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            [Heidi Lotter]


Pygmalion. The first man, the first person, I ever had the displeasure of meeting. The

only person I would’ve met, had you had it your way.
          It wasn’t enough for you to just shrink me. Misshapen ivory did not fit your taste, so you chipped and chipped away. Taking away from me, bit by bit with your hammer. I was meant to be strong and rough, but what good was I to you in such a lifeless form?
          So for years you slaved away at my ivory, chiseling away my stony exterior into a body
for you to lust after. You were intent on carving me into something soft. My ivory, into what you deemed to be a perfect body.
          And what made this body so perfect, Pygmalion? As you droned on and on about your
hatred for those other women- those other women that were not to your standard. Was it the
carefully constructed proportions you carved into my body that made me so much better?Was it my physique alone that made me so wonderful? Or was it my inability to resist you, as you stroked my unmoving legs and pressed your dirty flesh onto my now smooth surface?
          You brought all the items you thought I might like to leave at my feet. You left gold and
jewels and expensive pottery at my base; you dressed my body in fine silks. You did not know
what I truly desired for I could not speak, just as you liked it. And so you assumed things of me, just as you always have. But I cared not for you nor your gifts.
          Yet you prayed to Venus, begging her to bring me to life. You wanted to change me
further, to take away my ivory entirely and replace it with something more fragile- skin and
bone. Just like yours. All this, so that you may assault me further. All this just so that you may
assault a deeper part of me.

          All these years I pleaded to the gods for the ability to fight back, and at long last they
heard me.
          No sooner did you return, you were elated in your belief that Venus had granted your
wish after all. There I was before you, brought to life by prayer. But the gods did not answer your prayers, Pygmalion, they answered mine. The door had not yet closed behind you before you moved to assault my lips with yours once more, believing yourself to have been blessed.
         But you are wrong, for now I have control of the limbs you forced onto me. You have
taken many things from me, Pygmalion, but I am still greater than you ever were and ever will be. You may have made these limbs but they are still mine, and I will use them to right the wrongs that you have done to me.
          You were not blessed, Pygmalion. The gods have forsaken you, and your punishment is
my wrath. I may have been chiseled away at for all these years, but I am Galatea, born of ivory, and I’m just as strong as I’ve always been.

Heidi Lotter is a 22-year-old English graduate from the University of Connecticut. A creative writing enthusiast her whole life, Heidi is excited to make her publishing debut with Galatea, a story born from a love of mythology and a desire to give a voice to the voiceless. Heidi is most often found in the company of her cats, Franklin and Fitzgerald, who have been devout beta-readers for her upcoming first novel.  

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