medusa and her scales

clouds with words: two of ten

if this is your first time reading one of the stories within the clouds with words series, be sure to check out the initial post for details on the series and navigation through each story! click here.

dedicated to alexandria: alexandria.lacy
alexandria is my soulmate, if soulmates exist. she is passionate about supporting those she loves while also finding the time and energy to express her own creativity through poetry, prose, art and caring for her little plants. alexandria is a prominent voice in her community for mental health awareness and social justice issues. there isn’t a thing she wouldn’t do to bring more light into her life and the life of those around her, and i am beyond in love with the way she fits so perfectly in my life and soul.

alexandria’s latest focus has been to educate others about the importance of being pro-choice and i wanted this story to touch on the theme while also remaining true to her own soul and aura.

while this is a work of fiction, i caution you to potentially triggering content- be aware of where you are (emotionally) and if you need to skip this story or take a moment for yourself, please do so.


medusa rinsed the soap from her hair, watching as the bubbles slid down the tattooed scales on her shoulders and thighs. there was a time when she would have scrubbed her skin until it was scarlet, upset that the unmarked flesh did not resemble her fight. upset that her skin didn’t reflect her pain and hurt.

so, she decided to cover her skin in art to tell her stories. one of loss, a wilted rose. one of surviving, two hands holding each other, one with red nail polish, the other only a skeleton. three of fertility, three uniquely chosen snakes to symbolize each event in her life so far. one snake of white scales and a thin line tracing from its snout to its tail, a line of the heartbeat that never was, pale scales for the emptiness she once held in her womb. one snake with ruby scales, maroon on its belly, for the times she had screamed at the top of her lungs that she was not a victim but a survivor who wanted justice. lastly, a snake of ebony and ten emerald scales, to remind her of the places where she allowed healing to sprout from even the darkest and coldest of her days. there were many others, but these were the most prominent tattoos displayed on her body.

medusa finished her shower and wrapped a towel around her, stepping into the steamy bathroom. on her bathroom mirror she traced the outline of her body and wrote masterpiece. that’s what she was. in her marble eyes she continued to hold softness for the world, despite it’s cruelty and the narrow-minded perceptions of individuals she had left in her yesterdays. her lips remained sweet, despite the poisonous words society poured down her throat, thick with misunderstandings and the inability to embrace and support every soul’s journey. with her hands she mastered tools like paint brushes, pens, and light. she used each part of her body to speak out, fierce in her fight to be heard and to be seen.

as the bathroom cleared of the heat, medusa looked at her tattoos, the snakes each proud to exist. to be here, with her. that was what she wanted. she wanted to exist with freedom, to feel safe in her skin and her decisions. she wrapped another towel around her hair and squeezed the last of the water out, squeezing the last of her tolerance for this in-between out with it. turning, she walked into her room and sat down at the edge of her bed, pulling her laptop out from under.

"my fists are made of marble. my lips hold a map. my heart is a battle cry. and you must know why."

she began to type. she could feel the saltwater in her eyes begin to build up. this was it. this was what she needed. each story behind her tattoos found their way into her writing, filling up pages with all she had endured and overcome.

this was only the beginning of her passion and advocacy for herself and others who had also been silenced and pushed aside. there was so much work to do. behind her, her pet snake thorn hissed at the moon. medusa glanced at him and then at the moon, she was ready to dive in.

Cheyenne RaineComment