I pulled the sweatshirt tighter over my head, making sure my snakes were calm and hidden. With the rumors that had been flying around, I didn’t want to take the chance of being noticed. That meant no teleporting and popping in out of nowhere.
Luke was furious that I wouldn’t let him come with me, but I think that was only because he didn’t like being left out. Besides, I had been relying on him too much, and it was time to start standing on my own two feet, especially when it came to something as simple as this.
I had been trying to track down rumors of my statues popping up throughout town. I knew it wasn’t me, so there couldn’t be any truth to the stories, but I needed to get to the bottom of it, regardless.
It felt good to be walking. It was starting to warm up, and summer was definitely around the corner, but the nights were still cool. There was a crispness to the air that felt invigorating.
I didn’t expect to find anything, but it felt good to do this for myself. I had done some investigating on my own—okay, so I spent hours searching social media, but it counted. I found a thread that talked about Medusa’s rampage down Oceanside Drive, and though it sounded ridiculous, I still wanted to check it out.
“Can you spare a few dollars?”
I jumped at the voice, looking down to see a man sitting on the sidewalk holding up an empty coffee cup. I patted my pockets, but I didn’t think to grab any money since I usually teleported everywhere I went. “I’m sorry. I don’t. Next time, though,” I promised the man. I would have to remember to keep cash on me in the future.
“Yeah, sure you will,” he mumbled, hunching down and pulling up his worn jacket higher on his neck.
“I mean it. You’ll see.” The man ignored me. He was probably used to empty promises. Looking around, I made sure I’d be able to recognize the area. I’d bring him lunch and some snacks another day if he was still there.
Stores were starting to close, and there weren’t many people on the sidewalk. There still didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary. I wasn’t sure if I was relieved about that or disappointed.
Noticing an alley that ran behind the businesses, I headed toward it. After I checked it out, it would be a good place to teleport home.
“What the hell?” I questioned softly. There were piles of sand with pieces of statues sticking out of them. Kneeling down, I brushed some of the sand aside and picked up an arm. It looked like it could be one of mine, but that wasn’t possible. Glancing around, I noticed several more piles like this one.
They were more sand than statues, but there were pieces in all of them, an arm here, a foot there. It looked like someone had smashed them. Were they people? I tried to get a read off of the stone, but they were either never human, or they had been stone too long to tell me anything. Well shit.
I took the time to go through each pile, trying to get a read off of the larger parts, but I didn’t get anything other than dirty. Brushing myself off, I stood up. Thoroughly confused, I decided to walk through the area one more time to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
After doing more walking in the last few hours than I had done in the last few months, I figured it was time to call it a night. Finding a dark spot hidden in the shadows, I decided to teleport to Luke’s house. I wanted to go straight home, but I knew he’d still be up pacing, waiting for an update. I wasn’t sure how we had gotten so codependent, but we were. Shaking my head, I popped into his living room.
As soon as I had my feet under me, Luke was there, grabbing my shoulders. “Oh my god, what happened to you?” He proceeded to turn me around, checking for injuries.
I batted his hands away. I should have just called. I wasn’t in the mood for this. Sometimes he was a lot of work. “Stop, I’m fine. Just dirty.”
Luke put his hands up, backing away. “Okay, sorry.” Then he started laughing. “What’s with the cat burglar look?”
I looked down at my black boots, black pants, and black hoodie that were covered in dirt and sand. “I didn’t want to be noticed,” I said, shrugging.
“I hate to tell you this, but I’m pretty sure you stood out more dressed like this.” He dropped down on the couch, still looking me over with a smirk. “So? Did you find out anything?”
I sat next to him, then turned and put my legs over his lap. “I’m not sure. There were lots of piles of…something.”
Obviously confused, he asked, “What do you mean? What was it?”
“Well, it was mostly sand and dirt, I guess. But there were parts that could have been a person.” I leaned back and closed my eyes.
“Like someone smashed a statue?” he asked.
“Yeah. But that’s not possible, is it?”
“You’re asking me?” He laughed. “Did you Gorgon out and forget about it?”
“Oh, geez. I’m pretty sure I’d remember.” At least, I thought I would.
“Maybe it’s nothing, and you’re just chasing shadows.”
“Maybe,” I conceded. “But what’s with all the talk about a crazy Gorgon then?” That was what was bothering me. It had been over a year since I had turned anyone by accident, and it had taken a lot of work to get control over that part of myself.
“Could there be another Gorgon out there?” Luke queried.
“I don’t think so, but it is possible. I mean, I did have sisters, after all.” I bolted upright. I hadn’t even thought of Stheno and Euryale since my return. They were immortal. They were born immortal. Were they still here somewhere?
Luke looked surprised. “I forgot about that. The stories all said there were three of you.”
I frowned. I hated being a part of legend. “I haven’t heard anything about them. Like, at all. If it were them, surely they would have reached out to me?” The thought that I might have family out there had my heart pounding.
Luke reached out, placing a hand over mine, and said softly, “If it were them, I do think you’d know. I think it’s more likely that it’s just a prank.”
I hoped he was right, but how could I be sure? I nodded. “I’m going to pop home. I want to get cleaned up.”
“You have everything you need here. You don’t have to leave.” Luke squeezed my hand, and I knew exactly what he was thinking.
I laughed, but I just wanted to be alone for a little while. Putting on a smile that I didn’t quite feel, I said, “I know, but I’ve got some work I need to get done. I’m fine. You can go get some sleep now.”
Luke nodded, but I could see the question in his eyes. “If you’re sure?” When I smiled, he stood up, pulling me with him.
I moved into his arms and let him wrap me in a hug.