The Perfect Woman
by Gillian Davies
He closed his eyes, hands running over his creation, checking for imperfections and finding none. He sighed and looked at the form before him, the perfect woman sculpted, lovingly, from clay. The clay was drying now, moist grey turning to a milky white, and he stepped back for a better view.
The hair wasn't the right colour, and neither were the eyes, but that would come afterwards, when the Gods blessed her with life. He frowned, wondering what he would do if they continued to rebuff his prayers. But they'd granted those of his master, Pygmalion, and this sculpture was far better than his.He heard voices outside and scowled as he recognised Pygmalion and his daughter Metharme - she who had turned him down and broken his heart. He clutched at the sacking that littered the floor, throwing it over his masterpiece, to hide it.
"Sir" he said, turning and bowing low as his master entered.
Pygmalion bowed slightly and moved closer to his pupil.
"Your latest creation, Idas?"
Idas nodded, his eyes straying from Pygmalion to Metharme, standing silently in the doorway.
"I'd very much like to see it," Pygmalion said as he moved closer to the sculpture, his hand outstretched towards the sacking.
"Of course, but it's not finished." Idas pushed in front of Pygmalion, taking his arm and turning him around. "I can show you something I've completed. It's in the other chamber."
Metharme stood back as Idas steered Pygmalion past her, then moved slowly towards the sculpture. She plucked at the sacking and it fell to the ground. She held her breath in wonder at the image, then raised her eyes to the ceiling.
"Such beauty should live and breathe," she whispered.
Light bathed the sculpture, giving colour to her hair, eyes and cheeks. The limbs moved, at first awkwardly, then with a fluidity that echoed the beauty of the form.
Metharmes' eyes opened wide as the sculpture stepped towards her, unaware that Pygmalion and Idas had returned.
The living statue spoke, her scarlet lips opening, as she embraced the other girl.
"My perfect woman."
Gillian lives in a small village in Wales, on the edge of a National Park. Being the eldest of a group of cousins, she started to make up her own stories to entertain them and began submitting to writing sites. Some of her short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies and she is currently completing her second novel.