At last it was her turn. She had waited for this moment all her life. Before she had been too immature to go, but now at last it was her turn. She was old enough.
Hovering in the doorway in a state of nervous excitement she didn’t exactly know what lay ahead since no one had ever returned to say. But she knew that this was her destiny, the reason why she had come into the only world she had ever known until now and the reason for her gradual development over the years.
She would miss those she had been rubbing shoulders with but they too would have their turn. For now it was hers. And that was all that mattered.
Trembling she allowed herself to be guided by an instinct deeper rooted than time itself and drifted away from the only home she had ever known into the darkness beyond.
As her senses adjusted to the darkness, she could make out shapes and she became aware of things around her. The corridor wasn’t a pleasant place and she hastened to move through it as quickly as possible. The floor she noticed with a shudder was strewn with decaying bodies. Having never seen death before she did not know why they lay like they did, or why they did not move at her passing.
In her world every one had been female but these naked beings were different, strange and horrible with long tails and an overlarge head. Yet for all of that somewhere deep inside of her she longed to meet a living being such as this but could not understand why.
As the corridor became darker she shuddered and wished that she wasn’t alone. A few times during her thirty years two of her kind had left together and she began to long for some company now.
Stumbling over the dead she travelled for hours in total darkness along that never-ending corridor. Despite her anxiety she never once wished to return home. In fact there was certain bliss to being solo once she got used to the feeling. Her world had been very overcrowded.
During the past when she had longed for this moment she had assumed that she would meet up with others who had gone before her, but there was no one. She was totally alone and her excitement waned a little. In fact she started to feel afraid. Is this all it was? Drifting aimlessly down endless corridors in total darkness. Is this why she had spent thirty odd years maturing until she was old enough to leave home? For a moment, just for a moment she began to wish she could return, at least there she had no such anxieties. The longing to see the other side was far better than the actual knowing. This was not what she had anticipated and she wondered if she should stay put and wait until one of her kind left home, so that they might travel together but the presence of the dead around her forced her to keep moving.
Who were all these strange beings that for now she could not see, but could only sense around her? Why couldn’t none of them talk to her and tell her the answers to her burning questions?
How long had they lain there? And horror of horrors would she too become like them? Unable to move ever again - unable to know that another passed by searching like she for she knew not what.
Eager to leave the bodies behind she hurried on, surely there had to be an end to this horror around her?
For hours she travelled on and on. Time was something she knew well, and time told her that she had been travelling for longer than a day and she was growing weary.
Even knowing nothing of death a strange sensation crept steadily over her and for the first time in her life she began to feel unwell. The feeling brought with it an overwhelming sadness as she realised that the corridor was never ending but her life was! She knew it now but could not find the logic behind it. Was she was born only to die? All those years of longing, of waiting for her turn… for this! This endless drifting, drifting alone and for what? To die alone? What was the sense in that? No one would grieve her for no one would ever know – she had never felt so wretched in all her life.
The bubbly buoyancy with which she had started out now grounded to a halt. She was so tired and rested her weary body against the soft corridor wall. Mentally and physically drained she waited there for something she didn’t know.
Whether she slept or not she was unsure but somewhere out of the depths of her despair she began to hear sounds. Was she dreaming?
Voices surged around her and just as suddenly a million bodies pressed close. The contrast from moments before to now was stunning! They pushed hard hurrying her faster and faster giving her no time to think. Yet their wild excitement and frenzied attack was strangely not unwelcome and she was bemused by it all.<>
At least she was no longer alone.
Suddenly the immense darkness gave way to light and she realised that she had been carried along with these souls. They had taken her upon their backs to present her to their king! She gasped! How beautiful he was. Never had she seen another being as handsome as he!
They stared at one another before she pushed aside the others that were with her and made her way toward him, and he with his tail lashing from side to side immediately drove any would be contenders away.
As these fell aside wounded and beaten he embraced her and they became as one right there before all the others!
