Annie stopped and thought. What am I doing? I love Centaurs. She ran back in the direction of her friends, looking for the Centaurs. She saw a deer and ran up to it, astonished for she had never seen one. The deer looked up and saw Annie, turning to stone instantly. Shocked, she looked behind her. It was not Annie that had turned the creature to stone. It was the creature which the Greeks called Medusa.
“Yuki, centaurs are not monsters. They’re creatures. Okay? They are creatures. Can you say that word? Crea-tur-es…” Gemma said, pronouncing the word slowly.
Yuki blinked blankly. “Is there a difference?” She asked her tone childish.
Gemma sighed. “Yes, there is. You are mentally too young to understand.”
“Okay.” She said, and started skipping around, looking like a 5 year old with her hair in pigtails. She skipped in front of the two other girls, leading the way. They wandered past Annie’s hiding place, only Yuki noticing her and had smiled at her, noticing the gorgon. The three wandered off in their own direction.
Annie noticed that Medusa had stayed hidden while her friends had passed, then Medusa slipped out of her hiding place and walked towards Annie. Annie closed her eyes and in a few moments felt a hand touch her cheek. Annie founds the stroking strange and as soon as Medusa withdrew her hand, Annie made a run for it. She had only made it 2 feet when Medusa transfixed Annie in a bubble, making the world seem frozen. All Medusa had to do was direct the bubble up to the sky and Annie would have been visible to the whole forest. All Annie would have to do then was hope that someone would see her and rescue her. How wrong she was. Medusa swung her arm and at full speed, she slammed the bubble into a tree, breaking the bubble and creating a thud so unmistakably loud that the trees shuddered as the noise echoed through the forest. She had no idea Medusa could do magic, unless…this wasn’t Medusa at all.
“We should find Annie.” Gemma said to Yuki.
“Oh. Don’t worry about her. She was just stuck in an awkward situation with a Gorgon.”
“Not all Gorgons are like Medusa you know. Some of them don’t turn people to stone. There are many abilities that Gorgons can have!”
“That’s worse, you idiot!”
Yuki made her bottom lip tremble. “You’re mean, do you know that?”
Gemma took a deep breath and calmed herself. “Medusa? Was she not destroyed?”
“Why are we standing around here? Shouldn’t we be saving Annie or something?” Violet asked.
“Probably.” Yuki shrugged. “She’s a strong girl, she can sort herself out.” The three girls stood there for a while and then they heard Annie shout a spell. “Okay, I feel sorry for that Gorgon! We must help it!”
Violet hit Yuki on the head, Yuki fell over on purpose. “You’re seriously messed up in there, aren’t you?”
“Knocking me on the head isn’t going to make it better!”
“It could. The fall could have made your brain work.”
“My brain does work. Have you, by any chance, read any of my poetry? My brain works, it’s just not fun to use it.”
“I do not think we should leave Annie to face Medusa on her own.”
Medusa trailed majestically towards Annie, who tried to scuttle backwards, doing her best not to look into Medusa’s eyes. A badger emerged in front of Annie and stared into Medusa’s eyes. Annie shuddered as the obvious took place. “Caecus.” Annie’s spell blinded Medusa for a second but Medusa was not impressed and the blinding spell only angered her. Medusa readied herself for an attack. Annie closed her eyes to resist the temptation to look straight in Medusa’s eyes. She could hear Medusa approaching and stuck out her leg, kicking Medusa hard in the shins and tripping her. Annie heard Medusa stumble and scrambled away from the sound, opening her eyes. Annie attempted to run but Medusa grabbed her leg. Turning back, Annie looked at Medusa, feeling a tingling sensation inside her. She watched her fingers slowly turn to stone.
Yuki thought for a minute. “We need mirrors.”
“Don’t question it or I’m going to make a fine enemy out of you.”
“Okay, why do we need mirrors?!”
“I read it in a book once! This guy used a mirror to confront Medusa and he saw her coming!”
“Oh, I understand. You can look at the reflection of a Gorgon but not directly at the creature. Do you have any glass or anything reflective?” Gemma asked Yuki.
“No, why would I have any?”
“I think I’ve got a mirror in my bag.” Violet rummaged through her bag and took out a small hand mirror.
“Great. I have one in my pocket. That’s two mirrors.”
Yuki pulled out a knife and smiled. “I have a large knife.”
Gemma sighed, “That will work.”
Violet pulled out her phone from her pocket. “Do you think this will work?”
“You can’t really see that clear with a reflection on a phone screen. Or do have a camera on the front to hold? Technology is weak for this sort of thing. Don’t you worry it’ll run out of charge? The display light only lasts a temporary amount of time too. See, with weaponry, it’s reflective, and if I see Medusa coming closer, I can just cover my eyes and attack. Even with blood on it, it will not refrain from being reflective.”
Violet narrowed her eyes at Yuki, while Yuki smiled her teeth. She placed her knife between her teeth while she pulled out a similar, but more cheaper-looking knife. Yuki offered the cheaper one to Violet as she took out the knife from her mouth. “You may use it if you wish.”
Violet looked at the knife grudgingly and refused to take it. Yuki sighed. “Don’t you trust me?”
“Who would? You’re insane.” Gemma said. Violet agreed, nodding her head.
Yuki sighed again. “Fine, try doing it with your stupid phone.” Yuki put the cheap knife away. “We must help Annie!” Yuki made her way through the forest, trying to find where she had last saw Annie. After a few minutes of trekking, Yuki saw her. Yuki panicked, almost dropping her knife, losing crucial moments. Medusa jumped from behind and Yuki closed her eyes swiftly as she turned around and swung her knife at Medusa. It sliced Medusa’s shoulder but nothing more.
