by Chris Aldridge
For many years, he had recited similar petitions to the only God he ever knew. Michael lay on the ground for several minutes before she appeared, a woman he didn't recognize, but she glowed as if otherworldly. Before he could even ask, she replied, "I've had many names. Just call me the Goddess of love and beauty."
"Are you here to help me?"
"After a fashion."
Michael looked confused.
"You see," she began, "you have a gift, blessing even, that most people do not. Everyone possesses it in actuality. You, however, are split, right down the middle. You can be both. You've probably noticed that your personality and voice haven't fully become one or the other, and that your body can be altered."
"What does that mean?" he asked.
She bent down and took hold of him. "It's time for you to accept it. I'm going to bring it out. You'll be free of all this other nonsense."
He shook his head, trying to jerk away as her arms wrapped around him. "Please, no, let me go! I'm a Christian! Stop!" Eventually, he couldn't budge. She had strength and dictation beyond comprehension.
The Goddess ripped the right sleeve of his shirt off. Michael could only cry, for nothing else could move. Then came the screams, as the top back of his right shoulder began to burn. Soon a tattoo remained forever on his skin, of a purple flower surrounded by flowing black vines. It was amazingly beautiful, as if picked from the gardens of heaven. Michael slumped his head to the side in silence, as if all his energy was gone.
"Wake now," whispered the divine one.
Michael peered upward.
"How are you feeling?" she smiled.
Michael reached behind his head. "Why is my hair so short?" Then he noticed his hand, "And my nails! Where's the color, and when's the last time I had a manicure?! What the fuck?!"
He stood up. "And I don't even wanna look at my feet right now. Gah!"
"I'm glad you're more like yourself," said the Goddess.
Michael noticed his tattoo. "Well, at least there's one attractive thing on me right now."
"It stands for the manifestation of both sexes, the flower for feminine and the vines for masculine, " she explained. "Neither of which will ever leave you. It's who you are."
"Really? I can be any gender I want?" he smiled.
"At any time?"
"So I can be a girl right now?"
Michael grew increasingly excited as he contemplated his new reality. "Oh, I need new clothes, maybe something kinda unisex. And makeup, Gods, I need makeup. Wait, did I just say Gods?"
"With your new grasp on reality, comes a new understanding of the universe," she replied. "You've been made a polytheist."
"A poly who?"
"It means you believe in many Gods. You're not a Christian anymore."
"And what do I call them?"
"You'll have to figure that out for your own self," she replied, turning to walk away into the darkness and leave Michael to himself.
"Wait, please!" he called, hurrying behind. "So how do I, like, make my body or voice feminine or masculine? Do I, like, morph on command like a power ranger? Do I get some kind of a magic flute or something?"
The Goddess chuckled. "No, just add the full femininity or masculinity, like filling a half glass the rest of the way. You'll learn. It'll be like a second nature to you."
"Wait, you can't leave right now," he gasped. "You have to teach me all this new stuff, right?"
The Goddess took a deep breath.
"Look," Michael began, "the only thing I know right now is that I like girls and guys, and at present, I'm feeling feminine for the first time in my life. I don't know the first thing about anything else."
"I have other duties in this universe besides your sexual life, child," she smiled.
"My mind is going in every direction known to Hermes right now," he began to sob, holding his hands up to his head. "I have no idea where to even begin with any of this. You're the one who made me, and I don't even know what name to call myself."
She studied him briefly. "Your name tonight is the female version of your male one; Mikayla. Think on your feet."
"Please stay with me for right now, please," Mikayla begged, "Don't be like my old God."
Part 2 Coming Soon