• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07

Crowning Glory

Horns, they said. You’re growing horns.

First they shaved me. You have a good-shaped head, they told me—not every acolyte looks so pretty and so bright eyed. They tied charms in the love-lock they left for fortune, and to use as a rope to anchor me if I tried to stray. After they had washed my scalp clean of fuzz they oiled and perfumed my breasts and shoulders, dressed me in gold finespun, made me stand before them for inspection. That was when they decided that the horns should go. Poor horns—they were barely formed: stubby, fresh young growth—I was only just coming into my new stage, after all. I hadn’t yet found my true self. These little lumps were an augur of the change that was building within me, cell by dividing cell. I was still damp and ruffled like a fledgling’s pinfeathers; I was at the point were I was all things at once—furred and feathered and hairless, bird and animal, fire and air.

Did they think that by taking my horns that they would tame me, take from me my many possibilities? I was still a wild thing, but even I knew to hold my tongue, to wear the scars silently, to wait for new growth. To wait for my moment to emerge, to reveal myself.

To show my true glory.