A short story by James Lomax, currently undertaking his Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. Part seven of 12
FOR Carlos, the initial tenseness is over. Having successfully saved a Gorgon from death by blood loss, he has started getting it back to health, and has hidden it from almost all his colleagues. What could possibly go wrong?
Over the next few days, Carlos alternated between work and private life, patrolling the perimeter and checking on the Gorgon, without any more worries. The Gorgon was getting better, and even started exploring the house, although Carlson did recommend rest.
Carlos practically fell through the week, the days going as fast as a bullet from a gun. But all bullets have to hit something eventually, and he hit it with as much force as a bullet, too.
One week after the Gorgon was saved from its fate, Carlos trudged through the door, gave his clothes to Carlson and decided that after a busy week, he could do with a pizza, one of the few classic foods that survived the centuries. Carlson coded it into the microwave and the
cheesy delight was 3D printed in a few minutes. One plate, one Carlos, one sofa, one pizza and two movies was enough for an evening of fun.
As he watched one of his favourite reboots (That’s all movies were), Carlos heard a bit of noise coming behind him. He turned round to investigate, and what do you know, the Gorgon was climbing out of his window! He immediately tackled it to the ground and shouted in its face, ” WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT ESCAPING?!”
It was then that he noticed something was wrong. The face was different, thinner. Confusion followed, but then he realised. Had other Gorgons been visiting his Gorgon under his nose?
He stared back at the Gorgon he had pinned to the floor. It was mouthing like the Gorgon had done previously, but he couldn’t tell what it was saying, so he knocked it out while he checked the basement. His Gorgon was there, looking at him with a puzzled look as he ran back upstairs, then back down again with another member of its species.
Carlos had a few questions in his head: What was this Gorgon doing here? How did it know his Gorgon was here? Were there any more? What was all this mouthing about?
He wished the Gorgon would tell him, but it just stared at the other Gorgon that Carlos had deposited on the bed, until it ran over to it. A mate?
It looked at him, but it wasn’t sad. It looked relieved. It started mouthing at Carlos, but he still had no idea what was going on, so he left the basement.
Carlson asked if he should keep watch, but no answer came. He was lost in thought.
Striding into his bedroom, a sudden thought struck Carlos. If it was a mate, then it would undoubtedly have aided his Gorgon in the fateful riot, so it would have died. But if it wasn’t a mate, then what was it? Not anyone close, or they would have revolted with it. But it was close enough to find its location and visit it at least once, and for his Gorgon to spring to its aid, and for it to teach it the weird mouthing, if it got that from Carlos.
He was so confused, so many questions in his head, but out of it all he created a theory: The visiting Gorgon was too scared to protest, but it felt guilty that it got out of the massacre.
It somehow found a survivor and visited it to say how sorry it was, but panicked and ran out.
Carlos caught it and brought it back to his Gorgon, who was relieved to be able to talk to it more. The mouthing must be some kind of language.
It was a perfect theory according to Carlos, but it was just a theory, and as he slept he realised he still didn’t know for sure what it was all about.