“You cannot kill Medusa. She’s a Guardian and therefore immortal.” Gemma shouted at Yuki. Yuki nodded and thought.
“What do we do then?” Yuki asked, her eyes still shut.
“Isn’t it obvious? We capture her.” Gemma called back.
“I don’t care if she’s a Guardian. We just turn her into stone like what would happen with the rest of us!” Yuki shouted, listening for Medusa and swinging her knife, again cutting Medusa’s arm.
“How do we turn her into stone?” Violet asked Gemma, her voice full of fear.
“I don’t know; make her see her own reflection?” Gemma said, frustrated. She was confused and had no clue how to defeat a gorgon.
Yuki turned in Gemma’s direction. “Besides, I’m pretty sure that Professor Smith said something about if a Guardian tries to kill another Guardian, they will turn to stone anyway.”
“That’s only if Medusa tries to kill her, but Medusa does not want to harm her.” Violet said, certain of what she said were true.
“You’re acting like you know her.” Yuki said, staring at Violet.
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But I know that Medusa would not kill a Guardian.” Violet answered her voice calm.
“Then give her some sunglasses or cute her eyes out! Do anything that will stop her from using her eyes to turn us to stone.” Yuki shouted at Violet.
Medusa watched this conversation, amused. Her arms were folded across her chest, her snake-like hair wavering in the gentle breeze, a sly smile across her lips. It always amused her to watch young Guardians argue.
Yuki knelt by Annie. “Annie?! Can you respond? Please respond.” Yuki’s tone was gentle and quiet.
Violet approached Medusa cautiously. “Medusa? It’s me, Violet.” Medusa turned to stare at Violet and Violet immediately closed her eyes. She took off a necklace and handed it to Gemma. The necklace was ancient yet beautiful. It was a simple black chain with a pendant of a black rose. Gemma clutched it in her hand and knelt by Annie. She placed the necklace in Annie’s lifeless hand and watch the necklace work its magic. The colour came back in Annie’s face and she drowsily got up, blinking.
Yuki smiled and yelped in joy. “Annie! Talk to me! You’re okay now, we have to move you. Medusa’s here.” Yuki picked up Annie and behind a large oak tree. “I’ll be right back. You stay here.” Yuki ran back to help the others. “What’s the plan?” She asked Gemma.
Annie knew that the pendant was only temporary so she quickly pointed to another tree. “There!” She shouted before turning to stone again, transfixed in the pose of pointing to the tree. Yuki ran to the tree, searching it but found nothing. Reluctantly, she kicked at the trunk of the tree and dug out the bark with her cheaper knife. She found something in the now splintered wood.
It was the Soul Key, on a fine golden chain. Yuki threw it around Annie’s neck and almost instantaneously the stone turning to flesh. Annie took off the Soul Key and clutched it in her fist. She confidently, almost arrogantly, walked up to Medusa, no longer scared. She outstretched her arm and Medusa curiously glanced at it, trying to ignore the temptation. It was that simple mistake that turned Medusa to stone. Annie smiled arrogantly at Yuki and then Gemma.
“She’s not dead, you know. You’ve just angered her.” Violet said, glaring at Annie, knowing the mistake that Annie had made. A crack appeared in the statue of Medusa, which caused the statue to break into pieces. Medusa appeared again, alive and angry. “See? I had it under control. I was just looking for the right moment.” Violet closed her eyes and faced Medusa. “Listen to me, M. Ignore the girl and listen to me. I know what you want, and I know where to get it, M. But I need your help and agreement. Understand?” Violet outstretched a hand to Medusa.
Medusa stared at the hand. Yuki then realised that Medusa hadn’t said a word so far and wondered whether Medusa could speak. Medusa narrowed her eyes and shook her hand. “You have my agreement. As soon as you find Morgana, Morgause and Morwenna, you are to tell me immediately.”
Violet nodded and opened her eyes, staring at Medusa. “You cannot go back on your oath now, M.”
Gemma stared at Violet and then at Medusa, taking in their conversation. “She’s the Guardian of Trickery. How do we know we can trust her?”
Annie whispered to Yuki. “I didn’t know that.”
“Gemma, you know that the best friend of the Guardian of Mystery is the Guardian of Trickery, don’t you?”
Gemma nodded, she knew this well. It was one of the things that nobody understood in the world of Albion. They were just that way.
Annie groaned in frustration. “Why is it that everyone except for me gets the lime-light? Even the new girl!”
Violet smiled weakly.
“Come on, Violet.” Gemma said, leading the way out of the forest. Gemma led the way, Violet and Medusa talking and following her from a couple of feet. Annie and Yuki followed a couple of metres away from Violet and Medusa.
“That girl, the one that tried to turn me to stone, what is her name?” Medusa asked Violet.
“Annie, I think it was.” Violet answered.
“Why do I get the feeling that you two will not get along?”
“Maybe we will not get along. I don’t like her aura.” Violet answered. “Why are you here?”
“I thought you would know the answer. I was summoned here and asked to capture the girl.”
This surprised Violet. “Summoned? Who by?”
“I don’t know. I was told mentally to capture and kill that girl.”
“Do you know where the signal was sent from?”
“This school. I have a question to ask you. How much longer will it take for you to find the Three Witches?”
Violet sighed. This was a question which she hated and would avoid answering. “I need more time. It’s hard. The Three Witches are somewhere on Earth and the Mystery Guardian always misses their location.”
“But you’re determined to find them, aren’t you?”
Violet nodded. “Of course.”