“Melanippe is a horse of a woman,” the men say, joking among themselves,
because there is no word for
what Melanippe is.
“When you fuck Melanippe she neighs like a mare,” they say.
“She’s bloody dangerous too,” they add and laugh. “Kicks like a horse.”
“Her hoofs have broken men in half,
cracked their skulls into a million pieces.”
And yet they come,
and Melanippe keeps kicking and cracking.
Melanippe trots by herself in her empty apartment.
Melanippe tries out this new language of hers:
She studies them, uncertain.
Natalia Theodoridou is a UK-based media & theatre scholar. Originally from Greece, she has lived and studied in the USA, UK, and Indonesia for several years. She recently completed a short story writing course at City University London. Natalia was the Grand Prize winner for Prose of Spark Contest Three. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Spark Anthology IV, 713 Flash (Kazka Press), and Black Apples (Belladonna Publishing). She is currently a first reader for Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi. Her personal website is www.natalia-theodoridou.com. She says:
Much of my writing starts from a “what if”: what if blood-letting plucked one out of the fabric of time (“The Bleeding Game”)? What if a Centaur was still alive in our times? What if that Centaur was a woman? What would her language be like? What does it feel like to be the stuff of myth? In Greek mythology, Melanippe was often defined by her male ties: Chiron’s daughter, Aeolus’ wife, Heracles’ hostage. In one version of her myth, she was placed among the stars as punishment for revealing the secrets of the Gods. I wanted to bring her down from there and hear her speak for herself.