Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mabel, Like Medusa


MABEL, LIKE MEDUSA
by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Mabel was just like Medusa, only instead of snakes coming out of her head she had Funyuns and instead of people turning to stone when they looked at her, they turned into Bocci enthusiasts. Mabel wasn't Greek, she was from Indiana. When she was a girl she dreamed of hang gliding but whenever she expressed this desire, no one wanted to take her. They all wanted to play Bocci.

Mabel never pissed off Athena but she got into a lot of fist fights. The kids at school would break off pieces of her hair and eat them and then it was on. She grew up to be a scrapper, but even so her adversaries often ate her scalp bald, because, come on, who doesn't like Funyuns?

When she was fourteen she had an idea that changed her life. Everyone she met wanted to play Bocci, so why not sell Bocci balls? She went on to become one of the most successful sales people in American history, even selling equipment to her sales managers. Mabel bought her company and did TV ads, but her powers didn't translate through the screen. She roamed the country drumming up enthusiasm for her product and then went overseas.

Mabel never lost her head to Perseus, but she lost her head when she met Shirou. When she was twenty-seven she blew her first sale when pitching to a Japanese man who'd gone blind after an unpleasant incident with a tightly strung banjo. In his former life as a sighted person, Shirou happened to love hang gliding. Mabel begged him to teach her. He'd pretty much given up on life, so he agreed. They crashed into the side of a mountain on their first tandem run. Mabel and Shirou wound up spending many months in physical therapy together and fell in love. They married and bought a ferret ranch with her riches.

Oh, yeah. Mabel wasn't a Gorgon either.

Other than that, she was just like Medusa.

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