Sunday, 1 November 2009

When Godzilla Met Medusa

Medusa was standing at the bottom of the stairs, swigging from a flagon of wine, when Godzilla stomped into the hallway, looking for a quiet place to stand. She noticed his suit first; black, smart, with a crisp white shirt, and a black tie. His feet were big and green and scaly, and as he walked, a thick tail swung heavily behind him. Medusa smiled as he approached, and he took this to mean it would be okay to stand next to her.

“Nice costume,” Godzilla said.


“I like how you’re not just going for the one scare,” he continued, “like you’re going for the fear-of-snakes people, the fear-of-statues people, as well as those that are scared of being turned to stone. Good call.”

She hadn’t thought about it like that. But it summed her up completely to be multitasking even in her subconscious. One of the snakes came loose so she flicked it back over her shoulder, the way she’d seen models in commercials do. When they talked about their hair having a mind of its own, only being tamed by a certain shampoo, she sighed. They didn’t know the half of it.

Godzilla tapped his foot in time to the music. His tail remained perfectly still. He started to feel warm, so he loosened his tie. One of Medusa’s snakes found its way onto his shoulder. He turned to look at it more closely; it seemed to be an adder, native to this country and generally well-behaved. Whenever one of the snakes broke free, Medusa felt a lightness that took a few moments to register. After realising what had happened, she swooped the snake back with her hand.

“Sorry about that.”

“No worries. I don’t mind snakes. We’re kind of...kin.” Godzilla laughed as he said this. Medusa took it to mean he was thoroughly immersing himself in his character. She thought she should do the same. She tried to think of something witty to say about turning people into stone, but nothing came to her, so she did what she’d read to do in these situations, which was: turn the conversation back to the other person by asking them questions.

“So, have you destroyed any good bridges lately?”

Godzilla blushed. “Er, no. Not intentionally, anyway.” He let out a nervous laugh. Medusa took this as her cue and giggled. She worried that it sounded a bit forced, but Godzilla didn’t seem to notice.

“And you’re okay out of water?”

“Yeah. I’ve been using that KY-jelly. It’s such a great lubricator.”

She choked on her wine laughing at his repose, and he felt bad for taking the credit when all he’d done was tell the truth. It felt good to be honest, though, for once. Hallowe’en was the one time of the year when he could actually be himself. No having to hide his tail down his trouser leg, no painfully restrictive shoes, no problem discussing his skin problems with people. A good song came on and he started tapping his foot again. He suddenly felt brave.

“Would you like to dance?” he asked.

“Okay. Yeah. I hardly ever get the chance to let my hair down.”

Godzilla guffawed, clapping his hands. “Let your hair down. Brilliant.”

It took her a few moments to understand he was complimenting her on her apparent role-playing. She gave him a smile and followed him into the other room, past the Jenga tournament, to where the party was loudest. Facing each other, they began to dance. Timidly at first, and then, on deciding to make the most of their one night of utter freedom, they got lively. They threw lizard shapes and snake shapes and wriggled and slinked and cavorted around the dance-floor. They danced all night, not stopping when Godzilla accidentally knocked the Jenga blocks flying with his tail, oblivious to the fact that everybody else had been turned to stone.

(photo borrowed from here.)

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