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For Some a Shower of Gold

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The world of men was not kind to Amazons.

After winning the fight for their own freedom and the survival of humanity, they drag their tired, wounded bodies and spirits toward the sea, toward the place the gods made for them. There is no map, only a shared dream of a lush, sun-kissed island like an emerald poking out of a sapphire sea.

War changes people. 

The Amazons have proven themselves strong and valiant countless times, but to endure the cruelties of war, they’ve had to become colder and harder than the gods made them. They have seen many of their sisters fall to the weapons and treachery of men. They are slower to trust outsiders than they once were, and they don’t trust men at all.

Even in paradise, there is work to be done.

The Amazons arrive in Themyscira in early summer. They breathe in the salty air of freedom and fall to their knees on the sands of peace, laughing and weeping and embracing each other in joy.

Their queen, Hippolyta, wishes she could join them, but there is still much to do to make this gift from the gods into a home. She silently slips away from them to explore the island. The jagged cliffs are a natural defense against invaders, and her sisters would be able to see enemies approach from many miles away. The soil of the island is dark and fertile, and the dense semi-tropical forest teems with life. Her fellow Amazons can hunt and forage for many years as they heal and build.

The gods have departed this world, but their presence can still be felt.

With her sisters beyond sight and hearing, Hippolyta wonders if this island of peace and freedom is a gift she and the others will be able to keep. What if they have tasted too much of war to truly be at peace? What if they have forgotten what life was like before slaves and masters? Has the ignorance, greed and cruelty of man’s world infected them too?

Such thoughts rumble in her head like thick, dark thunderclouds. It’s dusk when her feet lead her to a small, green clearing in the wilderness. Then she stops. She looks up. A streak of day’s fading light falls upon a magnificent blossom growing out of the ground. It gleams soft and white like the moon, almost as if it shines with a light of its own. It’s unlike anything she’s ever seen.

She casts her armor and weapons on the ground, though if one were to ask why she does it, she would not know how to answer. Perhaps her intuition tells her that there’s something blasphemous about bringing objects of war into the presence of something so lovely and harmless. Her robe and crown are next. She lays them atop the armor and weapons with more care. 

Naked, she kneels upon the grass next to the flower. She bends down, inhaling its sweet fragrance. Each sniff renews her spirit, tossing aside the burdens of the world she left behind. Where rage once poisoned her heart, serenity now cleanses it. Where despair once cast its shadow, hope now blossoms.

She must return to her sisters, but she cannot bear to part from the flower. The very thought of it leaving her sight brings on a longing as keen as a blade. Soon, a great weight settles upon her eyes and her limbs, so she curls around the flower, fast asleep.

The gods take many forms.

Hippolyta opens her eyes. The most beautiful woman she’s ever seen lies beside her, gazing upon her with soft, dark eyes. White linen drapes over her pelvis like the petals of a flower. A faint smile teases the corners of the full, sensuous mouth. Then slowly, gently, silently, they give themselves to one another. Over and over again, they die in each other’s arms, are buried in each other’s thighs and resurrected in each other’s lips.

Hippolyta wakes up to the calls of the other Amazons echoing through the trees. The flower and the woman are gone. Yet, there is no sadness, only gratitude and a sense that she is waiting for something wondrous to come into her life.

Months later, her womb swells with life, and she starts to understand. The pieces finally come together in the early spring when her daughter comes into the world with her dark eyes wide open and her head covered in dark, curly hair.

The king of the gods assumes many shapes to lie with women who catch his eye. A shower of gold for one. A swan for another. For Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, a white flower.