He was standing in the woods, alone, staring at the young white moon for hours, thinking of the same one thing before he called out her name.
She appeared, sitting on a rock, like she has been there all along. In her arms was a fawn, suckling on her left breast like it knew she was its mother. And she believed she was. Is.
“What do you want?”
“I want to join The Guardians.”
“You are a man.”
“I want to dedicate my life to protecting what belongs to nature. Life. I could do that while being a man.”
With the slightest touch, he felt the tip of her fingers brushing his lids. He closed them. Then he saw himself suckling on Artemis’ right breast, much like a child having his first taste of his mother’s milk. He saw that as he sucked, the milk turned into blood, and his form also transformed. By the time he was fed, he saw himself turned into a woman – a very beautiful, if somehow forlorn, woman.
“Are you prepared to do that?”
He opened his eyes and found himself unable to answer. He just looked at her, at the fawn in her arms; still suckling, and he wondered if it, too, would change.
He then bowed, took a step back. He was not seen ever again in that part of the woods.
The fawn, who really was the god Apollo, asked her twin, “What did you show him, love?”
She looked at the moon, thinking, and was silent for a second. Or it could be minutes. Or hours. Maybe even years.
Finally, she said, “I showed him what no man would never willingly do.”
“To be transformed into something he will always see only as second best.”