Medusa and Poseidon

Poseidon on an Attic kalyx krater (detail), first half of the 5th century BC.

Poseidon desecrated the temple of Athena by seducing the young and beautiful Medusa within the sacred chambers. The goddess found this behavior so deplorable that she punished the maiden by changing her into a hideous monster. Just one look into her abhorrent face would instantly turn any observer into stone.

Poseidon moves towards the Gorgon Medousa holding a trident in his hand. The Gorgon has a crown and belt of snakes. Beside her a double Medousa lies beheaded. The winged horse Pegasos springs forth from her neck.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

 The quiet was unnatural in this temple that had so recently heard the clash of bronze, the cries of fear, and the groans of the dying. Now, silence was more alien than the blood splattered walls.

    She walked down the corridor, careful to avoid slipping in a puddle of blood too fresh to have congealed. A snaking tendril of sunshine illuminated a passage, and she paused to observe the sole occupant: A priest stood frozen, mouth open in a silent shout, arm raised and holding a sword. He would hold that pose until he was buried or burned, like so many others.

     She continued her walk, ignoring other frozen men until she reached the center sanctum. There, towering above, was the statue of Poseidon, his thrusting trident held above his head. Marble eyes flashed aquamarine for a moment, illuminating the scowling visage. Dimly, she registered the bloody, torn bodies of two priests tossed in the corner like a child's rag doll.

     Delicate fingers reached to the cowl of her robe and let it fall. Golden hair cascaded around her shoulders, framing a striking face. As her green eyes locked with Poseidon's, her hair seemed to rise, hissing and writhing, golden serpents replacing her tresses.

     "Greetings, Lord Poseidon" she whispered. "Remember me?"

~ Excerpt from Medusa