what it looks like,” Luke said, glancing at me then to the warehouse door.
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just followed him into the building. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but it sure as hell wasn’t this. “What it looks like is a dead body! Did you do this?” I felt my control slip and struggled to push the Gorgon down.
Luke slammed his eyes shut and held his hands up in front of him saying, “No, I’m just trying to clean it up. Relax, it wasn’t me.”
“You can open your eyes, you damn baby. I’m fine,” I said, laughing.
He opened one eye and peeked out, then opened both eyes. “Hey, I’m not taking any chances. No offense, but you’ve kind of got control issues.”
“I want to fit in here, I don’t want to be found with a body. People are already scared enough of me, what if someone sees?” I hissed, even though I was happy to have some excitement.
He laughed and said, ”I know you’re not really worried. I can tell how bored you’ve been.”
“Yeah, the other Goddesses should be on an episode of Immortals Gone Wild, and I’ve been sitting on my ass missing all the fun,” I said with a sigh. “What do you want me to do here? I can’t fix dead.”
“I know you can’t help him. I was hoping you could help me…you know, make him disappear,” Luke said as he followed behind me.
“Oh my goddess, you want me to dust bodies for you? You can’t be serious. I’m trying to start a demolition business, not a body disposal service!” I said, trying to sound outraged.
“Let me explain before you decide. You know how I’m in the private security business?” He waited for me to nod, then continued. “One of my clients accidentally killed someone. It wasn’t his fault though, I swear.”
I laughed and said, “How do you accidentally kill someone? Unless you’re me, that doesn’t usually happen.”
“He got into a fight, he was just defending himself, but the guy ended up dead,” Luke replied.
“That sounds like self-defense. Why didn’t he just call the cops?” I asked.
“They were alone and he panicked. He brought the body here and then came to me. At this point, it looks bad for him, he’d end up doing time. He’s a good kid.”
I still wasn’t convinced this was the best idea. “You’re forgetting one thing, genius, he has to look at me in Gorgon form for me to be able to turn him into stone.”
Luke started pacing, then he turned to me and asked, “Does he have to be alive when he looks at you?”
“Um…you know, I’m not sure. I’ve never tried it. I’ve spent forever trying not to turn people to stone,” I answered. I couldn’t believe we were even having this conversation.
Luke walked over to the body and knelt down next to it, asking, “What if I hold his eyes open and you go all…snakey?”
I rolled my eyes and shrugged. “Alright, go for it. Don’t forget to keep your eyes closed. Turn your head away too, just to be safe,” I said. The Gorgon part of me was always there, trying to claw her way to the surface. I waited until he had his head turned and released my hold.
Luke jumped and almost fell over when the body he was touching turned to stone underneath his hands. “It worked,” he said, sounding shocked. “Can I look now?”
It felt good to relax my hold on the Gorgon part of me. It was like stretching muscles that hadn’t been used. I pulled her back in though, I didn’t want to be caught with a new statue. I don’t know what would be worse, getting caught with a regular body, or a stone one. “Alright, you can turn around now.”
“I can’t believe that worked!” Luke said, obviously relieved.
I knelt down and put my hand on the rough stone of his shoulder. I tried to pull his essence, but he’d been dead too long. All I got were impressions of the kind of person he was.
Luke gestured for me to get on with it, so with my hand still on his shoulder, I sent power through the stone and the statue crumbled to sand.
“You know you can never tell anyone about this right? I mean absolutely no one.” I kicked the sand around with my shoe as I waited for him to answer.
“I know, your secret is safe. Let’s get out of here,” he said. “Thank you, Medusa. I really mean it.”
I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and started to turn towards it.
Luke yelled, “Watch out!”
It was too late, though. Something slammed into the side of my head, the floor rushed up to meet my face, and everything went black.