Now she felt her vigour renew - he had given her life. They had become as one and his strength became her strength and now she understood. All those decaying bodies that she had seen had been losers, either having fought the battle and lost or had arrived too early and had died waiting.
She was so happy!
He had become one with her and they travelled in silent admiration for each a part of the other further along the soft walled corridor.
Having passed this way earlier he knew where to take her and he guided her to a wonderful place that he had seen on his journey to find her. There he knew they would reside together and develop together becoming truly as one being in the fullest sense of the word before they felt the urge to move forward again.
This knowledge had not been with him that long in fact he had not lived the years of she. He couldn’t think far back at all, all he could remember was his release and his journey through this endless corridor seeking an encounter with something that he knew he would only recognise on sight.
Well he had found her and she was more beautiful than he could ever have imagined and they were so obviously made for each other.
She had all the qualities that he desired maybe a touch too feminine but perhaps he could alter that given time. Maybe he could even make her one of the boys!
He was beautiful; everything about him was just as she had imagined. All those dead decaying bodies resembled only a part of his personification. Maybe he was a bit too manly but that would be his only downfall. He was a leader for sure, but females could be leaders too. He needed softening around the edges, and she vowed that in the months to come she would do her utmost to mould away the roughness of him and make him more like her.
Finally they reached the end of the corridor. She could hardly believe it! Two whole days had passed since she had left her world, yet in those two days she had encountered more knowledge than in all the thirty years she had resided there in her world. It was amazing! And as they tumbled together into their first home she felt that her life had only just began.
In contrast her new home was a mansion. The space was colossal!
Looking around she could hardly see the other side of her home and it would be a long time before she had explored it fully. For now it was wonderful to just sit and rest in the cosiest corner that they could find and let their weary bodies’ rest. It was just so nice to be able to stop travelling and not to have to be anxious about anything anymore.
In time she would come to realise that all that space was a necessity for they would grow together and accumulate new things together so much so that the home would seem to diminish in size until they were literally cramped for space. But that would be quite some time yet and for now they looked forward with eager anticipation to every new development along the way.
The cleanliness of her new home was touching, and there was a feel of happiness about the place making her feel warm and safe. And her companion was just wonderful, he had the same goals as she and he never attempted to be apart from her, not even once.
He so looked forward to their life together even though it soon became apparent that he could not turn her into one of the boys. There was a strength about her that he admired and in time he quite willingly allowed her to dominate him.
They had a bond. Stronger than life itself. Stronger than friendship or love and though he missed the companionship of his mates he found that she seemed eager to please him and in time she seemed to change so much that he truly believed that he had the best of both worlds.
She too noticed those changes. At first it humoured her. For a time she felt so much a part of him that she felt like a male but she would have none of that. She was female through and through and if he didn’t like that he could lump it. There was no way that he would alter her to that degree. And so she developed her femininity quickly overriding any designs he may have had to the contrary, until she at last felt his acceptance through and through.
There was something amazing about the home that they shared not only warm and peaceful but it enabled them to form a moulding of bodies that allowed a sort of metamorphosis to take place and that each knew from that union something beautiful would emerge.
As time went by he began to notice changes in himself. He grew weaker as her dominant role surpassed him and for some strange reason he did not mind this, allowing himself to be guided with a sort of relaxed defeat overwhelmed that her presence dominated his to an extent that he almost ceased to exist. Untilat last feeling totally female he allowed her to reign over him.
Now truly as one, in every sense of the word, it was he who heard, he who felt all of the things that she had now taken for granted. There would be no going back. From now on everything they had, everything they were yet to have they would have together as one. In fact so much so that from that moment it was no longer they but her. Her alone.
She had no clock, no calendar that would tell her when it was time to move on yet she knew from somewhere deep within that something would trigger the hour and she would know it without a doubt so he ceased to worry about it.
