Called me Gorgon. Called me bitch. I did not come for violence, for war, to go to war. I came to tell God’s truth, the truth of souls. I can do that. It makes people uncomfortable, the way I look at them and linger there, speak their truths. People want lies, get well soon greeting cards. The rulers, it was clear, had hardened their hearts long ago. But the people. I was not prepared for the reception I got. They wanted me to stop, stifle my words, turn the other way. Their conscience pricked, but no one could stop me. No one but my creators–The Father, God, and the Mother, the Holy Spirit (in green). I said to my would-be thwarters, You are wrong to rule a woman, and you are wrong to attempt to rule this one. And then I spit. They left the island and spit back. They would send men. That I could see.
I said, Repent, with authority. I said Repent, and it resonated. I said Repent, and men fell dead. The soldiers who I had seen coming arrived. I know what you’re thinking. The answer is faith. In no time, our women were subdued, underground, weak slaves, or dead. Some lost their honor and their word and acquiesced. But I would not, and for that: Bitch. I was bitter in their mouths.
I spoke stronger truths. Reprobates’ hearts turned to stone. As my God foresaw. Still, I would not be hard hearted. My Achilles heel, my enemies hoped. Their damnation, I knew. I told those who came, Lies will cost you your souls. I told them, stop hating God. God is not the enemy. If you want to blame someone, I said, blame Satan. But they would not. Lucifer, Son of the morning was a kind angel who gave them power and authority and who had gotten the shaft from God because he wanted to be independent. God made them suffer, they thought, they said, they felt. Abandoned. I told them, No, he was an angel who needed to know everything. He was an angel who wanted to be the boss. But before I could finish, they had turned away. In the end, Satan was more marketable than I.
As each man came angrier than the last, the truths were painful rips and tears in the men’s fabric. I hated it. They couldn’t look into my eyes. To do so is to face the Word, whispered or screamed. The Word is the law, the testimony. Ironic, a laugh, they did not want to know what was honest and yet they had come to a seer of souls. What did they expect? But still more fighters were dispatched. Strong women died. Warriors spun their swords at me, but did not reach my heart. They could not kill me. It was beautiful to see God’s power and the clarity. Only a righteous man could kill me, only Perseus. As it was foretold, so it would be.
Snakes in my hair, not evil things that cause the world to fall, but whisperers of futures that would be required of those who chose to lie to themselves in the face of me. Snakes in my hair spoke of my healing power, the power of the truth, how it can lead people to heal their relationships with their creators. After me, the snake was demonized by the patriarchy, and now people think it is Satan! No, just a woman. Not evil Gorgon Bitch out to destroy manhood. Ha! Those arrogant bastards could turn things around. I give them that. Me destroying them! I could spit!
Play the game. Everyone said, Play. What they would have gotten from me: an eye for an eye. Play that game! But I died instead and the future changed. I died, as God foresaw, and here I sit in heaven, waiting for the end of the world.
You earth, you hell, you cruel culture. Perseus. I am glad you killed me. You found the key to my death, my release, and did not look at my outward appearance when you sliced through skin, bone, sinew. Instead, you looked in your shield and saw me reflected, my pain, my truth. You reflected on me. And that’s what it took to end my pain and take my burden. Thank you. I would marry you for less.
As for Poseidon? He raped me. People are used to the rapes. It is not news. But it does destroy a woman. It does bring us to our knees. Out from my neck sprang gold and divine Pegasus. Not all bad, rape. I spit. I am pro choice now.
Memory haunts me. I screamed, alone with treacherous fools. They surrounded me and I swung around and around and around with words, only words. Don’t tell, but I still work, somewhere safe. Truths are rolling on the waves, circling with the moon, touching souls and turning them to stone or freeing them from this yoke. Thousands of years I have lived alone with my father, God. I am safe and warm and alive where being me is a good thing. I wait for the end of suffering. I wait for the end of lies. I wait for the end of evil. One day, I tell you, I wait no more. Trust me.
Contributor Notes: Carroll holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh, has numerous publications in The Sun, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Northern Liberties Review (northernlibertiesreview.com) and others. “The Secret” is available on Amazon in the Revolt! issue of the Pacific Review. Please visit her blog at http://casuscoblog.wordpress.com/