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Blind Date


The Medusa was a hideous creature. She had the body and face of a beautiful woman, but her hair was a nest of venomous snakes. Any creature that looked upon her was instantly petrified – it was turned to stone! She lived alone in a remote and gloomy valley, in an elaborate series of caves on the side of a mountain.

Outside her cave were countless statues. They appeared to be of the most intricate design. There were statues of knights in armour with swords held aloft, magicians with hands raised as if they were casting a spell, adventurers seated on winged horses. There were tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, but one thing they all had in common – their faces were contorted in shock and fear. These were no ordinary statues! They were all once alive and had sought to defeat the Medusa, but each had gazed upon her and was turned to stone! For this reason, the Medusa was hated, feared, loathed, and her name was….

…….Margaret!

“Ugh!” she sighed, strolling through the dark corridors of her lair, “I’m so boooored. Reviled by the world. Alone, with only these statues to keep me company. Why did they have to keep coming to defeat me? I wasn’t doing them any harm! Just because of my hairstyle!”

The snakes nodded their heads and hissed in agreement.

“I need a distraction, a diversion, some form of …...entertainment!”

She slithered to her study where she kept her treasure. There were piles of gold, magical rings, cloaks, wands, jewels and potions, all of which she’d claimed from the unlucky adventurers that visited her.

But she had come in the study for her crystal ball. Now, with a normal crystal ball, you can look into it to see the past, the future and faraway places. But Margaret’s crystal ball was a Crystal Ball Pro. It was wonderful! It could do all the things a normal crystal ball could, and more! It could display moving pictures, play sounds and be used to send and receive messages. She would write these messages by punching a series of buttons at the base of the ball. She could also control the crystal ball with a little, grey mouse that was attached to the ball by its tail. When she found something she liked, she patted the head of the mouse with her pointy finger, the mouse would give a little squeak, and the crystal ball would follow her directions.

She loved watching moving pictures about little kittens playing with wool, little babies saying the darndest things, people having ridiculous accidents (which she actually found a bit too cruel!). Her favourite was watching “unboxing” moving pictures, in which there would be fun and lively magical creatures saying something like, “Hi Guys! Today I’ve got something AMAZING to show you! It’s the new Clockwork Dragon! You just wind it up here…..”

But she’d watch so many of these that she was bored. She wanted something different. Someone or something to talk to. Then, she had an idea. She furiously tapped a few buttons, tapped the little mouse’s head and, “Welcome,” she heard from the ball, “to Monstrous Match! Where we will find the perfect partner for a meaningful and lasting relationship!”

The ball began to ask the Medusa questions”

Age: “57”

Height: “Perfect!”

Hair colour: “Greenish brownish...and moving!”

Interests: “Statues, reptiles, defeating adventurers, and hiking!”

It continued to ask her more and more detailed questions until it came up with a list of portraits of possible matches. She began to look through them.

“No…….no…….too many tentacles………..too slimy……… ugh. Far too many heads……..”

and then, “Aha! Well look at this handsome fellow! The Wizard Phineas Fizzlewit! Beautiful long beard, stylish pointy hat, enjoys toads, bats wings and brooms! Perfect!”

She tapped the mouse, which squeaked, and the crystal ball gave a loud PING!

The next day she heard a knock at the door. She was so excited! Her heart was thumping in anticipation. She straightened out her dress, took a deep breath, calmed herself, and opened the door. Before her was a rather skinny man, with a long, grey beard, a robe covered with stars and moons, and a long pointy hat. With a shy smile, he raised his hands, in which he had a beautiful bunch of roses, and said, “How do you do, Mada-! “

He didn’t finish his sentence. The poor fellow had turned to stone!

“Oh, bother!” said Margaret, slapping her head in frustration. A sleeping snake hissed in surprise! “Back to the ball I suppose!”

So she continued searching on the Crystal Ball pro for her perfect match.

“Poisonous fumes...that won’t do…….undead lord…...dead boring if you ask me!……. Look at the horns on that one’s back. EUGH!”

………..and then, “Aha! Stanley the Stone Giant,” she slowly read. “A stone giant is basically a huge human that typically lives in the mountains and whose weapons of choice are stones and boulders, enjoys terrorizing villagers, hurling boulders at passers-by, and quiet dinners. Sounds perfect! Especially the stone part!”

So again she tapped the mouse and waited.

The next day she heard heavy footsteps outside.

“Oh, he’s here! He’s here!” said the Medusa, excitedly clapping her hands together!

She heard a knock on the door that sent shockwaves through her cavern. She flicked her snakes into a stylish upstyle, and trotted to the front door to open it. Outside, all she saw was a huge pair of muscly, and rather dirty legs, stretching up to the sky. She looked up the legs and saw a monstrously big belly, covered with scars. Next to it was a massive hand in which there was a large box of chocolates, wrapped in a red ribbon. She looked even further up and saw the craggy face of Stanley the Stone Giant.

He looked down hopefully, and in an instant, he too turned to stone. He went crashing to the ground and was reduced to a pile of rubble.

Margaret cursed, closed the door and continued her search. “Why do they always have to keep looking at me!” she complained.

Over the next few weeks, many would-be partners came. There were goblins, centaurs, troll and ogres, all of which were turned to stone.

And then she discovered something interesting on Monstrous Match. “Maybe, just maybe this is the one,” she muttered.

The next day she heard a horse approaching. Her heart skipped a beat. Then came a gentle knock on the door. She opened it a crack and peeped out. There he was, a tall, well-built man, in a gleaming suit of armour. He had a mighty sword on his belt, a majestic shield, and ...no head!

“Greetings, madam,” came a voice from somewhere around his chest, “I am the Headless Horseman!”

Did he turn into stone? Well, no head means no eyes, so….No! He did not! Margaret laughed with delight, locked her arm with his, and took him inside for tea.

At last, the solitude of being the lonely villain was over. The Headless Horseman’s horse obviously turned to stone at first sight of Margaret, so from then on, he was simply known as the Headless...man. But, they were a perfect match. They entertained each other, laughed together, and terrorized foolish adventurers together happily ever after.


QUIZ TIME!

  1. Why did Margaret live alone in a remote valley?

  • A. She preferred solitude

  • B. She was banished by other creatures

  • C. Her petrifying gaze scared away visitors

  • D. She liked collecting statues

  1. What did Margaret use her Crystal Ball Pro for initially?

  • A. Watching magical creatures

  • B. Communicating with other monsters

  • C. Finding entertainment

  • D. Casting spells

  1. Why did Margaret's potential suitors turn to stone when they met her?

  • A. They were scared of her

  • B. They were cursed

  • C. They were unprepared for her appearance

  • D. They looked directly at her

  1. Why did Margaret find the Headless Horseman to be a suitable match?

  • A. He was tall and well-built

  • B. He did not have eyes to turn to stone

  • C. He brought her chocolates

  • D. He enjoyed terrorizing adventurers

  1. What did Margaret and the Headless Horseman do together happily ever after?

  • A. They went on a quest to find a cure for petrification

  • B. They laughed and entertained each other

  • C. They continued searching for new suitors

  • D. They built a fortress to protect themselves

Answers:

  1. C. Her petrifying gaze scared away visitors

  2. C. Finding entertainment

  3. D. They looked directly at her

  4. B. He did not have eyes to turn to stone

  5. B. They laughed and entertained each other

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