The myths did not name us. It does not matter. It is better this way. No heroes come to slay us. We hide our hair in big rasta hats, like the Jamaicans hide their long dreadlocks.
“Our hair isn’t much different from theirs. Dreaded locks.” My sister looks over my shoulder as I write, laughing at my attempt to reach out. I am lonely here, although it is better than in the past. We go out to watch late-night movies, the sleepy attendants not looking up, not caring about the people they are serving. Their apathy saves them.
In the darkened room we stare at the screen telling a new yarn about our sister – although, she plays but a minor role. Flashes of jealousy run through me. Everyone knows her name, what she is capable of. Without her, the hero cannot win.
A sound to my left: a man approaching us in the cinema. I am startled, I look at him, he looks into my eyes. Damn. A quick glance reveals that he had been the only other person in the room. I consider just leaving him. But that would make me no better than my infamous sister.
The emergency exit to the left of the flashing images on the movie screen is very far away, our burden heavy. We put on veils to prevent another tragedy this night. The back street is empty save for rats. Their noises wake the snakes underneath my rasta hat. “Later,” I whisper to them, alluding to the white mice kept in our apartment. They go back to sleep. They know how to be patient. We have been together a very long time.
We leave the stone man next to a doorway. It may look like a Stuckist artwork. I hope so.
“What do you think he was trying to do?” I ask my sister.
“Who knows? Probably thought he could try and pick us up.” She is cynical. I wish there were still sorceresses in the world. Long ago there were, but they were jealous of their recipes, never told us how much snake venom to put into the virgin’s milk (nor where to find virgin’s milk, or exactly what that was.) The salve, applied daily for one moon cycle, restored life back into the victim, now immune to the Gorgon’s gaze. I always wished they would stay.
They never did.