J.R. Solonche

I almost peeked.
How could it be true?
No one could be that horridly ugly.
No one could possibly be that ghastly.
Turn men into stone?
Turn boys into stone, yes.
Any old hag could do that.
I’ve witnessed it many times.
My own grandmother turned me into stone once.
But to turn a man into stone?
A man who has slept with hundreds of women?
Young, old, fair, swarthy, slender, fat?
A man who has been everywhere, seen everything?
No. I did not believe it.
But I brought my shield anyway.
Just in case.
As insurance.
And as I say, I almost looked at her.
I felt pity.
For a moment, I truly pitied her.
I even wanted to tenderly touch her face.
I wanted to whisper, ‘I’m sorry.’
And I did.
I did whisper to her.
As I looked in my shield and slew her,
I whispered, ‘Forgive me.’