I presume we are to post our drabbles in this thread also, so may I have the honor of posting the first one?
Title: The Medusa Costume
Word Count: 454
Rating/Warnings: 1st-2nd years, none
Prompt: "No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused." A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
She was sitting at a plastic-topped table in the student union cafeteria with a number of library books, some opened, spread out around her, along with some pages printed from the internet and sheets of blank paper. The topic of all this study was folklore and mythology, a class she was taking at university.
On one blank sheet she was listing a variety of creation myths and cosmologies. The earth was created from the bones and blood of the primordial supernatural being. The earth was a half dome supported on the backs of four elephants who stood on the back of a giant turtle that swam forever in an endless sea.
On the second sheet she listed mythical creatures that were constructions of two known animals: centaurs (horses and humans), satyrs (goats and humans), griffins (lions and eagles), and so on.
On the third sheet she made a chart of mythical monsters, such as dragons, hydras, and gorgons, to compare and contrast their characteristics. Her class had been discussing the recent theory that early inhabitants of the classical world had discovered fossilized remains of early Cenozoic-era megafauna as they weathered out of ancient sedimentary deposits, and that these fossilized skulls and giant bones of long-extinct animals had engendered the beliefs in mythical creatures. It was not an unreasonable idea.
She opened her bag and took out her home-packed lunch — a cold bacon-and-tomato-and-lettuce sandwich and a banana. There was also a granola bar for later in the afternoon. Hanging on the cafeteria walls were some cardboard skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and black cats that caught her attention as she ate, reminding her that although the university took no break for Hallowe’en, there would soon be a party with her friends that she could attend. Maybe one of these monsters would be a good inspiration for a costume. How about Medusa the gorgon?
Green makeup, fake fangs, fluorescent green polish on her fingernails and toenails, a ragged gray dress, and a wig covered with rubber snakes from the shops. That should do it easily. But the snakes would just be hanging there. How could she make them writhe properly? She wished it were possible.
Her family had assured her that being a Squib was not her fault, but she blamed herself anyway. Had she done something wrong? Had she been too lazy or careless as a child, too interested in play when she should have been practicing? Not realizing how it would affect her life forever? She wished it had been possible to go back and live those years over again, knowing what she knew now, so that she could have tried a little harder.
Then maybe she could have at least made the rubber snakes writhe.