Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #8

TITLE: Beautiful Medusa
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Medusa prepares to return to Greece to save Prometheus, who's been cursed by Zeus. Before going, Medusa and Prometheus confess their feelings for one another.

I blinked up at him. I didn’t think I would need any. I never carried coins on me when I was a priestess. It wasn’t necessary.

“It’s all right. You’ve never done this before. You’ll learn from experience.” If his confidence in me was shaken, he didn’t show it. He untied a change purse from his belt. “You’ll see there’s a good deal of small coins. Use those first, if you have to. Flashing around gold and silver will only attract thieves. Which would be unfortunate for the thieves. Still, it might bring you some unwanted attention.”

He fastened it onto my belt, the two of us almost bursting into giddy laughter. It was strange, how a few honest words could change everything. He draped the heavy winter cloak about my shoulders then tied the extra bag to the Pegasus’ back, checking to make sure everything was secure.

When he returned, we peered into each other’s eyes, a silence falling over us. In the moonlight, I could see he was blinking back tears. “You have to come back to me.”

I gave him a nod, feeling my throat close. “I will.”

I took a breath. Despite my assurances, I knew there was a chance I might not. Before I could think what I was doing, before I could tell myself to stop, I pulled his head down for a kiss.

I saw a flash of surprise in his eyes then he wrapped his arm around my waist and leaned in, the roughness of his beard contrasting with the softness of his lips.

I stepped back, putting a hand to my heart. I waited for the lightheadedness to go away then I adjusted my cloaked and turned toward the Pegasus. “I’ll come back. I won’t let anything stand in my way.”


  1. Enjoyed the way you worked in details of the time period and the characters. "Which would be unfortunate for the thieves" tells us a lot about Medusa!

    "When he returned" implies he went somewhere, but the previous sentence sounded like he just turned to tie the bag to Pegasus.

    You might tighten "I gave him a nod" to "I nodded".

    "I pulled him down for a kiss" sorta gives a visual of pulling him to the ground. Also that the kiss happens right then, which doesn't leave time for a flash of surprise, wrapping of arms, or leaning in. Maybe "I drew his face toward me" (or something).

    When you mentioned beard before lips, I thought for a second that he just hugged her or something. If you put softness of lips first, it would be obvious they kissed.

    Four "I" paragraphs in a row at the end.

  2. This is well-told! I didn't mind the pulling down of the head. It painted a pretty descriptive image in my head. It showed her being much smaller and delicate, and Prometheus as brawny and towering over her. I like that you are sparse in your description of the kiss--less definitely says more here--but maybe a bigger build-up would make the kiss even more potent.

    It would help to elaborate a bit on their body language to demonstrate things such as his shock and her hesitation, before and after the kiss. Maybe even a bit more resistance from Medusa is in order, since you mentioned that she wanted to tell herself to stop.

    All in all, I enjoyed this a lot and I'd certainly like to read further into their relationship!

  3. Thank you! This is fantastic feedback.

    Now to apply all this excellent advice and make the scene better...

  4. I thought this worked well. About the only thing I saw that hasn't been mentioned is the use of 'the Pegasus.' It reads and sounds awkward. DOes the Pegasus have a name? If not, you might give it one, and then use that instead of saying 'the Pegasus.'

  5. First off, I love the Medusa myth. (One of my NaNoWriMo novels centered around a modern-day Euryale.)

    As for improvements, I also got confused by "when he returned," as I didn't realized he'd gone somewhere. The giddy laughter also seemed a bit of a contrast with the fear for her life she experiences a few paragraphs later.

    Overall, though, I thought it was a sweet scene. If you're on the lookout for a beta-reader for this piece, just let me know.