One day per month, Nicola Cuti will be releasing a new Science Fiction stories online. This story won't just be new, but it will be FREE for all you to read. The first is below. So turn off the TV, get comfortable on that couch and begin this month with the tale named:
The Lure of Medusa
On an underwater dive one sunny afternoon, Karen Polk, a marine biologist, discovers the infamous High Medusa, a jellyfish the size of a whale. Any creature that size would be an incredible sight, causing Karen to swim back to the surface, excited about her sighting.
Later that evening, Karen takes her video to Yannis Karakapolis, a wealthy playboy who has studied Medusa for years as a hobby. At his home, she meets his delightful stepdaughter, Annie. Karen decides to stay for dinner to discuss her findings while Annie goes swimming down in the sea. Annie returns from her swim in an almost trancelike state, trailing what looks like seaweed behind her. When Karen and Yannis see her, they run up to her and Karen begins to cut the cable like substance from Annie’s body. Annie collapses in her father’s arms, staring blankly at him as she takes her last breath. Yannis is devastated by Annie’s death and vows to go after her killer, the Medusa. He pleads for Karen to join him on his vengeful adventure.
Later that night Yannis and Karen meet Gil and his wife, Calypso, at a restaurant and tell him they want to rent his boat to go after the Medusa. All four will go, but not until after the storm which is due to hit that night. During the storm, Karen and Yannis receive a visit from Yannis’s daughter. Annie had become a puppet of the Medusa, but she has escaped and now warns them to keep away from the Medusa or they too will become her puppets. They are then attacked by the Medusa's lures, puppet people, who are attached to the Medusa by long thin cables, but they are able to fight them off by cutting the ties that bind. It now becomes clear to them that the Medusa has become a menace to the people living by the sea and no one will be safe until the creature has been killed.
When the storm clears, the four set off for a nearby island where the natives treat Calypso like a queen because her family has ties to the island. They ask her to attend a special ceremony that evening. The ceremony is wild and performed before a huge pool. As part of the ceremony, Calypso enters the pool and changes into the High Medusa. She then returns to human form and runs off into the dark jungle. Though shocked by this revelation that the creature they had come to slay is Gil’s wife, they know they must track her and exterminate her regardless of the feelings they may have. But when the remaining three try to chase their target, the worshipers block their way and they must use all of their wit and courage to fight their way through the Medusa worshipers to their boat. Just feet away, the three are almost to the safety of their boat, but are stopped short as Annie, who has been restored as a puppet of Medusa, stands in the way. “Where are you going, Father?”
Yannis reaches for a poison tipped spear that was dropped during the fight and pulls it back behind his head.
“What are you doing, Father? It’s me, Annie. You love me. Put the down the spear, Father, and come join us.”
“I’m sorry, Annie,” Yannis says with a shaky voice, and throw the spear, hitting Annie in the chest.
Out at sea, the Medusa rams their boat causing all three to fall into the water. In a heroic gesture, Gil swallows a bottle of poison that he had found on the island and offers himself to the High Medusa. She jabs Gil with her tentacles and begins to drain his poisoned blood. Yannis and Karen escape in the boat.
Back on shore, Karen and Yannis are asked to identify two bodies who have washed
up on shore. It is Gil and Calypso. When the two try to explain their story to police, they are placed under arrest and put in the back of the police car.
As the car drives away to the station with the two innocent people who have lost so much sitting in the back seat, Annie slowly walks out of the sea with a smile on her face. “Did you really think a little poison would stop me? I’ll be seeing you soon, Father.”
We hope you enjoyed reading this month's science fiction stories online. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date when Nicola Cuti release his next short story.
Can't wait for the next one? Read Starflake Joins The Deep Space Rangers. Available now on Kindle and Paperback.