Archelaos walked along the carved stone path, feeling the way with his hands, although he knew it from memory well enough. She’d guided him through here enough times for him to know it within inches of every entrance and exit.
The reason he was journeying so tentatively through this place that he’d known for a year, more than that?
He’d heard a whinny.
Medusa had no horses.
Finally, he led himself to the site of the noise, something his ears had been capable of picking up and triangulating for quite a long time.
The blind man gingerly let his touch of the wall cease, the stone doing no good to guide him to what was happening here.
But what had happened here?
“Medusa?” He called out, his voice soft. Often times, they had had no need to talk, taking comfort from the presence of the other solely.
Of course, when Medusa had spoke about what had happened to her… when she had run into the temple, trying to escape a god intent on hunting her down…. He’d talked. Assured her that she’d done nothing wrong- it was through no fault of her own. She’d always giggle and press a kiss to his hand, happy that she had found someone who wouldn’t- probably couldn’t abandon her.
Why would he? Archelaos was happy here- they had a nice life. They were friends. Good friends.
The only one the other had.
Moving one step at a time, stretching his arms out, Archelaos called out again, “Medusa?”
His foot bumped against something- it wasn’t there before.
Kneeling, he felt for it with his hands, touching. This…. This…. It couldn’t be….
He felt his sightless eyes start to weep as he pulled the still-warm body of Medusa unto his lap. Who would do such a thing? What did she do to hurt this monster who attacked her? Who…. who…. Cut off her head! What did they want it for?! All she had wanted to do was live in peace! That was all!
That…. That was all…..
Apparently that was all she was allowed. A wish. A dream. While her killer would be deemed a hero, undoubtedly, while all this simple person had wanted to do was live in peace, and forget what had happened to her.
Being branded a monster after a god…. Has his way with you…. Being transformed into something that no one can look in the eyes…..
Archelaos wiped a tear from his eyes, pressing it to her collarbone, because even the dignity of having a simple blessing of fortune to the afterlife was somehow too much for this horrifying person, who was nothing but forgiving and patient and kind to him.
Something fell out of her hand- just a tiny sound, a crackle of paper, but he heard it. The blind man reached over- gently, so as not to disturb her any more than necessary- she deserved that much respect at the very least.
The paper was a tiny rectangle, as if it had been ripped out of a book, just to scrawl a message on it.
His thumbs traced over the parchment, feeling the raised texture of the paper itself- but none of the ink. For the first time since meeting Medusa, he cursed his sightlessness. Archelaos’ hands trembled as he dropped the parchment, feeling the supreme insult of the gods as the sun cleared away the clouds and shined on his face, as if it was a good day.
Hands still shaking, he dipped the fingers into the spout of blood still springing from her neck- she’d been bleeding for a while, his clothes soaked through, though he found he couldn’t care less.
Making sure that the fingers were on the left side of her body, he coated them in her blood and brought it up to his mouth, gently sucking the blood off of them.
Feeling the effects immediately, he pushed Medusa’s body off of his- gently, gently, she deserved nothing less- and laid down next to her, capturing her hand in his. Archelaos brought it up to his lips, giving her the kiss that he never could before, and tucked their joined hands in between them.
His sightless eyes stared up at the beautiful sky, the last picture he’d never see, and wondered. What was on that note?
One final word leaked out of his throat before his death sped up to catch him-
Written on the note, soon to be forgotten, already torn, were the words, ‘I love you.’