As the days turned into weeks and then months the home did become cramped for space, and something else she noticed…sounds could be heard beyond the walls of her home, strange muffled sounds but tranquil nonetheless. She had no fear of those sounds - they did in fact hold her in reverence and she learned to adapt to them and respond to them, delighting in sharper tones of obvious delight when she moved or wiggled searching for a place to stretch.
Yes the space was minimal now in fact she knew it was time to leave. Her beautiful home had dealt her well, but she had grown so much it was time to move on. She wondered what lay on the other side of her home, and from where did those sounds come and what made them?<>
The longing grew, day by day, until finally with a hefty kick something happened and she felt the first bout of fear she had known since the time travelling through that corridor.
She had kicked at the walls before and nothing had happened save reminding her that space was minimal, but today the walls kicked back! It terrified her and she froze on the spot wondering if she had imagined it. And that wasn’t all - the feeling had brought a sound from outside of her home, a sound of anxiety unleashed by pain.
Holding tight with arms and legs outstretched she tried to maintain her grip on the circular walls around her. A sudden fear coursed through her as the walls started to implode pushing at her from all around. If she didn’t hold tight she would be catapulted into the unknown and this was a terrifying thought!
The sounds from outside ebbed and waned, first excited then laced with fear, more and more sounds, different tones, different pitches. She focused on those sounds, thus alleviating her own anxiety.
For some time she had noticed far below her a tiny pinprick of light and had wondered about it, then a few weeks ago she had managed to flip herself right over so that the light became more intense right before her eyes. Now this light became stronger and the pinprick grew wider still as sounds from outside her world intensified.
Struggling against the sensation began to hurt her and she had no alternative but to go with the flow. Actually doing so wasn’t as frightening as she had presumed, and in a funny kind of way she enjoyed it. A fleeting thought went through her mind of being carried by all those bodies and being presented to the king all those months ago. She had not been in control then and she was not in control now with the pulsating walls all around her driving her forward inch by inch.
Suddenly warm fluid passed her by, soaking her body. It was a strange sensation. Encased in fluid for so long she had grown accustomed to it just being there, never giving it a thought, but now it was rushing over her, passed her by and showing her that it had existed only in the split moment that she realised it did not. No longer was it there; no longer was the comforting buoyancy within which she had resided part of her life. It had gone and those pulsating walls were hurting her now that there was nothing to keep them off off of her.
Urgency was upon her now, urgency and pulsing sounds from outside of her world, and pressure. Such intense pressure, a force so great that she was moved along without having to do anything for herself.
And suddenly there was light! The most intense compelling light she had ever known, and feelings strange wonderful feelings of being touched and held up to the light, and cries of joy and laughter.
And then kisses. Never before in her life had she experienced something so wonderful as this. There was no comparison to being touched by warm lips from smiling mouths.
Oh she loved this! All the attention all the joyful voices around her. It was a language she had yet to learn but she understood happiness when she saw it, and happiness was all around, in every corner nook and cranny, and she felt it right through to her bones.
And there was a word, one that everyone seemed to be using, no matter their tone of voice, and she became accustomed to it, and knew that when they used it they were referring to her and she responded to that word.
It would not yet roll off her tongue, that would take some time, but it filled her mind and her heart and she knew she would associate with it always. It was Catherine, they called her Catherine and she was a joy to their hearts.
Tiredness crept over her in soft waves and it was bliss to be held snug and tight against the softness of her mother’s breast. Her journey was done now, no more would she have to fend for herself. These kind souls had taken over, until such a time came that they would set her on her feet and say, 'You are on your own now child – make us proud.’ And she would, she knew that she would. Whatever came, whatever happened, she would make them proud of her.
Lids closed over blue to become green eyes and she slept safe in the knowledge that she was loved by so many, but more importantly by these two people who through their love had given her life.
And somewhere out there in the big wide world - though she did not yet know it - was someone for her that would make her life complete – someone that would bring her the happy life for which her parents now wished, and then all their dreams would come true and her journey would truly be over.