In the Temple of the
by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
The lone…almost lone figure stood in front of the raised stone table. His comrade cum co-conspirator waited patiently in the alcove-like opening yards away; safe and secure with all the dangerous devices disarmed.
“Just a sec…Wait a sec,” the man spoke to the golden idol cradled securely on the stone; its centuries-old grin almost anticipating his attempt to relieve the temple of its prize. He looked at 'her' features; beauty defined by almost-luscious lips, breathtaking eyes, and high cheekbones framed by medusa-like hair. He looked around the rock-littered floor of the cavernous temple until his eyes laid sight on a stone similar in size and semblance to the golden bust; illumed from the sunlight peeking from a small crevice in the temple ceiling.
“Keep smiling,” he said with a soft laugh, as if the goddess of the golden idol could hear his defiance. He’d never worried about finding the idol, and now he was confident that the retrieval was not only possible but on the verge of success. He’d ‘rescued’ similar treasures in a like manner, and now his reward was at hand. Not his alone, since the idol would find an eventual rest in a brightly – lit display case in the University museum.
“Okay, sister, here we go,’ he said as he quickly swapped the rock for the idol. As much as he anticipated yet one more protective measure offered by the temple, he remained ‘stock-still,’ as the old expression goes, awaiting one last impediment in his quest; one last quest in a long career.
“Come on, lady,’ he said; almost reverently. “Do your best.” He starred at the golden face, and it almost felt as if her grin became one of resignation. He turned, still awaiting the worst, but no swinging giant scimitar or rolling boulder impeded his path. He walked to his companion.
“Uh…..uh….” the woman stuttered. He looked over his shoulder, anticipating some last-ditch effort by the temple to protect its only prize. But if anything, the temple actually seemed almost at ease with his actions; as if idol and idol-seeker were destined to unite. He turned back and his companion half-grimaced in horror before her expression changed to one of wonder and near-delight.
“What? Marion? What?”
“You….one moment,” his wife said. She pulled a mirror out of the large leather bag slung over her shoulder and presented it to her husband. He took the mirror from her cautiously, fearing that he had grown horns or a third eye or worse. Looking at his reflection, he dropped the mirror onto the temple floor. It remained intact; a polished steel mirror rather than glass. Marion stooped down and picked it up, but dropped it herself as she saw her own reflection. She shook her head in disbelief as she retrieved the mirror; holding it at arms’ length.
“Oh…..” she said, softly; her expression changing once again to that of a curious satisfaction. She stepped next to her husband; holding the mirror in front of them in display. Where only minutes before would have stood an elderly husband and wife, now two women remained; older than young, but much younger than old. Gray hair had been replaced by raven black and dark brown.
“Uh….” her spouse stuttered now as well.
“Looks like she got her way after all,” Marion said as she pointed at the goddess idol while staring at her husband. Husband?
“I …. You….you look …..” She would have said gorgeous, but she wasn’t used to admiring other women. And her own reflection seemed to draw from some place deep within her a self-admiration heretofore unknown after a lifetime of insecurity.
“What…what am I … what are we going to do,” her now-womanly husband stammered. They both looked again in the mirror before turning their attention to the idol in his…in her hand. The face hadn’t changed, had it? Was the grin more pronounced or just more noticeable?
“Well, I suppose,” Marion laughed and touched the cheek of the beautiful face that smiled nervously; life-long friends, lovers, and finally married only to find themselves both transformed.
“We should think about a new name….how about Henrietta?” Marion laughed softly as the transformation continued, or rather, recalled long-hidden and buried feelings; forbidden and unwelcome for so long now realized as the two would be ‘forced’ to make accommodations. She stared at the idol once again; a knowing smile that must have been there all along seemed to bolster her confidence and assuage any fear her companion still held.
“I…I think I …..”
“Me too, Mrs. Jones,” Marion said as she planted the first new kiss on her lover’s luscious lips. Her former husband/still spouse smiled at Marion and breathed out a relieved sigh.
“I could get used to this…. I am getting used to this,” Marion said as she pulled closer and placed her hand on the newly formed magnificent breasts of her now-wifely counterpart.
“I am too,” Henrietta said; the nervousness in her voice replaced by a confidence.
“I….We owe our serpentine goddess thanks,” Marion laughed.
“But what, dearest?” Marion’s left eyebrow raised slightly in question.
“I…I still hate snakes,” Henrietta said. Marion pulled her even closer as her hand moved downward in a pleasured search until resting comfortably between her lover’s legs, grinning at the addition by substraction. 1958 sensibilities be damned.
“Me too Indy. Me too….”
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